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TOPIC: Access Stopped.. advice?

Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61825

Hi,

I've recently came across this forum and found lots of useful advice/info but would like to know if anyone has any individual advice on my current circumstance regarding my access with my kids.. This is probably a long post but I thought it best to explain things since the split.

I was together with and also married my ex-partner since 2001. When we met she already had a 6month old girl (father out picture) which I have to this day taken as my own. We had another girl who is now 9 years old. We split in 2012 and sold house etc and arranged a family agreement for maintenance and contact arrangements. It got a little messy regarding splitting the house up etc as I'm sure has happened to other breakups and we only now contact each other through text with anything to do with the kids. She also does everything through her Solicitor (A family Law Solicitor - a friend of hers may I add)

I was allowed to have my girls overnight 1 night per week (Fri) as well as collecting them for a few hours 1 day during the week. I've have had constant contact for 2years 10months. During this time I have asked for this to be changed as I can take the kids both Friday and Saturday Nights. I asked to have them both days but this was refused. I suspect this is due to CSA payments being reduced to her. Also whenever I asked to swap nights due to things I had to attend she would refuse. Sometimes this would get into a 'text' argument. I would then receive a letter from her Solicitor basically saying 'do not contact my client with anything other than anything to do with the Children'.. which it always was. The solicitor told me in the letters that I must agree to the days and times set out by my ex or they would have to look at contact agreements altogether. I felt I was being threatened that they would stop access altogether and felt bullied into a corner.

Eventually mid last year after me asking again she agreed to 1 Saturday and 3 Fridays a month. She would not agree to 2 Saturdays and 2 Fridays as she said it means she has to arrange childcare another day as she works Saturdays. I went along with this until the end of 2014 when I asked a few times for the alternative weekends. I received a letter from her solicitor telling me I had to stop harassment or I would be taken to court. I've replied to the Solicitor many times by email to confirm that I have all texts saved and that it's all to do with the kids and there is no harassment. I never ever received any response from her Solicitor when I confirm that these stories my ex is fabricating are certainly not true.

In January I asked my ex for alternative weekend again. She asked me to confirm what days so I made up a quick spreadsheet to confirm the alternative weekend for 2015. She sent me a text and told me she stuck it in the bin. Getting annoyed that everything is her way or no way I said I would be picking up the kids on alternative weekends.

I received a letter from her Solicitor this week saying dates of contact will not change and again the threat of court with harassment. I've replied to the Solicitor many times by email to confirm that I have all texts saved and that it's all to do with the kids and there is no harassment. I only respond to texts when she texts me. The recent text said if I don’t pick them up on the days she said then she will stop contact altogether. I sent a screen grab to her Solicitor proving that I actually don’t store my ex mob number anymore to save any further accusations of harassment but that I feel I was actually being harassed mentally by her threats.

The next day I received a text to say.. ‘All’ access is now stopped. Do not contact me. Do not come near my house. My solicitor knows I’m sending this. You are blocked.’

I have sent her a text to ask why but she ignores it. So I’ve sent her a letter (copied to her Solicitor) to reinstate the usual arrangements as our children do not to have to suffer or due to our differences. I asked why access had been stopped and confirmed that I will I will be left with no alternative but to commence legal action if not reinstated within 14 days. Yes, I now know I should not have pushed things and just played by her rules and it’s turned out all wrong for me.

I feel all these letters from her Solicitor was a plan to stop access altogether and that’s why it would say ‘harass’ in the letter. I don’t know why two adults can’t just arrange things that have to do with the kids by themselves. So my question is, if she ignores the letter to get contact reinstated then what process do I go down next?

She gets free Legal Aid and now I feel she just want to drag this out at a cost to me. She is doing this to get at me without considering how it will affect the kids who love staying over with me. I would have to represent myself in court so does anyone have an idea of what court fees will be?

Thanks for your help

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Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61832

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Hi there

It's really good that you have kept records of all correspondence/texts.

I do feel her solicitor is at fault for not ever referring you both to mediation to sort this out.

In my opinion you have been going round in circles for long enough, you are being held to ransom and controlled and you need to get some clear guidelines in place.

Do you have Parental Responsibility for your oldest? When you go to court this will be something that you will need to address.

