The Court of Appeal has accepted revised child contact arrangements suggested by a father who has an acrimonious relationship with the mother of his child.
The mother had appealed contact provisions which would have given the father access one weekday evening and every other weekend. The father, meanwhile, asked the court to enforce the contact arrangements, on the basis of various allegations about the mother.
At the initial hearing, the judge said the parents had a fraught relationship in which the mother was prone to becoming emotional and the father knew how to provoke her. The child often witnesses the exchanges. The judge changed the contact provisions so that the father would have weekday contact for three hours only and that the child would be returned from weekend visits to his father on Sunday evenings, so that he had time to settle at home before starting at school the next day.
The father appealed the ruling, and proposed that the weekday contact of three hours be replaced with weekend contact beginning on a Thursday evening. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and accepted the father’s proposals, on the basis that the contact provisions proposed at the initial hearing would have meant more travel time and additional contact between the former couple, further exposing the child to the difficult relationship between his parents.