I need legal advice – access to my child is being halved.
10 December 2019 at 9:37 pm #33892
I can’t afford a solicitor, but I need legal advice.
I have my daughter (6) every weekend to keep our bond strong because her mother moved her two hours journey away, so I can’t see her in the week without missing work, which I can’t afford to do.
The mother now wants every other weekend – is DEMANDING – every other weekend. She has a solicitor.
I am not the kind of dad who sees his child for only 2 days out of 14. I would raise her myself if I could, but the mother wouldn’t agree to it.
The CAB put me onto the RCJ Advice, but no help so far. Who can advice me?
MonkeyMagic74.11 December 2019 at 10:51 am #33902
Thank you for posting here on the forum. Hopefully it won’t be too long before other parents are able to share their experiences with you. In the meantime here are some signposts of agencies that may be able to provide you with further information.
Advicenow.org.uk – http://advicenow.org/ Have guides that can give free legal advice
Law Works – https://www.lawworks.org.uk/ This is a charity that connects volunteer lawyers with people that can not afford legal advice
Child Law advice service – https://childlawadvice.org.uk/ – they again provide legal advice on family law issues related to children, and have a helpline staffed by legal specialists 0300 330 5480
Family Law Panel – https://thefamilylawpanel.org/categories/1 A free directory service for members of the public to access professional and independent family law information. Solicitors offer an initial free advice session.
Hope that helps, Justine11 December 2019 at 12:51 pm #33915
Not exactly legal advice, Im no solicitor but am into the thousands of hours of study and family court appearances. Is there a specific legal question you have?
First of all, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you agree, or allow it to happen before court or an acceptable agreement is signed. Unfortunately the courts work on a “status Quo” basis. Meaning the current situation becomes the standard and any change the court makes has to be proven to be in the child’s best interest. Therefore if Mum just does it, with or without your consent, then after approx a month, the onus is on you to take it to court and by the time it gets to a final hearing, the judges are more unlikely to change it back again. Hence the status quo is then changed in Mums favour.
However, and this is a big one: the courts often separate time into two parts, day to day care [with the resident parent] and quality time [weekends, holidays]. It is highly likely they will grant every other weekend for each parent [as your ex is asking for], so that the parents can share the quality time equally. Rather than one parent getting all the fun time while the other parent does all the school runs, bathing, homework etc.
Do you see where Im going with this? in my opinion Mum is likely to get what she’s demanding if it goes to court. Unless you have a very good reason why its child’s best interest to keep it the way it is. And sorry but “its not fair” never works they dont give a hoot about father’s hardships.
The distance is the biggest issue.
You have a choice to make, do your best to negotiate an acceptable deal with the solicitor. How about more than half the holidays? maybe a Wednesday night visit?
The other option is, sell the house, quit the job and move to the next street from the ex, or the child’s school. Move your life to be with your child and then ask for 50/50 joint lives with and share in the day to day care.16 December 2019 at 11:25 pm #34134
Thank you for taking the time to reply so comprehensively.
I am drafting a reply to my ex (to try to negotiate a new deal) while looking for free legal advice. The question is, have I got a case if she refuses to compromise? You make the outlook dismal, but I hope the fact that my ex moved so far away counts for something. After all, had she chosen to live in the same area in which our marriage played out we could have shared all childcare responsibilities, weekdays and weekends 50/50, but she was not considerate enough to do that. The geographical distance is the source or all our disagreements and discontentment regarding co-parenting.
As for moving from West London to Essex…. That would be so unfair if I had to do that. I don’t know anyone there and have no work there. If a court did care about fairness they would compel my ex to move back to West London so we could co-parent effectively and fairly, though of course that would never happen.
MonkeyMagic74.18 December 2019 at 10:52 pm #34195
P.S. Your advice ‘UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you agree, or allow it to happen before court or an acceptable agreement is signed.’ is great advice and very important, so thank you. Much appreciated.24 May 2021 at 11:17 am #54607
every other weekend is a standard arrangement in court and the mother is very likely to get it.