My husband walked out and has not seen the children in around 4 years or made any effort to.
I applied to the Child Maintenance
Service last week (husband was paying 50p each a month for 2 children when I asked him for maintenance)
Since applying last week, I get an email out of of the blue from a contact centre informing me that husband want to see kids at weekends, giving me 5 days notice.
I am concerned for my kids wellbeing and safety!
(I have a previous non molestation order and most recently and undertaking from him) - It must be supervised contact.
Less than 5 days is not enough notice to emotionally prepare the kids to see someone they have not seen in years or have no memory off and is a stranger to them. Plus we already have plans over half term
He know wants to see kids - and has not provided much notice at all.
Can I say NO? Or can I say not enough notice has been provided? What is the best way to go about this??
He also has made an undertaking my the court to only contact me through a family member that we agreed on at the Court. So I am not sure if he has done the right thing is asking the contact centre to contact me?
I can truly understand what you're going through as I've been through similar. I'm not an expert but I can only give advice on what I would do.
I wouldn't take my children to a contact centre unless it was stated in a court order. For that a mediation attempt must be made and then application made to court. My ex threatened to take my children and never return them and said I'll never find him. Legally he has parental rights so can take the children. In the end he took me to court and he is currently seeing them in a contact centre. Most contact centres don't even take on 'cases' without being directed through the courts.
I've learnt to ignore emails and messages from ex, I only communicate through solicitors.
Also why didn't you go through cms 4 years ago when he left? 50p a month for 2 kids is absolutely disgusting.
In my case after I applied to cms, my ex suddenly wanted to see children too. Before that he vanished
Contact is for the benefit of the children, not the parent. It is rather telling that he has ignored his children for 4 years, then suddenly requests to see them (at very short notice!) after you make a claim via the CMS...
If your children are still very young, then to all intent and purposes, he will be a stranger to them, and there is no relationship there to pick up on. That relationship would need to be built up gradually, in an environment that is safe for the children, and in a structured way that puts thier interests and welfare at the forefront.
There would need to be the appropriate safeguarding checks made first, given the history here, before any contact takes place.
If he has a solicitor, I would suggest you write to the sols, saying that 5 days notice is not enough, that there may be safeguarding concerns, and that any contact needs to be managed properly. I'd also ask why he is now seeking contact after a n absence of 4 years. I'd also point out to the solicitor that thier client has breached his undertaking by contacting you directly, rather than going through the agreed third party channels.
While it is true that children have a right to a relationship with both parents - that relationship needs to be healthy and one that benefits the children and enhances thier life and well-being.