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Overnight Stay

Hi All.

Could someone advise me regarding this matter…

I had planned to have my daughter stay with me for a week at my place during this school holidays (as per family court orders), now my Ex tells me that our daughter doesn't want to sleep over my place because she does not want to sleep in my bed (while I sleep on the lounge as I am in a one bedroom apartment).   My ex has said that she has sought legal advise regarding this and as I do not have a spare bedroom for my daughter, then she does not have to sleep over and that I can pick her up and drop her off each day.

I had really wanted my daughter to spend time with me as this is the first time she will be with me for school holidays, trying to re-establish contact/relationship as we had none during 2006 as the Ex had kept the children away from me (wasn't till I took her to court during 2007 that I began seeing one of my children and yes, she was found contravening family court orders).

If anyone can tell me that living in a one bedroom apartment is an excuse for not having overnight stays, then please advise…

Thanks.
Legally, I think this claim is bogus and is merely grandstanding by the mother and/or her solicitor. While it would be ideal if the child had their own room, or even space, it is not mandatory. The court cannot dictate your living arrangements. I'm sure if the mother had another child and both children shared a room it would not be grounds for you to have the child live with you.

I would acknowledge any letter from lawyers, but not agree to no sleep overs.

I would stick to the letter of the court orders. I would not tell the mother I was doing this until I had the child for the holidays.

More learned folk can correct me if I'm wrong.

A suggestion to overcome any 'programming' your daughter may have recieved - by a really cute, girly sleeping bag , which can be placed 'on top' of your bed, therefore the child is not sleeping 'in your bed' she is sleeping on top of the bed. Even just special girly bedding that only she sleeps on would be sufficient, that is clean and put on fresh every time she stays.

If the ex gets upset and calls the police, let them come over and check the order. Make sure you get an incident number from them and put it in an affidavit, ready for any future mischief.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
This just sounds like trouble making to me, so its all ends up too hard and with what sounds like reasonable excuses not to let the daughter go to you.

As far as I can see it has nothing to do with the ex where your child sleeps when she is with you unless there are allegations of misconduct pending then she wouldn't be going anyway. I too think she is calling your bluff.

It's really up to you and your daughter to work out who sleep where. She may have fun 'camping' on the sofa or a mattress on the floor in her sleeping bag. You are allowed to be creative! As long as the environment is safe and appropriate to inhabit.

I don't think there can be a problem legally.

If you have shared long term responsibility especially then surely this is up to you to be trusted to work out for yourself?
We get every excuse from my partner's ex. Every one in the book:

- the child's too sick,

- he's been clingy,

- he's terrible when I get him back,

- he's too young.

But when we have a court order, that's all that counts. We watch this sickly, clingy, sensitive child come to our house and we watch him blossom and lap up time with Dad. He is so happy, he sings songs and plays and dances and is allowed to love his Dad.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Yep, another one here who has heard the same excuses for not letting the child come over (none of which have worked :) )

The most recent one being 'the child is misbehaiving and out of routine when he comes back'. The child is wonderful when he is with us, hardly ever misbehaives, and justs loves spending time with his Dad.

How old is your Daughter? Have you asked her directly where she would like to sleep?

I agree with what others have said. Either get her a slepping bag or her own set of sheets for when she is over. And either put them on your bed, or make it fun by letting her 'camp' out in the lounge room. It's only for a week.





Excuses

How did your ex communicate her concern to you? - was it verbal or written? I have heard judges make comments about the living conditions of one of the parties, but that was at the stage of making orders and concerned other people living there.
Your ex is trying it on; tell her you have legal advice that she would be in breach of orders.

Follow Artemis' advice! She is fast becoming a sister figure to us all - next she will be the site's agony aunt!
 

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Miacat said
How old is your Daughter? Have you asked her directly where she would like to sleep?

I agree with what others have said. Either get her a slepping bag or her own set of sheets for when she is over. And either put them on your bed, or make it fun by letting her 'camp' out in the lounge room. It's only for a week.
Hi Miacat.

My daughter is 12 and I have already purchased new linen for her (and only her)…

Monteverdi,  we do all our communication by email (this is court order by my request as she refused to speak with me which made it impossible to deal with matters over the children)

Sometime ago, I had asked my daughter if she would like to commence having sleepovers at my place to which she happily said yes. The way I see it is that my Ex doesn't want our child staying with me for a number of reason, which are:

1. Because she fears that if this becomes a regular thing, her Child support will go down (she's getting $2,400 p/m)

2. She doesn't want me to have a relationship with my children.  She proved this before by keeping the kids away from me.

I will definently be sticking to Court Orders which stipulate overnight stays with me.

I have also thought about alternative housing arrangements where we will stay in a relatives bedroom house which the bedroom my daughter will use has never been used by anyone.

