My xH and I have an interim shared residence order in place. He is constantly tries to control me through the children and in the past after I mentioned that my son had been playing up at my house (which was out of character) he told my son (4yo) that if he didn''t behave at my house I would stop him seeing his father (not true). The father is now badgering me for two extra nights over two weeks. He already has five nights over two weeks. I tried to explain that the children are tired and run down all the time as it is and if anything they needed less switches between parents. I suggested a way to do this so he keeps five nights but he wants to go to court anyway. His suggestion means the children would be in a different bed every other night which I''m hoping the judge wouldn''t allow. Although I know I''m acting for the benefit of the children (the other is nearly 3yo) because he is so manipulative I''m frightened he will tell lies to judge about me and I won''t be able to defend myself against him. I am 20k in debt from getting divorced because he was so difficult at every turn and on a low income so I am not going to seek out a solicitor. I intend to do this myself. I am currently the resident parent. He begrudges having to pay child support to me and it is his way of trying to pay less. The things he has said to me have been awful and had threatened to take the children away from me. This is ridiculous because he doesn''t care for them when they are with him, his girlfriend does. He lies about his working hours and says they are ''flexible'' which was how he got so many nights in the first place. I want my children to have contact and spend time with their father but at the moment they are too young for all this backward and forward and I feel that they need a base with their Mum. From my experience in court I feel like I don''t really have much right in regards to my opinion on what is of benefit to my own children. Any advice on guidelines for young children gladly received. Thanks. (Sorry it''s hard to put everything in here so it''s a bit of a synopsis). One last question. If the interim order is made permanent what is the implication of this? Anything I can do to cut down on his attempts to control me?
Children have rights, parents have responsibilities.
Individual judges, like parents, have different attitudes about parenting and often there is no agreed Absolute right or wrong just people doing different things. IF parents cannot agree a judge will make a decision based on facts and evidence of what is in a child''s best interest rather than the opinion or feelings of parents. For example evidence of children being unsettled might be school finding children are arriving late at school tired.
YOung children often manage overnights better if they are away from the main carer little and often. By the time children reach school age many families find that less frequent longer spells of contact, say 5 days over alternate weekends, is more settled because there are fewer handovers and the children are in one place longer.
The way to stop feeling controlled is to establish physical and emotional barriers by changing your own behaviour eg don''t react to hot air or get into protracted debate, go away identify the underlying problem and ways of resolving it before responding; only respond to practicalities that has to dealt with for the sake of the children; use a third party or neutral public venue for handovers and keep a contact diary to exchange essential factual information at handovers.
Thank you for your response. My suggestions to the father were around having less change overs to keep them more settled. The father doesn''t see this as beneficial (to him I suppose as it doesn''t reduce his payments!).
I keep all correspondance to a minimum and as professional as I can and try only to discuss the children. Unfortunately some handovers occur at his home or my home but he tends to keep quiet during these just having the occasional childish dig that hopefully goes over the children''s heads. Most of the abuse is recorded on answer machine messages, email or text but I can''t really see how any of it helps with anything.
Well, I guess I''ll have to see if a mediator will help. I found them terrible last time as there were extremely unhelpful because they are unable to intervene and tell either party when they are overstepping the line. I ended up in tears through frustration. It was a complete waste of time. I don''t think it ever works when one party has control issues.
Hi if you have an interim residence order then presumably you have a return date? Interim orders are just that - they fill a time period until the hearing I believe.
The decision about the split of time would be considered at that hearing i believe, with statements from either party stating what arrangement they feel best for the children and why it would be in their best interests.
As there is no history on your case its difficult to advse but re the controlling behaviour, dont allow him to control you - if you have a court order then abide by it and he has no cause to complain.
What is the split currently in your shared residence order and how are you asking for this to be changed?