Reply To: Newly separated with 2 young children. Ex Lying

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It sounds like you need to take a step back and just breathe. I know this must be really stressful for you, god knows its difficult enough having 2 young ones and thats without throwing in an unreliable ex and a lockdown into the mix. But I’ll tell you where things stand for you right now. Firstly I would suggest following up any info you’re given on here with your own legal advice as obviously every case can be different depending on circumstances. But if you set up a visitation schedule and he doesnt show up then he doesnt see the kids plain and simple until his next scheduled visit. You dont have to keep adjusting the schedule to fit in around him. You dont have to keep getting sucked into a drama with him. If he he starts threatning you with court dont even sweat it. Courts not this thing you need to be scared of and it will probably end up costing your ex a lot of money to do it anyway. Unless you or one of your children are shielding then visitation should be continuing as normal during lockdown according to government guidelines, although many co parents have decided together to suspend visitaion. If there was a court order in place it wouldn’t matter whether he was seeing his sister or not you would still be obliged to honour the court order. Now that’s not me saying you have to hand them over to him at all thats entirely your decision and as I said you should seek further advice on it. I assume from what you have said that you want him to remain a part of your children’s lives so I would say the following to you : set out a temporary visitation schedule and stick to it, as I said if he doesnt show that’s his loss. As soon as you are able get yourself some advice from a solicitor (most offer free consultations and some do legal aid and pro bono if money is an issue), ensure any contact you have with your ex is via messenger or whatsapp or whatever and if you do speak in person record the conversations so you have a record of everything discussed, ensure you remain civil no matter what he does to provoke you and keep conversations focused on the kids. You dont need to respond to him about stuff thats not related to the kids or shared assets. I dont know what your financial situation is but you can get further advice on that from your local job centre and citizens advice. As for lockdown rules I know they are very confusing but there are online covid 19 support groups that may be able to give you more accurate information about that and offer further guidance. The initial stages of a breakup and trying to sort visitsion can often be messy and hectic and have a lot of upset. Feelings are still raw and you are all having to adjust to a completely new way of life. There are professional services available to help the two of you work through all of this such as counselling or mediation. If it was going to court you would probably be ordered to both attend mediation first anyway as judges do prefer if parents can work it out for themselves rather than it coming to court and the judge having to rule on a decision. So perhaps you could get in touch with a mediator, again some are run by charities if money is an issue. I hope things settle down and I hope this info helps. Stay safe