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Erosion of children contact

  • aboy
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08 Jun 12 #335686 by aboy
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My ex has found another way of diminishing my contact - or rather the children''s contact with me, their father. My boys are 4 and 5 years old. They enjoy an alternate weekend overnight stay with me apart from mode week tea time. Ex suddenly says can''t have boys for weekend as they have to attend a function - she says that she will not make up for missed time because it''s the children''s time and why should she compensate me for lost time when it''s the children''s function and not hers. She says further that as the children are growing up they will need more of their time and therefore expect less contact. My conta t is per court order and she is now unilaterally altering the contact her self saying that the children''s own function is important for them. I can accept that the children obviously will need to engage in their activities and it''s good for them but at the cost of spending their crucial time, bonding and meaningful relationship building and development with their father. But the issue for me is that she is using this as a means to reducing my contact - hard fought in court. Other times she says that during the weekend contact she will collect the children for a few hours and return them. If I don''t accept this she will delay the start of the weekend contact until after the children attend their activity or function. So I feel blackmailed that if I don''t agree then I lose contact time. I don''t want to go to court because she will introduce other ways of trying to reduce the contact time - she calls the shots and I feel improisoned by her actions that I cannot be with my children. I have moved heaven and earth to get what contact I have. How on earth can one deal with this. Anyone with similar experiences and how can I counteract these steps and stop erosion of the children''s contact.

  • rubytuesday
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08 Jun 12 #335691 by rubytuesday
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Keep a detailed diary of each and every time that contact is thwarted/cut short/made difficult/activities arranged during your time to build up a record that she is in fact making contact very difficult.

keep all communication regarding the children in written form, this way if she makes claims such as she already has done, you have a hard copy of them.

She has to adhere to the terms of the Contact Order and make the children available at the times stated in it, if she isn''t and there is a pattern to this rather than a one off event, then you will need to seek enforcement of the order.

  • aboy
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08 Jun 12 #335692 by aboy
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Thank you. Will do - infect keeping a record and patterns are emerging

  • stepper
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08 Jun 12 #335693 by stepper
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If the children wish to attend functions on ''your time'', surely it is up to you to take them there and bring them back.

There are some mothers who quite deliberately thwart and manipulate contact between the children and their fathers.

However, there are plenty of posts on this forum about dads who put their own interests before their children, leaving mums feeling upset and hurt for their children because of it.

Wouldn''t it be fantastic if parents could put their differences aside for once and act purely in the interests of their children.

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08 Jun 12 #335694 by rubytuesday
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Occasional re-arranging can''t be avoided, but where there is a pattern, this would suggest that efforts are being made to reduce your time with your children.

  • zonked
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08 Jun 12 #335701 by zonked
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aboy - One option might be to appear to accept the ex''s position - yes, you agree as the children get older the parenting times need to be more flexible and you want to agree arrangements that give her peace of mind too. You would then seek to vary (change) the contact order to state that when court ordered contact does not occur one week, equivalent replacement contact will occur the following week.
At court you would argue the children need continuity and in an effort to minimise hostility between you and the ex – you have chosen not to seek enforcement action but instead try and change the arrangements to fit in with your ex’s wishes. You might also consider changing the order so that you collect the kids directly from school to prevent any doorstep drama.
The disadvantage with this is that the ex might simply take it as a licence to chop and change weekends as she saw fit.

  • jslgb
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08 Jun 12 #335705 by jslgb
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When my daughter has functions/parties etc to attend i always arrange alternatives with her father for contact. He has the opportunity to take her to these functions but he refuses to do so. In fact, before now he has been very verbal to me and my daughter about how i shouldnt let her go to parties etc on days she''s supposed to be with him.

I understand how you feel about your contact diminishing and this is why i always offer my ex an alternative where i can but i do feel that as my daughter grows up (she''s 5) by continuing to offer an alternative i will be giving up a big chunk of time that i get to spend with her.

I cant really offer you my opinion towards a solution as i dont have one, just an alternative side to the argument! However, your situation is very different to mine with regards to you actually fighting so much to see your children - my ex doesnt!

Can it not be suggested that on rare occasions your ex collects your children for a function then returns them to you afterwards?

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