legal advice

Someone very close to me has split from his partner. They have a 7 year old son and the although the Dad lives away from the family home now, he wants to see as much as possible of his son. They have come to an agreement of every other weekend and in the week if possible.The mother is very unreasonable and takes their son away without telling the Dad, therefore he isn't able to spend as much time with his son as he would like. The Dad is so down about this and it seems the mother is just doing this to spite the father, when he has done nothing wrong. It is heart breaking to watch and I wondered if he has any legel entitlement, or if anyone could please give some advice on what he could do.


  • Guest101
    Guest101 Posts: 15,764 Forumite
    Assuming he's on the birth certificate (if not get a PR1 form from the court if not), he would need to contact a local mediation service to try to formalise the agreement, if that fails I believe it's the C100 form he needs, for child arrangement order.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Arrangments for children are not about entitlement so much as about what is in the child's best interests.
    It is in Son's interests to continue to have a relationship with both his parents, it is also likely to be in his best interests to be able to have holidays with his mum.

    I'd suggest that you friend gets some advice from a solicitor. There are things he can do, starting with writing to the ex to try to offer some specific proposals and suggestions for how they manage things in future (for intstnace, if mum wants to go away for a wekend, asking whether she can agree to swap weekends rather than son missing out on seeing his father.)

    Be open to hear what mum says. Dad may feel mum is being unreasonable but there are often two sides to these things, and she may have concerns or views which affect how she is acting.

    the nest step would typically be mediation, and if that is unsucessful, then he would be able to apply to court for a child arrangements order to define the time that his son spends with him. Being willing to have some flexibility, and to try to look at things in a child-focused way about what will work best for the little boy concerned are key. If he is correct, and his ex is being deliberately awkward, then showing that he has been reasonable and tried to offer alternatives to fit round her preferences will stand him in good stead when a court has to make a decision. If he is making assumptions, then taking a reasonable approach and showing he is willing to be flexible may enable her to meet him half way, and discuss what flexibility works for them both and how they manage it moving forward.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
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