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Access & New Partners
#1
Firstly I would like to introduce myself. I am new to the forum! So hi everyone, and thanks to everyone who has posted on here historically as I've already found the information on here to be invaluable.

I have 2 children, both aged under 5. Both born whilst I was married to my ex. (i.e. by default I have Parental Responsibility). My marriage broke down in January of this year, and we physically separated in April, now living in our own homes. The children live with their mother.
Until 8 weeks ago I had physical access to the children 2 nights (Fri to Sun) every 2nd weekend, and an agreement to call/video call on 3 agreed nights per week. Despite a difficult relationship with my ex-wife (I refer to as ex-wife but we are not yet Divorced), on the access arrangements side of things in terms of frequency, so far so good.

I have been seeing a new partner now for 6 months and on the August Bank Holiday weekend (one of my weekends with the children) I wanted to start to introduce my new partner slowly to my children. The long weekend gave an opportunity for a few short trips and activities where my new partner could join in.

Out of courtesy I informed my ex-wife, and named my new partner, as she is known to my ex-wife. My new partner poses no safeguarding risk to the children. With immediate effect my physical access to my children has been blocked by my ex-wife.

I have since had a MIAM and applied for a Child Arrangements order with the Family Court. My Hearing is in a couple of weeks.

I am asking for restoration of my Fri-Sun access every 2nd weekend and 50% of holidays. Shared access on Children's Birthdays, and alternating Christmas Days. All of this seems to be reasonable and in line with a lot of what I read on here. So I am hopeful the Judge agrees.

My ex-wife is further challenging this trying to reduce my access to 1 overnight, shared Christmas Days (with a 3 hour drive each way seems crazy) and minimal contact during school holidays citing that one child is at nursery therefore does not have any such concept of a school holiday.

Furthermore, she wants to block my new partner being introduced until she agrees this can happen.

I have been advised by the Family Mediator at the MIAM, and by the Cafcass representative that as I have Parental Responsibility unless my ex-wife can prove to the judge otherwise, what I do with the children when they are in my care, including who they interact with is up to me.

However, my wife writes a very good Statement to the Court, and I start to get these small doubts that somehow, in some crazy world, the Judge might take her side.

Am I right to be concerned? Could that really happen? Or should I remain calm in the confidence that the system will grant to me what is only reasonable and fair?

I'd appreciate your thoughts.

I'm a big boy, so can take comments even if you think I don't want to hear them.
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#2
(10-12-2016, 05:43 PM)BlueEyedTwo Wrote: Firstly I would like to introduce myself. I am new to the forum! So hi everyone, and thanks to everyone who has posted on here historically as I've already found the information on here to be invaluable.

I have 2 children, both aged under 5. Both born whilst I was married to my ex. (i.e. by default I have Parental Responsibility). My marriage broke down in January of this year, and we physically separated in April, now living in our own homes. The children live with their mother.
Until 8 weeks ago I had physical access to the children 2 nights (Fri to Sun) every 2nd weekend, and an agreement to call/video call on 3 agreed nights per week. Despite a difficult relationship with my ex-wife (I refer to as ex-wife but we are not yet Divorced), on the access arrangements side of things in terms of frequency, so far so good.

I have been seeing a new partner now for 6 months and on the August Bank Holiday weekend (one of my weekends with the children) I wanted to start to introduce my new partner slowly to my children. The long weekend gave an opportunity for a few short trips and activities where my new partner could join in.

Out of courtesy I informed my ex-wife, and named my new partner, as she is known to my ex-wife. My new partner poses no safeguarding risk to the children. With immediate effect my physical access to my children has been blocked by my ex-wife.

I have since had a MIAM and applied for a Child Arrangements order with the Family Court. My Hearing is in a couple of weeks.

I am asking for restoration of my Fri-Sun access every 2nd weekend and 50% of holidays. Shared access on Children's Birthdays, and alternating Christmas Days. All of this seems to be reasonable and in line with a lot of what I read on here. So I am hopeful the Judge agrees.

My ex-wife is further challenging this trying to reduce my access to 1 overnight, shared Christmas Days (with a 3 hour drive each way seems crazy) and minimal contact during school holidays citing that one child is at nursery therefore does not have any such concept of a school holiday.

Furthermore, she wants to block my new partner being introduced until she agrees this can happen.

I have been advised by the Family Mediator at the MIAM, and by the Cafcass representative that as I have Parental Responsibility unless my ex-wife can prove to the judge otherwise, what I do with the children when they are in my care, including who they interact with is up to me.

However, my wife writes a very good Statement to the Court, and I start to get these small doubts that somehow, in some crazy world, the Judge might take her side.

Am I right to be concerned? Could that really happen? Or should I remain calm in the confidence that the system will grant to me what is only reasonable and fair?

I'd appreciate your thoughts.

I'm a big boy, so can take comments even if you think I don't want to hear them.

The fact that the arrangements existed, means that your es is going to have to show reason why to change this. To be clear in law on this aspect, she made the decision last time contact took place, AFTER considering anything up to that point. She can not use reasons of anything before then.

What is comes down to is unless your contesting her being the Resident Parent, contact is based on your avaliablity, and the Judge has to decide if your being reasonable and will it leave your ex with enough "quality" time. My view is your are and it will.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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