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Advice please
Advice please

Quick back story - I separated 7 months ago and 90% of the time it's been amicable. I moved out of family home and in with parents and have had the kids every weekend stay with me

She doesn't like my parents and vice versa and they have argued over the last 7 months. Nothing major, just a strong dislike. On NYE she wanted me to have my youngest son stay last minute and my mum refused. Which I know is wrong but she was so angry the way she treats her (literally wouldn't allow the children to be with her unless I was there purely down to hate)  that she saw it as helping her out. Putting aside the issue my mum had and the fact it was petty saying no, my soon to be ex wife has now in writing said the children can never set foot in my parents house nor can they even be in the same building as them. Se has listed on email the reasons and they are all pathetic in the grand scheme. My kids love my parents and have had a relationship with them weekly since birth. And now nothing. I now can't have my kids stay with me overnight and my parents can't see them except factime. My 4 year old doesn't know what's going on. 

This has obviously come as a real blow to us all and my parents are devastated. I have met a solicitor who says I can take this to family court but could cost tens of thousands if it goes all the way. I have asked her for mediation and she said no and I just wanted to know if anyone had similar experience and could share advice. 

The last point is her dad has A LOT of money and I'm scared about representing myself as a cheaper option and taking on her solicitor who will no doubt be one of the best. 

Thoughts/advice welcome.
I would for now agree to them not seeing your parents , but you want your every weekend overnights re-instated.

Firstly your parents are hardly going to see them now as shes withdrawn all your access. If your access is re-instated you can then record all times and dates you have them which show she has no issue. Keep it for future evidence text/emails as well.

Later on down the line you could gently persuade her to allow your parents to see your children again or you can decide to go family court to get arrangements order , but with evidence already that you have children overnight every weekend.

Your ex seems angry at the moment by the sounds of it that her new years eve was ruined but if thats the case sooner or later she will need you to have children
Thanks she is angry but she can hold a grudge!

Problem is she won't agree to weekend overnights as I live with my parents therefore my parents will see them? That's the problem. She won't even let them come to soft play which is just so harmful. There has been no safeguarding issues just purely a hatred from my ex at my parents.
Not sure what happened with my earlier post on this thread but anyhow, I'll try again.

This is another example of why it is important to get a formal court order in place, too many occurrences where the ex has agreed an informal arrangement and then starts to get cold feet.

Your best bet is to try and appease her and get your existing contact back however, this maybe tricky given you are living with your parents and the ex is against the kids spending time with you whilst your folks are there. What was the reasons that you were having the children every weekend as this is unusual, has her schedule now changed whereby she can now have the children over the weekend and can you evidence that you were having the children every weekend?

Either way, the end game for you I think is to get a formal arrangement in place to avoid similar occurrences in the future.

However, as Warwickshire states, the best course of action for now is try and get her onside, she just seems angry at the moment. Plus, you say 90% of the time it's been amicable so I would continue trying that approach in the first instance as issuing court proceedings would make her more hostile.

If you don't have a choice and do take it to court then you'll need to:

- Get a MIAM booked with your local mediator and if the ex does not show up then the mediator will provide you with a confirmation letter which you need to attach to your court application.
- Fill out a C100 and get the application submitted, you'll have to complete a section on the form as to the reasons you are applying.
- The standard contact you would have is every other weekend (Fri and Sat night)
- Midweek stay over or visit depending if it works (i.e. distance)
- Holiday time to be shared equally

From my personal experience, if you were to take it to court then there is no reason why you could not self-represent for the initial part of the proceedings. Looking back, the court system is very much process driven i.e. mediation - C100 court application - First Hearing.

All of the above you can manage yourself with the help of us friendly folks on the forum :-)
Having legal representation will definitely help in the latter stages of the proceedings if it went that far but I don't think it would necessarily be tens of thousands as the solicitor you spoke to mentioned. For now, try appeasing your ex by giving her some time but don't leave it too long.
Thanks a lot Leader1978. It's been every weekend since we separated, only one night but it works. It means I don't have a whole weekend to myself without the kids but I know that's not the norm.

I know issuing court proceedings will make her more hostile and I'm really trying to see if we can do mediation but her dad is controlling everything, even the emails she writes he is writing and that's what scares me. The solicitor I have found is £280 an hour so it's expensive asking any questions

I appreciate you say I can represent myself I guess I am just worried knowing she will have a top lawyer!
Don't think negatively or feel intimidated as the bottom line here is that you have done nothing wrong. In terms of the kids, you are on equal footing to her as there is no court order in place.

Keep us updated on your progress and we will help where we can.
Thanks a lot

Just having a look at the c100 form it's quite detailed but from what I've looked at, when do you submit a parenting plan? Can;t see anywhere on the form that says when I want the kid. So I know standard is every other weekend but if we are all OK to have every weekend or that's what I want to apply for how do I do it? What about Christmas, birthdays, fathers day etc ? How do you list that you want kids then?
I produced a parenting plan for the mediation session although my ex dismissed anything I produced or suggested at mediation.

I believe from memory it's section 5b on the C100 form - something along the lines of why you are making this application. There is some guidance to the left of the box as to what details to include i.e. previous arrangements, why you are making the application, what you want the court to do.
Solicitors don't always help - there's so much in the court process that is down to luck, rather than judgement/experience, that you won't necessarily always get the value of the advice you pay for.

I've been through a similar thing, though my ex seemed more motivated to withhold contact because of my new partner or to make me do what she wanted. Aside from a couple of 1 hour advice sessions with a solicitor, I have been self-represented throughout. I think you actually get much more support from the court when acting as a LIP than if you turn up with representation.

Good luck!

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