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TOPIC: Ex wanting to change my access

Ex wanting to change my access 10 years 5 days ago #6288

Hi, I'm new to these forums but felt somebody may be able to give me some advice.
I split up with my daughters Mother back in August 2009, my daughter is currently 2 years old and will be 3 in december. When i first split up with her Mother I went back to live with my Mother. Straight from the start I have had her for overnight stays 3/4 nights every week but in not set routine as her Mother and myself both work full time. I was always a push over to my ex whenever she asked for help, I would pick my daughter up from her Mothers drop her off at her aunties etc. There have been many occasions over the last 12 months when she has called asking me to pick her up somewhere other than home where I have had to say no. The reason for saying no is I often got fustrated that she "expected" me to travel to lots of different places (costing me money in petrol. The problem was when I refused and said I would collect her from her house she would start saying that I couldn't see her I wasnt willing to pick her up where she had asked (Mother doesn't drive by the way). These threats seemed to come and go as I beleive she realised that by stopping me from seeing her would disrupt her plans. Anyway the above carried on with problems resolving therselves and me keeping my regular 3/4 nights contact with my daughter.
In August this year I finally manged to get myself back on my feet and moved into my own place with my new partner. We are expecting our first daughter together in November. I came to an agreement with my ex partner at the end of July that I would start to have my daughter set days now I had my own place so a routine could be established. The plan was that I would have her Tuesday,Thursday,Saturday & Sunday nights one week then Monday, Wednesday & Friday the next week. This maintained the same amount of contact I had been having beforehand. Also at this time my ex partner had decided to put my daughter into play school more often. She had went Tuesday & Fridays 7am-12pm but she was now adding Monday & Wednesdays 7am-4pm. For the last 7 weeks the new arrangement had been working fine and I finally felt that we were getting some stabillity.
Until yesterday my ex partner rang me to inform that she would not be allowing my daughter to stay with me Monday-Thursday and that I could have ger to stay overnight every othe weekend. Obviously that is cutting my daughters time with me serverly. She is giving the reason that my daughter is always tired and she is getting told off at school because of this. She even told the school yesterday to not allow me to collect my daughter anymore.
She made a comment that sometimes I dont pick my daughter up until 6pm, but I can't help this because of work commitments and I go as soon as I finish. She is telling me that my daughter is scared about having a new baby and I have to stop taliking about it around my daughter, even though my daughter has shown nothing but excitment and I feel i need to prepare her for her sisters arrival.
This has really broke my heart and I am afraid I am going to lose the time I have with my daughter that has built a strong relationship between us. My partner is very supportive and has taken my daughter in as a big part of her life also. I'm not sure what to do so I have booked an appointment with my solicitor. I am just looking for some advice as to what the outcome may be and if my ex partner has the rights to do this. I hope this makes sense as I am pretty upset at the moment.

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 10 years 5 days ago #6292

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Hi. This sounds like you really need to go to mediation potentially you are still communicating quite well.

I would make a couple of comments. Firstly, your daughter probably is feeling quite uncertain about both your divorce and the fact that you are having another baby - she is going to feel that you are giving more attention to a new baby than to her - which you will do simply by the fact that the new baby won't have to leave you for some days in the week. The second comment is about you not picking her up sometimes until 6pm - this must be rather unsettling for your daughter - I know that you don't want this to be the case, but it may be best for your daughter if either she does stay with your wife, or if you can arrange regular after-school care so that she knows what is happening after school - you could suggest this as a solution if you go to mediation.

