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I want to change my access
#1
My ex and I split 9 years ago. Maintained regular contact including me doing the school run 15 miles away on a Monday and Tuesday. The issue I have now it that my 2 children from my current relationship are now starting school in September and I cannot be in 2 places at once. I have offered to have them every weekend instead and return them on a Sunday evening- however this has flat out been refused.
She will not reason with me regarding the fact I have 2 other children considerably younger who need to be driven to school also. Both myself and my wife work full time in order to support the 4 children and we cannot spread out any further than we are already doing so. My ex has threatened to stop me seeing them entirely. I have seen them every weekend through to Tuesday for the past 9 years and I have always paid above CSA requirements for them. I have given her 5 months notice so that this change can be accommodated but we are at a loss now, any help/advice would be great. Thanks
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#2
Is the arrangement you have with her informal or is there a court order in place?

You could try mediation whether or not a court order is in place. However, if she really isn't willing to make any kind of compromise and there is a court order in place you could go back to court to 'vary' it. I think two children with your new partner for whom you have to make arrangements daily is something a court will look at changing an existing order for.
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#3
It is actually rare for an NRP to have access every weekend. To achieve quality time with both parents it is usually every other weekend. She should be having quality time at weekends with the children too

I don’t think your request is unreasonable as contact is based on your availability.

A court will almost certainly not refuse you contact based on 9 years of regular access.
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#4
It has all been informal, amicable mostly. I have them Sat Sun Mon Night one week and Sun Mon Night the next week. I have had them extra over the school holidays and we have been accommodating when she has gone away by herself and needed the extra childcare. When they have needed extra things, I have paid extra.
It seems a bitterness from her like I am prioritising my "NEW" children over them. Despite my continued access to them, I have never missed a contact with my older 2 and they are very much part of the home I now live in. My wife and I have been together for 8 years, and my younger children are 6 and 3. This isn't a new thing, she just wont accept a change even though I have tried to give her as much notice as possible. I really don't want to go through court, despite the costs I think it would stress out the kids who are 12 and 10.
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#5
(07-09-2017, 03:36 AM)RJ1972 Wrote: It has all been informal, amicable mostly. I have them Sat Sun Mon Night one week and Sun Mon Night the next week. I have had them extra over the school holidays and we have been accommodating when she has gone away by herself and needed the extra childcare. When they have needed extra things, I have paid extra.
It seems a bitterness from her like I am prioritising my "NEW" children over them. Despite my continued access to them, I have never missed a contact with my older 2 and they are very much part of the home I now live in. My wife and I have been together for 8 years, and my younger children are 6 and 3. This isn't a new thing, she just wont accept a change even though I have tried to give her as much notice as possible. I really don't want to go through court, despite the costs I think it would stress out the kids who are 12 and 10.

The problem with this one is there is no Court Order in place, so you need to arrange Mediation.

I am assuming your ex gets the Child Benefit, so she is refered to as the Resident Parent in this post.

Contact is about you having "Quality Time" with your children, at times that work for you.

How a Court looks at it, is they seperate Quality Time (Weekends and School Holidays), and Care Time (Monday -Thursday School Term Time).

If you had an Existing Court Order, you would have to show "Significant" reason to change it, and you have this as there is now other children, who you are the Resident Parent of.

You will need the Mediation to be signed off as either
a, Deadlock
b, Her no show
c, An agreement to be done and not followed,

before you get the right to apply to Court on a C100.

On your application you just need to state that the existing arrangements worked for xxx years, however you now have other children, and can not be in 2 places at once on the school run.

My suggestion would be to ask for from Friday pm (work out what time you can collect the children) till Sunday PM.  In my own case, my ex tried to say she needed them back at 4pm, to settle before bedtime. I made a case she was doing that to obstruct him watching the Sunday afternoon football match with me, and the Judge Ordered 4pm unless I have her 14 days notice, if xxxx wanted to watch the 4pm game with me, when it had to be no later than 630.

You need to decide if you want visits mid week, even if you can not have stay overs.  Where she has allowed shared care, you would get this, for example collect say 4pm, for 2 hours. The normal would be perhaps a trip to McDonalds, KFC etc.

Indirect Contact, in the form of telephone calls, Facebook Messenger or other Social Media, even emails, can be part of an Order.

You would also get half the school holidays if you asked, as what a Court does is half the Quality Time. This is 6.5 weeks a year and I also have a 4 week plan, in case you can not get that amount of time off work. (note that mid week contact does not happen, as this is a

1 week holidays, Normal weekend on 4 week plan, Normal  weekend but contact to start or end on the Wednesday on half plan.

Easter and Christmas, 1x8 day or 2 x 4 day blocks. While it should cover a normal weekend, a Court would say that you need to share significant dates, or its turns each.

Summer, a 2 week block, dates suggested 3 months in advance, so you can book a holiday. You then want either 1x8 days, or 2x 4 days on the half plan, or a weekend on the 4 week plan. However, this can not always follow normal weekends, as you need to give your ex the option of a 2 week block, so she can have a holiday if she wants to.

As the Non Resident Parent, you need her consent (or the Court) to remove the child from the UK for a holiday. As part of your application, you can ask the Court to award you this right. Unless she can show risk of no return, you will get it, subject to providing her with
a, Flight Detail
b, Where staying
c, Who going
d, An emergancy phone number.

You need to be aware that this reduction in "Staying" contact will change your Child Support. http://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance  is the link to check it.

Its important you only put your Taxable Income in, not anything like Tax Credits, Housing Benefit or any money your partner gets.

It will create a reduction, as either you or your partner gets Child Benefit for your other children.

It will be the 53-104 night reduction bracket it will be in for contact, on both the above plans, unless you change it and you exceed 104 nights.
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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#6
That is what I have suggested, I can finish work regularly on a Friday in time to collect them after school, and return them Sunday tea time at a time that suits her. But she has claimed that she wants to have a life herself (currently she works 2 nights a week Sun Mon) this change would make her have to work Fri Sat night.
My older children become very stressed on a Monday and Tuesday as we have to leave at 7:30am to make it to school on time as we are travelling to a city so sit in rush hour traffic for 1.5 hours. Its becoming a nightmare, I don't want to mess her around but my children's needs are changing. Arrgggh Confused
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#7
(07-09-2017, 08:13 PM)RJ1972 Wrote: That is what I have suggested, I can finish work regularly on a Friday in time to collect them after school, and return them Sunday tea time at a time that suits her. But she has claimed that she wants to have a life herself (currently she works 2 nights a week Sun Mon) this change would make her have to work Fri Sat night.
My older children become very stressed on a Monday and Tuesday as we have to leave at 7:30am to make it to school on time as we are travelling to a city so sit in rush hour traffic for 1.5 hours. Its becoming a nightmare, I don't want to mess her around but my children's needs are changing. Arrgggh Confused

You need to make it clear to her that as the Resident Parent (who gets Child Benefit), then in law its down to her to sort out any Childcare that is needed, except during your contact time.

However, Court Orders for contact do not consider the wishes of the Resident Parent. It comes down to the avalability of the Non Resident Parent (and what they are asking for), and the Judge having to take a view on if what they are asking for being workable and does it leave the other parent with half the Quality Time. In the case of Care Time contact, the Judge also has to decide if its workable, and you will say that it is no longer due to the needs of you other children.

The only other solution I can think of, is if your ex finds a Registered Childminder you can drop the child to in the morning, before you take the child who lives with you to school. She would have to pay for the child care and get the Childminder to drop the child at school for her, but she might be able to get 70% of it paid via the Childcare part of Working Tax Credit.
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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