Am I overreacting by wanting a consent order / child arrangement order in place?

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  • #48706 Report


    So to try and keep it short my husband left in August last year. We have a son together and he has always seen him on a regular basis. This started as Wednesday evening and overnight on a Friday and home Saturday morning so ex could play football. I then suggested alternating weekends so they got a full day together on a Sunday.

    This worked for a while. Lockdown hit and ex wanted to see our son more so I agreed when we stayed on a Friday night he could stay all day Saturday until Saturday evening as well.

    This still wasn’t enough and ex wanted more. I felt like I had to agree so when our son stays on a Saturday night ex picks him up at 10am Saturday and has him until 7pm Sunday.

    This still wasn’t enough and last week ex demanded him every weekend from Friday – Sunday because I see our son during the week. I work full time and son is at school this isn’t quality time. I also know these arrangements will change once football is back and ex cant have our son so much.

    When I said to no all weekend every weekend I was accused of being manipulated, using our son as a weapon and it would all back fire on me.

    In the last 10 weeks my son has seen my ex move twice, meet a girlfriend one week and move in with her at the weekends the following week. Heard them break up. Been dropped off suddenly on a Sunday because my ex cant cope that his girlfriend has split up with him. My son was distraught. Visit times for his dad keep changing and he is getting confused as to where he should be.

    I was threatened over text by the new girlfriend. She turned up to my home (ex gave her my address) and when I wouldn’t answer the door she waited for me outside for an hour and then followed me while I went to pick up my son. Then text again to say I started something I didn’t need to and this would continue.

    I am now at the point where I am scared to say no to anything my ex wants as I don’t know what the backlash will be. I feel intimidated and like my son may be used against me, or hear negative things about me. I have emailed my ex a last ditch attempt to sort this amicably but he has already refused mediation. So I have suggested consent order or child arrangement order.

    Do you think this is an overreaction? All I want is stability for my son and for my ex to stick to a plan. I have never denied him seeing our son and I don’t want to take any time away from him, all I would want is for our original plan of Wednesday evenings and alternative weekends and this not to change with my ex’s hobbies!

    #48709 Report


    It is best to get a child arrangements order if you are constantly not agreeing about contact arrangements. This would also ensure that each parent sees their child at set times and is good for their routine.  What you are suggesting for your ex partner is likely what a court would agree to . Family courts would not give a parent every weekend without consent of other parent. They normally give dads if no safeguarding issues every other weekend , half of holidays and midweek time if workable. Pick up from school for play + dinner or pick up from school and overnight stay

    #48714 Report


    Yes exactly. I just want a schedule that will be kept to and not receive messages every week wanting it changed. I have brought our son a calendar so when the schedule is sorted we can write it on there together. He thrives on routine and knowing what is happening next.

    I have tried explain that I don’t want to take any time away from him and our son but nothing is working and I am exhausted. I value his relationship with our son but it would seem the feeling is not mutual!

    The parenting plan we original had was midweek visit, alternating nights at the weekend, 2 non-consecutive weeks in summer, a week at Easter, birthday split and 4 nights from Boxing day at Christmas.

    #48722 Report


    I dont think u are overreacting- its completely unreasonable for your ex to demand every weekend especially as you work – you will have no down time with your son.  I would recommend trying mediation again.  It does sound like you need a court order but bare in mind it can get really expensive if you don’t go the mediation route and use solicitors to negotiate- best way forward wld be to go through a mediator – come to a agreement together then get it sealed in court so that yr ex can’t change things at a whim or according to football season.  It is stressful and like you say your son needs routine and consistency- you shld tell your ex this isn’t about you or him its about whats best for your son.  Best of luck

    #48758 Report

    Rosy Cheeks

    You’re not overreacting at all.  Your son needs stability and the current situation is not providing that.

    It is easy to apply for one. Costs about 200 quid, worth it though!!


    #48834 Report


    You can get a ‘heads of agreement’ written up between solicitors and signed by both parties. I would suggest that as it’s very similar to a child Arrangement order and gets filed with court, and Is cheaper!
    Basically outline what you will accept and he will sign it and agree or he would need to make an application to court himself instead.

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