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Refused access on child''s birthday

  • TimA
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30 May 12 #334175 by TimA
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Hi,

I''ve an issue that is just starting regards access to my children and would appreciate some guidance to resolve.

it''s the youngest boy birthday today. As there is no contact between me and the ex, messages usually get passed reasonably well through the oldest child. I asked during the last drop off last weekend to confirm I could collect him on his birthday from 18:00 - 20:00 so I could open his presents with him. I have seen all of them on each of their birthdays since the separation.

I was advised in response that the boy was going out to dinner with his mother and new partner and there would be no time for me to see him.

As this is quite upsetting for me I made a decision to text the ex this morning to request access from 18:00 - 20:00.

The response was digressive and really didn''t answer the question but basically said that she had taken advice on this and it was not unreasonable to do what she is doing and she was going to continue and take him out this evening.

I don''t think I am being unreasonable asking to see my son for 2 hours on his special day. If his mum collects him from school at 15:15 and with me collecting him at 18:00 this would give us more or less equal afternoon time with him. My own view on taking him out to dinner would be to do it this weekend i.e. one has Saturday and one has Sunday to do what they want. To do it on the actual day so I can''t see him I feel is not being consistent to the boy''s wellbeing.

This is not a competition for heavens sake to see who can take him out first. The boy should be able to see both of his parents on his special day. How must he feel when he hasn''t seen me today? Will he think I dont want to see him? That I dont care about him on his birthday? I don''t think her (their) actions have taken the child''s welfare into consideration. OK, Saturday or Sunday will come and we will go out and have a nice time but that is not the point. His birthday is today and not Saturday. After today its gone for another year.

Furthermore, I am now worried for future access particularly Birthdays, Christmas and New Year. As the contact has been fluid with no fixed and formalised arrangement there is no set agreement in place for issues such as today therefore I cant go back to anything to state I have rights of access.

I''m thinking about going back to the mediation service to formalise the access arrangements. Weekends generally work OK its just the special events I am worried about really. I''m worried she can refuse to attend to not resolve the issues. I need to know, outside of mediation, if there is a process in place to formalise my access?

I think its time for a formal agreement so issues like today do not happen again.

Any advice / guidance will be most welcome.

  • stepper
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30 May 12 #334182 by stepper
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When my son and his ex. first split up, his ex. was very flexible with contact. Contact worked very well for about twelve months or so. After that things deteriorated. There is a Final Hearing later this month when hopefully all holidays etc. will be incorporated into the order.

Once things start to deteriorate to the point where negotiation becomes impossible, mediation/Court may be your only alternative.

When things were working well, my son had his youngest for his birthday but his ex. text him and asked could she take him out for his tea. My son was quite agreeable to that and his ex. returned him after about two hours.

That is the way is should be but it takes two people to make contact arrangements work.

  • BoysMum
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30 May 12 #334185 by BoysMum
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Stepper - What a fantastic post :)

  • NewHorizons
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31 May 12 #334281 by NewHorizons
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In my case if a birthday fell in the contact time with their Dad I wasn''t allowed to contact them the child at all. Even on Mother''s day...

When the children were with their Dad they weren''t to contact me or vice versa, never mind special ocassions.

Fair enough, I''m the parent with care, but then contact was never restricted.

While I know its not a comfort, my lot loved having two birthdays, two Easters and two Christmas''s.

I found it just spoilt it for them if I got ananxious.

I agree, its not right though. I just found this was a coping strategy for me, and found my lot loved it.

  • AnnoyedMummy
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31 May 12 #334305 by AnnoyedMummy
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It could be that your son had already asked to go out for dinner on his birthday. If you only asked to see him 4/5 days before, I wouldn''t be cancelling plans I had made for the ex!

  • Enuff Already
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31 May 12 #334308 by Enuff Already
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AnnoyedMummy, would you not have even considered the possibility that dad might what to see his child on his birthday and proposed something and then made your plans if dad said no, or would you just railroad your child into following your plans even though its his birthday and his special day and should really be about what he wants, would you have even given him the option.. Just asking!

  • maisymoos
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31 May 12 #334312 by maisymoos
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I agree with New Horizons and have adopted the same strategy, if I do not have the children on a special occasion we just celebrate it on a different day. The children think its great having double bubble and it prevents them being exposed to any confusion or arguments between me and my ex.

For example we celebrated Mothers Day the Sunday before the actual day, the kids had a great time :)

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