Father seeing his son

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  • #11708 Report


    Hi all. I was hoping by putting this out in here I might get some helpful feedback. Long story is my ex partner and I have been sepereted before our son was born. Never been back together. She is now happily married and also has another baby with her husband. My son is 8. I have paid maintenance from day one and have always spent time with him on a weekly basis. We live approximately 65 miles apart and I work a shift pattern of 4 on (2 days and 2 nights) and 4 off. It’s impossible because of this shift pattern to have a designated day etc every week to see him, but we have always worked round it without any issue. He wanted to start playing rugby so he joined a club where I stay and absolutely loved. His mum then changed his football team which means he know plays on a Sunday and he is unable to play rugby anymore. I have always worked the fact that he has team sports to play at weekend sand enjoys them so really don’t want him missing out. However, he has also said he doesn’t mind missing the every no and again if it means he can see me. I picked him up the other Saturday morning and brought him home. I was night shift that night  so had to ask my mum to drive the 55 miles from her home to come and watch him while I worked. I don’t finish till 10 on the Sunday so I had planned a lunchtime bbq for us and then to take him back mid afternoon before my second night shift. His mum then contacted me and said he needs to be home for 1 as he has football. I told her about the bbq and she basically stated that I should only have him 1 day and he had to be home. That ment I got an hour after work with him before we had to drive through. My question is, what is my legal rights in regard to visiting times and the duration of these visits, bearing in mind there is and has been no issues that would affect these. I have my own house, a full time job, pay maintenance, ensure I seek permission before arranging anything like trips away and holidays,  try and see him as much as possible but yet my time with him  still seems to be fully controlled by his mum. A standard Friday to Saturday scenario wouldn’t work due to my shift pattern and because she is adamant that he doesn’t miss his games or training so as not to let his team down, my time with him seems to be limited. I can pick him up after work on a Friday at 7 then she says he must be back through by 10 on the Saturday  morning. Taking into consideration travel times and obviously sleep, it means I actually only get a few hours with him. It is really starting to depress me and get to me now.

    #11710 Report


    You need to have this conversation with her as lucidly as you have had it with us. Assuming you’ve made your argument as clear as you have here, I presume she didn’t just say “tough, he can’t miss football”? You need to ensure she understands fully your issue under a condition of amity. If you feel she does, you might want to initiate mediation under the umbrella of getting an independent voice to negotiate quality time. Sadly, if she remains inflexible, you may need to go to court. As you have both been so reasonable up to now it would be a shame to muddy the waters. You have to be friendly but firm. Ultimately, a court will care only for what’s best for the child. However, it sounds like the child wants to be with you above playing football, and the court will consider healthy parental contact will be more beneficial in the long run (I presume he’s no budding Beckham!). However, bear in mind also, that a court might take the view that if you moved nearer to the child, that would be better for the child. I know, I know, but remember they don’t care about your finances, your job, or your social life.

    Here’s some links which might help – the top one is particularly good. All the best.

    Support with any parenting problem: Family Lives 9am-9pm weekdays, 10am-3pm weekends FREE helpline 0808 800 2222 http://familylives.org.uk

    Advice re: arrangements for children, mediation, going to court http://www.advicenow.org.uk

    Separation disputes: http://www.sortingoutseparation.org.uk

    Arrangements for children: http://theparentconnection.org.uk/

    Publicly funded mediation: http://find-legal-advice.justice.gov.uk

    <span style=”font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: ‘Calibri’,’sans-serif’; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;”>Children should be at the centre of all decision-making: https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/media/179714/fjypb_national_charter_1013.pdf</span>


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