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What would you do?
#1
Question 
Good morning fathers

Even though I am yet to converse with any of you, I cannot help but sense a feeling of solidarity from simply reading the few pages I have on this website.

I guess I'm here to get some advice from those of you that have or may not have experience of separation, legal matters and tips and tricks on how to get what you want out of this unsavoury situation.

I'll try to keep this short, I separated about a year ago and the mother of my two children (boy 6 | girl 11) does believe that she has control over us all.  We do not live together, I have moved on as has she.  I live with my new partner who has a daughter who is 10 and in the same year as my daughter; they get on very well, generally.  We recently moved before xmas to be 5 minutes away from my ex's parents house.

My ex is living with her parents, is now pregnant by her new partner that also lives with her and my children at her parents.

Up until xmas 2017, we had a few rota changes and the ex finally agreed come 1st Jan 2018 that we would invoke a 50/50 rota and we would review to see if it causes issues.  She has always claimed that the children need stability during the week for doctors/dentists etc and this is why she was kicking and screaming about not changing the rota.  The children agreed however that we should have 50/50 and that was that.

Since the 1st Jan 2018 it has all been going well until now.  She now wants to remove a day midweek every two weeks so I have them 6 out of 14 days, not 50% (7 days).  I'm not happy with this however she has stated that this is what the children want.  I have spoken to them and my daughter 11, simply wants to be around her younger brother and I have always said to her that she can come and go as she pleases.  My son however, he's 6, and he mentioned to his mother that he was lonely on an occasion when he came to mine and that's when the ex barked up and spoke to them with a view to get the rota changed.  I have disagreed however she has said that it is going into effect immediately.  When I spoke to my son and asked if he wants to spend more time with his mum and less with me, he said he doesn't really know what he wants; it was at this point I realised she had not assessed the situation properly.  He tells her one thing and then tells me another; he's trying to keep us both happy and this is what I feel as though neither of us should listen to any comments he makes in regards to wanting to spend more time with one of us.

Now, as you can imagine, I'm not best pleased to lose anytime with my kids.  Having them 50% is hard enough but I accept the fact that this is the situation and that we both have to live with it.

I have two options:

1) Concede - I could 'cope' with seeing them one less day however I would miss them.  My worry here is that she will see this as a weakness and try to continually exploit this to her advantage for now and until they are old enough to make their own decisions.

2) Fight - She wouldn't go to mediation so I have a FM1 form (slowly running out of date) ready to take her to court.  Take her to court, drag the kids through it too but with an aim to put her in her place and take the wind out of this imaginary sail of control she feels she has, thus protecting my relationship with the children now and in the future.

So, theres my dilemma, only I can make the decision ultimately, I get that, but before I make any final decisions, I'm reaching out to you all to see 'What would you do?'.....

I look forward to hearing from you, warts and all, give me the brutal honesty.

Cheers
Yoda  Smile
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#2
kids are going to play with both of you.

She has jumped the gun a little.
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#3
From a legal point of view: Under no circumstances should you accept the reduction!!! it will become the norm and is 10 times harder to get back than to lose it. And as you say, if it works out for her you know exactly what comes next.
So if youre going to play the game, imagine that everything you do or dont do from now on will be seen in court, so try everything to be reasonable, stay child focussed, record/have proof of the whole process. Let her withold the kids once and get a solicitor to write to her. Try at every tunr to come to an agreement.
If that all fails and you have the proof it will be an open and shut case in court. The courts dont like changing existing arrangements unless its in the childs best interest.

More importantly: the children, they are coming on for the age where their wishes will start to be taken into account. Whats best for them? is it time to change the current arrangements for their benefit and to address the ex's new concerns? can you negotiate something else more valuable than the extra day?

Dont go to court unless you absolutely have to.
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#4
Amazing advice, thank you.......
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#5
Fight.  Never, ever back down just for an easy life, you have their entire childhood to regret rolling over to keep her happy once. Court is hard, but it lasts 6-9 months in most cases. Your kids' childhood is a lot longer.
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#6
I agree with the above. Fight it and get your case built up in case you need to.
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#7
I think - the issue is not whether either of them want to come to you more or less. The issue is you need the current and ongoing status formalised in a court order. So legally you have 50/50 shared care and the document says the children live with both parents and the dates, times,holidays etc are all in there. Now after that you can be much more flexible because it isn't a case of "a night less per week" it's a case of a) flexibility in arrangements (which is part of shared care) and b) children doing what they want as they get older.

It sounds to me like this is about money. When things were 50/50 you don't have to pay child support. When they are 60/40 you do pay child support. Whether you choose to or not is another matter, but you don't legally have to. And no a 6 year old won't know what he wants and it isn't fair to expect them to understand these kind of adult concepts of time and arrangements. Even at 10 my son doesn't grasp the concept that if he misses a week-end with me to go on a treat he's been tempted by with his Mother, he then doesn't have a week-end with me for another two weeks. Words don't explain it - it's only when they get to 10 days and realise something isn't right and it throws their routine and stability.

