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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35054
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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My 9 month old sons father wants over night visits. We are

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My 9 month old son's father wants over night visits. We are not married and have never lived together.
To date he has had only 4/5 unsupervised visits and I happily have him in my home for prolonged visits when ever he wants. He also visits 2 nights a weak when I work. My baby has been exclusively breast fed and will not take milk by any other method. I wish to breast feed as is advised for some time to come! He is on the birth certificate. What overnight access rights does he have?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Exactly what contact has he had without you in the last few months?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Every Monday and Wednesday when I work he looks after him from 7.30_10 or 11pm in my home with my mother (who lives with me) apart from that he has taken himbin my car which has the car seat and isofix to see his mother 3 or 4 times and once to a town some time ago. The duration of these visits has never extended passed 2hours. All other visits which I have happily encouraged have been with me!

What regular pattern of weekly contact - WITHOUT you - are you willing to offer to start with?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well he is already with him without me (my mother is always upstairs) on the Monday and Wednesday it has always been convenient for him in my home as he does not have a single baby item in his and chooses to leave early, leaving the baby with my mother so he can get to bed. So apart from those 2 evenings maybe also an afternoon on the weekend.He already has him an evening on the weekend at mine if I work or have gone out!

Has he asked to move the contact away from your home?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No not the contact whilst I work but he wants him over night at his.

He asked when I intend stopping breast feeding so he can do that. However I (since reading breast feeding literature) intend to until he is 2 due to all the benefits.Plus breast feeding aside it does not seem prudent or in my babies best interests to 'suddenly' throw him into an unfamiliar environment for an extended period of time without me when he hasn't been used to it!

The law says that a child is entitled to regular close contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary
However there is no question of overnight contact happening until there is a settled pattern of the child spending time with his father somewhere other than your home and if your ex wishes to move to overnight contact then he must first create a child friendly environment in his home and ensure that he has suitable equipment there
This could start with a few hours on a saturday or sunday in addition to the evenings in your home
However once that is established - and clearly it will take some many months - then I am afraid that the fact that you intend breastfeeding until 2 will not in itself mean that overnight contact cannot start since by the time the baby is over 12 months old he will be taking other fluids in other ways.
You need to discuss this progression with your ex using FamilY mediation ( to help him understand that he has to place the child's needs at the centre of the equation
You can also get information from the website here
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you that is helpful! All that concerns me is try as we might to this point our baby takes minor sips from a cup refuses a bottle and could no where near get his required milk needs from a cup as he takes so little. He has even had to ring me at work a couple of times when he was so unhappy he thought he needed to feed! As one cant just make exclusive breast feeder take other methods we always accepted that not forcing or rushing it but letting him progress at his pace was best.

Also as breast feeding association explains he feeds as part of an established routine and also uses it as a comfort especially over night when he is an extremely restless sleeper!Until now my ex agreed with the highly rated breast feeding benefits!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I think she is offline because it is late!
Hi Zia
My apologies for the delay
The issue of overnight contact starting is months away - and in those months your baby will have turned into a toddler and whilst breast feeding will remain important it will no longer be his only way of receiving all the nutrients he requires.
At this stage it is more important that your ex starts to move his principal contact away from your home
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you! Months away you say? Really?

I am so concerned that both my sons Father and the authorities would think it in his best interests to take him away over night when he is a baby happy to be with his Father but not for extended periods. The thought of my happy balanced baby being adversely effected when his sleep routine is still being established. He would be terribly miserable nutrients aside if (as I am told is normal) he was unable to feed for routine and comfort! But are you saying that won't be the case for some time whilst he is so young and dependent. And that they would not traumatise him that way?

The issue is that at the moment your ex has no experience of being solely responsible for your son in an environment that he himself has created
So he needs to start having your son in his own home and making sure that he has his OWN equipment for him - not just what he borrows from you
Then he needs to start having him for increasing periods of time at the weekend before overnight contact is even discussed let alone happen.
Start the process - by the time he is having him for 8 hours a day the milk issue will not be as great
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you