Thank you all for your advise/comments.  IF you have any more, please pass on.
You sound like you are doing the right thing. Can i suggest that the two of you maybe make the bed together, but make it a 'fun' thing to do? Don't know if this would help.

I think you hit the nail on the head, your ex is the one who is not wanting your daughter to stay with you.

I am sure she will be fine with you for the week. And i am also sure, if there really was a problem (which i don't think there is) and she didn't want to stay, that you wouldn't force her to.

Have fun with your daughter, enjoy your week, i am sure she will too.

As with staying at the relatives house, do any of your children know the relative very well? Would they get along? or would they feel 'out of place' so to speak? Is this house close to where you are? If they were ok with it, again just make it fun, have a 'ritual' like making the beds with special sheets ect that you both could do.

Miacat said
As with staying at the relatives house, do any of your children know the relative very well? Would they get along? or would they feel 'out of place' so to speak? Is this house close to where you are? If they were ok with it, again just make it fun, have a 'ritual' like making the beds with special sheets etc. that you both could do.
Hello Miacat.

The relative is my Mother and she will welcome the idea of us staying with her as she also has missed seeing my daughter.

We all live within 15 minutes from each other, so I can't understand why the Ex would deprive our daughter of having an overnight stay with me (or is she more concerned about child support being reduced!).
Sounds like staying at your Mothers house is a wonderful idea, not only is your daughter having meaningful time with two people who love her, having her own "special" room but it also allows for a witness who can vouch that your daughter was happy during the visit.

I hope you enjoy your week together!!

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Thanks Jadzia.

I'm trying to cover all aspects to ensure the week will happen with over night stays… but the Ex will find some reason or excuse (daughter doesn't want to sleep over) for the overnight stays not to happen and she will make sure that over night stays will not happen!

You know, if the Ex expressed positive support for overnight stays, my daughter would feel more comfortable knowing that her mother is happy for her to do this. This is something that Federal Magistrate Sexton said to the Ex, at one of the court hearings. By not showing a positive influence / support she is contravening the family orders (even if it's not written in the orders), as I had won one of my cases by the fact that the Ex do not show a positive influence / support.     
That's good to know. My ex is always running me down to the kids and it shows in the way the two not living with me have treated me in the past.

Have you tried letting your daughter know about some activities that you are planning during the week - ie trip to the movies, concert, zoo or asking her what she wants to do.

That might have a positive influence on her desire to stay with you over any negativity expressed by the mother.

Just make sure you follow through though as empty promises won't help you later.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.

bugsiboy

It all comes down to money and control - the two are linked together. By default, the CSA and the court system encourages it!

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
I think staying at your Mum's or your house is equally acceptable.

It's important to get your daughter excited about the sleep overs to counteract Mum's revving the daughter up that they are bad.

I agree with Jadzia about having something planned. I will post some inexpensive ideas in the shared parenting section. Often, it's hard to come up with fun things, unless it's expensive outings to theme parks or movies.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Hi Bugsiboy,

One thing not covered so far that might help cause your Ex to follow the Court Orders is you said  "she was found contravening family court orders", remind her what the Judge said if she continues this behaviour. Another contravention of a Court Order would not be in her best interests, probably giving you increased contact if you sought it and the Law requires Grandparent interaction where possible and appropriate.

I'm not saying seek a contravention just remind her of the Law and facts of such behaviour.

Before I had beds for the children I used airbeds, the children loved it, in your situation they are easy to move around, the children like to be the ones to blow them up with a pump and it is theirs for camping if you go some time.

My ex lives with his parents and mine live overseas, i have asked him many times to let us go and sea my family but he tries to bribe me in a way, i wont sign for a passport if you dont give me….
my family want to see my child to.  His parents get to see our baby everytime he does, I want my parents to have equal time to
Maybe you could have this put into parenting orders? Are you doing them on your own or going through the new family relationship centres?

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
We are currently trying by ourselves, but we think maybe it couldn't hurt to get some professional advice.
Sheila - it is difficult to understand your position without having all the facts -so forgive me if i misconstrue things.

What's stopping your parents from coming here to see you?

What's keeping you here - will you stay overseas with your parents - what would bring you back here?

Maybe the father is concerned about that?

A legal agreement - CONSENT ORDERS - which you are both happy to sign can give you both certainty about how things work and some protection if people choose to break the agreement - it can include things about overseas trips, care arrangements and so on. A PARENTING PLAN can also be a good thing as it allows you to work through the issues  - for the future - as you child grows up.

It will take a bit of work and early on in a breakdown there will be uncertainty and fears - in fact you are probably required to communicate MORE about these things after breakdown than BEFORE when people tend to operate on expected role models.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
I found it very beneficial to go to a mediator for the process. They were able to think of things that didn't occur to me and create a plan we were both happy with. If both parents are committed to making that plan work then it makes life a lot easier, and that plan can be taken to court to be made concrete if necessary.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
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