Hi, Many apologies in advance if this is discussed elsewhere on this site, but I could do with some advice.
Having gone through the whole (messy) divorce process we finally got all the way to final FDR hearing where (to cut a long story short) where the courts found in my favour (despite my ex-wife''s insistence that I deserved nothing from our shared assets). This all behind us, my ex has now decided that the best way to punish me is to prevent me from seeing or even speaking to my children (despite thinking that my money is good enough to accept for their maintenance)!
This is a person who will fight me at every step in anything that she feels she can get at me with. So...how do I deal with this? Surely the law cannot allow bitter parents to mess around with children''s lives like this? There must be some protection for fathers who only want to see their children. I just want regular, fair contact with my children.
Can anyone tell me what steps I can take in order to see my children who I love and care for? Many thanks in advance.
Oh dear, not good. How old are your children? Old enough to speak for themselves?
I would think your only choice is to go for a contact order but that means court again. I am sure someone else will have wise words for you. I have no advise as I am on the other side, I am the mum of a child who is trying to get his father to HAVE regular contact with his child!!
The first advice is to avoid going to court if at all possible: it often makes disputes become more entrenched. You should try mediation, but don''t spend too long mediating if it is clear the other party has no intention of playing fair.
The last option is court and proceedings for contact or shared residence.
In answer to your (probably rhetorical) questions, the law does allow bitter parents to mess around with their children''s lives and a very lucrative business it is, too, thank you. There is no protection for parents who only want to see their children because parents have no right in law to see their children.
It is important to understand this so you don''t waste time trying to assert rights you don''t have. Concentrate only on your children''s right to have a meaningful relationship with you.
Start with an application on Form C100; you will be referred initially for mediation.
Thanks very much for your replies. In essence, it appears as if the mother can pretty much do what she likes as regards contact with the children, and there is no protection for fathers who only want to see their children. Even going through the process of obtaining contact orders etc appears pointless as this can still be ignored when it comes to the times of contact.
The only winners appear to be the lawyers, parents with a grudge, and parents who don''t really care whether they see their chilren or not (I am sure that there are a percentage of fathers playing the same game with children''s lives).
Rather than continue to push locked doors, I feel that my best bet is to let it settle in the hope that my ex-wife''s bitterness will pass and that she will realise that this is also hurtful to the children.
Thanks again all.. but I would still be interested in hearing any success stories, or alternative opinions on this.
I agree with Stepper, you will have an uphill struggle changing the current status quo which you will have established.
Another Wiki member somuch2know had a similar situation to you. He had terrible trouble with contact and after he filed a C100, contact more or less started again. He went through the court process and got pretty much what he was asking for.
My advise would be don''t give up your kids. They will think you have abandoned them. How old are they? Do you have any indirect contact in place?
I see what you mean, but I am allowed to see the kids when it suits my ex (usually weekly), but I usually have to wait by the phone usually being informed on the morning of contact that it is OK to see my children (!). When I arrive to collect the childen, I am then intimidated at the door with all kinds of jibes, and treated as if I have arrived to see the pope!
On other occasions, I am excluded from all other events in my children''s lives only to be drip-fed little snippets of contact (even phone contact is limited). It''s like allowing a crack addict to have a little crack, and then withdrawing it without them knowing when their next fix will be... An extreme reference, but those who love their children will identify with this.
From everything I hear; even when contact orders are applied, and huge solicitor''s bills have been paid, the ex will most likely still mess around with contact and applications have to made to the courts again (with further costs in additon to paying child maintenance).
I feel completely helpless. I cut the cords of both of my children, attended every school event, changed every other nappy, etc etc but I feel the children drifting away from me as they are only young and impressionable. I have repeatedly asked the ex to just tell me what she expects as reagrds contact but she has refused, presumably as she can currently call me up as it suits her so why would she change that?
I don''t want to give up on my kids but, whilst I understand that system is set up to protect children and mothers who have traditionally had the wrong end of things, my situation appears to be very common.