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There is no harm in contacting the court and asking for this to be added before directions are sent out.
My view is that the extension may not be granted (to be honest you could just serve a couple of days late if you are worried about repercussions) but the point about not asking the child to write a letter is one which could be added as if the judge had wanted to hear directly from the child they would have asked for this. It's involving the child in the dispute which is supposed to be avoided as much as possible.
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Absolutely - the court is usually a little flexible over filing dates, provided the evidence is filed in good time before the hearing (or sometimes even on the day). Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please do let me know if you have any additional questions in the future. I am also happy to answer any new questions on other topics that you may have, you can request me by putting “for PLCLEGAL” at the start of the new thread. Best wishes, Peter