I might as well start at the beginning so this might be a long post. I could do with puttin the whole thing so far down so bare with me.
I met the ex 14 years ago. She moved into my home (which i already owed) quite quickly after we met (about 4 months). She had a lot of credit card debt so I said to live with me for free and just pay half the food bill and clear you debts- this continued after she had cleared her debts. After a while my old shop started going south so I retrained and she started paying all the food bill while my income went down. I paid the mortgage and all the bills.
Nearly 8 years ago we had our twin boys. They are the best thing that has happened to me and I cant put into words the feeling I get inside when I am with them.
She then started spending money like water after the kids were born and I suggested she ease up as she was on maternity leave but she didnt stop, telling me it was her money she can spend it how she likes- this left her with a credit card bill around £9K
As the kids grew up I was paying all the household bills and she was paying for the childcare -breakfast club and for a woman on £12 per hour for 4 hours after school. As I reduced my debt her costs were more than mine so I started giving her money each month (ended up at £300 per month)
Things started getting bad between the ex and I about 4 or 5 years ago, She always wants her own way, it was with great difficulty that they ended up with my surname (which was very important to me).
About 3 years ago she told me she was looking at buying as house and leaving, We sorted thought that and she stayed (I found out through the grapevine later that she couldnt get a mortgage due to the credit card debt)
We went to relate (what a waste of time and money) about 2 years ago and all she banged on about was security. I said it was about money and she wanted to be put on the house- I was having none of that- put her on the house after we have been rowing for 3 or so years and she has looked in moving out - no way!!!
All the while she told me she has a claim on my house under common law wife thing. About 3 years ago I did a job for a solictor and spoke to him and he put me right on common law wife thing- it doesnt exist and she had no claim on the house- I told her this and she wasnt happy.
Last summer she told me she had bought a house about 30 miles away (its cheaper there) under the help to buy scheme- its amazing how little deposit you need. She asked me to go with her but I thought about all the grief and hassle I have had with her and said no. The sale went through in October but she didnt want to move in until school had finished and she even had the cheek to ask me to pay more as she had bigger expenses now due to the mortgage etc!
So she moved out, she wanted me to have the kids every other weekend. No way was i having that and we eventually settled on one day week (this suited her as she worked away one day a week) every friday and every other weekend.
I am self-employed and in the year to april 2017 I worked 6 days a week. Halfway during the year to april 2018 I stopped working friday and earned about £45k. I used the CMS online calculator I should pay ger £420 permonth. The last year has been quieter and I have warned her my income would go down and it did to £28K per year. CMS calculator said £263 per month.
Things got bad, she wasnt happy and got CMS involved (they eventually came back with £270, then £264 after transport taken into account). She also suggest mediation which was difficult and she wanted to stop the midweek overnight- I was not happy and still am not happy. She stopped giving them their kindle/ipad things about six weeks before hand and then said they were bored on the journey and so shouldnt come- I told her exactly what I thought of that and that they were bored (it was only 1 boy) because she not giving them their kindle things- I told her in mediation that she was sneaky, devious and low. I dont mess with my words anymore. We finally agreed and I said I wanted a consent order sorted and she refused, she is still thinking about whether to get the agreement drawn up!
Everything about her is about money or making her look good. When I dropped the money she posted on some facebook page, this page was about people moaning about their selfemployed exs reducing their income to nothing and paying not much maintence. If you had seen my exs post you would of thought I had reduced my payment to £7 per week or something, she was banging on about no mortgage( i cleared that around christmas- the benefits of working 6 days a week, leaving the house at 6 and not getting in until 6 to 7) and not much outgoings etc. I wanted to answer the post but I thought that the people who know me know Im not like that so left it, Im not big into social media but now I keep off it completely!
She has regularty asked me to pay for school uniforms, haircuts, childcare and numerous other stuff- My stock answer is thats what the CMS money is for. I will pay for half of school trips.
Around a month ago she stopped being aggro all the time to me and the boys started saying things like mummy says she would like to meet someone as she gets lonely when the are with me, and daddy would you be upset if I had a step-daddy so i guessed that she had met someone. She got back from a 2 week holiday and during that holiday she introduced the new bloke. I am really pleased at that news if it means she is not aggro with me anymore. If would of been nice if she had told me rather than learning it from friends who had seen it on facebook but thats my ex for you.
