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Mediation agreed terms
#1
Hi first time on here, and now seeking some help as I thought things were going so well.

Ok so we are newly separated and from before Christmas we put in to place a contact agreement that allowed us both 7 nights in 14 for contact with our two children.  We have been running this for 2 weeks with the kids back at school, and during their time with me they have been a delight and great fun to have a round and we have continued the great bedtime routines of stories and chatting that I have always established since they were babies ( they are 4 and 6 now). When I take them to school I always make sure their clothes are ironed and that they are well looked after. I cook fresh meals for them every day they are with me instead of the freezer food their mum provides.

My family and friends have all said that they have been happy and don't seem to be suffering with the change in circumstances.

So we agreed the contact arrangements through mediation, she has now stated that the children are struggling to cope and has imposed that they stay with me every other weekend.  So today I am trying to contact the school to see what their view on the children's behavior is.

The question is do I go to the school to pick them up as I normally would or do I allow her to arbitrarily impose this, and go through the legal route to try and get things back in place?

I must also add that we have both got other children, I have two teenage daughters and she has a two sons (ones a teenager), she has cut all ties to my girls after being their mum for 7 years and has banned her sons from communicating with me and my daughters.
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#2
You are doing the right thing...

At the moment it is her saying the kids are suffering and you saying not .... its a difference of opinion. Asking the school will be objective so worth doing.

Carry on as normal ... there is no court order so pick your kids up as normal.

What the ex will agree to 'in front of other people' so they look like they are being flexible and what they actually do 2 weeks later are very different so I suspect you may have to eventually get your contact order legally stamped in some form or another

Do not let her unilaterally change the arrangement ... it would be seen as you accepting the change and more difficult to change back later
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#3
(01-23-2017, 10:30 AM)LTCDAD Wrote: You are doing the right thing...

At the moment it is her saying the kids are suffering and you saying not .... its a difference of opinion. Asking the school will be objective so worth doing.

Carry on as normal ... there is no court order so pick your kids up as normal.

What the ex will agree to 'in front of other people' so they look like they are being flexible and what they actually do 2 weeks later are very different so I suspect you may have to eventually get your contact order legally stamped in some form or another

Do not let her unilaterally change the arrangement ... it would be seen as you accepting the change and more difficult to change back later

Thank you, I was thinking this already and this backs up my thinking.
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#4
(01-23-2017, 10:01 AM)flimbles Wrote: Hi first time on here, and now seeking some help as I thought things were going so well.

Ok so we are newly separated and from before Christmas we put in to place a contact agreement that allowed us both 7 nights in 14 for contact with our two children.  We have been running this for 2 weeks with the kids back at school, and during their time with me they have been a delight and great fun to have a round and we have continued the great bedtime routines of stories and chatting that I have always established since they were babies ( they are 4 and 6 now).  When I take them to school I always make sure their clothes are ironed and that they are well looked after.  I cook fresh meals for them every day they are with me instead of the freezer food their mum provides.

My family and friends have all said that they have been happy and don't seem to be suffering with the change in circumstances.

So we agreed the contact arrangements through mediation, she has now stated that the children are struggling to cope and has imposed that they stay with me every other weekend.  So today I am trying to contact the school to see what their view on the children's behavior is.

The question is do I go to the school to pick them up as I normally would or do I allow her to arbitrarily impose this, and go through the legal route to try and get things back in place?

I must also add that we have both got other children, I have two teenage daughters and she has a two sons (ones a teenager), she has cut all ties to my girls after being their mum for 7 years and has banned her sons from communicating with me and my daughters.
That Mediation Agreement remains valid until either of you do not follow any aspect, when the other then gets the right to apply to Court.

How things stand right now, is that as she agreed it, if this goes back to court, she needs to show "Significant" reason why it should change.

This must pre date when she last allowed the agreement to be followed. (Anything up to then in law she had considered).

Any reason she put in as part of her Position Statement, you have the right to be set down for a "Finding of Fact".

Often there is claims about children's behaviour after spending time with the other parent, but it is very rarely proved. If she can not evidence it as fact, the Court can not consider it.

I have a feeling I  know the reason reason behind this, Money. Whoever gets Child Benefit gets Tax Credits, and the Child's Occupancy Counts only at their house. It also means the other parent might have to pay Child Support. Part of that looks at the amount of Staying Contact.

Right now you might not have to pay anything, or not a lot, depending on your income, and the fact that you have dependent children as well reduces the disposable income it looks at, and your on the 175 night + amount.

However, a change to a typical contact situation of Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks, plus up to half school holidays, would put you in the 53-104 night bracket, increasing the payment.

The only issue I can see, if courts do not often make 50/50 due to the Welfare Reforms. Where there is disputes, Court Orders are needed to settle who gets to claim Child Benefit, so often its 8-6 or 9-5 over 2 weeks.

I think you have a good chance for shared care, subject to your availability, (term time)
week 1, 1 mid week stay  over and Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks
week 2, 3 mid week stay overs

School holidays, up to half.

Regarding her children, in my own case I had this situation until recently when my ex changed her mind (the child's real dad also died 6 months before our relationship started). I looked into the law on this, and while you can not force her to have anything to do you with children, if you wanted involvement with hers, you could apply for PR (and contact), under "Father by Assumption". You was in that role for over 6 years, but it will depend on if their real father objects, and the children's "wishes and desires" if they are over 10 (12 in Scotland).
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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#5
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Frisbos
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