Parenting plan – consequences
Posted By: Daniela on 20/04/2023 at 13:55
It seems that even with the mediation discussion, ex tries to push it and be difficult at times, mainly with the time and location i pick the child up. He is usually late to bring our son out for me to pick him up, or few days ago, he tried to make me drop the child off to him instead of ex picking him up from the location I gave him, even though in the mediation we discussed that I will give him a location to pick the child up. (He brought up excuses even though the location was 5 min drive). With Jenni’s support (Thank you!), I managed to stand my ground as per mediation and he came to pick him up. But I need ideas on what kind of consequences to put in place in case he/we decide to not comply to what we agreed. I have Mediation next week.
The more ideas the better. Thank you
Paul, if you cant get your ex to agree to anything, then you may be forced to go down the legal route and get a contact order formalised, but I would suggest that you get a professional legal opinion first. Go to the experts section and pick a UK lawyer to have a discussion with. Once the legal situation is clarified, then it comes down to how you are positioning these issues emotionally. For the sake of your wellbeing and peace, it needs to be dealt with before it turns into a festering mess that takes over your life. I have commented on your other post with a link to schedule a chat. Please find some time to talk with me so that I can help you with this.
Suzy et al, what do you do about these agreements when a parenting agreement isn't in place because the other parent won't agree to one? E.g. I'm supposed to have FaceTime with my daughter 3x a week - I wanted more but was refused - I miss at least one of those each week because of it is just overlooked. At least one of the remaining 2x, I have to call and text repeatedly over 20-30 min to try to have someone pick up the phone.
Firstly, I would ask that question of your Ex - let him come up with some 'consequences' and give them due consideration. But go in prepared with your own suggestions. Make sure that your record any suggested changes to the parenting plan and how you have rejected them (eg. you gave). Keep a record of everything. If he changes his mind about when to pick up/be there when his child arrives - that means he doesn't see his child if he ignores what was agreed. You will just stick to the plan. If he changes it, or you change it - the other parent just sticks to what was originally agreed and records the outcome (eg. parent not at pick up point). If the plan isn't working for one of you, then that parent can pay for mediation and the other parent must attend so that the agreement can be altered if it was not possible to agree in advance (eg. change of plan due to change in working hours). Though hopefully those kind of changes can be agreed without further mediation and recorded in the plan. Never agree anything just verbally. Always put it in the plan and the other parent must CONFIRM. For consequences, you could consider simply having '3 strikes and you're out - so if one parent ignores the agreement in the coparenting plan (brings child back later than agreed/not available at pickup etc) - then the plan becomes null and void until a mediation can be held to make adjustments. You could choose to agree a 'worse case' backup agreement so that in such a situation, at least your child has some access (eg. Every second Saturday) - until the rest of the plan is discussed and re-agreed upon. Whoever is causing the changes should be responsible for paying for further mediation. So there is: 1/ One of us wants to make changes the other doesn't agree with. So the parent wanting to make changes pays for mediation and the other agrees to attend to resolve this and potentially (but not necessarily) update the parenting plan. 2/ One of us keeps breaking the agreement. The other formally warns them IN WRITING. 3/ 3 breaches of the agreement: Go to the basic level (eg. Every other Saturday) until the situation is resolved via mediation or arbitration. 4/ The other parent just won't co-operate. Try to have the basic level (unless the parent is refusing to return the child or completely making contact unreasonable) and bring in an arbitrator to agree on a legally binding co-parenting agreement, with defined contact orders etc if required. This are just suggestions - start with setting up each of the 4 scenarios and seeing what your Ex suggests FIRST. Then take it from there. I do recommend a basic level agreed though so your child doesn't lose out if things get tricky.