Ok folks, really new to this and need some advice.
My Wife and i recently separated(13 Days ago)
I have seen my kids 3 times for about an hour each time in this period. I am really missing them.
They are great little boys and we get on so well, everytime they see me they come running at me with massive smiles, looking for a hug. Ok i was not there primary carer as i worked and sometimes worked away for a week at time, but i was at home at nights and some weekends, did all the usual stuff like read bedtime stories, bathed them, ruff and tumble time, even had started taking them to the swimming pool once a week to help with there confidence, my ex( well i suppose she is now) has been a very controlling mum and shut me out really since they were born putting all her effort in to bringing them up, obviously there were good times, but just not enough us time and recently no us time at all. Over the last few days, she has talked about not with holding access and maybe even re-consiliation as an option.
We met last night to discuss various things including access to the kids, eldest is 2 and Half and youngest is 1 and a half.
Her Solicitor has advised her i should only get to see them once every fortnight, ie on a saturday from 9-5, i actually asked if she was joking?? She said ok you can see them on a sunday as well from 9-5.
My solictor (she is on holiday until 1st of april, typical)
Has advised me i should be able to see them 3-4 times a week for short periods of say 1-3 hours be able to put them to bed , bath them or take them out so basically they know daddy is still around and loves them loads and even because i'm living at my parents temporarily they could stay over as the house is familiar to them.
My solicitor also advised i can go to my house( the family home) anytime i like as well it is 50% mine, but my ex's parents have basically taken up semi permanent residence when it suits them, also fitting bolts to the inner side back door, apparentlty for ex's safety as the house is in the country.
Sorry you are having to go through all of this.
First of all, contact is not your right but your childrens. I would think about what is their "norm". What happened before the split, how often did you see them etc etc? Then think about what you think is best for your children and appeal to your wifes better nature!!
It reads to me that your wife has listened to her solicitor and gone with the standard "every other weekend contact", as this seems to be all a lot of people get. Thing is that shouldnt have to be the norm. There are people on this site (lucky people) who have 50:50 contact, there is one that I know of where the children stay with him 1 week and then his Ex's the week after. However you would need to consider whether this is practical and whether your wife will work with this.
As far as the house goes, yes you have every right to be there but it may antagonise your wife. I can understand who it would also be difficult for you with the in laws there. I suppose the circumstances of your split play a big part here?
At the end of the day try to negotiate contact with your children based on what is best for them and by trying to appeal to your wifes maternal instincts.
Hope it works out. You'll get some great advice here so stick around.
There is no one contact arrangement that suits all families but the organisation that advises courts on child related matters suggest very young children might have difficulty managing overnight stays and recommend contact little and often.
It's still very early days yet and if you can't reach an agreement that will work for everyone consider professional help in the form of mediation. Experience shows people are generally more satisfied with arrangements they have agreed and they stick to them better.
You might find Time for Children and the Parenting Plan useful as a basis for discussion with your wife. Available at;-
My x2b and I split when my daughter was only 1. She refused all contact (very controlling woman) and I had to go to court, be interviewed by CAFCASS before any arrangements where made concrete. At the hearing, my x2b felt that once a fortnight was the "norm" and could see no problem in it but luckily the judge (and CAFCASS) took a different approach and agreed that little and often is the best way as my daughter was so young. Bank holidays are equally shared.Its a very expensive road but was well worth it.
I currently see my daughter every Wednesday for a hour, every other Monday for a hour and every other Friday pm to Saturday pm, but overnight contact must be at my parents and not my home that i share with my partner(but thats another story!!)
Firstly, I am really sorry to read your post - it's early days, my first thoughts are would there be any way you could both just "take a breather" from each other for an agreed time and not go straight to the formal route of strict access/possible divorce? Have you both discussed reconcilliation/counselling? anything to see if your marriage can be saved?
I think when solicitors get involved from the outset either party can get very easily pulled into thinking that's the only way forward and things can quickly deteriorate because of the "advice" they get - it becomes a power struggle.
Having fairly recently got divorced I really am keen to encourage anyone embarking upon separation to try everything in their power to solve any issues that may just be a matter of compromise.
Divorce makes life so much worse for everyone, families are torn apart, children are hurt, parents are hurt and I think "what the heck is it all about?!"
Please try and see if you can communicate with your wife - sometimes pride gets in the way on both sides - I don't know your situation obviously and may be completely off the mark here - I don't mind if you let me know if I am!
Firstly Folks , thanks for your replies to my concerns.
It's nice to know i may get better access than has been suggested by herself.
To answer some questions quickly, i really don't want to go the solicitor route at all but i want to see my boys.
Mediation may be the best idea but unsure how that works, as per my last post our last meeting involved her father as a so called witness, but he had plenty to say, which i feel isn't really his concern regarding our children, and i felt as tho he was making the decisions for her. If we are to suit with a stranger and talk or discussthis i would rather have no outside influences, just someone to listen to both sides and help with a solution.
I called her yesterday to see if i could see them and got a point blank no, not until everyhting is sorted out!! this now includes the house sale as we agreed it would go on the market this week, but she has now backed out of it say not until we agree on access as well , this seems like blackmail to me. She's never been like this in the 7 years i've known her so more and more intented to think she is being influenced by her parents.
Well fed up and this is early days.
Yes we did have a good week prior to this meeting last wednesday where we talked and she even brought up reconsiliation and building a new relationship and was it all worth saving and i got to see the kids ok no hassle but since disagreeing with the once a fornight thing it has all gone down hill.