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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34589
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I split with my ex-partner in 2010 and we have a daughter,

Resolved Question:

I split with my ex-partner in 2010 and we have a daughter, Chloe who is 5 years old. I currently have a court order in place for access.
My access arrangements are;
Week 1: Thursday 11am - Friday 6.45pm
Week 2: Friday 4pm - Sunday 4pm
I went to parents evening on 23/09/14 to see Chloe's teacher and get an update on her progress. Chloe had finished school that day at 3.15pm and was in after school club whilst I was there.
Afterwards I asked the head teacher if I could see Chloe quickly for 5 minutes to give her a teddy bear which she had left at my house the previous week. She agreed but was concerned as she knew there was a order in place but didn't know any details about the access arrangements. I saw Chloe for 5 minutes, gave her the teddy and she gave me a picture which she had drawn. I then gave her a hug and told her I would see her on Thursday when I was due to pick her up.
The next day the head teacher phoned me and said she had requested a copy of the court order from my ex-partner. She said that the order states I couldn't see Chloe outside of my allocated time and that I should make NO attempt to see her outside of my hours in the future.
Since Chloe started school I have always participated in school activities outside of my time without issue, i.e. sports day, craft fairs and parent/child days. Now the head teacher has said I can no longer do this if the activities are outside my allocated time.
Please see the order attached.
My question is; Is she right? Can I no longer see my daughter in school outside my allocated time?
If so, can I appeal to the court to have the order amended to accommodate access within school time?
My other question is; At what age will a court listen to a child opinion?
Thanks in advance
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What does the Order actually say?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, Sorry I couldn't find how to upload the PDF to ustAnswers.co.uk. I have attached them as images above. Thanks very much.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

When do you think you will be able to answer this?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for this and my apologies for the delay
The Head Teacher is not correct.
The Order states when your ex MUST make the child available for contact - it does not mean that you cannot see her at any other time if you happen to be in the same place
Indeed since it appears that there is no Residence Order in place (although that may be covered by an earlier order) if you chose to remove the child from school the head teacher has no right to prevent it (although it would be incredibly foolish for you to do so)
Legally you are fully entitled to attend all school activities.
Having said this you do need to handle this with care.
the Head has made a mistake - and one which many non legal people make.
Write a polite letter setting out the above - and suggest that s/he seeks advice from the Local Authority.
Only if the head is not prepared to investigate further should you be more forceful in your representations
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
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