When they get back and are at mine I ask the boys if they like him they say yes he doesnt shout at us, I aksed who else shouts a lot at you and they say mummy. My ex has always been shouty with the kids and we have had many a row about it. She told me they would be on spanish time which means staying up late and having a kip during the day but my kids NEVER kip during the day no matter how tired they are. So what I think has happened is that my kids have been up late (the other couple stay up late in resaurants with their kids drinking- the ex isnt much of a drinker so she was probably sober)and cranky the next day with the associated bad behaviour and then the ex has been shouting at them alot for bad behaviour- well done mum.
I have had them this weekend and I said to them that I loved them more than anything in the world and one said 'mummy said you love beer more than us'. Now I like a beer but im not an alcoholic. Another time they said 'mummy says you have no friends' but the worst one was 'mummy says (their new town) is better than (my home town) as people get stabbed and killed here'. I live in the home counties and isnt know for murders etc. I was discusted with this, I suspect the plan was for them to worry about this and not want to come to mine, I have told them but (my home town) is friendly etc, how nice was everyone today etc etc. The boys also know how much the drama cost for the one that goes on a saturday and also keep saying things like 'mummy says we are poor' and 'mummy cant afford x'
She has also given up smoking (apparently on holiday) and has starting giving me a bit of grief for this.
Having read a load of stuff on the internet I suspect where this is going. So I have decided to stop smoking (started today) and going to only drink twice a week but never around the boys (not even one with dinner).
I have very poor pension provision (about £10k) so I am going to start paying £300 a month into it (im 48) and as a bonus it will reduce what I have to pay her and she wont be happy about that but its tough on her.
That has been a lot of other stuff but this post if probably too long already.
I suspect the only thing that I think is stopping her from going full on is that I tell her that I will do everything in my power to see the kids even if that means court. She knows I have about £10k in shares and that my mother has offered to help if needed (she is not weathly but has some money she can chip in if needed). The ex doesnt want this as she doesnt want to have to pay solicitors and none of her family has any money.
So what should I about the mediation agreement and also the stuff she is putting into the boys head.
All I want to do is see my kids reguarly and be a father to them- its not much to ask. I sometimes feel that I am being punsihed for wanting to spend time with my kids, there is tons of blokes that dont bother and cant be arsed. I am not one of them!
Also your ex is alienating you from the kids and telling them negative things about you . Courts won’t like that . But if she’s stopping you from seeing them you have to go to court . Long process but when it becomes a pay per view agreement to see your own kids that’s where it’ll end up ...
if she is not doing anything with the mediation, can you not ask the mediator to sign you off, so that you can make a court application? before you do that, you can tell that to the ex, and see if she budges or not. its funny how she went to the CMS thinking she will squeeze more money out of you. LOL.
court process for me was 4 months. but anything can happen and it could drag on much longer. the brainwashing of kids is taken seriously by courts. there have been cases where courts ordered that kids move in with dad because of it.
Thanks Bill, thats sounds good, So tonight I emailed the mediator telling her that the ex is still thinking and that if I havent heard from her that she wants the mediation results written up in a weeks time then I want her to give me the letter/statement saying mediation hasnt worked. I know the mediator will reply to me and copy the ex into it. Hopefully that will give her the push she needs.
She hasnt stopped me seing the kids and I dont think she will. I have come to the conclusion that she wants the kids for the money and to look good but doesnt really want to spend the time and effort being with the kids.
The thing that really swung it for me to come to this conclusion is as follows.
Its the summer holdiays, she went on holiday for 2 weeks which leaves 4 weeks left. They are at mine every thursday night and all day friday and usual alternate weekend. I also have some other days with them. The other times they are at either her mums or her neice and I have to drop them off and them pick them up after a couple days. They live about 15 miles from me but about 35-40 miles from her.
She isnt seeing them at all during the week for any of the 4 weeks left of the summer holidays and on my weekend saturday/sunday 17th/18th she isnt seeing them either. That means she wont see them for 2 weeks. She cant be arsed to pick them up from mine at half 5 on the sunday and have them at hers overnight and get up early and drop them off the monday morning at her neices and then drive back and go to work. She lives 30miles away not 300 miles. I say again this means she wont see them for 2 whole weeks.
There is no way I wouldnt see my kids for 2 whole weeks if they were 30 miles away. I am starting to see that she isnt really that bothered about them at all but off course there is all the facebook stuff about how much they mean to her and she loves them etc.
Part of me wants to message her and say something like' come on you cant not see the boys for 2 weeks, they will miss you and its not fair on them' but another part of me (the selfish part) says to say nothing. If she did something about it then she would probably have them with her instead of with me and I would get to spend less time with them and also they will start to work out things themselves, like mummy doesnt see them for 2 weeks because of the long drive etc but daddy does do the long drive to see them every week!