Mediation is your first port of call, this is now compulsory before court action can be taken. You will need to attend initially and the mediator would then invite your ex to attend. If she refuses or mediation is unsuccessful then the mediator will sign off the C100 form to allow you to apply to court for a Child Arrangements Order for defined contact. Here's a link

www.nfm.org.uk

Legal Aid is no longer available for private family law cases, unless there is a history of domestic violence, so unless that is the case your ex will not be entitled to free legal funding and will have to pay for legal representation or self represent.

Self representing is very doable and many Members here have taken such action successfully. There's plenty of info in the stickys at the top of the legal eagle section and of course we are also here to help and support throughout the whole process.

I would advise you to be very careful about contacting her or her solicitor friend as harassment has already been mentioned. Only contact them now if absolutely necessary. In fact the last letter you have sent should be enough, I wouldn't contact them again now, but get mediation arranged asap. It doesn't matter that you have stated a 14 day deadline, mediation should commence straight away.

Because of the issue with the oldest child not being biologically yours I shall ask Coram to drop by and give you some advice. They can only comment on a member thread when the member is not legally represented, I gather from your post that this is the case.

Good luck :)
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Last Edit: by Mojo.

Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61834

Dear Itsawomansworld,

The mother of the children would be considered the main carer and the unofficial resident parent as the children reside with her and she makes the day to day decisions regarding them. You still retain your Parental Responsibility specifically for your biological daughter as you and the mother were married. You would not have parental responsibility for the oldest child unless you and the mother signed a Step-Parental Responsibility agreement or obtained a Step Parental Responsibility Order.

Parental Responsibility is defined in s.3 (1) Children Act 1989 as being:

"all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property".

Parental Responsibility essentially allows you to have an equal say in any key decisions regarding the children, for example any educational, medical or religious decisions and any decisions on changing the children’s surnames or removing them from the country.

Parental Responsibility is distinct from contact and does not give a right to contact. Therefore in the absence of any court orders, there is no legal obligation on the mother to allow any contact she did not see as being in the best interests of the children’s welfare. However, where there are no welfare concerns, she does have a duty to be reasonable as to contact as contact is considered the right of the children and not the parent. This right also extends to your step daughter.

As the mother has now restricted the contact, the onus is on you to take the necessary legal steps to reinstate the contact. The first legal step would be mediation. Mediation was made a legal requirement under the new Children and Families Act 2014 on 22 April 2014. You would have to attempt mediation as a pre-court step by attending a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, this can be organised by contacting an organisation called National Family Mediation (0300 4000 636). Mediation is the process by which the resident and non resident parent can attempt to reconcile their problems with an unbiased trained professional about future arrangements for the child. The mediator does not tell parties what to do, but can help the parties to reach their own agreements amicably, whilst trying to improve communication between the parties. It may take more than one meeting before an agreement is reached; however, the agreement is not legally binding. Please note there is legal aid available for mediation therefore if you are eligible you will not have to cover the costs.

If mediation is unsuccessful, you have the option to apply for a Child Arrangements Order. The Child Arrangements Order is an order brought in by the Children and Families Act 2014 which replaces the old Residence and Contact Orders. This order should set out who the children reside with and how much contact and in what form the non resident parent should have contact. To make the application, you would need to complete a C100 form. The mediator is required to certify as part of the application that mediation was attempted and why it was unsuccessful. The application for the Child Arrangements Order carries a fee of £215. There is an exemption if you are unemployed and are in receipt of some income based benefits, if you are on a reduced income you could receive a part remission. The form you would need for this is an EX160A form. The forms above can be obtained from www.justice.gov.uk . The application can be made for both children. Furthermore, you can outline within the application the close relationship you have maintained with your step child since the age of 6 months.

When deciding whether to grant a Child Arrangements Order, the court’s paramount consideration is the child’s welfare. Furthermore, the courts apply what is known as the welfare checklist. This is Section 1 (3) of the Children Act 1989 and it states,
...a court shall have regard in particular to -
(a) the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding);
(b) his physical, emotional and educational needs;
(c) the likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances;
(d) his age, sex, background and any characteristics of his which the court considers relevant;
(e) any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
(f) how capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs;
(g) the range of powers available to the court under this Act in the proceedings in question.

As your daughter is aged 9, the courts are unlikely to take into consideration her wishes and feelings but they might consider your step daughter's wishes and feelings. A Family Court start to attach any weight to a child’s wishes and feelings from around the age of 11 or 12.

If you need further advice, please contact the Child Law Advice Line on 080 8802 0008.

