(Court of Appeal, Hallett, McFarlane LJJ, 30 October 2012)
Contact provisions were made in relation to contact between the father and the 4-year-old child whose primary residence was with his mother. The father was to have staying contact one evening per week and every other weekend. The mother appealed and the father sought to enforce the provisions relying on a number of allegations against the mother.
The judge found that the relationship between the parents was acrimonious and that the mother was vulnerable to becoming emotionally upset and that the father knew how to trigger a reaction from her. The child often witnessed exchanges between the parents and they had both lost sight of his interests. The judge altered contact so that the weeknight contact was just for 3 hours and that the child should be returned from his weekend contact on a Sunday evening so that he had time at home before the school week commenced.
The father appealed and proposed that as opposed to the weeknight contact of three hours, the weekend contact should commence on a Thursday evening instead. The court found that the revised contact arrangements did cause concern as they increased the amount of time the child and father spent travelling and also increased contact between the parents and the child's exposure to the tensions in their relationship. The appeal would be allowed and the father's proposals were accepted.