Children are stating that they want to live with Mummy.
Residency has not been decided yet.
In the meantime appropriate agencies have made checks and as far as I know I have them 5 nights and they see their father at the weekends during term-time. I have also encouraged an extra contact during the week.
During holidays there is more share so that the children can benefit to see both the parents.
Both children are under the age of 10.
Children state that they do not want to live with him and don''t want to see him so often but do want to see him. I have always encouraged for the children to see their father and will continue to do so but I do not want my children to be unhappy.
I don''t want them to feel guilty about everything that has happened so I am doing what I can although it may not be brill as I myself feel like a crap parent but I do love my children - alot.
Stbx is alleging that I am turning them against him and am emotionally abusing them. Children are very confused; they have recalled incidents of DV and mentioned this to me and obviously also to their father but I am afraid he isn''t telling them the truth and may be putting the blame on me; twisting the truth and making me look bad. As my stbx has psychologically abused me, I now have concerns about how he will manipulate the children and their thoughts and memories.
CAFCASS will be writing a report but I am worried that by that time stbx may have confused the children; children are not remembering things properly. I am also worried that CAFCASS may miss certain important things.
My Children say that they want to live with me and want to see me more.
Your children love you and you love them, that is clear.
What has become clear to me in the 4 years since my 1st marriage ended and the 3 years that I have known my step-kids is that children are a lot cannier than we give them credit for. The absolutely do not want to upset their parents (until they are teenagers;) ) and are very good at telling each parent what they think that parent wants to hear. That doesn''t mean that the kids dont want to live with you, I am sure that they do.
When my husband took his ex to court for contact, his kids were 10, 8 and 5. Contact was granted even though his ex was dead set against him having as much contact as he got and she was prepared to have the children interviewed to ensure he got less contact (this never happened). The problem was, the kids love their mum dearly and knew she felt a bit lost without them. So they said they didn''t want to see more of dad. But when they were here, they had a great time. We couldn''t understand this and, as the nrp, it was devastating for my husband to be told that the kids were coming to him under duress.
Fast forward 3 years and mum is happy in a new relationship and has had another baby. All of a sudden the kids feel comfortable and are happy to tell mum so. So now our overnights have increased from 3/14 to 5/14 at the kids request.
On the other hand, this has never been an issue with my own daughter as her dad and I are very flexible with contact.
Your ex will be upset, that is natural. Try and think how you would feel in his position. But also remember that you are the adult and must make the right decisions for the welfare of your children.
I understand what you are saying about children saying what we might want to hear.
Surely this could cause confusion with CAFCASS couldn''t it?
As far as stbx is concerned, if he had it his way he wouldn''t want the children to see me at all. He wants full custody of the children at any expense with me having minimum contact with them or none at all (we know this as he has stated I could go relocate and live in the same town as my family).
I want to do the right thing by my children. I am going on the basis of what they are telling me.
What do I do in stating an agreement for residency?
Do I ask the children in what they want?
What is reasonable and unreasonable?
The fact that children have witnessed DV must be taken into account.
You need to try and trust the children to tell CAFCASS they want to live with you and also for CAFCASS to make a good report.
But I think you also need to have the children at least some weekends, once term starts again. It''s not fair that you should get all the hard work during the school week and him all the fun times, and it''s also not fair on your children that they don''t get to have down time in their home with you. They are saying that they want to see you more and I am sure this is some of it.
It is quite possible that the children have not mentioned the DV to their father - that they mention it to you means that they feel safe doing so with you. They may not feel so safe with him.
Why don''t you move to your ex seeing the children alternate weekends plus a night in the week, instead of every weekend? The court is unlikely to give him every weekend in any case, as his solicitor will tell him.
You also need to believe the children when they say they want to live with you and see more of you. You have been their main carer since birth; why wouldn''t they?
When saying what you want re residence/contact you shouldn''t be asking the children what they want as that drags them into your dispute with their father. You should ask that the children remain with you as their longstanding main carer, on the grounds that this preserves stability for them and is therefore in their best interests. You should say that of course they should maintain a good relationship with their father and that you propose that they do this by going to them alternate weekends, one night during the week, and half the holidays. This is reasonable and will be seen as reasonable by the court. Given how difficult your ex is you might want to make concrete arrangments about sharing birthdays, Christmas, etc. as well.
Of course if the children tell CAFCASS they have witnessed DV against you then he might not get them as much as this - it will depend on how reliable and safe they see him as being with them.
A NRP alleging that the children are being turned against him is quite common - sometimes it is true but usually it is not. CAFCASS are entirely aware of that so he can allege as much as he likes but it doesn''t mean that they will believe him, particulary if you are obviously supporting contact.
How old exactly are your children and what are the reasons they state when they say they do not want to stay with their father as much as they do?
To me, that shares 50-50 with my ex husband, it is really weird that our son will say they do not want to be with either of us as much as he does any longer without a very good reason.
Now, to a six year old good reason does not necessarily mean something negative happening at one home.
So that I understand this right: instead of maintaining the status quo and finding out why the children do not want to be with their father as long as they used to, the previous poster actually suggests that their father gets even less time just because...?
When my child decides he doesn''t want to wake up at 7am to go to school, should I call school and make sure he starts at 10am, instead?
I just don''t understand how fathers are being reduced to third world citizens after a divorce and are actually asked to spend the minimum amount of time possible with the children that they were involved in their conception and upbringing, until something happened in the relationship, without any good reason.
I cannot comment on the DV as I do not know the circumstances and this is a pretty serious issue that when proved to be true I am sure that CAFCASS will have a suitable solution that will not put the children in harms way.
I am not diminishing any contact - I wouldn''t do it and haven''t done it.
It is him who is not liking it and if he had it his way, children won''t see me at all.
It is the children who are stating many things many of which are difficult to listen to as they are painful for them. I am trying to be there for them in any way I can be.
I want to do the right thing for my children.
I also want to be there for them as they have witnessed DV.
It isn''t me who is charging ahead and is insistant in wanting full custody at any expense.
Perhaps you may wish to comment upon giving 50% or greater custody to a father who has smacked the mother of his children in front of the children and when children have said stop daddy, he has shouted at them.
Like I said this nightmare is not over - not for me and not for my children; I want to make sure that my children are ok, happy and looked after.
I don''t care about what stbx wants.
My children, their happiness remain my focus, after all they deserve it after the crap they ve been through.
Chained, I don''t think you are being helpful here. I don''t think you realise how easy it is to undermine the confidence of someone who has been subjected to long-term abuse.
YummyMummy is up against a man who is trying to take the children away from her completely, having subjected her to violence and them to witnessing it. He has manipulated and abused her for a long time and continues to be abusive, making constant allegations about her parenting and undermining her confidence. This is not a case that is suitable for equal parenting time.
Equal-time parenting does not work for everyone. It requires co-operation between the parents on an ongoing basis. It is not helpful to posters such as YummyMummy who have experienced considerable amounts of mental and physical abuse to have a go at them for not going for such arrangements. They are likely to make it much easier for her husband to continue to exercise considerable coercive control over her life and by doing so harm the children emotionally.
I am suggesting that the father gets different parenting time for these reasons:
Their mother has been their main carer, being at home for them rather than going out to work, as a family choice.
The children should have relaxation time with their mother as well as with their father.
If the father is really committed to parenting he should be able to look after the children overnight during the week not just when it is most convenient (and fun), i.e. weekends.