Yours sincerely


CORAM CHILDREN’S LEGAL CENTRE
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Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61837

Thank you for the advice above. Regarding your advice, are the laws the same in Scotland as they are in England? I checked CAB website for Scotland and I thought they were different regarding Legal Aid etc.

I wouldn't be entitled to Legal Aid because of my Salary which she knows thats why I presumed she wants to drag this out when it seems so simple to sort with a simple conversation.

This is my first night without the kids. I still text my oldest and she texts me back but she said she has been told to stay out of anything to do with access. I fully understand that and I don't mention anything other than I'll see them soon and that I love them and just ask her about school and how her little sister is etc. I'll try not to text her too much in case I say anything thats deemed wrong (i.e. to do with access) as she shows her mother every text. Her mother showed her the emails I sent to the Solicitor so again there is different rules for me than there is for the ex.

I assumed I would have to contact a Solicitor but I'll hang fire and see how the letter goes and look into Mediation in my area.

Thanks Again.

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Last Edit: by Itsawomansworld.

Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61838

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Ah, you didn't mention that you were in Scotland, unfortunately the laws are different.

Legal Aid is still available for people that qualify financially in Scotland.

Here's some info that I've copied and pasted for you


Child Arrangements after Separation – Scotland

Parents have equal rights and responsibilities for their children, as defined in section 1 of the Children Act (Scotland) 1995:

Parental Responsibilities:
To safeguard and promote the child’s health, development and welfare
To provide, in a manner appropriate to the stage of development of the child, direction and guidance
If the child is not living with the parent, to maintain personal relations and direct contact with the child on a regular basis
To act as the child’s legal representative.

Parental Rights:
To have the child living with you or otherwise to regulate the child’s residence
To control, direct or guide, in a manner appropriate to the stage of development of the child, the child’s upbringing
If the child is not living with you, to maintain personal relations and direct contact with the child on a regular basis
To act as the child’s legal representative.

Who has Parental Responsibilities and Rights?
A biological mother will automatically have PRR, regardless of marital status.
A father automatically obtains PRRs in two situations –
1 – Where he was/is married to the child’s mother at the date of conception or any time thereafter
2 – Where the father has not married the child’s mother he will automatically obtain PRRs if he is registered as the child’s father. This rule only applies on or after 4th May 2006, which is when the Family Law (Scotland) 2006 came into force.
Unmarried fathers registered prior to this date do not obtain automatic PRRs. However, PRRs can be obtained either by way of a formal agreement with the mother or by making an application to the sheriff court or Court of Session under s 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. I have recently blogged about the continuing disadvantage of unmarried fathers

Agreeing Arrangements for Children:
It is recommended that separating/divorcing couples try very hard to reach an amicable agreement as to the residency and contact arrangements for the children. A useful tool is the Scottish Government’s Parenting Agreement, which can be downloaded from the Scottish Government’s website

If you are having difficulty reaching agreement then, before rushing to the lawyers, it is well worth trying to use the available counselling or mediation services such as those provided by Relationships Scotland.

If you cannot agree on the arrangements the matter can be settled by the courts. Any application for an order relating to parental responsibilities and rights must be made under section 11 of the Children Act (Scotland) 1995.

If there is a dispute in respect of children and the action is being defended in the sheriff court, the next step in proceedings is a Child Welfare Hearing. The sheriff may also order such a hearing in other instances where they consider it appropriate.
This is intended to bring about the quick resolution of disputes about children, proving that this can be done in a manner consistent with the child’s welfare. All parties are required to attend the hearing personally and are under a duty to provide the sheriff with as much information as possible so that he or she can take whatever steps necessary to deal with the matter.

HEARINGS

Option Hearing –

An Options Hearings is purely procedural and the sheriff has no power to make an order. Instead he/she is trying to make an informed decision as to what should be the next step in the court procedure. The Options Hearing is intended to give parties a chance to meet before the sheriff in order to ascertain if agreement can be reached without proceeding to a CWH or, if this is not possible, to focus the precise disagreement between parties.

Child Welfare Hearing

A Child Welfare Hearing is a fairly informal affair, intended to bring about the quick resolution of contact disputes, aiming to resolve the problem(s) and bring about agreement, if at all possible. A child welfare hearing is fairly informal and usually held in private, with only the parties and their legal representatives and the Sheriff usually being present. . The child’s welfare will be the court’s paramount consideration.

