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Exh won't communicate. Is there anything I can do?(3 Posts)
Brief synopsis. Me and ex split 5 and a half years ago. A far from amicable divorce - ex very bitter. Tried mediation - didn't work, went to solicitors - went round in circles, went back to mediation - agreements not stuck to and ex was absolutely vile to me. Then ex took me to court to try and get 50:50 - he lost but contact order was put in place with him having every other weekend and half the holidays. Things were OK for a little while after that but for the last 3 years there have been constant niggles - mainly ex trying to twist the words of the contact order to try and suit his needs. His family live in N Ireland and he visits regularly, taking the children. One of his issues was that he wanted my written permission - despite the fact I had given verbal permission. I have never tried to stop him taking them, I have just asked to be kept in the loop about when they are traveling and for him to let me know they are there safe. He doesn't like me having phone contact and has blocked it in the past. Dd (9) now has her own phone - but sometimes she can't find it when they are staying.
Things got tricky last year and his solicitor was writing me letters to which I responded back to personally. We used to have a contact book that was passed between the houses but after they kept being 'lost' every time he went back on an agreement I decided not to use it any more. I also didn't like the angst it caused during handovers. I suggested we used e-mail or an app to share information - he refused this saying that we could communicate via text.
But recently he just will not reply to my texts, even those about sorting out dates and it is causing a lot of uncertainty. E.g. one half term couldn't drop the children round to his as I was waiting for a delivery so i texted him. He didn't respond and didn't turn up to collect the children so I was left not knowing what to do. He has not responded over dates and then later moaned about them. I texted him last week about an injury on my ds's toe and treatment and got no response so was worried it wouldn't be treated. In the past, dd has had to let me know when they would be back.
But things came to a head yesterday. I was expecting the children back at 6pm yesterday as is normal after a weekend at the end of half term. I knew they had been to Ireland and had asked him the week before whether or not they would be back by 6 - I got no response. Yesterday came and they didn't turn up at 6. Eventually got through on his phone at 8pm to find out that they were at the airport in Belfast waiting for a flight. He had decided, without telling me, that he was going to keep them Sunday night as today was a non-pupil day. I had not had any contact from them since the previous Wednesday so was thinking all sorts when they didn't come back.
I really want to stop this situation happening again as it was really stressful on both me and the children but I don't know what I can do. I can't force him to return my texts. The emotional part of me wants to say that he can't have holiday contact until all times and details have been communicated but I don't think I can get away with this and don't really want to stick the children in the middle like this. I could try and get the court order tightened up but might only improve things for a short time. I really don't want to do mediation as he was so vile last time. And can't see that getting a solicitor to write a letter will do much.
Hi, I have no advice I'm afraid. Hopefully someone else will have. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry, I can share some of that pain. These dammed selfish Dads just don't see the damage they do with all these games. I hope you get some answers soon
I see absolutely no reason why you cannot go back to court to ask that a requirement to 'notify each party of dates/times/addresses of holidays' and in return you will agree to give written permission for him to take the children to N Ireland. (Obviously don't give him a letter to travel 'overseas' as this could be used to go anywhere) but these two clauses will tighten things up.
You could also have added that unless dates/times/addresses of the place they are staying are not confirmed say minimum of 72 hrs before departure then the holiday does not go ahead. This will also stand for you notifying him when you take the children away.
Why did you refuse to give written permission to take the children to N Ireland ? Or have I read that wrong. I can understand his upset as it's quite possible he could be stopped at the airport and refused boarding without a letter from you. I would be more than hacked off and feel quite arsy with my ex if he refused me this, thus causing huge stress and uncertainty every time I took them to visit grandparents.
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