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TOPIC: Extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities 1 month 4 days ago #101631

Hi everyone Im new to the forum and hope someone can help. I have two daughters from a first marriage aged 7 and 11 years and three stepchildren 11, 13 and 23 years from a new marriage. I have been separated from my ex for 5+ years and had to go to court to gain access to my girls as visitation restricted. I now have a child arrangement order outlining my contact with my girls.
The issue I have is that my ex has organised activities that fall within my time, in fact monopolise my time. They are enrolled in cheerleading which I have to say I have morale issues with as well as the wider reaching impact upon our family and my new marriage.
The activities on a weekly basis include on my weekend me having to take them to a dance class on a Friday where the girls have alternate classes meaning one has to hang around waiting for the other. Just to let you know I live 45 minutes away from where mother lives for good reason. The last class finishes at 7.30 which means I have to very tired children to just take home and put to bed getting home at about 8.30. Food having to be resorted to as takeaway which is not nutritious at the best of times. then I have all day Saturday with children who are far too tired and oversleep so activities difficult. Then my eldest has cheerleading on a Sunday between 10 and 12 which means leaving home at 9 and returning around 1 pm . This means that I leave my other daughter behind with her step siblings and step mum to do activities without me or my eldest. It means by the time We return it is too late to do anything. It also means if they have any homework it means cramming it in on sunday afternoon or foregoing outings on a Saturday to ensure completion. I constantly said no for two years but ex signed them up and put me in a situation where I had to be flexible. This year I said a firm no prior to sign up and had the talk with my daughter who understood and was sad that her relationship with the rest of her siblings was suffering as a result aswell as not seeing me properly. Obviously disappointed as she likes the competitions but very accepting. The result of this is an angry ex coming to my house and having an argument in front of my daughters telling me what a bad dad I am. then going from that she went and signed them up anyway and continually said she wanted to negotiate and threatening me with court. I refused to take them and sought advise whether I had to take them from a solicitor who said I can do what I wish on my days.
Since stopping the classes on my time our house is so much happier the girls are collected from school and have a Friday routine of getting all homework and chores done so the weekend is ours. we like to go out on a Saturday and then sunday means a day around home where we have a full sunday dinner sat around the dinner table as a family. There is no stress and the reationships that were so strained with siblings are now repaired and they are all inseperable as they were before all this began. My girls say nothing or never ask to go to dance or cheer and do not stress or worry. Me I'm more stress free as not driving for hours and having tired girls. I do enough traveling as a community psychiatric nurse. I must add I take the girls to after school clubs on my time and attend parties with them if possible.
Then this week I get a text from CAFCASS saying they will ring me on the 30th October to do a risk review. As you can imagine stress levels went up and I had only dropped off my daughters to school that morning. called CAFCASS who gave me limited information but said ex had applied to court for an adjustment to be made to the child arrangement order on the grounds I was stopping girls from doing cheerleading and solicitor for her quoting child rights laws being broken.
I need some advice around what can the court do? can they tell me I have to take them? can they stop my access?
Please help

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Extracurricular activities 1 month 4 days ago #101632

Can I also add that somehow she was able to bypass doing a proper MIAMs prior to application which makes no sense as when I took her to court I had to invite her and wait while I did not see my children before I could make court application. Doesn't seem to be fair as she has no interest in negotiating just telling me what I must do. There is a good reason why we are not married anymore and she continues to justify this. She is undermining my parental authority with my children as she overrules my opinion at every step and includes the children in this. I see the changes when needing to discipline my girls.
I my feeling is if she takes them on her time then that is fine but if I want a better life for my girls then I should be able to do that. There have been so many times my daughter refused to go but then was scared that her mum would shout at her if she didn't go. The ex wife is more obsessed with the social side of the activity than my daughter is.
Id much prefer my daughter to be out playing , helping me with the beekeeping which she loves, helping with the animals as we have a wildlife sanctuary and enjoying the countryside with us all. We have created a wonderful niche life for all five of our girls which costs a fortune but is well worth it to see them grow. I don't want to lose what I have with them.

