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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have received a letter from my ex-husbands solicitor

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I have received a letter from my ex-husbands solicitor advising basically that if I do not agree to attend mediation that I will be taken to court to settle arrangements for my 7 yr old son. We went through the mediation process a couple of yrs ago & an agreement was reached whereby my son went to his dad's every other weekend from 3.15pm Friday - 4.30pm Sunday & then from 3.15pm - 7.30pm the Fridays that weren't his weekend. Also, he goes for 4 weeks of the school holidays. This has worked well & my son is happy with the arrangement & settled. However, my ex-husband now has another child & believes that he is entitled to more of my sons time in order for him to bond with his sister (I also have another child). When mediation was encouraged again a few months ago, I did go for an initial meeting on my own, but as a result I did not see the point in another joint meeting as I did not believe we would agree on anything. What I need to know is, if it went to court, how likely is it that my ex-husband would be granted more time with our son?

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-Are you both in England or Wales?

-Is there a court order in place regarding the current arrangements?

-Has he been adhering fully to the current arrangements?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are both in England.
There is no court order, just the mediation agreement.
We have both adhered to the current arrangements fully, with any rearrangements being made by mutual agreement.

Thank you for confirming. As the father has a new child, your son has a right to sibling contact, and unfortunately, this may result in an increase to the arrangements to spend time with his father. The current arrangements do seem reasonable and it would be useful to know what increase he has requested as a court will only agree to an increase in contact if it is in your son's best interests, especially if they have been stable for the last few years.

I would therefore suggest that you consider reverting to mediation to see what his proposals are as it may not be helpful going back to court as it may be likely that the court will consider an increase to contact especially as your son gets older.

For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:

1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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