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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Hi Claire - Id like to ask my ex partner for alternate weekends

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Hi Claire - I'd like to ask my ex partner for alternate weekends with our daughter as our current 'sharing' of weekends is proving to be a problem after 1.5 of trying it out. I've asked for alternate wknds before, but he's refused, saying he wants to see her every wknd. He works on customer site (IT consultant) and if he's away, he may not see her for over 6 days. I'm going to try again, keeping it as civil as possible, but if he refuses, is Mediation my next option? If he doesn't like that, will it mean court? Thanks....
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is your daughter and how is her time shared between you ate the moment?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Claire,
My daughter is almost 5. I have her at least 4/5 nights a week. We currently split weekends but sometimes have an entire weekend with or without her, dependent on plans, like camping or visiting friends that require travelling to visit.
Is there any regular pattern involved?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Claire - no, there is no regular pattern. I keep notes in my diary to keep track. Weekends can be somewhat erratic and although I send detailed emails asking when he'd like to have her, I don't always get an answer and then we end up deciding the week before or the same week.

I'd love more structure so I know exactly who has her, who is picking her up from school on Fridays, and dropping her off on Monday mornings(This will be the first school year)

I've been competing in sports events this summer, and once I've booked/paid for a competition, I add it to the Hotmail calendar we share, asking if he'd have her on that day. It's worked to a point, but the hassle involved is more than I am willing to bear as an ongoing procedure.

We're meant to follow this:

Friday 15h: I have her until Sunday morning 1000, when he has her for the day, drop off to nursery Monday morning...or at mine Sunday night if he's on client site early Monday morning. The following week: Friday 15h: He collects her from nursery, drops her at mine/I pick up at 1000 the Sunday at the moment, we share. Sometimes we swap dates/times dependant on what the other parent is doing/has planned last minute. We try to stay flexible, but when one of us disagrees on what the other has said, sparks fly and tempers flare.

I want to avoid any room for confusion and be able to see two months down the road what I can plan for 'X' weekend. I can be flexible if needs change, but I need the structure.



You are correct - for the sake of your child a regular pattern needs to be established - so that she (and the school) know who is collecting her.
The starting point is indeed Family Meddiation - ( so that you can try and establish a pattern - and possibly a parenting plan!
You can find out more here
If that fails then sadly a court application - either for Residence and defined contact or a shared Residence Order - will be required.
You can read more about this here
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and 2 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you