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 10 years 4 days ago #6297

Hi, on the comment about picking my daughter up at 6 pm, this has only been for the last couple of weeks on an odd occasion and isnt a regular thing as I have had to work late which never normally happens. After next week it will have stopped and be back to finishing work normally. I have had family offer to care for my daughter until I got home on these occasions but my ex partner will not allow this as she says she does not like my daughter going to my family. If the situation is the other way round though and my ex partner is stuck for somebody to look after my daughter she often directly contacts members of my family to ask them to watch her.
I think the worst part of it is though is that she is saying that I could still go collect my daughter Monday-Thursday even if it is at 6pm as long as I take her back to stay the night with her. I have a special bond with my daughter and putting her to bed at night is a big part of our relationship and that is what she is trying to take away from me. I believe that her main motive is child support. Obviously by reducing my overnight stays by 2 nights per week is going to increase what I pay. It looks to me that she is wanting me to do everything that I do now by still having her my days Monday-Thursday and then returning her to go to bed, then I would still have her the same for overnight stays at weekends. Meaning I still get the same quality time with my daughter but have to pay more to my ex partner because she has her staying there the nights I have had to return her at bedtime. Don't get me wrong I will pay whatever I have to for my daughter but I believe this is just a dirty trick to get the CSA to take more money from me. When I have my daughter I provide all her clothes, meals, toys etc the only thing I ask my ex partner to send is a set of clothes that I can return my daughter in so I don't lose what I have paid. I took my daughter to Turkey in April for a week with my ex partners permission, and paid for everything and my ex partner never offered to send any spending money for her (not that I wanted any, but would have been nice for my daughter). In contrast to that my daughter went to Blackpool for a week with my ex partners auntie in August, I made sure that I gave my daughter some spends (not a lot, but what i could afford) and this really made her happy. I think my point is that I am totally independednt with all the cost that are incurred when I have had my daughter 50% of the time.
As for the new baby my daughter is very excited about her new sister and we always include her in everything and she helps when we do any preperation around the house. Even a couple of months back when a friend was round with her newborn baby my daughter hugged her and said "awww i like my baby sister" :lol: . She is very understanding and has shown no signs of uncertainty, she has even started a collection of toys of her that she wants her sister to have. A comment my ex partner said to me a few weeks back was "Please don't talk about your new baby around anymore, as I don't appreciate her telling me all about her while I'm eating my tea". I feel that she is wrong in saying that as all I'm trying to do is give me daughter the best sort of preperation for our new arrival and reassure her that nobody will be taking her place and she is very much involed in this.
Sorry about another long post but I have so many details as I keep a daily diary of everything involving my daughter. So feel I am pretty well prepared to fight to defend the time I have with my daughter.

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 10 years 4 days ago #6305

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Hi

I think you covered both my concerns nicely. I think you could be quite correct about your ex's response to you having a baby, there could well be some jealousy there - if there's any acrimony, then it's almost human nature that we don't want to see our ex's having a good life without us - that goes for either side (when I got married to my current wife, my daughters were bridesmaids - my ex threw their bridesmaids dresses/shoes/flowers etc out as quickly as she could after the wedding).

You could also be correct in the maintenance front - and if you are prepared to pay more than the minimum, this could be your opportunity to keep contact with your daughter. Work out what you would pay your ex in maintenance if your daughter were to stay with you for 2 nights per week, instead of 3.5 nights per week (and don't forget that you can reduce maintenance payments by 15% once your new baby is born) and then you could offer to pay this in maintenance even if you have your daughter for an average of 3.5 nights per week - this would be financially more beneficial for your ex as she would be getting the money from you, but not have to pay for food etc for those extra nights - I know that this is not something that feels right, but if you fight it out, you may only get 2 nights contact per week, in which case you would be paying for maintenance on that basis anyway. There is nothing to stop you from paying more than the CSA calculation (I think that's the whole point of the new CMEC - to try to encourage parents to come to an agreement without using the CSA where possible). You might also have the saving of not having to go to court to try to increase contact.

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 9 years 11 months ago #6398

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Hi wbhrlfc6,

Up until now you appear to have quite a reasonable relationship with your ex, which is a really good starting point.

There are ways in which you could gain a set amount of contact with your daughter, the first option that you should consider is that of family mediation. Most parents who eventually apply to court for a contact order try mediation first, the courts like to see that all other avenues have been tried first. In many instances, National Family Mediation ( http://www.nfm.org.uk ) offer a nationwide service and can be contacted directly for more information regarding this option.

Going to court can be a stressful and expensive experience. It is a 'last resort'. Before making an application for an order parents should seek legal advice.

It may be possible that you qualify for legal aid and therefore will be able to use a solicitor free of charge. To determine whether or not you qualify for legal aid please follow the link to a legal aid eligibility calculator: http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/ ... ution=e1s3.

The court will make a decision regarding what contact to allow based on what is considered to be in your children's best interests.

If a contact order is put in place then your ex-partner cannot override this. Your ex-partner will be bound to follow the order and there are penalties for breach of a contact order.

For further clarification regarding this issue or any other issue of child law then please do not hesitate to contact the Child Law Advice Line on 08088 020 008.

