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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I am non resident parent for my son, 14. My ex and I were separated

Customer Question

I am non resident parent for my son, 14. My ex and I were separated in 2008 and divorced in 2010.
There is no court order over children. We currently share care under a voluntary agreement which was agreed in mediation a few years ago, and modified since, under which I have him most weekends. I work full time, my ex works part time. She receives child benefit, and CSA from myself.
She has now announced that she is changing the arrangement, and I must take care of him during week days as well. She threatens to deny him access to her house to enforce this. Her complaint is that I should be giving her more money in addition to CSA.
This would not be in his best interest as I am working full time, not able to do school runs, or look after him after school. Additionally, I often travel abroad with my job.
My questions:
Is it legal for her to deny him access to her house, as the resident parent? Doesn’t the child have a right to live with the RP?
Does the NRP have a right to force contact arrangements into the NRP?
Would it be a good idea to get a Contact Order to formalise the arrangement, as I feel that she is now attempting to make up new rules, which are not workable?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What is she actually ask you to do?
Exactly what time does he spend with you at the moment?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

At the moment we ahve a 4-weekend cycle : 1st weekend he spends Sat PM - Mon AM with me, 2nd weekend Fri PM - Mon AM, 3rd week same, 4th weekend entirely with her.

She's asking (or rather telling me) to have my son 14 days continuous, after which she has him 14 days.

The problem for me (and him) would be the week days

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
What has provoked this odd demand?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I think it's a kind of punishment. A long story, but a month ago we had an arrangement relating to her 50th birthday which fell through, and since then she's been furious ... demanding things, applying for variations for CSA money, and now this. I think it will blow over, but I wanted to know where I stand. Your advice has been very helpful.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Do you think she realises that this will substantially reduce her CSA payments?
have you ever considered adapting so that your son could live full time with you?