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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34142
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Good afternoon, I have query as follows: I was recently granted

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Good afternoon, I have query as follows: I was recently granted a contact order for my 6yr old daughter. In summary, the respondent mother was given residence and I, the applicant father was given PR as my daughter has underlying heart complications so I needed PR in order to sanction any medical procedures etc. during my contact period. The contact section of the order reads as follows:

The child, XXXXX shall have unsupervised contact with the respondent father as follows:
a. Every Wednesday from 4pm until 8pm.
b. Every alternative Friday beginning 12th April 2013 from 4pm Friday until 6pm Saturday.
c. On the intervening weekend from 4pm Saturday until 6pm Sunday
d. During each school holiday, save for the summer holidays, for the first weekend of the holiday from 4pm Friday until 9am Monday
e. During the school summer holiday, every alternative weekend from 4pm Friday until 9am Monday.

As it is now the school holidays, I had my daughter for the full weekend last weekend, and I now have her today (Wednesday) but when her mother dropped her off, she has said that I do not have any contact period at all for this coming weekend. Is this right, or does my alternate weekend contact apply regardless of the full weekend I have just had? School term resumes Monday 3rd June.

Also, in the school summer holidays, as in section "E" where a get contact on alternating weekends for the full weekend, do I also have contact on the intervening weekend and every Wednesday?

Sorry if it sounds a bit confusing and I’m happy to clarify any points.

Kind regards,

Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
When the order was made what was the discussion about how the holidays should be divided?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Claire,


The discussions were between me and her solicitor, and i initially said i wanted her for full 7 day alternate weeks during the holidays (i knew her mother would not agree to that in a million years, i went in high, hoping she would settle for the alternate weekends) she came back and said no, so i made another offer of alternate weekends during the holidays which was agreed upon, but we had already previously agreed for me to have contact friday one week, saturday the next (sections b & c in the order) so i'm assuming they still stand, as the order says "every alternate friay" and any school holiday related contact is aditional.



The Order is badly drafted I am afraid
You could go back to the court and challenge the wording and ask for clarification
However please be aware that the court is likely to read it the usual term time contact will be placed on hold as the court will not be happy to create a situation where you had a full weekend with the child but your ex did not.
Having said that if you feel strongly enough the wording is sufficiently ambiguous to justify an enforcement application if you so wish
I appreciate that this is disappointing - please ask if you need further clarification
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Claire, i'm no legal brain but i feared the contract was badly drafted, her solicitor was very weak and quite easily gave in to all my demands, she came across quite inexperienced! When you say the contact will be placed on hold, what do you mean? The full weekend contact periods are only in the holidays, and her mother doesnt work, so she would be spending the full 4/5 day week with her. In theory, i could get the holidays split so i get contact for alternate full 7 day weeks couldn't i? thanks

Are you able to take this amount of time off work?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes i am self employed and only work 3 mornings a week, my partner is more than cabable of looking after my daughter and they have a very good relationship, she has 2 children of her own who my daughter gets on very well with.

|My fear is that the Judge will say that the order is made on the assumption that during the school holidays the usual weekend contact is suspended so that the child spends alternate weekends with each of her parents - that is certainly how I would interpret the Order if it was presented to me
You can certainly ask for the school holidays to be split equally between you (although the alternating weeks can seem a little restrictive id you decide to go away at all.
Your only option is to go back to court - either to review the interpretation of the current order or to seek a variation
Clare and 2 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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