New to the forum and I apologise in advance if this has been covered.
I would like some advice on what is seen as a reasonable request or what the courts would put in place when it comes to access to my daughter when I work a rolling 4 on 4 off shift pattern.
My daughter starts school in September and the ex is being difficult when it comes to trying to sort this out. Up until now I have had my daughter 2 full days 1 night every week for nearly the last 18 months.
The ex is saying I can have 1 night a week and can pick her up from the child minder at 5:30 or I can reimburse her the £21 she needs to pay the child minder that day and then I can pick her up at 3.
Now the £21 wouldn't be an issue but she decided to go through the CSA so I am already giving her £450 a month. So if I don't pay the £21 I will only get about 4 hours a week with my daughter. I said I would get given more time with her if o went through the courts, to which she replied "no they would let you her have her every other weekend and they would make you get a new job so you could"
Why can't she just tell the childminder she is reducing the hours? Although there's no guarantee, courts are usually fairly good at accommodating shift patterns, and they certainly would not interfere with your employment!
She is kind of right about the alternate weekends, this is the usual schedule a court would decide upon, although it's not set in stone. However they would also order a weekly mid week contact and you could also go for a 50/50 share of all school holidays, alternate Christmas and birthdays and Father's Day if it doesn't fall on your weekend.
Before an application can be made though, you will have to attempt mediation, if this fails then the mediator would sign the form to enable you to make an application for. Child Arrangements Order.
I would certainly look at mediation as suggested above - beforehand, see if you can work out a pattern that would fit in with your work, it may be that some weekends you only have one day, and some you have both days, and then of course you have flexibility during school holidays especially if you take annual leave. Once you have this pattern, you have something that the mediators, and if necessary, court, can work with.