Chelsealou
CHELSEALOU
Junior Member

Dear Sir/Madame RE:
Contact matters

In reply to your letter dated 27th September, I am agreeable that it is in the best interest for Alexander to reconnect with his father after our separation. while I am happy to agree to most of what has been set out, I do have my concerns, which I will outline below. While reading Mr. proposal I have been checking this with the Section 1 paragraph 3 of the children act 1989 and using the welfare checklist that court judges would use to make a decision in child arrangements to outline why I believe these are concerns and how we can best handle it, according the children act 1989 section 1 paragraph 3 in which it is set on what consideration need to be take by parents, local authorities and court officials to ensure the welfare of children involved in child arrangement.

My concerns outlined below are;

1. I do not believe what Mr. l has proposed for contact to start is reasonable at all or in the best interest of our son and for this reason I do not fine it agreeable for (name) to have just 4 weekend overnight stays before going down to Essex. However I am willing to compromise if Mr. proposes a more reasonable and realistic arrangement that does not ask so much from a 19 month old infant. Reasons for this being as per your letter dated 27th of September, (name) has not had contact with his father, Mr. , in 6 months but also has not had contact with his Grandparents since the 20th of January 2019. That being said contact need to be introduced slowly so as to not emotionally distress our son. While (name) has been use to being away from his main care giver, me, during the day, (name)has only ever been away from me for 1 night on the 17th January 2019, Since his birth on 12th January 2018. By going straight to overnight stay, this will be emotionally and mentally damaging and cause large amounts of undue stress for (name)and would not be acting in his best interest. It would prove more beneficial for (name) to be allowed time to get use to being around his father and grandparents again before allowing over night stays, this way the transition will be smoother and easier on Alexander, referring with the section 1(3) of the children act 1989, the welfare check list, we must consider the child emotional needs as well as any effect the changes of circumstances may have on (name) .
2. Once (name) starts school we will need a way to deal with contact if for example (name)wish's to stay in Bristol to attend a friends or family members birthday party, what is Mr. position in this? Will he be willing to have contact in Bristol if this arises and take (name) to attend or at least drop him off so he can attend theses parties? Or if (name) is visibly poorly, would he still like contact? This will need to be address so that we are taking (name)wishes and feelings into consider in light of his age and understanding again in accordance with section 3 (p1) of the children act 1989.
3. As to Mr proposed indirect contact on a Wednesday, a specific time will need to be agreed upon so I know to make (name) available for this and to provide routine for him.
4. Nothing has been mentioned about mothers and father day.
5. The time periods suggest for summer, Christmas and Easter holiday is this age specific? School age for example? As the holidays do not apply to a child that has yet to reach the age to attend school.

In accordance with the above statement, I would like to counter propose;
1. Mr. can have contact with (name) every 2 weeks, Saturday and Sunday during the day time at his parents house for 4 contact periods, on the Saturday evening at 6.00pm alexander will picked up by myself to return home for the night and picked up again at 9.30am in the morning, this will help alexander to form a bond with his father again but young children do not learn a sense of time till the age of three and this may cause (name) to have some anxiety over when he will see his mother again, so this will allow him to learn that at the end of contact he will of course see his resident parent again. I understand that this may seem complicated for Mr. to travel back and forth but again I believe this to be in the best interest of (alexander) to make sure no unnecessary emotion strain is placed on our son. After 3 contact periods of this we can then extend to 1 overnight stay for a further 3 contact periods, then push to 2 overnight stays for a further 3 contact periods. Then we can move forward and (name)can stay at his father place in Witham, Essex. If (name) shows no emotional distress or a change of normal behaviour in my family home, we may discuss overnight stays starting earlier. This will allow (name) to be better emotionally equipped to handle overnight contact as well as avoiding any separation anxiety for (name). Mr will benefit from this as well as he will be able to learn (name) social queues to meet his needs.
2. Forcing (name)overnight stay too soon will cause him stress and unnecessary emotional conflict which would be in his best interest to avoid. I think we can all agree we do not want to cause (name)any additional stress/anxiety and change his routine too much and too quickly can cause this to happen.
3. Both parties need to keep each other updates on contact information such phone numbers and addresses.
4. I propose that mothers and father day should be spent with corresponding parent, even if this falls on the other parent agreed parenting time.
5. With in regard to new years, I am happy to agree with this, on the bases that (name) contact weekend falls before Christmas and not after to ensure that equal time is spent with each parent over the Christmas period. On the year where (name) is with me during new year that (name) contact weekend falls after Christmas. This contact should take place in his parents home as a six hour commute is not idea for a child (name) age for just 1 days contact.

I do insist that any agreement made between Mr. and myself is legalised due to the three hours distances between the parents respective homes and my concern that (name) will be forcibly removed from my care, this allows absolute certainty that (name) with have contact with his father but also return to his family home in bristol at the agreed times. I am happy for myself/or Mr. apply when agreements are finalised. I do have a understanding that the court has a ‘no order principle' but I do believe due to past incidents that they will agree a order is need to provide certainty and is in the best interest (name)

Mr. is more the welcome to come and visit (name) any time he wishes to, as per my email dated 21st of August to Mr. .If Mr. does not believe this is agreeable or in the best interest of our son Alexander, then I am happy to negotiate this going forward as amicably as possible.
I look forward to receiving a response, Yours sincerely, (name