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Extracurricular activities 1 month 4 days ago #101646

hi,

in your original court order, was there any mention of your ex arranging activities for kids that fall in your time, and did you agree to anything like that? if not then she is being a trouble maker and a control freak. you have every right to refuse. i would recommend you hire a barrister for the hearing, and you make a strong case about why its your right to organise activies for your kids when they are with you, and how its in the child interests. they can go to as many dance/cheerleading classes as they like when they are with their mum. usually access is only stopped if there is some child safety issues.

depending on MIAM mediator, some are pretty easy to bypass. they just tell them that their ex refuses to agree to anything and does not want to talk about it. then mediator just signs them off and tells them they can go make a court application. money talks.

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Last Edit: by Bill337.

Extracurricular activities 1 month 4 days ago #101668

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I had these issues at a hearing yesterday about an 11 year old and football with parents living an hour apart.

Sadly, without knowing what the children really want about their activities, it is somewhat of a grey area.

Children will often tell each parent what they want to hear and not what they actually want.

In the case I was dealing with yesterday, the court ordered a S7 for wishes and feelings and only to get this resolved.

Perhaps that's a suggestion to put forward at court?

It's not uncommon for mums to book activities on a unilateral basis, but if the child loves the activity and needs to attend weekly then we have to accept they will have their own interests they want to pursue as they grow and do our best to accommodate them.

If you had a wishes and feelings report to go on, you would know what they really want.

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DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Extracurricular activities 1 month 3 days ago #101695

i can relate to this for mid-week contact. after ex ran off with kids, she decided to put my eldest in swimming classes. so she told court this is her routine and dont want to disturb it. so if i want mid-week contact then i have to go with this routine. so if i fought against that, then i would be seen as the hostile parent and not acting in childs interest. oldest kid is 6. so either i had to go along with this, or i get no mid week contact, and just have every other weekend, and long horrible gaps in between.

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Extracurricular activities 1 month 2 days ago #101708

There is no mention at all of extra curricular activities in the order at all that I have. Yes she sneaked it through a MIAMS, when I had to court originally I had to pay a fortune going through the process of inviting her to a MIAMS meeting and waiting weeks and paying for appointments knowing full well she wouldn't attend. But she has gone said what she wants and skipped straight to court with there blessing.
I can't afford a solicitor so having to represent myself against her solicitor. They are actually quoting hat I'm breaking UN human rights law by saying I won't take them. Don't remember you must take your daughter's to Cheerleading to keep your ex happy no matter what the impact being on the Human rights law, but hey it all gets used to their advantage.
It's just when things were good with life and the girls much happier. If it wasn't for there mum ramming it too them constantly it would be like any other child's request.

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Extracurricular activities 1 month 2 days ago #101709

I'm really sorry you've had to go through that. I've had to tolerate it for nearly two years and had my family pulled apart over it. It's a constant topic of argument with my wife and has been nearly the end of our relationship as it puts so much strain on us as I'm not here on the weekends except for a Saturday because of the activities. It's not what I want for the girls. I support a number of after school clubs and they get so much out of these.
I'm just really worried she'll get her own way. It's just spite. She hates we have such a happy life here.

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Extracurricular activities 1 month 2 days ago #101710

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Extracurricular activities 1 month 1 day ago #101730

Yes she is. But she's also been crafty and cancelled some of the sessions probably under advisement of counsel so it doesn't look as bad. The problem is if they force me to take the girls she'll do what she always does and add more activities on or the hours suddenly change to make it more inconvenient. It's okay for her to do it as she lives five minutes away whereas I'm 45+ minutes each way. Plus there's times I think she books so many activities so she doesn't have the kids.

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Extracurricular activities 1 month 2 hours ago #101771

You can the freedom to do as you wish on your time with the kids your are the Holey "Father" the Lord of the sky's lol

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Extracurricular activities 4 weeks 2 days ago #101812

I wish that was true. The closer the court date comes the more worried I am of losing time. Problem is if they force me to comply to one thing as soon as the case is done she'll start booking more like she has done previously. Facing a solicitor in court doesn't fill me full of joy either. I know to keep my family together and have positive time with the children I need to stand my ground or my ex will continue to do this for years.

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Extracurricular activities 4 weeks 1 day ago #101823

Dont worry man

No ex has the power to make you do activities with yours kids in your time ,

Just do every other weekend and enjoy the rest of your life with as little contact as possible from your ex

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