During the week my boys are either with me, exs mum or exs neice. 2 sundays ago my job got cancelled (im self-employed) so I asked if I could have my kids on monday, ex said no but I said im having them anyway. I know it was probably wrong with such short notice, she was really unhappy with me but agreed that if i give her 2 days notice then I can have them if they are not with her. On the tuesday I asked for them on the thursday and she agreed, On the thursday I asked for yesterday (tuesday), she said no as with neice, I said but I have given you 2 days notice and left it at that. On monday, tuesday came up and I told her I have given her 2 days notice so they are going to be with me (I had them on the monday).
She got the right hump, said she was going to come get them and I told her no, She said she would call the police, I said call them. She then said that I wasnt having them on the tuesday and if I did then I wouldnt like what she would do, she then said if I have them tuesday she would stop me seeing the boys.
Thats it for me. I cant live under those sorts of threats, if she doesnt get her way she will do it again and what if she follows through and stops me seeing the boys for a day or worse more.
So i phoned the mediator that day (monday) and told her mediation hasnt work and can I have the paperwork to say it hasnt work. She suggested that she could call the ex and I say ok. I then emailed the mediator and the ex saying mediation is off unless the ex agreed to the mediation results written up and a consent order obtain with each party paying half. If she doesnt agree t this then I will deem mediation to have failed, i gave her until this friday to decide.
Monday night i get a call from the ex, she wasnt happy and went into loads of stuff from its my fault it didnt work to downright abuse. She denied saying i couldnt have the kids and said the call was on speaker phone and recorded so she could prove it. I said I know you said it so send me a copy of the phone call and I will tell her the minute and second she said it- she, off course refused and said she didnt have to.
Tuesday morning the mediator calls me to tell me the ex has agreed to mediation being written up but not a consent order (funny how after 5 weeks of thinking about it she has no decided to get it written up after i had said mediation has failed). I then email all back saying that this isnt acceptable and its with a consent order or I will take it further as I cant live with the uncertainty that she will stop me seeing my kids.
That after a coupe of hours I get another email from the ex requesting an extension until the end of the month, outling the issues above regarding who my kids are with etc. She also requested from the mediator the costs of a consent order.
I emailed back saying that I will give her until a week tomorrow (thursday) to make her mind up. I have also asked the mediator to send me the relavent paperwork so I am ready to go Friday. I also said I am not prepared to discuss things further via email or more mediation appointments.
I was fuming she would even suggest that she would stop me seeing the kids just because she cant get her own way, I have calmed down a lot but I am still not happy. My attitude is that I want it legal when I see my kids, I cant live wondering if this will be the week she will say it again or stop me seeing my boys.
Its like she thinks the kids are hers, she makes all the decisions and I am just this bloke who has the kids sometimes (which will enable her to have a social life) and someone who pays her money.
The thing is things were going ok up to now and I know I risk seeing the kids less if this ends up in court and the court orders so. I also know she will make up all kids of stuff about me, I just cant live with the risk she will try to stop me seeing them altogether.
I hope I have made the right decision or should I have let it slide and carried on as before?
Yeah my mediator was slow to sign the form guess they are conflicted as they need ro earn a living . Regardless , unless anything is in an order it tends not to be adhered to. You and your kids need the routine and certainty etc that goes with the order otherwise you’re just at the mercy of the ex’s mood .. costs £215 to apply to court . My mediator bill wasn’t far off that as I paid for the ex too . Got nowhere So applied to court
Thanks guys, I now feel I have made the right decision.
wow, £215 for mediation. we have paid £390 each for mediation. £90 for 1st 45 minutes each seperately, £180 each for a joint 1.5 hours session (360 total) and £120 each for an hour session (240 total),
To get the report written up is an additional £120 each (240 total)
The mediator has told me she has sent in the post today the form I need to say mediation has failed so I can start legal proceedings if the ex doesnt agree to a consent order a week friday.
There are some dads that dont bother with their kids after they spilt with their kids mothers. I feel that the fact that I will do whatever I can to see my kids is being used against me, is this common?. I dont want (or expect) the ex to sing my praises but it would be nice if she appreciated that I do want to be in their lives. Its a fact that kids with a dad around do (on average) better than those whose dad isnt around. It is better for the kids to have a father who wants to be in their kids lives.
Is it common that a dad that wants to be in and a part of their kids lives has to fight for it? Surely it shouldnt be that way.