Child contact overnights and right to see family in another country

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  • #39462 Report


    Hi all,

    I’m due to go into family court next month as my ex is trying to get overnights with our 20 month year old daughter.  She is still being breast fed (if she wakes during the night), which is something i am going to try to wean her off by 2 yrs.   There is also a history of domestic abuse (ex getting very verbally abusive towards me, very volatile/go into rages).   Is the court still likely to insist that overnights start immediately given the context?

    Also, i am from Australia orginally, and would like to get 3-4 weeks every year to spend for me and my daughter to spend time with my family / friends there.  I have not family here in the UK.  Is this a reasonable request to ask the courts?  Obviously, this would mean that when we get back – he would have a concentrated period of time with her (after jet lag has worn off).  Does anyone have any experience of this?



    #39470 Report


    Good evening Cat,

    In response to your question, I’m afraid I’m not too sure what the chances are of the courts allowing overnight access. I would imagine it would depend on myriad circumstances.

    I am in the process of taking my ex partner through the family courts for access – I hope to be successful but your partner’s circumstances are very different to mine.

    I have heard various examples of how the courts work; apparently some courts appoint representatives who will come and speak to both you and your ex partner, and then compile a report for the judge based on their findings which arbitrates the ruling. I have heard rumours which range from “you’re guaranteed to win”, to “the courts always rule in favour of the mother”!

    I would imagine (and sincerely hope) that any court would act solely in the best interests of your child. I intend to raise concerns about my daughter’s safety as my ex-partner is now living with somebody who has a violent history. Do you have evidence you can show the courts (text messages, emails, police cautions, etc) to demonstrate your ex partner has a bit of a temper? Have you brought charges against him in the past? (You don’t have to answer that here). Essentially if you feel that your daughter is going to be at risk in his presence, you must make the courts aware of this. Go in there prepared – the more evidence you can present, the greater your chances of success.

    With regards to your visits to Aus, how lucky is your little one!! How amazing to have family ‘down under’, and get to go over every year! I can’t imagine there is a court in the land who would stop that – especially as the experience will be culturally enriching and educational for your daughter. I would hope that your ex will also allow her that opportunity – especially if it means he will get to spend a few weeks with her when you return.

    Best of luck with the court process – gather your facts and present them as a mother who is looking out for the safety and wellbeing of her daughter. If you feel comfortable doing so, I’d be interested to hear how the process works once (if you are willing to share that with us).

    All the best,


    #39502 Report


    Thanks Steve.  I really appreciate your response.  Honestly, I would love to be able to have a decent chat with my ex so we could try and sort out things amicably.  But things are just impossible.  The court process is so unclear in many ways.  I’ve also been told so many different things – apparently a of it comes down to who you get as a judge as a day as to what the outcome will be.

    I have a couple of recordings of him threatening me, calling me some pretty horrific names etc and mocking me.  You would think good evidence right!  Apparently i’m not able to use it.

    It doesn’t give you much confidence with the whole system at all to be honest 🙁  I will let you know how I get on!

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