The sheriff will ascertain from parties, or their solicitors if they are to be represented, what matters are in dispute in relation to the child. Parties provide the Sheriff with information relating to the issues in dispute.
Solicitors (or the party litigant) put each side’s case to the Sheriff, then after discussion, if an agreement can’t be reached, the sheriff will set out a timetable how to proceed. The sheriff may make interim orders, or refers both parties to a family mediator, like Relationships Scotland.

If parties are unable to reach agreement, disputes may have to be decided after often lengthy and expensive ‘proof hearings’ where the parties give spoken evidence and are subject to cross examination, and where witnesses may also be called to the hearing to provide testimony, or supply a written affidavit.

Under Section 11(7) of the Children Act (Scotland) 1995, the court shall, so far as it is practical, take into account a child’s age and maturity, and the court will give the child the opportunity to express his views and thoughts, should he wish to, and give due consideration and regard to those views the child expresses.
A child is also entitled to his own legal representation if necessary. The action is required to be intimated to the child, and his views must be taken into account by the court. Usually, a child aged 12 years or more will be considered by the Court to be considered of sufficient age and maturity however, it’s possible for children younger than 12 years to present their views to the Court, if they have a formed view.

A child’s views may sought and represented in a number of different ways: the Sheriff may interview the child in Chambers privately, without parents or a third party being present, or the child may be invited to attend the hearing, or a bar reporter may be appointed by the Court in order to obtain the child’s views.

The most important factor in any decision by the court regarding children is the consideration of the child’s/children’s welfare – this is paramount at all times. (See section 11(7) of the Children Act (Scotland) 1995). The Court would also consider those involved in the application, ie the mother and father. While the mother, by de-facto, has a relationship with the child, the onus is on the father to prove his reasoning for either applying for or for defending the application, so motive would be a consideration. The courts would consider if those involved, ie the parents are able, or will be able, to co-operate with sufficient willingness.

The Courts may also consider the arrangements for the non-resident parent to see their child/children, if the resident parent doesn’t agree with the contact arrangements; the Court may make a Contact Order. Other factors are: the domestic living arrangements of the child currently in place, the person/parent best able to meet the daily needs of the child/children, the working arrangements of the person applying for the order, and whose arrangements are most conducive to the primary needs and care of the child, and in the case of very young children, the Court makes the assumption that the children are better left in the care of the mother – however each case is based on its own merits, and the suitability of all parties is considered.

Contact orders

Where courts are required to and do make decisions, parents must stick by them. These decisions are enforceable. If a parent fails to obey the terms of a Court Order he or she could be held to be in contempt of court and liable for punishment for that contempt.

Court decisions on children recognise the possible need for change. Where a parent applies to vary previous decisions, courts normally require that the parent should demonstrate that the change in circumstances was important (or ‘material’). The person seeking change would have to satisfy the court that the best interests of the child would be served by altering what had previously been decided. Although ‘ Parental Agreements’ may be new to the courts, they would almost certainly approach them in the same way. Any change would have to be in the best interests of the child.


..you might also find the Scottish Childrens Legal Centre helpful. Here's a link to their website

www.sclc.org.uk
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Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61839

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The links and helpline provided in the post by Coram won't be applicable to you now, but the link I have provided is the Scottish version of Coram.
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Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61840

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Here's a link to Relationships Scotland, they offer mediation services.

www.relationships-scotland.org.uk/
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Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61846

Thank you Mojo for all of the above. I'll have a read through the links. I appreciate the time and effort of your posts.

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Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61925

I have some news regarding my letter I sent to reinstate contact and I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts or advice on what to do here.

I received an email back from my ex today to state contact with the kids can be reinstated as long as its by the dates she sets out. I'm glad she wants to reinstate it but its gets back to my original dilemma.. that I'm ruled around her dates and if I don't agree to whatever she orders then access is stopped.

I would still really prefer the alternative weekends with the kids but there is no communication on why I am not allowed this. I have to agree to what she wants or else nothing. Do I just be happy she will reinstate contact or push for the alternative weekends? I don't want to 'upset the apple cart' as they say.

The email is as below.


In reply to your letter dated 11th March 2015.

Access was denied to our children as you were failing to keep to the agreed timetable. Since February this year you have tried to change the children's usual weekend overnight access twice.

I will reinstate access on these terms:

Weekend overnight access - 1 Saturday, 3 Friday's. 24hrs. 7pm - 7pm.

This commences Friday 20th March - Saturday 28th March - Friday 3rd April - Friday 10th April - Friday 17th April - Saturday 25th April. Etc.

