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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32991
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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In January 2013 I had a nervous breakdown as I was being

Customer Question

In January 2013 I had a nervous breakdown as I was being bullied at work and my partner of 12 years left me and the family home and went to court to get a residency order for our 7 year old daughter as my health concerned her.I had no recollection of these events given the state of my health at the time but apparently to avoid going to court I agreed to residency being given to my partner.A few months later we got back together and have lived happily together back in the family home for the past 3 years. Unfortunately, my partner has walked out again (no health issues this time) and is now claiming that as she was given residency 3 years ago (despite us living together for the past 3 years) that she now has custody and it is down to her what access I have and if I don't like it then I have to go to courtDoes that residency order carry any weight still given we have been living together for 16 years (10 with our daughter) and only a few months apart whilst I recovered from a breakdown?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you.

Your partner is not correct - it is for your both to agree what time the child should spend with each of you - the fact that there is an Order stating that the child lives with her gives her no extra rights other than the right to take her out of the country for up to 28 days without your prior agreement.

If the matter does go to court then she will discover that the courts will indeed see the passage of time and your reconciliation as being significant events in terms of rendering the previous order irrelevant.

You should make an urgent appointment to see a Family mediator for a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting - and if your ex will not agree to mediation then you may well have to invest £215 in the court fee and allow the court to decide the matter

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your answer - so are we saying that a residency order in the UK does not give her the right to tell me when I can and cannot see my daughter, as at present, I have my daughter every other week during the school holidays but when it is my week she will not let my daughter stay over (instead she has her sleeping with her in the same bed - apprantly that is in her best interest and well being - which I have asked her to stop) and she also tells me when I can pick her up and when I must drop her back. We had agreed to mediation and then suddenly a letter out of the blue from her solicitor saying she had residency. She has said she did not want to go to court but I may still get her to go to counselling. If it is my week with my daughter next week can she tell me that I cannot have her over night and lay down times lines?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

Why will she not let her stay overnight with you?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She has separation issues (the mother that is not my daughter) and although we agreed initially that my daughter would stay over with me for each of the alternative weeks - the night before the first week my partner cried to my daughter saying she would miss her and did not want her to stay and that she thought it was to soon to stay over given that she (the mother) had not allowed it for 2 months saying it was in her (my daughters) best interests and well being (the reality is it is in the mothers best interests not my daughter who wants to stay over but feels responsible for her mother).To put your mind at rest there is no mental, physical, sexual, abusive or any other reason why she should/would object other than her own separation issues and that after two months of my daughter not being allowed to stay over now says it is all too soon as not the norm.It does feel like she is playing games to meet her own agenda!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

You cannot force the issue by simply keeping your daughter overnight - but you need to make it clear that you WILL go to court if necessary - and you will be successful.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank youI am a little confused still - as if the residency order does not determine when and how often I have contact with my daughter - why cannot I not let my daughter stay with me in the same way That my partner does? How is it that she decides when I can and cannot see her and for how long and yet and at the same time sleeps with her and cries every night asking her not to stay with me.How is that even bordering on fair and in the best interests of my daughter when the residency order has no real value?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 months ago.

Simply because your ex is acting badly is not a reason to act in the same way - children should never be the rope in a Tug of War.

Your ex wants to dictate what happens based on an Order made years ago.

In the event that she waved the Order to the police they MIGHT insist you return the child - although equally they may not - either way it is not right for your daughter.

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