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ongoing ....
Morning all,

Have finally had a response via EW's solicitor that she is declining mediation to sort out childcare arrangements but to avoid court would like to sort out via letters between solicitors  Exclamation

Interestingly (and rather shockingly - I've had little sleep this weekend worrying) I did take a call from sons' secondary school counsellor on friday afternoon saying son had bought up some things that she needs to look into further, was checking with her manager and would call me back as may require SS to be involved.   She wouldn't go into any details but said she will call me back today (Monday).  Honestly, I nearly actually cried at my desk and had to go and sit in a meeting room alone for 10 minutes, did no work for the rest of the afternoon either Sad 

I also have a phonecall booked with my solicitor at 10am so will obviously mention this update too, have sent across an email with some responses to the letter but also with the new information.  I have asked if my solicitor should talk direct to the counsellor to discuss whether I need to be making an emergency application for the children to live with me fully time until SS are happy this morning.  I have made it very clear that I am able to sort out school runs etc at very short notice (ie from today) if my children are not safe! 

EW letter offers 5/14 contact EOW instead of the current 3/14 - I've told my sol that I am still asking for no less than 50/50 unless of course she would like to consider she has the 5/14 contact EOW.   She also thinks the children want more contact by way of school holidays!  I think the childrens wishes need to be heard as they are very clear they want a fairer share of time with both parents, but this should be also school time not just holiday time (I'm pretty sure EW just wants me to be her free childcare during holidays).  I am of mind the EW wants to avoid court for some reason, not just cost but also because Cafcass will surely have more involvement this time round ...

What do you reckon, application into court now but also try o sort out details via sols until we get to that date ?
I would accept the 5/14. It seems at this early stage her solicitor isnt playing games or being awkward but merely trying to mediate between yourselves whilst also acting for her client. You only had 6 nights a month which i assume was friday - mon every other weekend , they are i assume offering you 1 overnight during school week which would make it 10 nights a month. It is always pretty standard that you would be offered 1/2 school holidays as well.

If it went to family court you probably would end up with something very similar, they dont often jump from 6 nights a month to 14 nights a month in one go generally.

If you do accept their offer remember you can also attend family court later down line but for now you would avoid hostility before xmas etc which you are best sorting out arrangements for now as well . Also i would insist that your extra overnight starts this week , maybe Wednesday night for example ...if goes to family court would not be resolved until next year and would cost you a lot of money potentially.

Theres many solicitors out there that would have contact stopped and cause untold problems especially with run up to xmas
Both children are saying they want to live with me full time to get away from the shouting etc (and they have documented this with school, a counsellor and a medical professional)  - I have explained that isn't fair either unless they are in danger so I would ask for 50/50. 

I already have half the school holidays too, and yes currently Fri -Mon EOW but to be changed over a period of time set by EW to Fri-Wed. I have not put details of the rest of the letter - and her demands to all the other changes she wants
In deep now ... counsellor has escalated to Social Services due to some serious allegations my eldest has made against is stepfather ... feel scared, emotional abuse and has been hitting my daughter and his own (who is much younger) on a regular basis.

I'm waiting to speak to my solicitor again this morning to see if we should be applying to court now to have my kids full time so they aren't with him whilst this gets sorted out.

Thoughts? I've had about 2 hours sleep I reckon in drips and drabs
If police get involved you maybe within your rights next time you have children to not let them return to mum. I would seek legal advice first though. How old are your children
I managed to speak to my son this morning before he went into school and we have agreed a safe word he can use to either me or my wife (safe word will means no questions asked I will be driving to collect both children as quick as possible, luckily only live 15-20 mins away) until I get instructions later today from my solicitor on how to proceed.

I'm in a complete emotional stressy mess, sat at work trying to distract myself and be productive - wife says she is going to eat cake on her lunchbreak so think she is in the same state - that nearly made me laugh too so that was good.

Children are 13 and just turned 11.
Nice ages . If 13 year old is adamant he wants to live with you, this will be taken very seriously. If 11 year olds views are same you could end up with both of them very soon in your care temporarily
Quick update: so far neither of us have heard from SS, however due to the allegations Form C1A went in along with my C100 asking for urgent hearing in light of recent events, if possible within 7 days. Shoes are polished, shirt ironed and suit hanging up ready as solicitor has warned we may only get a couple of hours notice before a hearing is set, hopefully sometime in the coming week ... I've warned my boss and made as sure as I can everything is covered at work if I need a day off at very short notice.
Good that you’ve applied for an urgent hearing. Did you have anything in writing from counsellors? It might help. Fingers crossed.
From what you wrote i dont think you will get a urgent hearing especially as social services arent involved. It generally takes 5 weeks to get a court hearing . In your case they would probably have a hearing before xmas. There will be more likely someone like cafcass if ss arent involved been asked to explore further. U could try and get an interim order for more contact at hearing.

Our emergencies are often to dads frustration not seen as an emergency to them in some cases

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