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what are my chances?

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27 Sep 12 #358280 by TEACHER2012
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Hi,

hope everyone is ok. just looking for a little guidance. i am a mother of two beautiful boys and am going through a divorce with a particularly bitter man. lately he has decided that whether i agree or not, he will have the boys three days a week regardless of what i think and feel. i have told him that the boys are all over the place when they spend alot of time with him. i feel its because they are out of routine with me and it takes a while for them to get back to how they are with me. by that time they go back to their dad for two days and the battle starts again.

i have sent him a letter asking him to go to mediation to sort it out but he says no as he cant afford it and will see me in court instead.

my question is what will happen in court? how likely is he to get three days a week custody? i was told that the courts were reluctant to grant this as it wasnt necessarily in the best interests of the children going from one parent to another twice in the week. i am worried about the impact that this will on the children. they are young right now but i cant believe that they wont be affected by this constant back and forth.

any guidance? any women have gone through the same thing. i always hear stories about women dictating everything to the men and my case is completely different. he dictates everything and i am bullied as usual and made to feel inferior so he can get his way. of course he doesnt see anythign wrong and as far as he is concerned i am just weak.

can anyone help?

teacher2012

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28 Sep 12 #358326 by sleepybird
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Hi teacher

If you have asked him to attend mediation then, you have done the right thing.
If he takes you to court before trying mediation first than it''s likely the judge will order you both to try mediation anyway. They like this to have been attempted first generally.
I think it sounds as though your partner is asking for joint custody of the boys. To be honest, If he doesn''t live too far from you so can get the boys to school etc than I can''t see why a judge would disagree with him.
It has to be a good thing for your sons to have a close relationship with their mum and dad and if he''s always lived with his boys prior to the divorce then understandably he will want to see them as much as possible.
I would write to him again and explain that a judge is likely to order mediation anyway.
What are the contact arrangements presently? And how long since he lived with the boys? Also how old are you sons and how do they feel about contact?

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28 Sep 12 #358329 by ffc1991
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How old are the children?

How often does he have them atm? and how long has the cureent contact been going on for?


It''s not completely out of the question from what iv''e read and seen peoples cases. Rejecting mediation because he cant afford it? I presume in this case heel be self representing then? As if not court will be far more expensive.

The court are likely to just order it anyways before they make any decisions.

Kids do adjust really wuickly though and if it was a set pattern and set contact I''m sure they''d adjust. Are you completely against this?

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28 Sep 12 #358365 by TEACHER2012
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he used to have them two days a week and then decidied he would have them three days a week regardless of what i thought. he used to have htem two days and then he would sometimes finish early and then pick them up but this was causing the boys especially my oldest to behave erratically and so i said no. he didnt listen anyway and still did it and then said from then on it would be access three days a week and there was nothing i could do about it.

the kids are rough after they come back from him and they behave quite aggressively as this is how he is with them. my youngest hits other children because he thinks this is playfighting and my eldest stars to mes around and not eat like he usually does.

my kids are 2 and 4 and love their dad as they should. all i am trying to do is settle them into a routine of school and home and reading and i dont see how this consistency can maintained if they are with him two days in the week. i am scared that he will get granted three days a week. i think my children will suffer from it.

i really dont know what to believe.

teacher 2012

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28 Sep 12 #358372 by sleepybird
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In my humble opinion and considering their ages I would think that by starting the 3 night a week routine now would be better for them in the long run as they will settle into that routine and won''t know any different.

Your concerns are I think fair and so maybe you need to go to either mediation or court and agree between you things such as bedtimes, book reading, dinner times etc so that the routine is followed whether they are with you or dad.

As the youngest is only 2 I''m just wondering what happens with child care? Does you ex not work? As I am assuming that the younger one won''t have started nursery yet and either the older one is still at nursery or has just started school??

Your comment about the younger one hitting other children and the older one messing around with dinner etc strikes me as normal for their ages. My daughter used to hit other children when she was 2 and it was a nightmare, I couldn''t take her anywhere but it was nothing to do with her home life as it was very well rounded and the health visitor told me that it''s common for kids to behave this way at 2 and she will grow out of it and she did.

I can''t think of a child who doesn''t mess about with eating dinner and in my opinion, none of this is because you ex has done somthing wrong?

Maybe you should put yourself in his shoes, hes split from his family and that must be hard. If there are no other concerns than what you have mentioned and no welfare issues then I honestly can''t see why a judge wouldn''t give him the time he''s requesting.

Your children will take time to adjust but at their age they will adjust quickly without any distress so I beleive just based on what you''ve said that it would be best for them if you and your ex could get contact established now rather than later and without the stress of a court case.

Sorry if that sounds harsh and one sided and I of course don''t know your full story but just based on what you have said and the fact that I know a bit about the family court system, this is my opinion.

Please let us know how you get on.

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29 Sep 12 #358500 by TEACHER2012
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i am grateful for any advice i get. he has threatened when things dont go his way to go for custody of the children. he has used it as a threat since i left. even tomorrow he i am taking my eldest to football and want to take my youngest with me too as i have missed him and want to spend time with him but my ex says its not practical and so he will keep the youngest and thats that. no consideration for my feelings on the matter.

i understand what you mean when you say that all children go through a [hase with hitting. but my youngest does it because he thinks its a fun game that he plays with daddy and so he wants to play it with friends. we had the same issue with my eldest because of the games my ex played with and now my youngest does it. my ex;s answer to this is "he isnt with me when it happens so it doesnt matter". i know how i must look. i must look like i am clutching at straws so my ex doesnt see the kids but thats not the case.

my ex didnt even bother to go to a workshop the school helpd to help my eldest to read as in his words "there was no point as i was already going". he still hasnt called me to aks what happened and what he can do to help our son develop his reading. i am concerend that this is all for show. he knows it hurts me to have to give up the kids and so he does it on purpose.

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29 Sep 12 #358507 by sleepybird
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I know it''s frustrating. I think sometimes as s mother you are the one who deals with all the problems where ur children are concerned and dad just gets all of the nice bits.

My daughter has mild cerebral palsy and I over the years have been through so much with her I.e docs and consultant appointments, physio, occupational therapy and my ex never gets involved but I still let him see her when he likes and he has every other weekend with her. I would happily agree to more but he doesn''t suggest it, I''ll never win with him not being interested in the important stuff so I don''t even bother telling him anymore.

The reason I carry on the way I do is because my daughter adores her dad and I love to think that she knows we both love her very much and my issues with him aren''t relevant as long as she is happy.

She will learn when she''s older how I have always been the one who''s been with her through everything but until then, I''m just happy that she''s happy, end of!

I think your ex sounds as though he''s quite defensive but if maybe you and him could agree on more contact then he will let his guard down a bit. You have said thar your kids love their daddy and spending time with him so that''s all that should matter.

I always have a thought that I go back to when I get annoyed with my daughters dad. ''I chose him to be the father of my child so who am I to now decide that because we''ve split, he''s not fit for the job'' it''s not my place, my daughter is as much his as she is mine and that will never change.

Unless their are serious welfare issues involved then he does have as much right to them as you do. I know the bit where dads don''t get involved with all the important stuff does really suck but you should be proud of yourself as a mummy that cares so much for them that you will do everything u can for them regardless of how he acts and thinks, I think as long as your safe in that knowledge then nothing else matters

Again, just my opinion

Sending you lots of mummy support ( and also daddy support too) :)

Xx

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