Divorced for 4 years, the relationship with my ex-wife is civil, but no better. She's in particular become somewhat bitter since I became a father again with my new wife.
Anyway, we have an arrangement whereby we alternate responsibility each weekend for the kids, plus I have them during much of school
holidays. (They're 10 and 13). We maintain a calendar between us that documents the weekends we have the responsibility so it's very clear. There are occasions when we may switch weekends which we do by discussing with each other and amending the calendar afterwards.
My issue is that my ex-wife decided to go on another holiday recently (her 7th week off this year) and it coincided with a weekend she was due to have the kids. I had them Mon-Fri and was due to drop them back Friday night, but she just opted not to bother coming home til Sunday night, so I was forced to take care of them.
What is the legal position on this ? Surely she can't just 'abandon' her responsibilities when she sees fit and not bother turning up to take care of them ? Does this constitute negligence ?
I get that you're upset and feel aggrieved, but I don't understand what it is that you hope to achieve by identifying your legal position here.
It sounds like you have a very good arrangement for the children, one which works and has the flexibility to meet both of your needs and those of the children. How many holidays she has is not your concern unless it is impacting on the kids. I understand it has done so on this one occasion. Have you tried to speak to her about it? Did she notify you at all of her change of plans or give you any sort of explanation at all?
I think the terminology \"abandon\" and \"negligence\" may be a bit harsh as they were left with their father after all. I do think she has been irresponsible and inconsiderate though. I think if this is a one off, I would try and address your concerns with her and explain the impact her actions had on the children and yourself and also reiterate the terms of your arrangement.