Welcome to Just Answer.
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
I am sorry to hear about what has happened.
The courts view in respect of your children is that it is your childrens right to be able to have a relationship with both of thier parents unless it is unsafe to do so. The court will not consider an affair as an unsafe reason. That being said - it is a consideration of the court in respect of the emotional impact on your children and it is likley that things are raw at the moment.
In reality - in respect of your eldest child - she is of an age where she can decide what to do. If she doesnt want to spend time with her father - then it is highly unlikely that a court would make an order that she has to do so - given her curren wishes and feelings. It may be best in respect of your eldest daughter to just leave the dor open for her - explan that she can see her father when she is ready.
In respect of your youngest child - the courts would expect you to encourage a relationship between this child and their father.
If matters cant be agreed then then father can make an application to a family court for a child arrangement order to spend time with your youngest. The court would consider the emotional impact on your youngest but contact would likely order that contact take place.
Before the father can appy to court he would have to refer this to mediation first. Mediaion is a good way of trying to talk through matters and reach an agreement in the best interests of your children. The mediator may be able to facilitate separate appointments if you dont want to meet in person.
You can also self refer to mediation. There are lots of mediation services and there will be one local to you. Just google family mediaton in your area and give them a call to get the ball rolling.
Let me know if I can help you further.
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It sounds like you are taking the right approach and trying to put your children first.
It would be an important consideration for the court that your daughter is having counselling. It doesnt sound like you are disagreeable to contact taking place with your youngest - just that she needs time. Perhaps you should suggest that he write to her first and send her a small gift - so that you can try and smooth the way for moving things on.
If your ex was to take legal action - then he would have to refer to mediation first. This takes a week or so and then it depends on the availability of the appointments.
If mediation doesnt work - and he applies to court - the first hearing is at least after 6 weeks from the date he applied. As this allows the family court advisers (Cafcass) to undertake police and social services checks - which they always have to do.
It isnt easy putting the children first - but it is so admirable that you are doing this.
You are not going to be criticised for looking out for your daughters emotional well being.
Some mediators are trained in children work and can involve children. They can discuss this with you. It may well be that with ongoing counselling they consider that this is not appropriate for your yongest - but it may be helpful for your elder daughter.
It sounds like your doing the best you can in the circumstances.
AS the girls main home is with you the father shoudnt be trying to undermine your parenting but that being said - courts do do accept that parenting styles are different. If however he started to denigrate you then the courts wouldnt look favourably on this.
Hopefully your eldest school will keep their eyes open now that they have been made aware of the circumstances and give your daughter the opportunity to speak to someone if she needs to.
let me know if I can help you further.