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(18 Posts)
vickylee1 Fri 01-Dec-17 13:49:38

Hi there I was wondering if you could advise me, my children 5-8 live with me I pay all the bills and work around there school hours, my ex has children Wednesdays and alternative weekends we recently had a falling out and he's now saying he wants them every Monday and Wednesday over night as well as alternative weekends, he's telling courts his mum can have them as he works full time, I am so worried if he has them that amount of time there only have me in there life 50 % of the time, there young and have a routine im so worried I cant eat or sleep. He has told the court he has no concerns and I am a good mum he just wants them now after this argument.

Scrumptiousbears Fri 01-Dec-17 13:52:05

Apart from not having them over 50% of the time are there any other concerns you have about their care and welfare when with their father?

Tinselistacky Fri 01-Dec-17 13:53:01

Could his reasons have anything to do with not having to give you cms??
If the arrangements have worked well so far him saying his dm will have them isn't really in the dc best interests imo.
Keep all emails /texts to show why he is intent on asking for the changes and show your solicitor.

lalaloopyhead Fri 01-Dec-17 13:54:11

Well it is tough (as in hard) to adjust to having your kids less than full time but if you look at the reverse your ex gets to spend very little time with them.

If he's changing the arrangement to get at you, then he is out of order. But if he just wants to be in his kids lives more he has a right to that I am afraid. (assuming you have no concerns about their safety with him etc)

vickylee1 Fri 01-Dec-17 16:06:27

We had a fight he made a pass at me I rejected it then he sis this.

vickylee1 Fri 01-Dec-17 16:08:04

I have given him open access to see them even brought him to court to get a order for him to stop messing about and turn up, this failed he shows when he wants goes on holidays and leaves the children constantly with his mother this is to hurt me he even told the school im a great mother.xx

vickylee1 Fri 01-Dec-17 16:09:10

I have given him open access to see them even brought him to court to get a order for him to stop messing about and turn up, this failed he shows when he wants goes on holidays and leaves the children constantly with his mother this is to hurt me he even told the school im a great mother.xx

vickylee1 Fri 01-Dec-17 16:10:26

He has open access huni I have always been fair, they live with me always have his choice as well as mine, hes never raised concerns just got angry over a recent row, then did this.

vickylee1 Fri 01-Dec-17 16:11:50

He cant think walking in and taking the kids away from there home 50 percent of the time is in there best interest, so it shows its just to get at me.

Pseudousername Fri 01-Dec-17 16:22:47

What do your kids think about the possible change?

BubblesBuddy Fri 01-Dec-17 20:04:11

I am not sure if you have actually been back to court or whether he is saying he is intending to go back to court to change the order.

If you have not yet done so, get a solicitor or a barrister to represent you. It is not a right of a parent to have more time with children than the original order. You need to tell your advocate that the application is spiteful, it will alter the settled routine the children have, they will not be spending time with their father but it will be with their grandmother for some of the time, and that you do not think a change in contact at this time will be in their interests because it is too disruptive. Say you are concerned that it will upset current parenting arrangements for the worse if there are changes. Do they have enough space at their Dad’s? Does he cook for them? Will he take them to and from play dates etc?

The children will be asked what they want so if they really want more time with their Dad and grandma you may have to accept this view. However the court does not have to agree with your children because young children do not always know what is in their best interests. The younger they are, the less weight is put on their views.

Make sure you do not go to court without representation. You are far more likely to get no change if you get a solicitor or barrister. You also need to tell your advocate your ex has violated the order and is not behaving in a responsible way. This is a powerful argument because it shows he is not trustworthy. If he has any personality traits which are unacceptable, tell your advocate. Don’t be pushed over by him!!! Good luck.

kittensinmydinner1 Sat 02-Dec-17 06:29:02

PP is talking nonsense. You are not 'more likely 'to get the outcome you want if you have representation !!! Judges are only too well aware that the removal of legal aid in family cases for all but 'proved' dv cases, has meant that legal help is out of the question for all but the well off. !

