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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33311
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi, I have been separated from my husband for over 3years

Customer Question

Hi,
I have been separated from my husband for over 3years and we are divorced. The problem is he will not communicate with me regarding our 2 sons who are 15 and 11 years. He will only communicate via text and he will not commit to seeing his sons on a regular basis. He thinks that seeing them for 4 hours on a Sunday is acceptable and will not have them overnight. He says he wants to see them as much as he can but when I ask him to have them he says he already has plans. Is there anything I can do to make him be more reasonable? I am fed up of waiting around for him to tell me when he is seeing the boys, he doesn't even ask if it's convenient.
Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Does he see them every Sunday?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No as sometimes he works.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is the actual pattern?
How often does he work?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The original plan was he had them on a Sunday 12-4 and on a Wednesday and Friday 5-8. He works shifts, one week of early's 7-3 and a week of lates 3-11 so he could sometimes not see them at all. Now he says he wants to see them more regular but less fixed. I work and have to provide care for my youngest son (who has Down's syndrome )after school whilst i'm at work. He doesn't want to give me sufficient notice when he wants them and so I have already made plans for care for my son. I don't see why I should rearrange my plans to suit him when he doesn't rearrange to suit me. He also dictates when he wants them and doesn't ask me if it's convenient and so when I say I have made arrangements he thinks I am being awkward.
Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is his shift pattern set well in advance?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes he knows it for the year.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Have you offered a pattern of regular contact that actually fits in with his shifts?
If so has he rejected that?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Yes I have. It seems like he wants to be in control and anything I suggest he rejects. In school holidays he would never have them anymore and if I suggested he see them before his late shift he will refuse.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What usually happens when he asks to see them and you say no?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I very rarely say no but if I do he doesn't say anything.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
I am afraid that your ex cannot be forced to see your sons more often than he wishes to
The only option available to you is to offer contact with the younger child on the pattern that you have suggested - and say that if he is more than 30 minutes late you will assume that he is not coming and make other plans
If he asks for tim on other dates and it is not convenient then simply refuse.
I appreciate that this is not ideal but sadly there is no other option as even a court order will not assist in this situation.
I have only referred to the younger child as at 15 it is up to your elder child if he even wishes to see his father!
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare

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