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Ex's contact with children

(132 Posts)
saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 12:47:22

My ex has apparently sent in an application to court regarding his contact with the children. I don't know more than that he's sent me an email saying this.

We did have parenting plan that we both signed after the separation but the children really don't want to see their dad for all that time and I can't force them to do anything against their wishes. Which has resulted in him losing out on some of the time that was in that plan.

Every time he sees the children they always seem to have a fight and they're always upset both before and after he's seen them. I really don't think it's in their best interest.

He has also had a new child, the children don't want to see her, or his new partner. So far he made them see the new partner once, 2 years ago, which was a horrible experience for the children. Can he make them see the partner and new child?

Would the court make the children see him if they say they don't want to?

He wants to make out I'm stopping it but I've never stopped anything. It's totally their own opinions. And I won't force them.

Anyone that can give me any guidance?

WannaBe Fri 14-Apr-17 12:49:17

How old are they?

saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 12:49:18

The children are 7, 10 and 14 if that matters.

saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 12:53:19

Just had a thought, the court can punish me for not making the children go? That would have been against their wishes and surely as a mother I have to listen to that?

DontGiveAFlying Fri 14-Apr-17 12:58:07

The ages matter because a judge will generally only take a child's view into account if they are 10+

WannaBe Fri 14-Apr-17 12:58:13

It's a difficult one. It's a bit unreasonable to allow eight and five year olds to refuse to see their father's new partner, and at this age they're too young to grasp the implications of refusing to meet their sibling.

What is the current contact?

MycatsaPirate Fri 14-Apr-17 13:06:11

Why don't they want to see their dad? Why don't they want to see his new partner and child? That's their half/step sibling. A relationship with that child should be encouraged, as should the relationship with dad and new partner.

it seems like the dc have said they don't want to go or questioned if they have to go and you've just caved. You really do need to encourage an ongoing relationship with both their dad and his new family.

saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 13:06:44

He lives quite far off so he's meant to see them a weekend every four weeks, then s week for Christmas, a week for Easter and two weeks in the summer.

The children have not wanted to do the longer periods so that really hasn't happened these last two years.

Now for Easter they refused to go as the new partner and child would be present as well. (Contact takes place in his mother's house who lives close to us)

saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 13:08:57

I haven't ever stopped them going! It's entirely their own wishes.

They don't want to see him because of all the hurt he's caused in the divorce.

The new partner, they just didn't like her at all.

And the child, I think they feel replaced by her.

saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 13:10:23

Why do they need to be encouraged to see his new child? They don't think she has anything to do with them. Other than feeling she has replaced them as children.

Auspiciouspanda Fri 14-Apr-17 13:13:18

Because they are not old enough to realise the real consequences of choosing not to see their father and their sibling

DontGiveAFlying Fri 14-Apr-17 13:14:09

The child is most definitely their half sister, not step sister(!)

I think there would need to be really strong and specific reasons as to why contact wasn't being maintained... I don't think the hurt of the divorce would really cut it in court. Also re feeling replaced, I think a judge might see that as more reason the kids should be going tbh. I've no direct experience though.

MycatsaPirate Fri 14-Apr-17 13:16:36

What do you mean by hurt caused in the divorce? Are you involving them in adult issues? Such as discussing money?

They are children. They should be told 'it's your weekend to visit dad so let's go and pack your stuff'. That's it.

Unless there is a serious risk to their welfare then you are really not helping matters by letting them refuse to go.

Of course they will think the new child has replaced them because they don't know her, they've met her once? Are you projecting your own views to the dc?

My ex was violent to me but I still encouraged a relationship up to the point that the emotional abuse to them became unbearable and then I stopped contact and offered a contact centre. He refused that offer.

You should be encouraging a relationship with their dad rather than just saying 'fine, you don't have to go'.

DontGiveAFlying Fri 14-Apr-17 13:17:15

Why do they need to be encouraged to see his new child? They don't think she has anything to do with them.

A relative of mine went to court with this attitude and got royally flamed.

Why should they be encouraged? Because it's their half sister for goodness sake. Thinking that she has replaced then does not make it fact! If dad wants to see the kids then surely that is case in point!

saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 13:18:30

I've heard that they court will rule after the children's wishes. Is that not true?

Will this court case he's started now force them to do things they don't want?

DontGiveAFlying Fri 14-Apr-17 13:19:13

Are you projecting your own views to the dc?

Yes this does come across actually

thebakerwithboobs Fri 14-Apr-17 13:20:16

OP, this may not be something you want to read, but even from reading your small posts, your negativity towards your ex and his partner/child is palpable. You have said their own half sibling is nothing to do with them, for example. It is not difficult to see where your children are forming their opinions from I'm afraid. You may not do this deliberately, but it sounds like they mirror your own feelings. Your role as the resident parent-unless of course your ex husband is a danger to your children-is to protect their relationship with him, to encourage their contact, to love their father. Your youngest would have been very young when all this happened so I am afraid that their opinions especially have been coloured by those of others. 'I won't force them,' sounds like 'I don't encourage them either,' to me. I could be entirely wrong, and you may well have tried very, very hard to change their minds but I am not feeling that from your posts.

saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 13:21:14

@DontGiveAFlying but the kids themselves don't want to see him? And especially not his new partner or the child. Why should his wishes override theirs?

MycatsaPirate Fri 14-Apr-17 13:21:24

The Court will more than likely back up his request to see the dc on a regular basis.

I'm sorry but it sounds like you have issues with your ex and have used that to withdraw contact with the dc using the new woman and child as an excuse.

I think it's shit that they have only met their half sister once in two years. They have met his partner once in two years. And yet they don't want to go because of them. When they aren't there. If I was the partner of your ex I would be wondering why the fuck I wasn't allowed to build a relationship with my stepchildren and have my own child build a relationship with her older siblings.

thebakerwithboobs Fri 14-Apr-17 13:21:50

Because they sound like your wishes, not theirs.

saoirse17 Fri 14-Apr-17 13:22:45

I can't help if they've overheard things fro this horrible divorce. But I haven't done anything to try and stop them seeing him.

thebakerwithboobs Fri 14-Apr-17 13:23:49

You can help it, it's your job to protect them. And saying you haven't done anything to stop them seeing him, is not he same as doing all you possibly can to help them build and maintain relationships, is it?

relaxo Fri 14-Apr-17 13:25:05

I have a 10 and 14 year old and while they wouldn't want to meet a baby, they would respond to logic that the baby is an innocent. How would they feel if they were judged by their parents actions?

They don't see ex's gf with good reason though.obviously it's hard to say if yanbu or yabu because I don't know your family and the situation but luckily, ex's gf visits her family when contact happens so the kids can avoid her.

The way to sort out feelings of being replaced is to see their dad more. It's hard to say whether or not this is appropriate as you've kept things general.

I'd expect a court to take the older kids' opinion seriously. (The youngest is too young)

NabobsFromNobHill Fri 14-Apr-17 13:25:15

You could have helped it. It's clear that you have influenced them and its your wishes masquarading as theirs.

Really sad for them that you haven't encouraged contact with their father, and helped them to accept their sibling. That's your job.

DontGiveAFlying Fri 14-Apr-17 13:26:08

Will this court case he's started now force them to do things they don't want?

Yes, this is especially likely if it seems like the resident parent has not been encouraging contact.

The court seeks to rule in favour of the child's best interests because they are too young to make life-changing decisions aged 7!

And Yes, I think his wishes as a willing parent should override those of legal minors.

In cases of abuse that would be different though.

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