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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12069
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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There, I am asking on family law in Scotland.

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Hi there,
I am asking for advice on family law in Scotland. I was married to my ex for 11 years, we have since separated, and have a 1 year old son together. Since we broke up, the dad made no effort at all to see his son between December 23rd and March 1st as he wanted to agree things through mediation, despite being told that he can see his son between that point if he likes. Yet he refused.
Since we agreed through mediation that he would take our son on his days off every week, which are Tuesday and Sunday (week 1), Thursday and Sunday (week 2) and Saturday, Sunday and Monday (week 3). He agreed through mediation that he would pick his son up at 09.30 am and drop him off at 17.30 pm that way he was in keeping with his sons routine. Since he has been taking him, his son has been handed back at 18.00 still hungry, and handed back as and when it suits his dad, which was not what was agreed. He also informed me that he couldn't take him on the Saturdays that he had off because he "needs a day off". He has not been adhering to his sons routine, and has often attempted to see his son outwith the agreed days and times agreed through mediation.
He asked for an overnight stay, so i agreed. However, i said since he gets his son on the Sunday during the day anyway, it would make more sense to pick him up on theSaturday evening at 17.30, and drop him off on Sunday at 17.30, that way he still has ample time with me and can get back into his routine. However, his dad insisted on Sunday nights into Monday, knowing fine well that i work on Monday mornings. I agreed to trial this, and he agreed to be flexible on the chance that this did not work. He has done this for 2 weeks now, and our son is being dropped off at 9 on Monday mornings, all excited to see me, and i have to take him round to my mums after half an hour in order to go to work. Which is upsetting my son and causing him much distress. I contacted his dad to ask if we could change this to the Saturday evenings and trial that to see if it was better, and he replied with "you keep him". When i asked him to clarify what he meant by this, he got rather irate and said that our son will adapt to the routine and get used to it. He stated at mediation that this agreement is what suited him best, ***** ***** he could have the Saturday evening to spend time with his mates. It is hurtful as a mother to see my son being picked up and dropped when it suits his father, he has shown 1 or 2 bursts of aggressive and angry behavior towards myself and my mum, who looks after our son whilst i work.
He refused to change to a Saturday evening, and is due to have him this Sunday during the day, but i know for a fact he will keep him overnight anyway. What should i do? This wouldn't pose an issue if he was showing up and dropping our son back on time, but he hasnt been, and he's not been adhering to our sons routine, which is causing him to be out of sorts. He is the more dominant one so he always controls what happens at mediation. I feel that what he's doing is not best for our son. Can i deny access until i have spoken to my lawyer? What would be the best road to go down from here?
Thank you very much,
Thanks for your question. Your narrative describes quite a common situation where a father doesn't cooperate with contact arrangements and this has a knock on effect which can be to the prejudice of the child, the mother and the family generally, especially where there are other relatives, like grandma, trying to help out. The only way to deal with this, where mediation has been attempted, is to do this through lawyers and ultimately throught the court if the lawyers can't get an agreement working. You should withhold contact if necessary but make it quote clear that you are doing so, not because you don't think that he should have contact, but because he isn't exercising contact responsibility and in the best interests of your child. Then get your lawyer to write to him/his lawyer immediately. Happy to discuss further. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
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