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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34906
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hello,I am a single mother to a 13 months old baby girl.

Customer Question

Hello, I am a single mother to a 13 months old baby girl. I am bringing her up on my own with very little help from her father. He comes to visit for two hours a week and take her for a walk in the park. When I told him I was pregnant he has decided he did not want to be with me and he did not want to have a child from me. I did not accept his request for terminating the pregnancy. I have always been very flexible with his time availability and made myself available to welcome him even when he changed his schedule at the last minute. He shut me out of his life, friend and never invited me to his house again, meanwhile coming to visit me for one hours a week and keeping i touch through texts.At the third month of pregnancy he introduced his mother and I was happy to have her in my life as I was alone and she provided moral support. When my child was born her father was present as at the last two months of the gestation he came forth saying he wanted to be part of his child life and wanted to help, however I was still in hospital when he informed me that he was going to take his nephews on holiday as they were his family. Again he said that his sister and mother could come to help me. I felt it was imposed of me but still I wanted my child to know her family. His mother started coming around whenever she wanted and I tried to be polite but her presence was an extra chore as I have to cook and entertain her while still providing to a young baby after a cesarian session. Lately her mother let slip that she knew that he had met somebody when the baby ws only 3 months old, which made me realise why he did not want me and the baby to go to his house when I was looking for a place and became homeless. I felt betrayed and his family presence into my life made me feel controlled as his mother would intercede for the father of my child. I never got help form him or his family. In theory they said they wanted to help, in practice I'd never received practical help not even was when my child was sick. Last time her father went on holiday, while I have to use my annual leave to look after her. He only shared with me the first nursery fees because I had not money until my first pay after going back from maternity. I want my child to know her father family and lately I have asked him to arrange their visit when they could come along with him as up to two months ago at the time I drawn the lines, they were all coming at a different fay of the week, whenever they wanted on the top of him coming to visit.I cannot afford the time any more now that I am back at work and I feel I am entitled to my personal space in the same way he his. SO he took the opportunity to ask me to let my daughter meet his girlfriend, who I don't know and spend a night with them. I don't feel comfortable letting my child with him overnight as she is too young. We have never lived together nad my child his not used to be with him. I even invited him to spend the evening in my house with the baby, I have a spare bedroom, but he insists on keeping her overnight with him and his girlfriend. At this stage in her life I don't think he would benefit in any way my child to meet her as she is too young to understand and used to sleep with me. I have even asked him to arrange something with his family in his house and suggested we could go for two hours but he arranged it in the park. It has always made sure we don't get involved in my life (his mother along the period was very friendly and asked me personal questions, information which at a later stage the father of my child used to get his way). Now he is pressuring me, he wants an answer as when I think it is a good time to let him have the baby overnight. He had never cared for her, and went for holiday again when the baby was last sick. I sense that now that he has met someone he wants to be with, he is ready to have a family and pressure me to leave the baby with him and his new girlfriend, which moved into his house while me and my child had to go into a temporary accommodation while looking for a place. He has even been verbally abusive in the first few months of the baby's life whenever he did not get his way. I am not longer intimidated by his whimsical demands, but I am not ready to leave my child for a longer period of time with him and especially I don't want them to play happy couple with my daughter as I am the only one who is making sacrifices for her as however he asks and offers his help , he is never available when I actually need it. I want my child to spend time with her father for longer period when she is much older and able to understand. He can be very manipulated and although overtime I have learned hos to deal with him, I feel pressured. I What are the rules in regards? What is the right age for a child for overnight or weekends?

He is on the birth certificate but she has my surname.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Claire and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Can you just confirm what contact the father is having with the child at the moment?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He see her regularly every week, unless he is away. He come to my house and takes her to the park.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
How long for each time - and are you with them in the park?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

for two hours, not because I have set it but because he chosen to from the start and if he goes on holiday, abroad or has some other thing to do he does not come or asks me to come an another time, which i have always allowed against my plans.

I don't go to the park. I let him spend them time alone to bond.


Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Would you be willing to extend the time he can have her - say from 10 until 2 on a Saturday or Sunday?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't mind he spending longer time with the baby during the day. I have asked him in the past but he always made sure it was for not longer than 2 hours. He never wanted the responsibility until Now that he has a girlfriend he wants to spend the time with the girlfriend and my child.

The point is: Do I have to allow him to see the child with his girlfriend her and have and stay overnight if I am not comfortable with them?

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi Vincenza
It is unreasonable for him to expect to have the child overnight when he has only has the child for two hours at a time until now.
He will have to build up the time that he spends with the child until he has her for a whole day before there is any chance of overnight contact being considered - so that is a very long time distance when your daughter is much more secure in her relationship with her father.
There is no set age because every child is different!
It s reasonable for you to want her to establish a good relationship with her father before his girlfriend becomes involved - if he wishes to involve her sooner then it is reasonable for you to ask to meet her
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