Midweek access - Tuesday evenings - 6-6.30 - 8.30.

It is your responsibility to both pick up and drop off the girls on these days.

It is your responsibility not to organise events that clash with your access to the girls. If this cannot be avoided it is your responsibility to organise your own baby sitting on these nights.

Turning to holidays I have no difficulty with you taking the children on holiday providing you give me sufficient notice. If you do book a holiday then it's your responsibility to organise baby sitting for the children on any of the days you should have them.

I have no difficulty with the children attending special events with you, if the children wish to go with you, but again would require sufficient notice to ensure the children are organised. It will be your responsibility to pick up and drop off the children for these events.

There should be no reason for you to send any messages to me other than what's stated above.

As long as you agree to these terms access should restart immediately.

Regards


Do I just agree to her terms and think myself lucky I get to see the kids again? Or do I push this? I actually had a thought that if this did end up in court I could push for 2 overnight per week rather than just one.

I'm glad that my letter that I sent her seems to have did the trick. As soon as I mentioned that I would go through mediation and court she has came back with the above email. I'm not sure what to do and what to respond with. Anyone been in this situation and/or can provide your thought or advise?

I'm just frustrated everything is done by her terms and her terms only. I'm also wary of responding to her by email because as I stated in my original post, she texted last week to say access was stopped and to never contact her again. I'm not sure if she and her solicitor are looking for some sort flawed response from me to try and have access stopped.

My head is a little all over the place on what to do.

Thanks

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Last Edit: by Itsawomansworld.

Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61955

I came up with this response which I wondered if anyone has any advice on what I should or shouldn't have wrote. I found a letter on this site which I copied some extracts from as it was very carefully wrote out and got straight to the point.

Any advice really welcome. I'm still unsure if I should sent in case contact is not reinstated.



I have received your email on 17th of March 2015. I’m pleased to hear that you have considered our children’s best interests by offering to reinstate contact. I assume that given your offer of reinstating contact that you agree that contact with me would be beneficial to them.

I am still confused as to why there is no willingness to communicate with me to reach a solution regarding the issue of my request of alternative weekend contact with the children. There has been no offer of negotiation or consideration of contact days. You have confirmed in your email that contact was stopped as I had tried to negotiate alternative weekend contact from the current 1 Saturday and 3 Fridays previously agreed to in 2013. As previously stated, your reason for denying me all direct contact with our children holds no legal weight.

I contacted you on 22nd of January to enquire about alternative weekends. You responded with the following text ‘If you are wanting alternative weekends you’ll need to let me know as I’ll need to sort childcare or work etc’. Due to this text I agreeably had a document produced which gave all dates of alternative weekends for 2015 (Fridays fortnightly, Saturdays fortnightly). I then received a text from you to state you threw the schedule in the bin. There was no compromise or consideration of contact days. Could you please confirm to me a reason why alternative weekends can’t be accommodated? I feel it’s better to discuss contact arrangements rather than receive terms I must agree to otherwise you will deny the children their right to contact with me.

It has been proven that contact has been consistent since your Solicitor confirmed every 4th weekend of the month to be an alternative Saturday. This agreement was setup on 25th of September 2013 and has been adhered to fully since. I confirm you have instructed me that you will only reinstate my contact with the children on your terms only and if not adhered to contact will not be reinstated.

In the interest of the children, I must accept the terms you have instructed in the interim to avoid further disturbance and interference in the children’s lives and to allow them both to continue their relationship with me.

Please be aware I am currently seeking advice as to why access could have been stopped due to my request of alternative weekend contact with the children. I am seeking further advice on the legalities that I have no input into contact arrangements with the children. Your email demands that access can be reinstated only on precise days and precise times you have set out. If your days and times are not agreed to you have confirmed that you will deny our children their right to contact with their father. You have confirmed there will be no negotiation. I trust you understand that I have to consider my rights and in turn the rights of our children. As I have mentioned in my earlier correspondence that it is a child’s right to have contact with both of their parents and this right was withheld from the children by you.

Regarding an important issue I have involving the children, I have been informed by **** via text message that you have showed her all correspondence that I have had with your solicitor regarding access. In the meantime you have sent me text messages to instruct me that I should not involve **** in any conversation regarding access. I try my upmost to keep our discussions/disagreements between ourselves and not involve the children. I fully expect yourself to uphold this on your end and I request that **** be kept away from any discussions we have had, are currently having and any discussions we may have in the future involving the children. I don’t approve that you are showing **** correspondence I have sent to both you and your Solicitor. It is a concern to me how this is making her feel.

