I will try to keep this short as it is my first post.
I have been divorced for 4 years, we had a consent order drawn up to deal with financials, but it was decided that we wouldn't need anything formal for the children.
I have two boys, one 17 and one 10 and I currently see them every other weekend (friday evening to sunday evening), christmas holidays and a week in summer holidays. Paying maintenance through the CMS and have never missed a payment or a collection/drop off with my boys.
Last weekend I dropped the youngest home and was greeted with a letter stating that my youngest has expressed concerns and we need to change our arrangements. The ex- wife then stated that I should have the youngest for a week during the Easter holidays and that for his wellbeing, he needs to have an extra meal with me i.e. extend by drop off time on Sunday by 1 1/2 hours.
I agreed to the Easter holidays as thought it was a good idea - dependent on my annual leave, workload and teams' annual leave - but I did laugh at the extra meal comment.
The next thing I know I have been called to mediation. I asked the mediator why and mentioned the above requests and how I had agreed to them. She just replied saying there are 5-6 other areas of concern and if I don't attend mediation then proceedings will be initiated.
How can this happen? I don't even know what the issues are and it seems I have to pay £100 for the initial meeting just to find out?!?!?!?
I initiated mediation with my ex, initially she ignored, then on second request said she would only go if I paid. I did pay and then she went and had no intention to co-operate, so mediation never happened.
'not sure exactly what your ex is after, but if she thinks court can order a non-resident dad to spend more time with child, then she is deluded.'
I'm not sure what she is after either. Have asked her what the other 5-6 concerns are and nothing, the mediator did not respond either, so I said that I would attend the assessment meeting and low and behold an instant reply asking for my availability.
Your last comment is interesting though - can the courts not order me to spend more time with him? i.e. 1/2 of every school holiday (even though it is impossible due to the number of leave days I get from work)
lol. if I was you tell mediator your not interested. let her apply to court. you can self represent. cost you nothing but your time.
the court is ideally for high conflict situations. usually where a trouble making parent is refusing to let other parent see kids, after a relationship breakdown. they can not order you to spend more time with kids if your not available. last year I did not bother ask for half of school holidays, as I thought I could not commit. so court just gave me 2 weeks in summer holiday. this year i asked for as much as possible and they gave me extra time.
whatever court orders, it's down to your availability. so if you see kids every other weekend, if you can't see them on a weekend for whatever reason, then your allowed to do that. but the crazy ex's are unpredictable. they may withhold contact in future to punish you.