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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have been divorced from my ex husband years and we have 2

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I have been divorced from my ex husband for 7 years and we have 2 children. The children are 7 and 8 years old. He pays maintenance through the csa. It has been very difficult as to when he sees the children over the past 7 years but i have always tried to encourage him to maintain contact etc and helped him.
Sometimes he will see them regularly and then it can be months before he sees them again. I managed to make contact last week to see if he would see the children and he accepted this. We share the dropping off and picking up. When the children came home a woman i have never met or seen before was with them, when i asked who she was he got quite nasty with me it turns out this lady has moved into his house with him. My children have been quite shocked by all of this. I have asked if he would have the children in the day so they can build a relationship before staying over again but i have been answered with abusive personal responses.
What is my best course of action regarding this as for the last 7 years it has been very difficult. My main concern is he will have the children only on his terms completly ignoring my PR towards the children. I am their birth mother and the children live with me full time.

Hi, thanks for your question. The children have a right to a relationship with both parents which can only be reasonably restricted if there are child protection concerns and there must be a routine to their arrangements for contact.

In the circumstances I would suggest that you make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: The mediator will assist you both in reaching an amicable agreement that is in the children's best interests. If mediation does not help, then you will be able to pursue an application to court under Form C100 together with a £215 court fee to your local family court for a child arrangement order and the court can make a decision regarding the matter. For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:

1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When we divorced arrangements for the children where set by the court but he has never stuck to these, my main priorty has always been the children having a relationship with their father but he has never provided a routine in seeing them. In the past when i have mentioned this i just get a lot of verbal attack that he is entitled to his own life. I do not think mediation will help in this matter.
I am not wanting any more communication with him so how can the children maintain their contact with him going forward

Thanks for the further information. As there is a court order in place which is not working you should consider applying to court to vary the previous order given that the arrangements have never been adhered to. You can do this under form C100 and a £215 as mentioned above.

In relation to contact with him, unfortunately, as you are both the parents, there has to be some level of communication between you and therefore the best option is to propose for all communication to be done in writing (ie. by email or text).

I hope this further assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

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