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Hi all,

The last post was a little confusing and all over the place. So I have a number of issues currently with my ex, we have been apart now for a year. I moved out in December for a number of reasons and had no choice to move an hour and a half away, we have four Children in total the girls are mine and I'm on the birth certificates (aged 6 and 7), the boys are hers but I raised them as both their fathers were absent (6months went we started our relationship and we got together when she just had the other).

The first issue is we have a joint tenancy, I'm still a tenant and she has been chasing for me to sign the paperwork and so have I, the housing company refused to remove me until she had an inspection which she has been dragging her feet with plus she was in arrears so refused todo anything until that was settled.

Now it gets confusing as her youngest son saw his father when he was first born for a month or so until he showed up drunk to collect him, after that he stopped all contact until 3/4 years ago, we had an argument and she text her ex asking him if he wanted to get involved again. Since then he collected him every Sunday.

So all seems to be going well we had an arrangement that I would collect the kids Friday return them Sunday for 3pm so the youngest son can see his dad, I started moving on... Landed a new job, met some people and she found out I had been on a few dates and contacted me saying we could work things out, go to counselling etc. So I thought sure we were together for 7 years it's worth a try. I'd stay over and we would do things together with the kids and she continued to ask me to quit my new job and move back which I refused and things didn't seem to be going well.

Things continue this was for 2 months and it's the school holiday's, I collected the children for the weekend and we are having a meal with my family and the two boys say "We know you aren't our dad", the worst thing I could ever hear. I knew at some point they would have to be told but behind my back and with no notice? I was also questioned by MY daughters asking them if I am their father. Then comes the last week so I plan for me and the kids to go on holiday, the ex suggests we go together and pay half and I agree... Two days before I receive a text saying she will be taking them on her own, wouldn't send back the half I paid and I'd booked holiday off work so a week unpaid.

Two weeks later collected the kids, they tell me she has a new partner and he's moved in! Sure as hell when I drop them off new partner is there. Since then both my sons mobiles have been taken from them for bad behaviour (they still don't have them back) our Christmas arrangements we agreed on have been changed 4 times with me now only allowed to have them 4pm to 2pm Christmas Day, minus 4 hour drive gives me hardly any time with them. If I want to talk to them during the week I have to text the ex asking for permission then I'm placed on loud speaker and can her the new partner questioning all our converstations.

I've been to a solicitor, mediation has been setup and I attended the first meeting. Nothing will be done in time for Christmas, I know I still have access to them but really because of the travel time it doesn't feel like much. I'm unable to have a decent conversation with them on the phone when they are allowed to answer. So after the letter and a reply from her and not knowing I gave her a ring to discuss New Years and this Christmas, basically asking as nice as possible if I could have them until 3pm Xmas as she had them last year, as she is agreeing her partner shouts out NO 1PM which is then followed by her saying 1pm latest which I managed to push until 2.

What guy moves into a house with 4 kids in a space of a week and after 2/3 months starts getting involved with discussions about someone else children and telling the parents what can and cannot be done! There has been a big change in how the kids talk to me on the phone and how they are acting and it's heartbreaking. It makes me sick because I am unable to respond in fear of all access being stopped as clearly he is in control now. I hope mediation is the key but form her response to my solicitor by email I can see it not working at all.

I feel for you I really do. Personally think it'd be worth discussing the situation with your Solicitor, who should be able to go through your options with you. Maybe a strongly-worded letter might work, or something more formal. But that's where I'd start.

If not, maybe a talk with the Citizens Advice? They do live, confidential webchats. They're usually quite busy but could be worth a try:

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.
I don't think mediation is much help either unless an ex wants to co-operate. And usually they don't if they're being difficult with contact. As Petem says, you could try a Solicitor's letter first and see if she sticks to things. Has she been invited to mediation yet or the next appointment set up? You can actually ask the mediator to sign you off and apply to court, but either way, nothing is going to happen until after Christmas. So if a Solicitor's letter got her to play ball over the next month it might help. I would apply for a court order asap as now someone else is in the picture, and things have changed, you need it enforceable when the kids are with you and to have some control.
I would advise you to do nothing until after xmas. Simple reason is if she gets any incline especially with a new partner there that you taking her to court you wont get to see your kids xmas. At the moment you are getting access whereas a lot of people including myself on here arent.
Enjoy your xmas time with your kids and then take action after. Mediation followed by a c100 if she does a no show. If her new partner is like that already towards you they wont last 5 minutes especially if you dont rise to anything . Just be calm as hard as it seems and do it all legal away after christmas

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