Access arrangements when kids potentially at risk

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    I really need some advice.  But first a bit of background…

    My ex was emotionally abusive, coercive and controlling towards me.  Then he hit one of my children so I filed for divorce.  He continued to be “rough” with said child on a number of occassions but didn’t hit them again.  Been separated 2 1/2 years, divorced just 1.  I have the kids 24/7 but want the father to have access as that is what the kids want.  The father also wants access but he continues to be confrontational when making arrangements to see the children.  He refuses to accept he has been abusive to his child and is angry because from his point of view I have no reason to put things in place to ensure the children are safe around him.  I am therefore in the process of writing up a document that sets out what needs to be in place in order for me to allow him access.

    Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation and has any tips on what else I need to put in place?  Or other ways to word this so I am less likely to anger him but whilst also making the boundaries CRYSTAL CLEAR?  Am I best to get this sent to him via a solicitor and to get him to sign it?  I’m not sure he will sign anyway as he doesn’t agree there’s a reason for me to be concerned about how he treats one of them.  But basically most of what I have below are non negotiables as far as I’m concerned and if he can’t stick to them then he can’t have access.  Or do you think I’m being too strict? I don’t but I’m willing to listen to what people have to say or I wouldn’t be here?

    So far I have…

    * The children wish to see him every weekend where possible (not sure he’s keen for quite so much contact but the offer is there) with the option in the future of him seeing them once through the week to start with.

    *The meeting should be at a mutually agreeable pre-arranged PUBLIC venue where other members of the public will be present at all times (eg not a walk in the countryside).  The mother is keen for the children to have as much access as they wish to their father and will attempt to be as flexible as possible to ensure a place can be agreed on.  This flexibility should also be evident on the father’s part.

    * the kids should have their mobile phone with them at all times and have access to it at all times.  Both may use the phone.  Their phone is to be used only for contacting their mother or for taking photos and videos. The father is to have no access to their phone.  The children should not be questioned on the use of their phone provided they are not playing games.  Should they play on their phones instead of spending quality time with their father, please do let the mother know by way of a text message to (insert phone number of mother’s brother – police advised I change my number and don’t let him have my new number so he cant continue to harass me) and she will ensure that they are aware of how they should be using their phone when with their father.  They should however be allowed to continue to have their phone on them at all times and to use it should they need to.

    *Mother will drop them at the venue (eg bowling) and pick them up from the same venue.

    *The children must stay at said venue for the entire time unless otherwise agreed in advance with the mother.

    All arrangements for access should be made via (insert phone number of mother’s brother).  The mother will ensure that the children turn up provided she has the arrangements in writing e.g. by text via number above.

    All contact between the mother and the father, regardless of whether the kids are there or not, is to be kept polite and respectful.  In order to avoid any conflict the mother will avoid contact as much as possible with the father, however, where contact is necessary and where the father cannot be polite or respectful to the mother, the mother reserves the right to insist that further contact arrangements be made through a solicitor only.  The mother would nevertheless, like to get to a point where they can talk and arrange access without conflict but realises this will take time.  After a period of time and when the father has shown that he can communicate with the mother without conflict she is certain that making arrangements will be much easier for all concerned, especially the children.

    If the father has the children between 12 and 1 the father should feed them.  Otherwise the mother will feed them.</span>

    Access arrangements should not be discussed in front of the children by either parent.

    The father must see both children at the same time unless Joseph wishes not to see his father but the mother does not expect this to be an issue.

    A location for the meeting should be arranged 7 days in advance.  This is to give the children something to look forward to and also to allow both parents to plan their weekends.

    It is hoped that in time, the amount of access can be increased from 2 hours at a weekend as the kids would eventually like to be able to spend a whole weekend with their dad.  This is dependant on how well things go with current access arrangements.

    The access arrangements above will be reviewed periodically (every 26 visits) to allow more access for the father should things be moving in the right way.  If there is rapid progress this term may be shortened to every 13 visits.


    Many thanks for reading

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