Will try and make it brief... an existing court order has been place for 6 years and things have changed alot since then. The arrangement is that I have my 2 sons (16 and 14) every Wed after school overnight and drop them back at school the next day. Every other weekend they stay with me from Fri (after school) until meeting at a halfway place on Sunday evening.
Everyday they get a bus from their home (mum) to school and back. Things are still not amicable and communication sadly is through the kids.
Now the situation has changed for me in that I cannot collect them from school and have said they will need to take a bus from school to me. This would take 1 hour 15 mins involving one change. The ex-wife has just refused. Both boys have said they do not mind doing it. They do not want to go against their mother's wishes. I am happy to go back to court and ask for more time with them, which they have said they would ask for too. I could claim a breach of the order as she did not allow access during lockdown.
Does anyone know how the law would view me telling the children to catch a bus to see me (oldest is 17 in a month)? I am concerned that even if the court would give me half the time with them they would be too scared to go against her instructions not to board a bus. Would the court be specific about this point?
are your kids able to take a train if that shortens the journey to your place?
because of your kids ages, going back to court would be a bad idea. a dad recently applied to court for 16 year old son. court rejected the application due to kids age.
from my experience of court, when I told them doing school runs would cause problems with me and work & has caused me issues, their reply was; "what work do you do? oh you can find another job that is flexible." they focus on what would be most convenient for kids, and also a way for you to avoid conflict with ex, such as preferring you to collect them from school, instead of from the ex' home, where she could be stupid and refuse access.
if your not able to pick them up, would the kids taking a taxi be an option?
Yes - looked at taxi but my genuine feeling is that they get a bus from school every night to their mother's, so why should she refuse them to get a bus to my house?
I was denied seeing them during the 3 months of lockdown and never given the time back I was promised. The children have also told her and myself that they want to see me half the time - so I am not sure I have reason to fear going to court. My eldest will be 17 next month so am keen to get him driving which will help things out.
I am concerned that even if the courts grant the kids wishes and I get to see them half the time, the ex will stay say no they cannot get on a bus. If I raised this as an issue will the courts reinforce the attitude that they cannot stop a 17 year old from getting a bus? I don't want to put him in a position where he has to go against his mum's instructions to do it in order to see me.
It is also worth noting that the court will not make a Child Arrangements Order concerning a child who has reached the age of sixteen unless it is satisfied that the circumstances of the case are exceptional.
i think they will view your issue as petty and will reject the application. court expects me to pick up kids from school. have been doing for nearly 2 years. they told me if its an issue, then to find a more flexible job. so if i was to now say I can no longer do it, I am stuck. would be a waste of time going back to court over it. i find it odd that your kids can not make their own way to your place. surely they make their own way to go see their friends etc?
It's not that they can't get a bus to my home or are unwilling to. Their mother has told them not to and claims it is unsafe to do so. It is neither of these things but they are 16 and 14 and unprepared to go against their mother's wishes. So literally, what can I do?
i would advise to follow your current arrangement where you have been picking them up. my kids live 20-30 min away. but doing rush hour school run, it easily becomes an hour. i don't have much choice. i prefer to pick up my kids by car. that way they have more comfortable journey than bus/train.