My ex-wife and I split up 6 months ago. Ever since we separated, I have been seeing the children on alternate weekends from Friday to Sunday and on a Wednesday after school. I love seeing the kids and we have a great time. I want to see more of them and my employer has said I can do flexi time so I can collect the kids from school on a Friday and take then to school on the Monday. The firm has also said that I can leave work early on the Wednesday to collect the kids from school and go into work late on the Thursday so I can drop the kids off at school. My ex-wife has said she is not prepared to let me get the children from school and that she will not let me see more of the children. Can you help?
We are sorry to hear about the difficulties with your contact with your children. Many parents agree a parenting schedule that involves alternate weekends from Friday to Monday and a midweek contact visit. It is also usual for both parents to want to be able to collect their children from school and you are obviously very fortunate, as your employer is very accommodating about flexi-time.
If you and your ex-partner cannot reach an agreement over your contact with the children, you could go to family mediation to see if a family mediator can help you explore why your ex-wife is taking the stance she is and to help you reach an agreement. For example, your ex-wife might be concerned about you not collecting the children from school on time, you not keeping up with the children’s homework schedule or not washing the school uniforms. Alternatively, your ex-wife may just be embarrassed about the Separation
and has not told the parents of the children’s school friends. We would hope that in family mediation you could reassure her that her concerns are not justified and that the children would benefit from spending more time with you.
If family mediation is not suitable for you or if it does not resolve matters then you could apply to the family court for a child arrangements order. This order is like the old style access or contact orders.
When making any decisions about children the court will look at what is in the best interests of your children. Unless your ex-wife has good reasons for objecting to the extra contact time that you are asking for this is the sort of contact or parenting schedule that the court orders under a child arrangements order so that fathers can spend time with their children.
To discuss your situation and your options we would need to see you. We can give you expert children law advice and advise you on the best way forward. Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you.
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