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  • #9141 Report


    dear all,

    I am a male who has split with my ex approx 10 months ago, at first she was allowing access to see our son who is now just over a year (and her two boys 8 and 10 from a previous relationship) pretty much every day and at least one day on the weekend. This has slowly dwindled down to a few hours every other Sunday.

    her reasoning is it’s too stressful for her and her other children who are allegedly suffering at school due to our break up.

    i also have two children from a previous relationship who are 9 and 11 so she is also stopping them seeing their younger brother.


    She has decided I should go to a contact centre to see our son, which means taking my other children there also.


    i have no restrictions with regards to access of my other children who have stayed with me every other weekend at least since I was devorced from their mother.

    I was never abusive or aggressive etc, she just despises me as I’m with someone new. I will hold my hands up and say when the relationship got tough instead of trying to fix it, I just thought this time I was better off out instead of my usual reaction of chasing and trying. We were together for 18months, split up for a year then back together for 18 months ish. I have tried being nice to the point where I got her presents for her Christmas, birthday early March and mother’s day ( this years) from both our child and took her children out to get her something too.

    I have started the process of mediation (prior to this madness) as I want my child to stay at mine with his other brother and sister and have more time with me. In the past I have dropped my child off back to hers to her mother at 6pm on a Saturday and then collected him at 11am off her brother as she was still in bed after a night out. I had asked to have him over night but was told no.

    my other son has duchenne muscular dystrophy and gets anxious with change and my daughter who is nearly 12 adores her baby brother and can’t understand why she can’t see him at our house.


    Do I have to attend and stay at this centre or can I just turn up and take my son back to mine to spend time with his family?

    Should I cancel the direct debit I set up for  child maintenance until it’s sorted?

    Does mediation work?

    Am I allowed to have my child over night?

    What amount of access can I ask for and what amount should I expect?




    #9142 Report


    In theory you’re allowed 50/50. If it doesn’t hurt his schooling (i.e. if you live nearby and he can still see friends, go to school, etc) then I know some parents who do one week on, one week off and alternate years for Christmas and birthdays. Of course the resident parent will ultimately have more contact because of day to day issues. Mediation can work, but it can also drag out if the other partner refuses to negotiate. I suggest (as I always do) that you prepare a Parenting Plan before your next visit and make sure she and the mediator have a copy in advance. I can send you a template (PM me your email address) which you can fill in as much or as little as you want. The advice is usually to ask for the moon because the point of any negotiation is you both move towards the middle. Your child’s needs (and those of his siblings) are more important than the parents’. If she flat out refuses to budge through mediation, you will have to go to court to resolve, which isn’t as daunting (or expensive) as you might suppose. I can talk you all through that and send some useful links if it would help, as I’ve done it myself.

    I would plan your negotiating issues and give mediation one last chance, and mention that the hurt to your other children means you can’t keep going to mediation and not achieving anything, so will have to take to court. That might get her talking a bit more.

    Don’t cancel the DD. It is a strong card if you do go to court – cancelling hurts your child (in the eyes of the court). Always prove you are doing what’s best for the child, not to make yourself feel better or get revenge, etc. Your problems with your ex should have nothing to do with your child, nor should they suffer as a result of them. Arguably, he currently is because of what your ex is doing – don’t fall into the same trap.

    I don’t understand the first question. If you mean can you just take him from the contact centre and take him home and do as you please anyway, then no, not if an arrangement for a contact centre is already in place. That could be construed as kidnap. Not sure you did actually mean that anyway???

    Let me know if I can help further. All the best.

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