[Solved] Child arrangements
My ex wife is currently making life very did go got for me, my partner at children.
I have two young boys with my ex wife (we split on 2017). I used to have the boys 3 nights then 4 nights per week.
My partner and I announced that we were having a baby in summer last year and since then mg ex wife has been forcing reduced time for the boys with me. I am now on Saturday daytime only. The boys are asking for more time to us. She moved them schools, which I agreed to on the understanding that it was easier for both of us to pick the boys up from school. As soon as I the places were confirmed my ex wife stopped mg school pick up/drop offs.
She is alienating the boys against me stating that the children don't want to see me and that they are in a bad mood and mentally anguished after a day with me.
She now claims that they don't want to sleep over, that I am manipulating them to wanting more time with me and doing their bedroom up to make them feel guilty and stop. My son's have asked for their room to be decorated.
They are saying I can only see my children if my child and partner aren't there and don't want me to take the boys to my house, which was the family home prior to divorce.
I am lost and feel that my ex is simply trying to blackmail and control me and the boys to keep nights at mine to a minimum. She has said to me that she would rather me not be involved at all and calls me selfish and controlling for wanting to continue to be part of my children's life.
I think that court is the only option but my partner is worried that I'll end up with nothing and feels guilty that it is all her fault, which it isn't.
yes im afraid its looking like that. your better off going to court. after my break up i was just seeing kids every saturday. and then the kids kept asking me can they stay the night. ex refused and said kids not ready for that. so i went to court to get overnight contact, and other issues like holidays/religious occassions. my final hearings coming up. its costly and unplesant but in the end you will get overnight stays and proper arrangements to see your kids. as long as the court is convinced that the children are safe around you. half way through the process i was given overnight contact.
things will only get worse for you if you dont take the legal route. most ex's dont want you knocking on their door to see your kids for years to come. their the selfish and controlling ones.
Thanks Bill. My situation sounds just like yours.
Did you use a solicitor or represent yourself?
My ex is now arguing over Rotas for next few months ,stating she deserves full weekends whilst the kids don't want two consequtive days with me so can't have a weekend.
The whole thing is a complete lie, manipulative and very controlling. Very very sad and I worry for the mental health of my children.
She is being completely unreasonable... the anxiety your children feel when they return to her is probably more about the hostility between you and the fact that they aren’t allowed to love you both unconditionally!
Your children have the right to have you both fully involved in their lives and to get to know their sibling too.
Unfortunately, it looks to me that court will be the only way to resolve this situation, but you should reassure your partner that courts want what is best for the children and will always encourage contact, as long as their are no safeguarding risks.
Your first step must be to attempt mediation, have a chat about your issues and leave it to them to contact your ex and ask her to attend. If she refuses, or mediation fails, the mediator will sign the form to enable you to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order, the court fee for this is £215. This would be the only cost if you decided to self represent.
You can instruct a solicitor, or you can self represent. If you use a solicitors services it will cost you considerably more than the court fee.
Some people do the preliminary stages themselves and pay for a direct access barrister for the finding of fact and final hearings, which will help with the costs. Some manage to do it without a solicitor, it’s doable and many members have had much success.
Some solicitors offer a free initial consultation, which you may find useful and there may be a Personal Support Unit in the court building, they will help with form filling and general advice and can sit in court with you to give support.
It might be helpful if you attend a Families Need Fathers meeting in your area, you will get face to face advice and support from others in a similar situation. Here’s a link to their website where you’ll find details of meetings in your area, hopefully there will be one near you.
Please reassure your partner that none of this is her fault, although I’m sure you already do! It might help her to know that this behaviour is all about control and is more common than you would think. Once the court determine that the children’s reactions are more to do with the hostility and anxiety at having their relationship with you limited, I’m sure they will act to put an order in place to protect the children’s rights to have a relationship with you.
Just to prepare you, once she receives the letter from the mediator, she is likely to stop all contact, she may make allegations of previous domestic abuse, this is par for the course sometimes, don’t react to it and try not to worry, the court are very used to dealing this and she will need to provide evidence for the court to take it seriously... Although it may not seem like that at the start.
All the best