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Ex has just applied for a child arrangement order

(32 Posts)
Thomasina76 Thu 15-Dec-16 23:00:56

We have 2 DSs, 8 and 6, who live with me. My ex sees them on Sundays but they rarely stay over at his. He is seeking a formal arrangement re access during term time and in the holidays. The kids never want to spend time with him despite my encouraging them to do so. Does anyone know what time of order the judge is likely to make if the kids live with me and currently only spend 1 day a week with him. I am assuming (and praying) it will just be every other weekend and half the holidays. Also not sure what do expect at the hearing and whether I should try to reach agreement with him before or just go. It also says that any children over 8 must attend - is there any way around this as I do not want my 8 year old son to attend.

MrsBertBibby Thu 15-Dec-16 23:07:14

Your son isn't over 8.

Thomasina76 Thu 15-Dec-16 23:16:11

He is. He was 8 last March. He is 8 & 9 months.

Do you have an idea of how much contact your ex is looking for?

AnInfiniteOceanOfLight Thu 15-Dec-16 23:22:39

Is that normal practice for older children to be required to attend?

Thomasina76 Thu 15-Dec-16 23:25:04

The application doesn't say but says he wants to define how much time he spends with them during term time and holidays. He told me verbally that he was looking for 4 weeks holiday a year and 1-2 weekends a month but not sure I trust him.

Thomasina76 Thu 15-Dec-16 23:25:52

Yes, seems to be. Form just says children over 6 must attend.

Heratnumber7 Thu 15-Dec-16 23:26:33

Do you think your kids might want to spend more time with their Dad if they spend more time with their Dad?

Perhaps they don't want to go to him because a) they don't know him well enough or b) they aren't there long enough to settle in, feel at home and do interesting and fun stuff.

He IS their Dad.

Thomasina76 Thu 15-Dec-16 23:27:29

No, I don't herat.

AnInfiniteOceanOfLight Thu 15-Dec-16 23:34:34

My kids get excited about going out with friends of mine who they see very rarely and who manage to do fun things with them in just a few hours.

I'm flabbergasted by children being required to attend. Aren't potentially hurtful and inappropriate things said between adults at family court hearings? Why do children need to be exposed to that? Jeez.

babybarrister Sun 18-Dec-16 13:43:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

balia Sun 18-Dec-16 20:50:54

Has he asked to spend more time with them before this application? Holidays/weekends away etc?

AnInfiniteOceanOfLight Sun 18-Dec-16 20:57:22

Phew baby thanks for clarifying that smile

babybarrister Sun 18-Dec-16 20:59:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WynterBlossom Sun 18-Dec-16 21:10:53

Have you tried mediation first op??

Gooseygoosey12345 Sun 18-Dec-16 21:14:35

Just wanted to let you know that the judge will take your children's wishes into consideration, that's why they're asked to attend. If they really don't want to go more often they won't be forced to. However, if he's not a danger to them it'll be advantageous to them in the long run to spend time with him on a regular basis

prh47bridge Mon 19-Dec-16 00:00:41

Given the ages of the children their views will be taken into account but they are unlikely to be decisive. At that age they may be forced to have more contact even if they don't want it. The court would be of the view that they are too young to appreciate the consequences of their actions.

Thomasina76 Mon 19-Dec-16 14:42:22

Thanks all. Also relieved to know that DS wouldn't actually have to be in the court room but I still don't think it's appropriate for him to come nor do I think it's fair for him to be quizzed about who he wants to spend time with.

We attended mediation a couple of times and were largely in agreement on holidays and weekend vists. It all fell apart because my ex wanted to take them away in October and i didn't agree as it was only a few weeks before and we had plans. He has himself said that he doesn't want to have to ask me to see them, he just wants to be able to do it without having to agree, so it really seems to be the control issue he is objecting to. Problem is that he is massively disorganised and turns up late/brings them back early when he does have them, plus he works shifts so sometimes can't see them at the weekend, so I really don't see how a fixed arrangement will suit him. I'm also wondering if a court order will prevent him turning up unannounced at our house/in the local park/at DCs' tennis/swimming clubs etc as he currently does. It's annoying as he never know when he is doing to appear but I haven't tried to stop him but if we're moving to a formal arrangement then would I be within my rights to ask him to stop turning up?

prh47bridge Mon 19-Dec-16 15:03:50

nor do I think it's fair for him to be quizzed about who he wants to spend time with

Not sure how else you think the court can find out your son's wishes. Children have a tendency to tell their parents what they think they want to hear. Unfortunately, some parents will lie about what their children want. So the courts have to get someone independent with experience (CAFCASS) to find out what the children really want.

Thomasina76 Mon 19-Dec-16 15:58:42

i just think it's not fair for a child to be put in that position. It can only be worrying and upsetting for them. He may feel guilty about saying something, e.g. if he says he doesn't want to spend time with his dad. How is that fair?

Thomasina76 Mon 19-Dec-16 16:01:48

It actually works in my favour if DS and DS2 do convey their wishes but I think it's a horrible position to put them in. I also can't really say to my 6 year old that his brother's wishes count but his don't so I suppose both will have to go.

Thomasina76 Mon 19-Dec-16 16:04:24

Totally sucks in my view. My ex has an affair, swans off, leaves the kids then decides 5 year later he wants access and drags us all through this. If the kids don't want to see him, perhaps he should ask himself why. Perhaps if you aren't around then they don't get attached to you and don't regard you as close family. Fed up with people banging on about rights and access when they can't stomach the responsibilities that go with it.

prh47bridge Mon 19-Dec-16 16:06:15

The alternative is for the courts to ignore the children's wishes completely. That certainly wouldn't be fair. At this age their views will inform the court's decision but won't be the deciding factor.

neonrainbow Mon 19-Dec-16 16:11:23

So are you objecting to more contact to punish your ex?

Thomasina76 Mon 19-Dec-16 16:21:13

Neonrainbow, where does it say I am objecting to more contact?

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