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 children and what time are they spending with you at the moment?
For clarity - have you had them overnight?
What do you think the children will actually want (without asking them of course)
I know - it is not unusual which is why I am glad that you have done nothing irrevocable (even with the house)
When will you be moving closer to their school?
Where you live now is after school contact feasible?
(I am off to a meeting so will be offline for about an hour and a half)
The first thing to do is to stop letting him make you feel guilty and bully you.
This will not be easy but it is essential!
There is no longer any concept of Custody and access or Residence and Contact - it is about how the Care of the children is hared between their parents
It is not for one parent to decide what the arrangements should be - it is for both parents to agree what is best for the children - and if they cannot do so then the court decides the matter.
Your starting point is to arrange to see a Family mediator as a matter of urgency
If your ex will agree to mediate and agree a proper shared care arrangement then well and good.
If not then you will be able to apply to the court to deal with the matter
You are correct the chidlren should be with you rather than a Child minder - and a fully shared care agreement is perfectly viable in the circumstances.
Changing your wording hours may be helpful so that you can have alternate weekends Friday to Monday plus maybe Tuesday to Thursday every week will give equal time with both of you - with you collecting from school on other days as appropriate.
He will object as it will mean no maintenance - but you must not let yourself be bullied!
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
I would suggest mediation as soon as possible!
I hope all goes well
It is very easy for people who have never dealt with abusive partners to underestimate the insidious way that abuse can work - fortunately the legal system has rather more knowledge.
Your case is base don the fact that you have been having shared care until now - and asking for it to resume.
I disagree with her - and frankly she appears to be the wrong solicitor for you.
have faith in yourself - you knew he would not harm the children - that is why you left.
You are now realising that emotional abuse is still harmful - and are acting now
Please please stop agonising.
This is NOT about why you left him it is about what has happened since then
It is clear that you have had a substantial share of the care of the children which your ex is now trying to change
THAT is why you are making the application - your are looking to protect the shared care
as i said
"alternate weekends Friday to Monday plus maybe Tuesday to Thursday every week will give equal time with both of you - with you collecting from school on other days as appropriate"
To start with it may be alternate weekends plus one night each week - and build from there - but it i snot about the abuse when you were together - it is about the care of the chidlren now
Do not worry - we can sort it
That is a perfect approach - I am just sorry you chose a bad solicitor