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Go to court or not?
Hi,this is my first post so please bear with me 

I'm seperated from my wife, not yet divorced. Seperated 18 months ago, she lives with new partner as do I 

We have 2 children aged 5 and 4.

Contact has been every other Friday after school until Tuesday morning dropping at school 

Holidays have been as and when really with nothing defined

I'm on the mailing list at school but she has been making efforts to try and not involve me with the school in any way. The teachers are really good with me and I think they understand what is going on and always give me leaflets and reports that aren't normally sent out in post 

I've asked for an extra day to take them out for tea in the week I don't have them and also for half the holidays 

After asking this its kicked off massively 

She's said that I won't get anymore than I do at the moment and has given me 14 days out of the whole year of school holidays 

Biggest problem is her saying that she has a case ready with photographs and witness statements detailing abuse and she will present this ‘evidence’ to court if I decide to go down that route and also stating that social services have been involved, she's said mediation won't touch her because of this 

I have no idea what photographs or statements are, no history of DV whatsoever and no abuse from me 

Police were called in june 2016 because we had an argument over her sleeping with another guy, verbal argument only 

She's was drunk and had been out with the kids all day, police came and removed her from the address and left me in the care of our 2 children 

That's the only interaction I've had with police and had nothing at all from social services 

Since that incident I had 50/50 care of the children up until around March this year, which is when it changed to the current arrangements 

My worry is that if I go to court she will make false allegations and have friends backing her up with statements, and that I will then end up with less than I have now 

It's kind of blackmail really, she's been happy in past for me and my partner tohave the kids but If I want more and go to court she will report me for DV

She also wanted a double barrelled name with her surname, which I'm now very dubious of doing 

Also, her fella, who is good with the kids and I have no problems with, is being pushed by her as their father figure, she's allowed our son to call him dad, which I've fortunately nipped in the bud and also at school the ex wife listed me as the last emergency contact out of 5 people and her fella as second point of contact in emergency, I changed this too with school so I'm now second 

Just to note my partner has a great relationship with the kids and last year my ex wife often asked me to get her to watch the kids, that was before the current arrangements

Any advice on what would be best to do here would be appreciated 

I'm kind of worried that she's calling all the shots here and I have nothing concrete apart from her "goodwill" at training moment 

Go to court. If you have parental responsibility (PR) she cannot change the name of a child when the child is part of a child arrangements order.

Your ex is obviously a bit changeable so you need to take things in hand yourself. Start the ball rolling and seek a child arrangements order at court.
Thanks for your reply, really appreciated

Is the child arrangments order before mediation? Which she will refuse anyway.

Is it likely I will get what I’m asking for which is same as it is now, Friday after school until Tuesday morning, and an extra overnight the week after. Also half holidays ?

What impact would her making allegations have?

It’s obvious from her text that it’s being used to hang over me as a way to stop me going to court.

Would the courts place much weight on this allegation being made all of a sudden and convinently after going to court?
I can answer some of these questions.

- Yes, mediation always comes before court, except..... where there are allegations of domestic violence. But this doesn't really matter, in this respect at least; she has no intention whatsoever of sitting in mediation with you. In that case just fast forward to submitting a C100 application for child arrangememts and getting a court order.
- Her friends opinions are meaningless. If there was DV, she needs to go to the police. Family law is private and her friend's allegations will have no weight in court unless they appear as witnesses months in. They won't be heard by the court otherwise. The nature of this court is that she needs to prove her allegations, it is not for you to defend against them.
- What impact her allegations? Probably none. She hasn't reported them to the police and so all the photos in the world are likely to mean nothing. In court (at most) they will consider Practice Direction 12J. It's a safeguarding thing and given the limited allegations of DV, it is likely to have no impact on your case. This is the one bit of the case (for now) it might be worth having a solicitor for. But honestly, once your application is in, it will trigger CAFCASS and their standard involvement. The result of their basic check is likely to be a good indication of just how much trouble you will have in respect of these DV allegations and attendant safeguarding concerns.
- The court will make a note of the fact that relations were all good for a while and she then turned into a pain in the arse and has now made allegations. They see this every day and it was the same in my case.
- Friday till Tuesday alt weekends is unusual - most parents get les time on alternate weekends but you are entitled to half the holidays. I don't know whether you will get this now, but you will most likely end up with this at the very end of the case (however long that takes). But a court case is necessary here as your ex is playing hardball.
Thanks so much for the information, that’s been so helpful

Just a quick one, you mentioned that you don’t know wether I will get this now but will likely end up with this at the very end of the case? Do you mean it’s likely I will end up with less time at the weekend than I have now?

Is there an argument to support keeping the arrangement of Friday to Tuesday as it’s been like that for months and months already?

Thanks again
If that's worked for you before and is doable then you may get it. But the reality is that if she opposes in court, the court will likely fall back to its default position for everyone which is alternate weekends, which will likely start Friday and end Monday.
"My worry is that if I go to court she will make false allegations and have friends backing her up with statements, and that I will then end up with less than I have now"

In a child access case, the false allegations are irrelevant unless they impact the kid... you are not there to defend false allegation and her friends are not witnesses... so they don't get to speak

Offer to drive her to the police station with all the evidence .... i assume she will need a lift as there will be a truck load of evidence to present to the police eh? And offer to hang around for the criminal court case.... not a child access case! ... she has nothing and this is a normal series of events that some women go through... if you have nothing to hide ... you have nothing to hide

She has no right to control your access to the kids... she does not ;let you have them' she does not 'give' you your kids, you dont nee to 'ask' if you have them ... these are your kids rights ... to have 2 parents... don't beg at her feet... she meets you in the middle or you go to court to get what your kids deserve
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"

it’s ludicrous really that she’s not bothered about DV unless I try and get more access to my kids.

I really don’t want to end up with less than I have now, I love having them 4 nights in a row and couldnt bear to just have them one weekend out of two

That’s my biggest problem, losing time in the week and being excluded from day to day care
Same old story of so many posts....all going good them bang....somthing upsets her and she turn nasty and stops access or won't change days or just refuses to play ball....even once seperated we still need to walk around them on egg shells not wanting to upset's just sh!t. So a C100 for a child arrangements order at court is what's needed to stop her dictating when you can and can't get your that right????
Yes Scottb, that's about the size of it. Jango1, she'll either make or not make allegations. Right now it isn't important. She's nailed her colours so it's simple, go to court or just have a lifetime of sh*te.

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