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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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My ex won't stick to the informal arrangement we made when

Customer Question

My ex won't stick to the informal arrangement we made when we divorced, I pay her well every month on time and am always there on time. I re-married and since then it has gone sour, she is heavily pregnant and has now changed contact arrangements several times, even blocking phone calls and attempts at making firm plans. What can I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago via InBrief.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
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 is the child and what is the current pattern of contact?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello,His name is ***** ***** he is 4 years old, 5 in August.The current pattern is meant to be, every other weekend with half of the school holidays. So far we have managed that successfully over christmas (though he did have to go back half a day early) and the half terms / end of terms this year. Last year we only managed two weeks in the summer holidays.Last year there was a discussion around Alex coming to us one night of the week once he started school, however this has never happened. Every time we approach talking about access or confirming access arrangements we end up in a worse position than before.In the last 6 months my husband Chris has had face-to-face meetings with her to make it easier and has gone in with a gentle non-confrontational manner and focused the discussion on the point that they both need to work together to make fair arrangements for Alex, that both of them stick to them, he has previously met all of his arrangements both financial and contact wise.She uses her anger, bad temper and unreasonable behaviour to manipulate it so he is left with no option but to leave the conversation for another day, he explains this and walks away. When he tries to contact her by phone she ignores it coming up with excuses like she left her phone at work. When he tries to Skype Alex, she ignores the phone and finally 4 or 5 days later explains she doesn't think it is a good idea as Alex will get upset. She uses Alex like a weapon, charged with her fury.She left Chris for another man, who she still lives with. Their relationship is unstable and she has left him a couple of times, one time he threatened to commit suicide. This man has two children, of which he only sees his son on alternative weekends. He is in and out of work consistently and looks after Alex by playing computer games with him and his son (according to Alex). On one occasion Alex ended up with ah sad injury and going to hospital, while in her partners care.Her recent argument ( yesterday) is that we can't have Alex for the summer as originally planned, as she is having a baby (most likely by c-section as she is type 2 diabetic) and will be on maternity leave. In her opinion Chris doesn't have enough holiday spare to look after Alex and even if he is working at home (which he does a lot) he isn't giving Alex quality time. Chris explained that I am off for all of the school holidays, work flexible hours from home and that isn't a concern. She said she wasn't happy me babysitting Alex, Chris explained that he feels the same way about her partner, however he accepts it. The result was she got furiously angry at which point Chris said 'you are clearly upset and this isn't getting us anywhere, I will call you tomorrow to arrange another time to talk about this'. To which she said I won't say anything different, Chris said nor will I, which is why we need to find a way to make this work, sticking to the original access agreement.She had text him prior to yesterdays meeting, saying she warns him she wants to poke his eyes out with a fork at the moment and she certainly went into the meeting fired up for an argument, she didn't show any real concern about what Alex had been doing or how he had got on in the time he had been with us, which was in this case 5 days.The sad thing is that we have been delighted with Alex's progress in the time we have been away and she wan't interested in talking about what is important, which is Alex.I hope that helps you further.Many thanks,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I forgot to say - this end of term holiday we were meant to have Alex for a week and her for a week - she decided that we couldn't have Alex for the week and at first wanted him back on monday, she wouldn't budge so they negotiated it down to wednesday this week so we had him for 3 extra days.A side note is that Chris and I got married on the 24/04/15. We wanted to have a 2 week honeymoon and he met up with her to talk about access 4 weeks beforehand, she was happy to take Alex for an extra weekend and even offered us Alex for half of her weekend, the sunday. They agreed that Chris would face-time Alex while he was on holiday.The day after we got married Alex was with us and just after lunch started to develop hay fever like symptoms and get hot so we gave him some calpol around 4pm. As she was picking Alex up at 5pm she was told this was the case, Alex's symptoms were explained to her. 4 hours later Chris received some abusive messages saying that Alex had tonsillitis and how could he be such a terrible dad blabalbalba nasty words….. Chris ignored this knowing it couldn't be resolved on texts. He was happy with his diagnosis and sorry that Alex felt ill. He tried to contact her in the run up to our planned face-time call and she ignored every single text message, on the day of the call Chris tried several times to contact his son however he couldn't get through.When Chris later sent her a direct message on twitter she responded stating that she hadn't wanted to incur any charges on her mobile and Alex was fine.When we returned from honeymoon she refused to take his call, he tried for days and days and when he did get through she ripped his head off saying that he was a terrible father, that Alex was so ill after being with us she could never trust us again to look after her son. ( Pretty rich given what has previously happened her side of things. ) She went on to say that his glands were up and he was full of snot and 3 days later had to go to A&E with what turned out to be a throat infection; something she could and should have dealt with herself and not bothered the hospital with.Everything has got worse since she got pregnant and Chris re-married. Alex is being disadvantaged and actively blocked from seeing his Dad and we really need some help. Many thanks, Ruth
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
The law says that a child is entitled to contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary
Neither parent can dictate what the contact should be - this is something that has to be agreed - and if no agreement can be reached then the court will dictate is.
Alternate weekends plus one evening in the week and half of all school holidays is not an unusual arrangement.
Your partner needs to make an appointment to have a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting with a Family Mediator.
If mediation works then well and good - if not your ex is then able to apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order setting out what time the child spends with each parent.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Clare,Many thanks indeed for the feedback, we shall get onto this right away.Thanks,
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Good luck - I hope all goes well

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