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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35214
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 seeking some advice in regards XXXXX XXXXX age a childs

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Hello, I am seeking some advice in regards XXXXX XXXXX age a child's decision and opinion are taken into account in regards XXXXX XXXXX father going for a residence order. He currently sees him fortnightly on a saturday for 6hrs his father has now submitted a court order requesting residence to see him every weekend with an overnight stay and to see him during the week and 3 weeks in summer and a week at christmas what are the chances of the father getting everything he wants? The child has stated that they are happy to just see them fortnightly after finding this out as the father just told them it was to see him every week for the same period of time they currently spend the weekends with Grandparents which has been the case since the child was 3months old the child is now 10 yrs old. The father when we were together wasn't interested in spending time with the child while I was at work. We split up 3 years ago and he is now engaged which we believe may be the reason behind it along with some additional reasons. His new partner has a teenage son who lives with them every other week and it's a 2 bed house can this have an impact on the courts decision. He also didn't inform me when he moved the child was dropped off at his old address where he was there to collect him before putting him in his car and driving off to his new address. Thank you for your assistance in advance Vicky

Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has your son ever had overnight contact with his father - if not why not?
Do you work weekends?
What is your objection to him spending time in the holidays with him?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Clare


Thank you for the response. My son hasn't had any overnight contact with his father since we split up which was 3 years ago he used to live in a single bedroom flat. My ex also lost his licence for drink driving and has only recently got it back and now has access to a vehicle. He also used to worked away so never really looked after him when we were together. My child has problems sleeping sometimes as when my ex did look after him on a night when we werem together he was to busy playing on his computer when my child cried all night and couldn't be bothered sorting him out. Yes at the present time I work weekends if i didn't would that make a difference? My ex also makes my child lie I have email proof of this would this also help my case? I haven't been offered formal mediation can this have a bearing on the outcome? He hasn't looked after the child for extended period of time and I worry about what would happen if he couldn't get time off work he has never taken him away on holiday even when we were together. If the child was female rather than male would the fact that she wouldn't have her own room play a party in the decision making process ? Also if my ex was to see him every weekend how would that impact me taking the child on holiday or doing family events myself as my child is very close to his grandparents, Aunties and cousin and I don't want them to stop being able to see them. My ex has no ambition for our child and has never been to a parents evening or done homework with him even when we were together would that also be taken into account? I am concerned what impact this will have on my child's education. If my child spoke to the CAFCASS officer and stated that they didn't want to stay over would that be taken into account? I don't have any issue with my ex seeing our child I just want to do what is best for them and staying over isn't as I don't believe it to be a fit environment as my ex also gets aggressive and has been verbally abusive, his new partner also came into my workplace and throwed the court paperwork at me after having it for 7 days which I found intimidating I have cctv footage of this.

Thanks for your help


Do you have any weekends off?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not at present but I am looking to change

At 10 your Son is still a little young for his wishes to determine what contact there will be.
They are certainly important - but since he has not had overnight contact in the past the court is likely to say that he cannot possibly decide whether or not he would enjoy it
On the face of it what the father is asking for is not unreasonable - and does not impact on your time with your son since you work at the weekends
However it is certainly reasonable for you to say that you want some weekends with your son - and for him to continue to see his grand parents to whom he is no doubt close.
An offer of alternate weekend contact would be a reasonable suggestion
His requests for holiday contact are also likely to be seen as reasonable I am afraid
The issues that you raise about his address and his being encouraged to lie to you are very valid - but are not likely to mean that overnight contact will not be granted I am afraid
Neither his gender nor the fact that the new partner has a teenage son will be seen as relevant I am afraid
The fact that there has been no mediation simply means that there is a good chance that the hearing will be adjourned to allow mediation to take place - but you are going to have to offer something I am afraid
I am sorry not to give you better news
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your response. In regards XXXXX XXXXX holidays and events which have already been booked and paid for how will they be viewed? His grandparents, aunties and uncle are all going on holiday with him for 2 weeks and then were back a week and away again. His grandparents have also got tickets for him to attend a show is he still able to attend these as he will be very disappointed if he can't.


Also how long will this agreement last. If my child is unhappy how old do they need to be in order to have there opinions heard? would this have to go back to court?


If he doesn't have his own room would that be seen as relevant? would this been seen as being relevant if he was a girl?


Also in regards XXXXX XXXXX am I better to take a solicitor in with me to make sure my point gets across and I'm not pushed into something which is potentially worse than what is already been suggested.


Also we currently have an arrangement that he pays £50pw towards our son can he look to amend this as it was organised privatley I do have a signed contract confirming this but I am also slightly concerned as he works for my father at present who he gives the money to. My father is looking to retire from his company soon so won't be able to collect the funds from him anymore.

Events that have already been planned and are booked (and can be proved to have been booked before now) are safe - take a list of them so that there can be no misunderstanding
Clearly this is a major change for your son and it may take time to settle down
The order will end on your son's 16th birthday anyway - but after he is 12 his wishes will become of greater importance and if he is unhappy with the situation then you can go back to mediation and if necessary the courtsThe fact that he does not have his own room is not relevant - and nor would it be relevant if he were a girl
Solicitors cannot attend mediation - it is about the parties trying to reach a compromise that works for them both - but do ask for a mediator also trained to work with young people so that your son's voice can be heard
If there is a problem with maintenance then you can apply to the newest version of the CSA
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you


My final question what happens if the child gets invited to a birthday party for example last weekend he went to a friends sleepover party on saturday and was picked up and taken to see his father at the correct time on sunday who would make the decision that he can attend? This weekend he has also been on a school trip and won't return again until sunday again who would make the decision that he can attend these things?

This will be a matter for negotiation - School trips are clearly a priority and it is a matter of simply working with them, parties are less clear cut
This is one reason why alternate rather than every weekend would work better
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry one last question is his new partner allowed to attend the mediation?

Not unless you agree
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