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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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How much access should my ex boyfriend expect to have to our

Resolved Question:

How much access should my ex boyfriend expect to have to our 3 month old baby. At present he has 6 and a half hours per week which i think is adequate - but i insist he comes to visit and not take him away - i am breastfeeding and feel the baby is too young to be removed. I haven't left him alone with anyone yet as I feel it's too soon. His parents come with him for 2 hours on one of these visits each week. He keeps saying ''but it's only for an hour!"as he's desperate to take him away. I think once I do that he a will be even more demanding. He is not on birth certificate as he foolishly decided not to sign when i insisted on giving the child my surname as he left me a few weeks into the pregnancy (after 12 years)as he met someone else. He wants to be on bc now but I wont agree as he is selfishly thinking of himself. Also I know he wants this other woman to meet the baby which I DO NOT want and he knows this. He also told me I would have to express the milk so he could take him and I pointblank refused as he should not be making those demands. I feel pressured - I want what's best for the baby but I feel he wants what's best for him. His parents also think I should hand the baby over and think I am punishing him. Please help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 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.
How are the six and a half hours actually made up?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok - 2 hours on a Tues night, 2 on Wed night and 2 and a half on Sunday mornings. Occasionally the week nights change to suit us if something comes up and one of us cant do that particular night but then it's made up on a different night. We both own the flat and because I'm on maternity pay until September, then I'll return to work, and he is paying the mortgage and bills but he thinks he should be able to visit more in exchange for what he is paying. I am happy for him to go to the CSA rather than listen to how hard done by he is and how greedy and selfish he tells me I am. Also, this baby was planned but he wouldn't even touch my stomach and was totally uninterested throughout my pregnancy because he was so wrapped up in his new girlfriend, although he denied he was actually seeing her until I got proof.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok - 2 hours on a Tues night, 2 on Wed night and 2 and a half on Sunday mornings. Occasionally the week nights change to suit us if something comes up and one of us cant do that particular night but then it's made up on a different night. We both own the flat and because I'm on maternity pay until September, then I'll return to work, and he is paying the mortgage and bills but he thinks he should be able to visit more in exchange for what he is paying. I am happy for him to go to the CSA rather than listen to how hard done by he is and how greedy and selfish he tells me I am. Also, this baby was planned but he wouldn't even touch my stomach and was totally uninterested throughout my pregnancy because he was so wrapped up in his new girlfriend, although he denied he was actually seeing her until I got proof.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The law says that a child is entitled to contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this of necessary
However since every child is different and every family is different there is no set of rules as to what shoudl happen at what age.
Your baby is still very small and breastfed, and the contact you have offered up until now has been reasonable indeed generous.
However also it is not unreasonable for your ex to wish to spend time with the baby away from you - and this is something you must begin to address over the next few weeks and months.
This could start in small ways with the better weather and hm talking the baby out for walks and as the time between feeds lengthens then eventually he will be able to take the baby out for longer - extending a little more each month.
It would be worth attending Mediation as you will then have support in trying to make these arrangements focus on the needs of the baby not the needs of the parents
There are however three difficult points which you will have to accept however difficult.
Eventually the baby will spend time with your ex's new partner. Not immediately but certainly within the next six months if they stay together.
The child maintenance he will need to pay if the current arrangements change is 11% of his gross income from which you would need to pay all the household bills - however you can stand firm on one point - contact and maintenance are not linked.
Finally the issue of parental Responsibility.
If your ex continues to show commitment to the child then he will eventually be granted a Parental Responsibility Order by the Court so you need to review this issue on a regular basis. If you wish the Birth Certificate to stand then eventually you could instead offer to sign a Parental Responsibility Agreement at some point
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I am struggling to understand how it would be in the baby's interest to have to meet this woman in around 6 months time. Could I insist on meeting her the first time so that I can see who my baby is spending time with? Also if my ex takes the baby away does that mean it sets the precedence and would a solicitor have advised him to get a certain amount of hours with the baby in order to be given specific rights. Does taking the baby away for an hour each week give him more rights if he makes demands? He will want to take the baby overnight which will be heart wrenching for me as the baby's eyes follow me around the room when someone else holds him and I know my smell comforts him. Could you please answer these additional questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
If your ex's current relationship continues then it is inevitable that the child will eventually spend time with his father AND his father's partner - just as one day he will spend time with your new partner.
You can ask to meet her - you cannot insist
If your ex applied for a Parental Responsibility Order then he will get it - and it wis not based on how many hours he spends with him or whether he takes him out.
However the court will allow him to spend time with his child WITHOUT you
Yes one day overnight contact will happen - but not yet.
In September you go back to work - a big change for your baby so it woudl not be reasonable to consider overnight contact until next year - if then
Clare
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