I have started a new post on the advice of other members, and condensing all my posts and peoples responses so far this is the situation.
Divorced since May 2012
Seperated officially since: June 2011
Open talks/ attempts to leave: October 2010- June 2011
Court date to gain access to kids: May 2012
Agreed: After a year of my ex excluding me from my kids life ''won'' every other Sunday 10-4 for 6 months (to re-enter) their lives. Part of this was that I would not introduce them to my partner unless my ex agreed. I went along with this as I just wanted a relationship with my kids. I plan on sticking to this until after the new year until- at which point it will be around 9 months and I (we) should be in a position to buy a house. I want full weekends with my kids (but appreciate the 13yr old and 17yr old may not want to come). I also need to find a way to introduce my partner so its not abrupt. I will get no help from my ex on this as she constantly slags her off to the kids.
My question is, what do I do?
Do/ Will I need to go back to court once we get a house to get full weekend visits? Im guessing so as my ex is adamit on the ''no girlfriend'' stance''
Also to answer/ comment on Canuk:
I treat my ex with the utmost respect even though I get nothing in return. There is nothing more I can do on this front to get her on side other than break up with my girlfriend.
I also have NO intentions of involving my girlfriend on my limited time with my kids at this point- but the 6 month time limit is coming to an end in November and i plan on pushing for 1 weekend a month over-night stays. This will have to be at a hotel as I dont have an adequite place yet. I do want to slowly get them acquianted with my girlfriend. Im not even proposing that she is with me for my visits as this is my time, I just want to slowly introduce her so that when we do buy in Spring next year- she is not a stranger and they want to come stay with me
What do I want? In a perfect world, I would like to have a normal and non-strained relationship with my kids, that also includes my girlfriend. I would like to spend weekends away camping and surfing and them getting to know the person I fell in love with. I want my ex to find happiness with someone and stop extending her bitterness and hurt through the kids, to me. But most of all, I want to avoid having to go back to court just to see my kids.
You have already had my comments, but just picked up on something else you said.
You say you want all weekend but it will be at a hotel. I would have to question if this was the right thing to do? I personally wouldnt be particularly keen to have my son stay at a hotel on a regular basis (a one off is an adventure). I know my son would get bored too (but he is much younger at 5).
Do you live close enough to them that you could have them one day, take them home so they can sleep and then go back next day?
If not i think (just my personal view of course) that you may perhaps be better to just stick with your one day until you do have a house sorted, then move to full weekends.
If you are close enough and work allows, how about stick with Sun, but take them out to tea one eve during week? Just until house sorted?
I am thinking that the kids are old enough to make these decisions.
However if your ex aleinates you or your partner, this will be hard for the kids.
Best think is as usual, meet in places such as park, mall, cinema etc, although It must be that the kids already know her as your ex slags her off?
Sometimes your gut instinct is best as you know the status quo best.
That would be my ideal choice but I live almost 2 hours away so midweek isnt an option.
I guess I could stay at a hotel near them and see them on both Saturday and Sundays? I was only proposing the overnight 1 weekend a month, and this would really only be 4- 5x max. I would take them to different places around the UK and we would do walking, hiking and activities.
Im desperate to have more than 12hrs a month, but I cant see a way to do that without the hotel/ weekend away option.
My kids are much older, 17, 13 today, and 7 so there are loads we can do and places to go. Or am I just deluding myself?
And yes- I am aware the older two may not be interested, and that will be their choice. But my 7 year old still loves and wants to be with me
Oh, ok, didnt realise you meant stay at different places each time at a hotel. Thought you just meant one near you each time.
Yes, if you plan well then hopefully you can keep them entertained and if you choose things you know interest them then hopefully you can develop your relationship with them further.
Not sure where you are in the country, but we recently bought Merlin Annual Passes, we have so far more than had our monies worth, could be an option as what teenager doesnt love a theme park (although there are other things included).
I don''t think a court will help you with the two older children as they as bob says are old enough to make up their own mind.
Therefore I would simply talk to them and try and encourage them to see you and leave them totally out of any court approach for contact - you will alienate them if you attempt that - that is my view (based actually when I first split with my ex I wanted to see youngest who lived with father - sons choice he was about 12 at the time).
My solicitor asked me how I thought my son would feel if I tried to go via the courts for contact and I had to agree, well I told the solicitor, that I believed he would resent me for it - still haven''t seen him years on and social services have offered mediation with him which I declined (social services had talked to him and me separately so they were being diplomatic I am sure).
So I would concentrate as soon as possible on getting contact with your youngest. As your wife seems resistant maybe a little more negotiation (documented) and if that fails apply to court without too much delay and ask at first for just short visits and see how it goes. You can build it up, hopefully without confrontation and if not more trips to court.
I think I am lucky as I do recognise that my three children are old enough to do as they want, all three are different, youngest doesn''t see me at all, middle one lives with me and sees her Dad and his new partner when she likes (she went on holiday with them both recently) and eldest wants nothing to do at all with his father or his new wife.
You cannot make children like people, let alone yourself and you have to respect their views on other people (well that is what I think).