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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35042
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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I have 3 children under 12. Me and my ex wife are separated,

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I have 3 children under 12. Me and my ex wife are separated, living in separate houses. I want access to have my children three nights every week she refuses and will only let me have them twice a week. I pay £366 per month child maintenance because she refuses to let me have them more than twice, which is not my choice. We have had one session of mediation where she implied she would consider flexibility but this hasn't happened. I have contacted the mediation service again for another session before Christmas (as she refusing access on Christmas Day) I have been told that if she says she can't afford it then there is nothing I can do. I am confused that I pay her this money because she won't let me have them more than two nights of currently birthdays or Christmas. She is well aware I won't more contact but she says she needs the money! What can I do? What are my options?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children and when was the last mediation meeting?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Children are 5, 9 and 10. After months of trying to get her there outfit at appointment was last week. She still won't be flexible even tho she seemed she would during mediation
What is the current pattern of contact and what have you asked for?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She tells me when I can have them but normally it is the nights one of them has 'clubs' on so I do all the running around. Normally Thursday and /or Fridays. I called my contact at mediation last night, they have contacted my ex for further mediation before Christmas and she said she can't afford it so I have to wait meanwhile my relationship with my children is suffering.
Do you never have a weekend with your children?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No when I have them on a Friday i pick them up from school take to clubs and the following morning she collects mid morning. If I have them Saturday she bring them to mine about 5.30 and collects after thier football match Sunday lunch time. I have asked for wed, alternative fri/sat and a Sunday evening with a little more qualitity time at weekends as I only have them for tea and bed.
It is expected that parents will negotiate and reach agreement on how the children will share their time between them - with the court only becoming involved if agreement cannot be reached.
This does not mean that one parent can simply dictate what happens.
It is not unreasonable for you to ask for alternate weekends Friday to sunday (or even monday) plus one night in the week
In addition you should have up to half of the school holidays
If mediation has failed then you can ask for a MIAM form so that you can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order that sets out what time the children spend with each of you
You can read more here
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I obviously also don't think it unreasonable but she will not back down on this. Is my only option to go through court then?
I am afraid that court is indeed your only option if mediation is not successful
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you