We have self represented in over 15 hearings in the last decade whilst children's mother has had a Barrister paid by her wealthy parents. We have won EVERY outcome. This is not because we are super smart people who have taught ourselves to be legal advocates in the space of a few months - but because the issues we were fighting were clearly in the best interests of the children concerned.

Judges are NOT happy about the number of people forced to self represent, however their anger is directed at the government not the family in front of them. They will afford the litigant in person all the help they can.
Please do not put people off fighting for their children just because they don't have money for advocates. It's bad advice and very unfair on children who rely on parents doing the right thing for them.
Court is scary to those without experience of it. People need encouragement not putting off. !

Of course a lawyer is preferable if you have the money. But what is important is that everyone who wants the best for their children stands up and fights for it. It's doing nothing that's not acceptable!

The law is thank goodness still (just about) above the ability to pay. Long may it remain so.

BubblesBuddy Sun 03-Dec-17 23:28:40

I am not putting anyone off doing anything.
Having to be a litigant in person puts many off in the first place so that’s not down to me!

The op says she cannot eat or sleep because she is so worried. Many people under this amount of stress are well advised to get an experienced advocate to fight for them so they don’t have to learn what the judge wants and their experienced advocate can stand up to the other parent’s unreasonable demands. Many young barristers don’t charge a fortune for a day in court. Most people realise their children are worth that!

Just because you are an experienced litigant in person, kittens, you cannot assume others can be the same. Not being confident or able to put your case across harms the strong argument you may have if you are not effective and bullied out of it. For the majority of people it is best to get help rather than diy. Most people are not like you kittens and neither should they have to go back to court 15 times!

By all accounts judges are not happy about having to sort out litigants in person or the delays it is causing. They do not, of course, criticise the litigant in person and they definitely know it is the fault of the government. However, in many cases a skilled advocate works best. The op didn’t say she could not afford professional help.

kittensinmydinner1 Tue 05-Dec-17 07:02:05

I think you will find that no one is an 'experienced litigant in person ' until they are forced into it !

It is not difficult at all to make a basic application for a CAO for example. It was much more time consuming to defend a leave to remove application. But if you have no money then it is a stark choice between 'do all possible' or lose your children. That isn't a choice.

Had we had the money we would of course have employed a professional advocate. It is not a huge leap to assume that someone coming on to a forum that offers legal advice - has not got the financial resources to pick the phone up to ask the same questions of a lawyer.

It is always better to go to court regardless of wether you can afford an advocate . If not going means losing contact with your children.

Collaborate Tue 05-Dec-17 07:19:43

OP - you may have gained the impression that kittensinmydinner1 and BubblesBuddy were encouraging you to get lawyered up/not get lawyered up then apply to court. I did anyway.

You have no need to take it to court. There is a court order in place. He wants the arrangements to change. He therefore needs to take it to court if he's unhappy. Don't precipitate change by taking it to court yourself. Also, keep a diary/record of all the times he's not taken you up on the contact agreed/ordered. Have a chain of emails or text messages to prove each time he cancels or fails to turn up.

kittensinmydinner1 Fri 08-Dec-17 06:49:04

You are quite right Collaborate. I had missed that . This is not OPs issue to initiate and she is of course best served to do nothing until/if he makes the next move.
I do want to make it clear though that I am not advocating 'self representation' as preferable to an experienced family lawyer. I definitely am not. If we had had the money - I would have chosen lawyer every time.

I am advocating 'self representation' as preferable to doing nothing.

Too many people on here and the step parenting boards are not standing up for their children because of fear of going to court for the sole reason that they cannot afford a lawyer.
I wanted to encourage all parents not to be afraid . If court is what's required - with the obvious caveat being to try and resolve matters by mediation before it gets to this point.

BubblesBuddy Fri 08-Dec-17 15:09:29

The op said the father was telling his situation to the court. I did not suggest she went to court to challenge him!

BubblesBuddy Fri 08-Dec-17 15:10:53

I meant I did not suggest she initiated the court case.

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