Thank you for your response.
You are more than aware that if an agreement cannot be reached then the court will have to make the final determination.
It is the position of the courts that children are entitled to a really good relationship with both of their parents.
The courts final determination is based on your son's best interests.
From what you have said there are lots of reasons for the court to order in line with what your proposals are. There is certainly no crystal ball as all courts/ Judges are different but from what you have said there are numerous factors in your favour and you need to make sure these come across in the statement that you are preparing.
I would set them out in headings as follows:
- You are not opposed to promoting contact but you consider that the statue quo of your son living with you needs to be maintained as you have always been the main carer and you have always met your sons needs. You are concerned that the fathers proposals do not take into account his work. You question how he will be able to meet his needs such as dropping off and picking up from school due to the fathers work. You also understand that the father works away and you have no idea what his proposals are for such periods and that this doesnt provide your son with stability.
- You are concerned about the lack of commitment from the father. There are very recent examples of the father just not being able/ willing to turn up for. You question that if he cant even make the evenings how is he actually going to care in line with his proposals.
- Your son has a sibling and this relationship needs to be promoted. If the father was to have every weekend then this would leave no quality time for the siblings to bond, especially given that your son is at school at therefore the midweek leaves little quality time. That your proposal are therefore based on a sensible solution of your sons best interests.
- There has been previous concerns in very recent previous proceedings regarding the fathers drug and alcohol use. That you are not convinced that the father has actually addressed these issues.
- That the fathers behaviour towards you has been intimidating and you questiion his motives for continuing to make applications to court especially since you are not clear on how he actually intends to manage and facitilitate his proposals.
- Yours son's routine and how this may be affected when he is with his father as your son is returning from contact exhausted.
- That you have promoted lots of additional contact from the last court order which demonstrates that you are not being difficult but willing to promote the relationship but that you consider that the routine moving forward needs to be in your sons best interest and not just proposals that you do not think that the father can actually meet also being proposals that you do not think meet your sons lng term.
I do not think that you proposals are unreasonable given everything you have said. You could say that the midweek tea could be extended to a midweek overnight if the father is able to show commitment to the midweek tea time contact. You also put forward holiday contact and special occasions. This might well be based on the fathers annual leave.
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