Hi, My ex was recently granted more contact them he has ever previously had at Family Court, having been given a child arrangement order after making numerous lies up on the stand.
In 9 years since separating he has only seen the children every other weekend at his own choice.
However, after years of him hardly paying anything towards the children's care, I took him to CMS. I also have a partner now, who I have been with for over 3 years, and am now married. He is a wonderful stepfather who the children adore.
My ex when seeing the children was being emotionally abusive to them, damaging them, and my husband advised him about this as my ex just talks over me- he was always abusive. My husband told him we would report his treatment of the children if it continued, and would prevent contact if his behaviour didn't change. My ex was also told about cms. Funnily enough, he suddenly applied to the court for a Child arrangement order wanting 50/50 contact.
He made up so many things in court, and lied repeatedly, but acted amazingly, crying at the right times, and acting like a loving caring father who was missing his children! He was awarded more contact including school day overnight stays- he has never taken the children to school since we separated, and has never taken our son to school at all.
To make it worse, he won't even be the one taking them, as he will be at work, and his partner will be taking the children- he won't even see them in the morning as he leaves for work at 5.30am!! He lied in court when this was raised, and said he had sorted out time off work each time so he could take them, but I already know he hasn't been taking them.
He now has the children overnight every Wednesday, and every other Sunday, so is responsible for getting the children to school every Thursday morning, and every other Monday. He refuses to pay for the children's meals those days, and refuses to pay towards any school activities.
If he is taking them to school, to me he should be at the very least paying for the meals that day, and I pay when I take them. He should also help with school activities and trips.
Does anyone know where I stand on this? Is he responsible for paying for meals on the days he has responsible for getting the children to school?
I know it may seem petty, but he has had cms reduced significantly because of the overnights, but I am still having to pay for all school meals etc.
Also, if the children are ill on the day he gets them to school, who should be taking the day off to look after them? He has said it is always my responsibility to take time off work for this.
Re Who pays for what. CM is a contribution towards the daily costs associated with brining up a child - inc (but not limited to) housing, utilities, transport, food, clothes, school trips, uniform, extra curricular activities, etc.
If CMS is being paid at the correct statutory amount, then you should expect to use some of that towards the costs of school dinners. He wouldn't be expected to contribute further, unless he agrees.
If you haven't yet done a full benefits check, it is worthwhile doing, in case you are missing out on any benefits you may be able to claim - www.entitledto.co.uk/
Re your ex not being the one to take children to school. Parents are able, under parental responsibility, to make thier own child care arrangements while the children are in thier care. This sounds like a sensible arrangement to me, as it enables the children to spend time after school with thier other parent, who can also being involved in the "nuts and bolts" of parenting, ie homework, projects, bedtime, etc. If you were unable to take the children to school, you would ask your spouse to - and not expect this it be raised as an issue, surely? If the order has been made fairly recently, it may take time to "bed in", and for appropriate arrangements be made at your ex's work to allow them to have flexible working.
Re Children being off school sick. if the order has clearly defined end points to contact, ie, start of school day, then it could be argued that the children are in your care from that moment on until the next defined period of contact.
Parents should be able to parent thier children without inference from the other, during thier defined contact time. Not having the same approach as you, or doing things differently doesn't mean it is wrong, just different. Have a search for parallel parenting, it might be the approach you need to enable your children to have relationships with both parents - www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/co-paren...enting-after-divorce