HiMy name isXXXXX separated from my wife a year ago. We have a son aged 16 and a daughter aged 9. Until recently I had access to both my children every Thursday night and every alternate weekend. We both live in the same town. This access was agreed between us a year ago. Recently two developments have arisen which give me cause for concern.First, my son has always disliked the ping –pong between houses and expressed his desire to stay at his original home – his Mum’s. Over the last 6 weeks he has spent one night only with me. He now goes away for a 3 weeks residential course in DCU so I won’t see anything of him for a further 3 weeks. He does not relate to me particularly well at the moment and while I do my best to overcome this, it is difficult when access is minimal. Nevertheless, because he is 16 I decided to give him space but I’m now wondering would a court order for access extend to a child aged 16 or can he/she insist that he stays at his Mum’s if he so wishes?I would not consider a court order for access on this issue alone but there is another second concern…My 9 year old daughter loves spending time with me and continues to see me on the above terms. However, 5 months ago I met my current girlfriend who has two lovely girls of a similar age. They live aXXXXXaway. My ex has been unhappy at the speed of our relationship and my desire to have my daughter spend any time with my new girlfriend’s family. To this point they have only met 3 times but have got on extremely well. (My son has only met them once and the age gap meant he did not enjoy their company to the same extent. ) My ex is very conservative and takes the view that I should date someone else for a year before introducing kids and at least another 6 months before allowing them to stay in the same house. She also imposed a restriction on me whereby if I was to take my daughter to the same town that my girlfriend lives in, then I could not stay in my girlfriends house even if she vacated it and stayed with her mother nearby. Hence I have had to stay in a guest house on the last occasion my daughter visited my girlfriend’s town with me.More recently (yesterday) my ex told me I was not to take my daughter to my girlfriend’s town at all, under any circumstance. Although my new relationship is only 5 months old my girlfriend and I have been effectively living together for 3 of those months and our bond is growing. Until the last couple of days I was planning to rent a house in her town a couple of months from now. I would then have her move in with me a couple of months later – after my own kids get used to the idea of me moving away, in stages, with some exclusivity in terms of time with me to begin with, before evolving towards the integrated household. Now that my ex has escalated matters I’m beginning to think I should take out a court order looking for ‘unrestricted access’ free of the restrictions imposed by my ex. I think the court would take a dim view of her intolerance. I’m also thinking maybe I should bring forward my official move in date with my girlfriend, (I could actually argue my home is with her already) and point out to the courts that I am effectively being denied reasonable access…that I am unable to have my children to come live with me in my home. I understand that the courts are in summer recess and that it would take an emergency denial of access at this level to obtain the court order access I require, quickly. So telling my ex that I have moved in with my girlfriend and testing if she becomes more flexible is the next move I’m considering. However, if she denies me access completely in that situation I guess it could be classified as an emergency requirement for a court order granting access.To sum up I guess my questions are as follows.1. Have I grounds for QUICKLY getting an emergency court order for access if my ex is seen to be preventing me from taking my kids to my home (as opposed to my girlfriend’s home)2. Can/will the access granted by the court likely include access to my 16 year old3. Given my changing circumstances - needing to re-locate, the original access would not be realistic as during school term it would be impractical for me to take the kids on Thursday night when they have school in their home town the next morning. I would therefore probably look for the court to give me alternate access involving every 2nd weekend and half of all holiday time. Would that be considered a reasonable request?Thank You,Ciaran
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1. You would be put into the normal list requiring usual service of 21 days. The court would not consider anything urgent or an emergency in what you have out lined. 2. Yes, access can be granted to your 16 yr old. However your child's view will be considered given his age. 3. Yes, this would certainly seem reasonable in the circumstances especially given that you have alway been involved in a significant way in your children s lives and alway had regular access
Thank you Ronan. Just one follow up question...
Unless there is some evidence that it will adversely affect the children then the Judge is not going to accept the argument that they should not stay there unless there is some reason it may affect there welfare
B. Corp Law, Ll.B. Dip Comm Prop. In general practice for more then 6 years
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