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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34900
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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HelloIm looking for some help in regards ***** ***** two daughters.

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Im looking for some help in regards ***** ***** two daughters. I'm really not sure what options I have available to me if any. I'll try to include as much detail as possible.
I have been split from their mum for approx 2 and a half yrs (don't know if that's relevant). My daughters are aged 8 and 5 (nearly 6). They live with their mum. I have access at least twice a week usually, I can have them on specific dates or days outside of the usual access days. The access days are wed after school until 8 and on Sunday from 12 until 8. I don't usually have them overnight as I work on Friday and Saturday nights and have been told I can't have them on a school night. I have had them stay over night on holidays but no standing arrangement is in place. I pay maintenance and I additionally pay for other things school trips, school uniforms etc. There is zero contact between myself and their mum, this has not always been the case, it is her choice now, I have tried numerous times to try and communicate strictly about the children I have never had a response. After the communication breakdown we originally communicated via her mother, I was instructed to do this by her mother, that didn't work out for various reasons so communication was done via the children I disagreed with this from the start. This caused my children distress and conflict. Messages weren't passed properly, lines were crossed. My mother offered to act as an intermediate to relieve some of the pressure, it's now causing her distress as she feels conflicted. I am unsure how to resolve this. Some of the issues that have arisen have been because the girls safety was placed in danger, they were nearly left outside at night and would I been there for at least 2hrs. This was due to their mother not properly informing me of things. Why can I do to realise this?
Although I have regular access that's about all I have. I have absolutely no say in anything that goes on with the girls. Their mother recently moved them schools and I wasn't notified or consulted. I found out via my 5yr old. My daughter failed her hearing test in school and again I wasn't notified. I am dictated to more than involved and feel more like their uncle than their father. It's like I'm only treated like their father when it suits their mother (because she wants money for something). I know their mum is their primary carer but I am their father and I don't feel like I am. Do I get to have more of an input into their lives?
I also have concerns regarding the girls health, they have on going health issues and again I'm not informed about anything. Can I do something to change this?
The girls mum openly bad mouths me in front of the girls and encourages them to treat me with as little respect as possible, this hasn't really effected my relationship with them much other than me telling them to watch their tone, if anything it just upsets them. Don't know how to stop her from doing this, it appears as if she's intentionally trying to damage my relationship with the girls. Is there anything I can do?
I don't really want it to go to court but am at the stage where I will if I need to, I just want to be involved in their lives more. Any assistance you provide would be great. Thanks.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Is your name on their birth certificates?
Do you have them overnight in the school holidays?
Could your mother baby sit on Friday and Saturday nights?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes I am the named father on both birth certificates. Yes they stay with me during the school holidays. No my mother would be unable to baby sit on a regular basis. I really would like some more parental control and have more of a say with decisions that effect them and be kept informed about things instead of being dictated to :/
I can understand that.
Could you get them to school if you you had them overnight on a school night?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes I can. I live literally a 5 minute walk/2 minute car trip to the school. I actually live closer to the school than their mum does.
Have you asked to have them on a weeknight - if so what reason was given for saying no?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I've asked before about having them in a week night an the answer was and is no as she doesn't want to interfere with their routine. However firstly whilst I agree there will be a setting in period, as he works early until late, the girls have to get up early and then get a taxi to the school To attend breakfast club and are picked up by her mother or attend after school clubs on the days she has them. As I don't work in the week I would be able to take them to school without the need for breakfast club and could pick them up myself after school. Again I live considerably closer to the school than their mum does. Also when I was working in the week and the girls would of had to go to breakfast/after school clubs their mum said no as there was no need as he could have th but now it's the other way around…
You have Parental Responsibility for your children which means that you are entitled to be consulted on all major issues in the children's lives including school and medical issues.
Equally there has to be a clear method of communication between the parents (via email if necessary) that does NOT involve the children.
There is no reason why you should not have overnight contact on a school night given that you live close to the school.
Your starting point is to try and discuss these issues using Family mediation
if that fails then you need to apply for a Child Arrangement Order which sets out when the children spend time with you and spells out for your ex your right to be consulted on all issues - but way of an order preventing her from changing schools without consulting you
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
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