In my previous letter to you I mentioned that I am open to the idea of using a professional mediation service to help us find a resolution to our current issues. As you have agreed to reinstate access I assume you are also willing to negotiate contact arrangements to the benefit of the children and I feel that this could be the most suitable way forward for us all. Based on how disagreements between us have been handled in the previous years I feel that a professional could help to prevent us from feeling like we’re going round in circles and not actually resolving anything.

Either this or we both agree on a parenting plan. With the parenting plan we could both agree to review and change the plan at any time to meet the needs of the children. The plan should allow for flexibility and events of unavoidable circumstances. We could also let the children have a say and express how things are for them. Could you research into a Parenting Plan as I feel this would be of use and be in the best interest of the children going forward. For example, if alternative weekends are not acceptable by you we could discuss and agree on alternative contact arrangements. Would you be open to fortnightly weekend access? This would involve me picking up the children on a Friday and dropping them of on Sunday night. Can you confirm if this is an option you would consider?

If you are unwilling to discuss or compromise on any matters involving the children I can make arrangements for myself to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting and they will then contact you to ascertain whether mediation is agreeable to you. Could you confirm if you would consider this option and that you would genuinely use mediation for negotiations in relation to our children? I look forward to us finally being able to come to a mutually suitable resolution to this issue for the sake of our children.

I await your response to the above.

Yours sincerely


So, am I going too far? I would really like to not be threatened any longer and for the children to be used as pawns to accommodate her power issues.

In the past couple of years she has never once agreed to a swap of nights from a Friday to a Saturday or vice-versa. There is no compromise. She knows I cannot get baby sitters so she has stated all her orders to suit.

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Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61962

Hi IWW

First sorry to hear about your situation. Withholding contact sucks.

The letter seems fine and appropriately worded so I don't have any issues with it. Im no expert though. Remember its about the kids rights to see you, not your right to see them. Be prepared for any letter with any request in it to be described as intimidating or threatening.

I am embroiled in the court process myself and offer these thoughts
Court is highly adversarial and will likely degrade your current relationship further. The whole system favours the resident parent and when they say jump the non resident says how high. I would recommend you think, or get advice, about likely outcomes and go into this open eyed. What I mean by that is :-
How much different is the end contact likely to be
How unpalatable are the current arrangements to the kids, and you,
What impact will the hostilities have on the kids, and you

As ever court is a last resort. I am told that the "standard" pattern of contact is every other weekend and one night in the other week. Maybe people on here can confirm this ? Consider if this is better for you?

Sorry this isn't more positive. Your situation isn't fair and is very distressing for you I'm sure. It is terrible when people abuse this position of power and are unable to see, or don't care about, the damage it does to the kids.

MH
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Access Stopped.. advice? 5 years 6 months ago #61972

Thanks for your response.

I've already received letters from her Solicitor to say that I'm harassing her so I've been careful on what I can respond with. All text I send to her are regarding the kids but it's either ignored or a letter from her solicitor to basically say 'This is the rules and you must do as your told'. All texts and emails are saved though to back up all any lies she seems to fabricate to her Solicitor.

I don't think she realises that her Solicitor does not care for the benefit of the children and just wants to send another £70-80 letter so they can get paid. The Solicitor only supports her client and what she wants and nothing else. She gets free Legal Aid and she knows I don't, so I can't afford to use my own Solicitor. I'm not sure of the legal process of which I should say or do.

Of course I want everything to be done for the sake of the children but I feel I'm just told what to do and there is no discussion or agreement about it. For example, when we split she said we would share xmas day with the kids. She had them the first year then when it came to the next year she said she changed her mind and she will have them every xmas day. There is no negotiation, just demands. I've also asked many times to be included into School Parent evenings... to see reports... to see school pictures... to be invited to school plays. I've had nothing in 3 years other than seeing the kids on the days she tells me to. I feel like giving up a lot. Most people tell me she has me over a barrel and I should just accept what she says or I risk not seeing the children again.

I really like the idea of us agreeing to parenting plan. It saves mediation or court. I'm going to send her the Parenting Plan I downloaded from the internet and ask that she fill in the form to what she wants then I'll fill in the form to what I would like. We can them come to an agreement midway between and sign it.

The think is, I know she will flat refuse to look at it. Feel like giving up.

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