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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33293
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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After my divorce and verbal agreement with my ex regarding

Customer Question

After my divorce and verbal agreement with my ex regarding are children, he now sends them to his mums when he can't have them and won't let them come to me. He doesn't even tell me when he can't have them or where the kids are, stating it's non of my business. Can he really do this?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 5 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How old are the chidlren and how is their time shared between you

How often to they go to him mother's and for how long?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The children are 9 and 7 years old.
Our time is currently 50/50. He has them Sunday to Wednesday and I have them Wednesday to Saturday. We alternate Saturday nights.In the last 6 months they have stayed there at least 6/8 times, sometimes for one night, sometimes 2. The children tell me they want to come home when he isn't there and they've also asked him but he's said no to them. And told them it's up to him where they go on his days
Expert:  Clare replied 5 months ago.

Why has his mother had to have them on those nights?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He works away but mainly does his own schedule. We agreed he'd have the kids Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night's as in the past he hardly went away those days so they were best for him to work locally and be back for the kids. Before I moved in with my partner he would ask me to have the kids extra which was never a problem and I never said no to but now he doesn't ask me and never tells me when they aren't with him. He recently went on two holidays where the arrangement for me to have them had been arranged and agreed before Christmas. He now says I owe him for these days I had them extra and if I didn't agree to him having them extra in October, he would stop them coming on holiday with me last week (which was only booked because he was going on holiday and I had them extra anyway)
Expert:  Clare replied 5 months ago.

You certainly do not "owe" him for days that you have had them because he was away.

You are also entitled to know where the children are at night - it is a simple courtesy to ensure that if there is a disaster somewhere you know whether or not you should be worried.

Equally children are not packages.

I am sure that they enjoy spending the occasional night with their Grandmother but if your ex is routinely not able to have them then you are correct - they should be at their other home.

Your starting point is to discuss this with your ex to agree a parenting plan which deals with all of this using Family Mediation

If that fails then you may need sto apply for a Child Arrangement Order dealing with this point - although it is to be hoped that this will not be necessary

You can find more information on the website

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Do I need to go through mediation first and is it legally binding? I don't want to put the kids or myself through anything if there's no point. I doubt he will agree to mediation and I'm worried that whilst this is on going he'll be able to dig his heals in and cause more disruption for me and the kids.
Due to his lack of prioritizing the kids needs and wishes, I can only assume he is using them as a way to try and hurt me as he knows how much it hurts me to not know what's going on with them.
Expert:  Clare replied 5 months ago.

Sadly that is not unusual - but you have to have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting prior to making an applictaion to the court

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Will he have to be there? Will I have to face him?
Expert:  Clare replied 5 months ago.

He will not be at the first appointment and you can ask the mediators if they do Shuttle mediation so that you do not have to meet

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