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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1373
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I am getting divorced and we have one daughter who has learning

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Hi I am getting divorced and we have one daughter who has learning difficulties, we have an agreement for access made via mediation 6 months ago and my ex now wants to change it so he has more access. I don't think it's right for our daughter to amend the arrangement, particularly during the week as she needs consistency for school. She is going to him tomorrow and is supposed to come home Sunday night but has just told me tat she is staying with Daddy on Sunday night. I am really scared that he is just going to do exactly as he pleases, whether I agree or not. What rights do I have?
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
Please can I ask:
- what is the current agreement for contact
- your daughters level of learning disability and how this affects her and if the dad can meet her needs
- does Dad have Parental Responsibility (you were married when she was born or dad named on birth certificate)
- will he take her to school on Monday
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The current arrangement is that he has her on a Wednesday and Thursday evening after school, and overnight. One weekend ( sat - sun) a month and an additional Sunday. He has parental responsibility, we were married when she was born.
Her learning difficulty means that although she is almost 16, she cannot reliably was herself and is unable to read and write, but she is very sociable. She struggles with changes to routine as she has only (in the last 12 months ) learnt the days if the week. Through the school holidays where things change it has taken lots of coaching to help her understand the routine and I am happy to be flexible over which weekends he sees her and adding on additional time but believe that Monday to Friday should be stable for her. Also if he has her on some Sunday nights it means I have to rearrange the school bus on the Monday morning and I am concerned that if there are too many changes they will forget when they have her.
He has asked for additional time, I have offered to change the arrangement so he brings her back at 8pm on Sunday (rather than 6pm). I have added on a couple of Friday's as he wants to take her away for the weekend, but he hasn't agreed as he wants her more Friday's and Sunday nights.
She has come home tonight and has told me about 20 times that she loves me and this shows insecurity which he just doesn't seem to get.
Thank you for your response.
Unfortunately given your daughters age and with no current court order in place- there is no easy answer that I can give you - which I appreciate is not what you want to hear but I do have to be honest.
As her Dad also has PR then he would not been seen to unlawfully removing her from your care. If he didn't bring her back on Sunday night then you could call the police and ask if they would assist - however they are likely to say that with no court order in place and given your daughter's age that it is a civil matter.
You could ask the police to do a 'Welfare Check' explaining that your daughter might get distressed due to her learning disability. If they attended and your daughter was distressed then they might assist and return her but if she was settled then they would like assist no further. Given what you have said about your daughter having a learning disability then taking such action in itself might only cause more difficulties.
The reality is that a court simply wouldn't entertain an application to decide who a child should spend time with when they reach 16. Children are often considered as competent to decide who they want to spend time with from 14 onwards.
The court would probably only consider matters if it was considered that your daughter didnt have capacity to make the decision herself. A doctor would have to assess your daughter and make a judgement for this.
You need to consider referring matters back to mediation to see if her dad will agree an increase - if this is what your daughter wants and at her pace.
Kind Regards
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Pippa doesn't have capacity to decide for herself, which is why we went to mediation considering her age.
She is at a special school and will never work or live independently.
She has the understanding of a pre school age child with regards ***** ***** kind of complexity.
Thank you for confirming this.
In the short term the position would still be that the police would be unwilling to assist unless perhaps she was distressed.
It it the court of protection that would deal with such an application if the father will not agree to your proposals and you consider that his actions are causing distress (emotional harm) to Pippa.
In the first instance you need to seek a psychiatrist to assess Pippa to see whether or not she has capacity in this regard.
Kind Regards
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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1373
Experience: Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
ukfamilysolicitor and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
HiPlease do not worry.Since your daughter has special needs the matter will still be dealt with under the Children Act and the Court of Protection do not need to be involved at this stage and there is no question of any assessment of your daughter - a report from her consultant/school will suffice.You shoudl return to mediation first - and you need to be aware that the court will consider it reasonable that your ex has at least one full weekend a month with your daughter - if not alternate weekendsIf no agreement can be reached then you can safely apply to the Family Court using a Form C100 in the usual way - attaching the evidence that mark your daughter as a special child!Please ask if you need further detailsClare