I will refer this to our childrens legal centre for some further advice.

I hope this is orks out for you, let us know.

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Mags
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To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while. ~Josh Billings

Re: Ex wanting to change my access 9 years 11 months ago #6403

Hey there,

I was in the same position as you last year, when we broke up, communication was amicable, and i was having my 3 year old daughter 3/4 nights per week....
then all of a sudden my ex was pregnant with her new partner (and i also had a new partner, which i believe shes jealous about) and she has stopped me seeing my daughter, giving me pathetic excuses....

i applied for mediation, which she ignored, then i applied to court for a contact order, and now its all gone messy....
shes lying in court and alleging all sorts of things about me....

surely its having an effect on my daughter as i now only see her for 3hrs a fortnight under supervision from my ex's mother!!!
Ive never needed supervision to look after my own daughter before(my ex's is fully aware of this)

but you gotta be strong and as suggested, try mediation as it seems you and your ex are getting on alright, and hopefully there will be a compromise that will make the situation better for your daughter...

But if your ex does start to play games and uses your daughter to get at you... be prepared, it will cost a lot of money to go to court (i should know, im currently representing myself due to a huge solicitors bill) and there will be lots of accusations and bitterness involved.
Keeping a diary is a very good thing, i kept one (even though my solicitor didn't even bother showing it to the courts) it basically shows how often you were having your daughter, which will obviously bolster your chances of getting shared residency.

Hope it all goes well :-) )

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 9 years 11 months ago #6405

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I'd echo a lot of that, especially about keeping a diary (and every bit of correspondence and records of conversations) and the costs (I think my legal costs were close to £40k and that was totally separate to the divorce a few years earlier).

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 9 years 11 months ago #6407

Bloody hell!! how come it all came to 40k???

my bill was for 3k the other day and he guesses it would probably end up around the 10k mark, that's why i decided to leave him go.

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 9 years 11 months ago #6408

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I think there were 9 court hearings in all, 2 or 3 of them purely because my ex wasn't complying with court orders to provide reports - plus my solicitor was London based (ie more expensive) and experienced, and on 2 occasions, I also had a barrister present.

My ex did all sorts to bump up my costs - as above, plus changing her solicitor at one point (so my solicitor had to repeat a lot of work), not replying to correspondence etc, etc. and, in a later action, representing herself.

Having said all that, my ex had a much less experienced solicitor, so her costs were a lot less, but the difference in experience showed in court.

That £40 also includes a discount (family connection), otherwise it would have been closer to £50k.

Also had an extension build to accopmodate my children - probably cost around £90k which only added about £50k to property value, so another £40k loss.

Having said all of that, if I knew then what I knew now, there's not much I'd do differently - having my children live with me (and so also being in a safe and clean envrironment) has been worth every penny :D

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 9 years 11 months ago #6411

well i hope i don't have to go through all that, i cant see there being any more incurring costs to me, apart from unnecessary psychiatric tests if my ex prompts them to request them (which im sure she will)...
its crazy how they can get away with it, and after reading a load of posts on here i am far from alone in this... and majority of ex's are claiming legal aid (illegally) my ex is.....

I know certain father groups have approached parliament to amend the system to give fathers a better chance and more equality in these matters but as far as im aware there seems to be nothing being done about it...

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 9 years 11 months ago #6413

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On the positive side (well one of them), I was paying my ex around £5k per year in maintenance, of which very little was being spent on them - at least I am not paying that to her now, so that's probably around £75k not going to her in total, but going where it's supposed to go :D

If your ex is claiming legal aid illegally, do you have any evidence? If so, surely there must be a way of reporting this?

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Re: Ex wanting to change my access 9 years 11 months ago #6416

I told my solicitor about it and he said he was looking into it and would put it forward to the courts, I know the DWP have been "informed" that she has a man living there who works.. and that shes claiming as a single parent, but shes on maternity leave now (well im assuming so) so she will probably be eligible for it now anyway,

looking back in hindsight, i feel that my solicitor could have done a lot more for me when we were in court, but he sat there in silence most of the time, he was very knowledgeable about family law, but the only thing he did was get an interim order (this was only because my ex has stated she wouldn't mind me having contact with my daughter, as long as it was supervised)

next time im in court... and if it goes my way, im gonna ask to amend to interim order to include non supervised contact as my family miss her dearly...

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