An 11 year old may have more feelings about it but I still think they want one thing one week, and one thing the next - so in that case 50/50 is still best - with the flexibility she can come and go and have some plans of her own as well.

Usually when an ex starts wanting to reduce time there is a good reason - eg if you started a new relationship, were moving to a better house, having another child - or if she was in a new relationship (after 10 years my ex is trying to remove me completely and have one "normal" family).

So maybe think about what else is going on - but protect yourself. As there are no welfare issues it would simply be asking for an order for the time. You have the MIAM signed off - I would put an application in for the 50/50 shared care saying this has been an existing situation for x years and is being changed without agreement and you feel it's important the children still have the benefit of that arrangement as they are growing up.

Your ex will see what is in the application so you can think about that when putting the wording in the summary box. eg Joan and I are both great hands-on parents and the children have enjoyed the stability of a 50/50 shared care set up for x years. Recently Joan has begun making changes which I don't agree with and the children have not been coming to the agreed schedule. I am concerned about the effect this is having on their ongoing stability and continuity and their sense of security. I would like the court to make an order reinstating the 50/50 shared care arrangement and feel that shared care continues to be the best arrangement for my children due to the amount of flexibility involved for them,while also keeping the stability and familiarity of their existing routines, friendships and possessions while at my home.

That kind of thing. But from now on keep careful records of everything. Keep any emails (print them out as soon as they come in and put them in a file), any texts. Don't make arrangements on the phone - do it by text and email.

Just read your post again. Your ex is having a baby - she wants a new normal family and she wants some child support money.
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#8
(03-20-2018, 07:21 AM)Do not accept the reduction. Most ex\s try their hardest to remove the father and then replace him with someone else, which in my view is disgraceful.Fighting your corner isn't easy. Ive been through this including spending a fortune on Mediation, only to sit and listen to lie after lie being told about me personally.I would suggest you always appear reasonable (despite wanting to throttle her) and state that 50/50 access is more frequently the norm now, you have everything in place to make this work (support from family and employers etc. and have statements to that effect) and that you will take her to court if you need too.That way there is no ambiguity in anything.Money spent now avoids the stupidity I currently have where rotas are changed continually to enable my ex to conduct her weekends away social life with her boyfriend, whilst I'm just grateful to see my lads. Wrote: MayTheForceBeWithYouGood morning fathers

Even though I am yet to converse with any of you, I cannot help but sense a feeling of solidarity from simply reading the few pages I have on this website.

I guess I'm here to get some advice from those of you that have or may not have experience of separation, legal matters and tips and tricks on how to get what you want out of this unsavoury situation.

I'll try to keep this short, I separated about a year ago and the mother of my two children (boy 6 | girl 11) does believe that she has control over us all.  We do not live together, I have moved on as has she.  I live with my new partner who has a daughter who is 10 and in the same year as my daughter; they get on very well, generally.  We recently moved before xmas to be 5 minutes away from my ex's parents house.

My ex is living with her parents, is now pregnant by her new partner that also lives with her and my children at her parents.

Up until xmas 2017, we had a few rota changes and the ex finally agreed come 1st Jan 2018 that we would invoke a 50/50 rota and we would review to see if it causes issues.  She has always claimed that the children need stability during the week for doctors/dentists etc and this is why she was kicking and screaming about not changing the rota.  The children agreed however that we should have 50/50 and that was that.

Since the 1st Jan 2018 it has all been going well until now.  She now wants to remove a day midweek every two weeks so I have them 6 out of 14 days, not 50% (7 days).  I'm not happy with this however she has stated that this is what the children want.  I have spoken to them and my daughter 11, simply wants to be around her younger brother and I have always said to her that she can come and go as she pleases.  My son however, he's 6, and he mentioned to his mother that he was lonely on an occasion when he came to mine and that's when the ex barked up and spoke to them with a view to get the rota changed.  I have disagreed however she has said that it is going into effect immediately.  When I spoke to my son and asked if he wants to spend more time with his mum and less with me, he said he doesn't really know what he wants; it was at this point I realised she had not assessed the situation properly.  He tells her one thing and then tells me another; he's trying to keep us both happy and this is what I feel as though neither of us should listen to any comments he makes in regards to wanting to spend more time with one of us.

Now, as you can imagine, I'm not best pleased to lose anytime with my kids.  Having them 50% is hard enough but I accept the fact that this is the situation and that we both have to live with it.

I have two options:

1) Concede - I could 'cope' with seeing them one less day however I would miss them.  My worry here is that she will see this as a weakness and try to continually exploit this to her advantage for now and until they are old enough to make their own decisions.

2) Fight - She wouldn't go to mediation so I have a FM1 form (slowly running out of date) ready to take her to court.  Take her to court, drag the kids through it too but with an aim to put her in her place and take the wind out of this imaginary sail of control she feels she has, thus protecting my relationship with the children now and in the future.

So, theres my dilemma, only I can make the decision ultimately, I get that, but before I make any final decisions, I'm reaching out to you all to see 'What would you do?'.....

I look forward to hearing from you, warts and all, give me the brutal honesty.

Cheers
Yoda  Smile
Reply




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