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jusleen, Family Lawyer
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 942
Experience:  Qualified Family Solicitor practising family law since 1999. Member of resolution.
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My daughter stays at her dad and girlfriends house overnight

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My daughter stays at her dad and girlfriend's house overnight once every 2 weeks. She usually sleeps with her step-brother (8 years old) on the bottom bunk in his room and him on the top. There other son (almost 1 yr old) sleeps in the other room. He has bought a sofa bed and intends to sleep her downstairs on it whilst everyone else sleeps upstairs, the bathroom is also upstairs. I feel anxious and worried about the safety of my daughter being the only person (almost 5 years old) sleeping downstairs in the event of someone breaking in, a fire and even just needing the toilet and having to walk upstairs in the dark to find it i a house she is not overly familiar with. Last week he slept with her on the sofabed but he said that is going to stop. What I want to know is if there is any legal reason why this arrangement should not happen because he won't listen to any of my suggestions of any other sleeping arrangements in the house.

jusleen : Hi unfortunately there is no legal provision or hard and fast rule. However it is expected that contact is to be safe and secure. If you as the mother are anxious about this arrangement there is nothing wrong in voicing this concern. If however the father does not listen or act on your concerns then you could stipulate that there is no staying contact unless provision is made for your daughter to sleep upstairs whilst or an adult be with her downstairs until such time that she is confident and comfortable to be downstairs on her own. If you as parents cannot resolve this issue then the court can adjudicate on the point of overnight contact upon an application being made. It is a requirement of the court that before making any application the parties try and resolve the dispute through mediation. I would therefore suggest that if your ex won't listen to your concerns that you make a referral to a family mediator to assist you both in reaching an agreement. You can find a trained mediator through the site also contains a lot of useful information on child disputes.
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