Sorry if it's not clear....I was saying that if you just waited for the deadline and then booked something, it looks like you haven't got her agreement. By writing that you will take her non response as agreement you are covering yourself and prompting her to respond, plus you have it in writing. Date the letter and send it recorded delivery.
With urgent applications the requirement for mediation is removed because of the time factor.
oh yeah makes sense thanks. I have been sending email up to now, she replies by text usually, but at least I know she has read it.
I wonder if you make an urgent application (with no mediation) but also on the application put a request to alter the existing application to prevent the issue occurring in future, whether you could do it all together without having to do mediation?
On the application you could put something like.... re the existing order, it states that holiday contact is by agreement, a minimum of 4 weeks beforehand. Xxxx is using this 4 week deadline literally and will not negotiate contact time for holidays in advance of the 4 weeks. This is unworkable as it is necessary to book a holiday for the upcoming Easter as soon as possible, booking for the Summer period also needs to be done now and I am unable to do so, this will mean that xxxxxx and I will miss out on quality holiday time together. I believe xxxx has booked holidays for herself and xxxx in advance and I would also like to do the same.
Once you have a hearing date you can prepare a brief position statement to hand to the judge on the day, requesting that the upcoming holidays are defined and that this will also apply to future holidays across the board to avoid a return to court in the future.
You could also ask for clarification on handing over daughters passport a month before travel to assure that there is no last minute obstruction.
thanks, that is good advice should it end up back in court!
unfortunately the latest I have had is that if I want to pick up the kids this weekend, it has to be done through a 3rd party. This is just another attempt to make my life difficult for no reason, (she is angry at something unrelated to the children, so then decides to make accessing the children more difficult, as a result). My ex lives 30 mins away, finding a '3rd party' for handovers just because she has decided that is what must happen this weekend, is not going to be possible. Surely she cant just keep making up new rules that I have to comply with ? All I want to do is turn up, collect my kids and go, the only time there has ever been any arguments is when I turn up and she refuses to let the children leave (again using the kids as weapons). Grr!
Hi. ultimately a variation on the Court Order (CO) might be a route you want to consider if this issue continues, so that things can be more clearly specified.
The CO relating to my son clearly states that he is to share each school holiday equally between his parents. Though the opportunity for flexibility has been factored in (agreement for any changes must be reached in no less than 4 weeks prior to the start of the holiday), a default formula is laid down which trumps any disagreements:The half term holidays are to be shared- Friday afternoon through to 2pm the following Wednesday with one parent, and the remainder through to the next Monday am and the return to school with the other parent. My son does alternate weekends with me/his mum during term, and this determines the order of who he spends the first and second halves with.
For the Christmas holiday he is to spend the first week with me one year, then the second with me the next, and so on. He's to spend the first week of the Easter holiday with his mum. For the Summer holiday, he is to spend the 1st, 3rd and 5th weeks with me.
Prior to the CO, my son's mother would simply carve up the holidays as she liked just weeks before their start, taking the lion's share, and leave scattered days that my son could spend with me (which I still had to 'negotiate' over). This usually meant me having to take random days off work if I wanted to see him. The beauty of the situation now is - as long as I stick within the 'default' formula, I can plan a year in advance. She has to give me considerable notice if she wants to plan anything falling in the weeks our son is meant to be with me, and I can now agree (or not, should I already have made plans) from a position of choice, rather than no choice, as was the case in the past.
I would recommend if it's what you want, that you ask that Inset days are clearly included in the calculations of the sharing of holidays.
Thanks that would be ideal if I could get something like this. The issue might be that I only have certain annual leave and wouldn't be able to take all those days off work, the court might expect that if I am to have my children I should be off work
Can I ask how easy it was to get this through in the court? Did you use solicitors? Was it all sorted on a day at court?
You should always aim for the amount of annual leave/holiday time with the kids that you want/can get time off for. The court won't expect that you ignore your work commitments - this is how you provide for them after all. I work part time and have a flexible work pattern, so I asked for half the holidays when taking it to court. I wasn't sure I'd get it, and to be honest I pitched it at this level so I'd have a little room to come down in any last minute negotiations, but the mother's refusal to compromise on anything meant that we went before the Judge with our polar opposite positions for the Judge to decide between, and he decided my position was 'entirely reasonable', and went with that - which I'm happy with.
I did use a barrister, only because I was a bundle of nerves, and years of being cast as the 'lesser' parent had eroded my confidence. There were two court days - the initial fact-finding one (which was brief), and then a final hearing resulting in the Court Order. As I'm happy with the result, I haven't looked for a variation, though there are some areas I wish could be tightened up, as my son's mother tries to claim ownership on anything that isn't clearly spelled out, but fortunately they're minor points.
If you read through previous entries on this wonderful forum, you'll find advice and links on how to self-represent if you want to.
Also, I sometimes go to work on the days my son is with me, and my partner (not my son's mother) will be with him. I sometimes do this deliberately because it's good for them to have that solo time together before I rejoin them in the evening. Your children could just as easily be spending part of their holidays with your parents or their cousins (for example) - as long as there are no safety/safeguarding issues and your children are enjoying building up/maintaining relationships with significant connections, your ex doesn't have reasonable grounds to object.
well that is very interesting to hear - an arrangement like this would certainly help me, and ultimately help the kids as it would avoid all the unnecessary stress in trying to organise school holidays.
I don't have much family or friends who can look after my children when I am not around, this is partly because I have a very small family but also because my Ex has never allowed anyone apart from her to arrange childcare. This year, for example, my partner is on maternity leave so could help in the school holidays, but this is no way my ex would allow her to have the children on her own unfortunately.
I have already been to court once, I represented myself, but in hindsight maybe if I had paid to use a barrister I would have got an order that is more detailed, because I don't think the current order is sufficient for the school holidays.
It's difficult because, for example in half term, in previous years I have taken 1 or 2 days annual leave and added them onto a weekend, so we could go away for 3 or 4 night over a long weekend. The current order says I have one day at the weekend and can take x amount of days in the half term breaks, but with my ex refusing to communicate this means it is impossible to go on a long weekend break, I would have to take 4 days annual leave all midweek.
ok, back to this one..
I have today emailed my ex again saying I need to book my annual leave and flights etc for a holiday in Easter and the summer, by the end of Jan.
And also requested her to let me know the dates of anything she has booked in 2017 that would be over dates I would usually expect to see the children.
Only reply I got was.. I will email you the dates I am away with kids tomorrow. With regards to the weeks I would like in easter and the summer, she says she cannot confirm anything until she has spoken to courts regarding changing the court order (sound like a delaying tactic to me). So she suggests I do not book anything and will not discuss it until 4 weeks before the dates.
She then says she will discuss the issue further, does not want my girlfriend or mum to contact her (they dont!) and for me to come to her house and wants to open a communication book regarding the children (no problem with the last bit)
My thoughts are that it is clear she is being difficult and its not in the childrens interets to be like that, so I would have thought I would be within my rights to book the holidays and take it to the court if she says those dates arent suitable when we get to 4 weeks before? I am inclined to get some advice from my solicitor here as well, but wondered what people on here thought?