My nephew is getting married next year on the May bank holiday. This would not be my normal contact day, but the weekend leading into the bank holiday is. My daughter has been asked to be bridesmaid and my nephew is my sons godfather, so needless to say my nephew wants my children there.
One of the first issues was that I needed to get permission from the school for my 6 yr old daughter to have the following day off school as we would need to stay overnight after the wedding as it is a fair way away. The school came back and gave their blessing for this, so the next step was trying to arrange the contact with the mother, which is never easy.
Knowing how difficult arranging additional contact outside of the contact order can be I tried to compromise with my ex by suggesting that in exchange for me having them the Monday night I gave up my friday night and collected the children at 5pm on the Saturday. It was important that I had the children in the Saturday as my nephew and his partner were paying for all of the close family and wedding party to attend a pre wedding dinner at the venue itself, where amongst other things was going to be handing out the wedding presents to the bridesmaids as it was something to do with the wedding day itself, so it was important that my daughther was there, as it was for me as I am one of the ushers. I explained this all to my ex in the hope that given the importance of the day and the fact my daughter would be so excited at being bridesmaid that there would be no issue with agreeing this, especially with the compromise I had given with the contact.
my ex came back and said that she would only agree to me having them on the Monday if I gave up the Friday and Saturday night and collected them on the Sunday at 10am.
I again explained why I needed the children on the Saturday as well and the fact that due to the distance away I would have to drive myself up there on the Saturday for the meal and the nback again on the Sunday to then collect the children and then back to the wedding venue. She has come back and stated this is the only way she will agree to the additional day on the Monday!
I have spoken to her own solicitor who privately said to me he would try to work on her as he understood why I was asking for the Sat - Mon and he even admitted that if I took it to court I would get what I was asking for (how this conversation came about is far too long winded to write here lol)
So my question is can anyone advise if they feel I would have a strong argument in court with what I am asking for given the ocassion and if I was to go to court, what form or application would I need to complete and how much the application would cost.
Sorry for the very long post, but wanted to try to give as much information as possible as I am sure you can understand the importance of the event.
I think you need to pick your battles in this one. Yes it doesnt seem fair from the outside but i know from dealing with stbxh''s first wife that you need to pick and choose what you want.
Yes it would be nice to have your children at the pre-wedding dinner, but surely having them at the wedding is more important? And also, can you nephew not give your daughter her bridesmaids gift on the actual day?
I think if you continue to push the issues she may not agree to monday at all!
This should not be about what I want or what she wants, this should be about what is best for the children. Why should children miss out on events like this because of a bitter ex? there is no justifiable reason as to why they cannot be with me from Saturday to Monday apart from my ex admitting she will not agree to me having the children for anymore additional days. That is why I am prepared to take it to court as I cannot see any decent judge ruling in her favour given her reasons? The meal on Saturday is an important family event as well, all of my childrens cousins etc will be there, so this is important bonding time with their family.
I am not going to push the issue with her anymore as I know from experience that this gets me nowhere, but this is too important an ocassion to just roll over and accept it.
Your right, it should be about what your children want, but unfortunately this is rarely the case when it comes to separation and divorce.
I have no idea what would happen if you took it to court. She may change her position and argue it wouldnt be appropriate to take the children out of school for the day. Yes the meal is important to bonding but i imagine all the people present there will also be present at the wedding?
In my experience women with this kind of attitude dont give up easily, and by taking it back to court you may cause more problems in the long run. When we were fighting the first wife for access we didnt have the resources to go back to court for every dispute, and trust me, there was a lot! My ex had to learn when to compromise.
None of this is fair on either your children or you and i dont for a moment suggest your ex wife is in the right. If you decide to take it to court i wish you all the best. Just be prepared for things to turn even uglier and this to be a regular avenue you may have to take.
Contact with extended family members is important, and including children in family events encourages relationships between extended family members and the children, and gives them a continued sense of "belonging" to that family.
The wedding is a one-off event, and falls on your weekend with the children (I would have thought that should a Bank Holiday fall on your weekend, then your weekend with the children would be extended to include that extra day). It sounds like she is being deliberately difficult and obstructive.
I would press on with your plans for the weekend - next May is some time away yet - and try to work towards an amicable agreement, without the intervention of Courts.
The Centre of Separated Parents offers excellent resources, advice and "toolkits" to enable parents to work together - www.separatedfamilies.info/
Trust me I know the perils of back and forth from court as have been doing it for the last two years and have spent a small fortune in securing the contact I have. The school have already given their consent in writing to allowing my daughter to have the time off of school so I think that would not be a valid arguement from her. Yes all of the people at the meal will be at the wedding, but its not nice for children to miss out for no reason on things like this and especially if their cousins start saying to them where was you on Saturday etc, its not nice for them.
I tihnk I have accepted my fate that the next god knows how many years I will be back and forth from court. I ven had to go to court to get contact on fathers day, that is what I am dealing with lol
Thank you and I wished things could be sorted to an amicable agreement, but I know they wont from previous issues. I am due back in court in September to discuss finances and assests etc. Do you think I could bring this to the judges attention then and ask for them to make judgement. I was in court last month for the first hearing on the finances and something was brought up by my ex, which the judge stated if we could not agree outside of court that day, he would order a hearing later that day. This was a contact issue which could not be agreed so he then ordered a hearing that afternoon and ordered in favour of me as my ex was trying to stop my upcoming holiday abroad with my children.