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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12173
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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my question is can my wife (we have been separated for 2 years

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my question is can my wife (we have been separated for 2 years and are generally on good terms) dictate that I need to spend alone time with my son even though I live 80 miles away with my new partner. my wife has numerous psychological problems and has attempted suicide once and threatened it numerous times most recently in front of an itv crew including graham stanier of Jeremy kyle fame she is not a bad mum just holds it over me that at any point she can make it difficult or impossible for me to see my son and that because she is a student and I work full time I couldn't afford to fight her and that uk law only sees fathers as an atm. this situation is making things difficult between myself and my current partner as my soon to be ex wife is insisting that I spend a weekend at her house with my son an considers this reasonable my current partner as you imagine doesn't. hopefully you could point me in the right direction as to my rights etc and the possibility of suing for joint custody.
thank you Ian
Thank you for your question.
Your wife cannot dictate to you in this way. You have equal parental rights, the only difference being that your son resides with your wife and you have contact to him. The legal parental rights and responsibilities are held equally in the eyes of the law until a court says otherwise.
See the Children (Scotland)!Act 1995 online.
Unfortunately what I think you have to do here is go to court and get a contact order for your son so that the court can specifically provide where and when the contact takes place and you will argue that you at in a new stable relationship and that there is no reason why your son can't come to stay.
Your next port of call should, therefore, be to make an appointment with a good family lawyer.
I hope that this helps.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply when we split up we always said weekends and or holidays would be my time with our son but since she got a new partner (who I have no issue with) and started college she started putting more hurdles in the way such as taking him to church on a sunday for 2 hours when she never went to church before in her life. Basically I think it boils down to now that she has to actually get off her arse and go to college she isn't spending 24 hours a day with him and thinks my new partner is going to be his mother figure even though my partner has told her she just wants to be his friend (my partner has a little girl a few months older than my son) as I say we are mostly on good terms even to the point I do diy for her when I go to pick up my boy but she really cant see things from anything but her own point of view saying its in his best interests for me to have alone time with my son.

I'm not in my office this week so I don't have access to certain materials but I can tell you that there is prior judicial authority to the effect that one parent isn't allowed to dictate to another about what can and can't happen during contact visits. The court is of the view that the parent exercising contact is entitled to decide what happens during that period and only the court can impose any restrictions it considers in the best interests of the child. As your son already knows your partner it's very unlikely a court would impose such a restriction.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you for your reply ive been working and not had a chance to read it. things have deteriorated rapidly and it now looks like court is my only option would her mental health issues and recent very public hissy fit at an ITV studio where she insisted that I take my son and leave (we were in Manchester and I travelled down alone) because she would do "anything" for that show not to be aired producers and the aftercare team were so concerned for her welfare they wanted to call social sevices but she still would not leave I eventually left the situation to go see my son in the crèche as he was tired alone and surrounded by strangers. would I have enough of a case to go to social services and gain custody of my son her behaviour is erratic and harmful but only to herself and me for now. she has had affairs in her flat while my son was in bed and left him at her parents house so she could go and have casual sex with strangers her dad is basically an alcoholic who gets aggressive and has shouted at my son before over minor incidents and my ex has been put on the at risk register as he has pinned her to the sofa and choked her for disagreeing with something he said. she has ocd and will not let him play with pens pencils or chalk at her house incase he makes a mess even though at his last health visit he was marked as poor for his pincer grip. also he has problems with constipation which has held him back from toilet training as he is scared to go because of the pain we went to a consultant who told us the course of action which was medication which he has to take constantly but as soon as my son goes she stops giving him his medicine or just says oh he wont take it for me.

Rom your narrative it appears you have grounds to seek a residence order from the court as it isn't in your sons best interests to live with your ex. I suggest you see a family law solicitor immediately.