Change to a court order – possible parental conflict

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    Hello everybody,

    First post on here so, go easy!

    Anyway, like many others, I have a very poor relationship with my son’s mother. It has been so bad that I haven’t spoken directly with her for eight years. Long story, but a number of false allegations etc. mean that contact is always via a third party. Not ideal I agree. But it is something my son, Jack who is 11, is used to and content with.

    Anyway, the reason for my post is to get some advice. The court order that is in place gives me 50% custody of Jack. Over a 14 day period, he stays with me for 7 nights and his mother for 7. It’s currently broken up into 2 days here, 3 days there etc. However, my son decided during the school holidays that he wanted to stay with me for longer. His relationship to his mother has broken down over the years and they are not as close as they once were. Jack stayed with me for three weeks and really did not want to go back. Even though I had informed his mother, via the third party, that it was Jack’s wishes to stay an extra few days, it wasn’t long before a letter from her solicitor arrived. Long story short, it was me who eventually reconciled the two of them and Jack returned to stay with her. By this point however, his mother had already made an application to the court to reinstate the 50/50 order. Although, you could say I was in breach of the original order, I had spoken with a solicitor, local police authority and had lengthy conversations with Jack, it was never our intention to prevent Jack from going to his mother’s. I actively encouraged Jack to speak with her in the time he was with me. In the end, he finally did and the 50/50 arrangement was reinstated.

    What has happened now is, the court hearing (11th September) is still taking place only the reasons have changed. It has been agreed, by myself, Jack and his mother, that the order we rearranged to a seven day period at each house. Jack has just started secondary school and he says he wanted to have a bit more stability during the week; mainly so he doesn’t end up leaving a school book in one house! It makes sense so I agreed to this. However, the stumbling block is that his mother wishes to do the “changeover” every Sunday at 5pm. Jack, and I, have both discussed it and would rather it be through school on the Monday. So, I would take him Monday morning one week and his mother would collect his that afternoon. The opposite would happen the following week. I have tried to convey to her solicitor that, due to the bad history between myself and his client, that if the changeover is to happen at each parent’s house, there is a risk of potential conflict, allegations and difficulties. The Monday makes much more sense due to it being a mutual location where only one parent is required to be present. Therefore, negating the risk of conflict. I have conveyed this to the court and the judge is reviewing my comments. I have representing myself (purely financial reasons) but I wanted to see if anybody here had any advice for me. I have been reading up on conflict and how damaging it can be for children. As things stand, I do not see his mother. If the order is to be changed where I do see her, my concern is that the chances of conflict are high and I am not prepared to put either Jack, or myself, at risk.

    Sorry for the long post. This means a lot to me and my son. So, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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