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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35091
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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I am the resident parent of two daughters. My ex has had regular

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I am the resident parent of two daughters. My ex has had regular access since we separated due to his affair. After six months, he is now asking for overnight access. I am happy for this to go ahead but have asked him to make the first few overnight stays times when his new partner is not present overnight too. I feel that my young daughters, two and four, need their dad's attention for the first few visits to help them settle and feel secure. The littlest is likely to end up in her day's bed after all, due to unfamiliar surroundings. Is this unreasonable? He says he won't have them overnight at all, if I make that a condition. This seems silly and feels as if he is putting his relationship above the needs of the girls. His girlfriend does not live with him (she has not yet left home) and she also works nights on a regular basis. I have suggested we could organise overnight stay for time she is at work, as way forward but he refuses. What would yo advise.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Have the children met his new partner?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes. she is almost always there on his weekly contact day.
The first thing to say is that you have no extra rights as the "resident parent" - and it maybe that part that has caused your ex to stick his heels in.
In addition your solicitor is wrong - overnight contact is a natural progression and if your ex applied to the courts for it he would get it
Having said that your actual request is not totally unreasonable and is entirely child focussed and I would expect the court to agree with you that the first two or three should take place whilst his partner is working
To try and resolve the issue you should offer to discuss it with him using Family mediation - where with the help of a Mediator you can acknowledge that you both have Parental Responsibility but that equally you BOTH need to out the children's interests first
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I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
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