Help with Mediation and Access
31 July 2018 at 4:19 pm #14032
Hi all, I hope your having a good day.
I am looking for some help to take with me into mediation. I have 2 children with an ex partner and they both live with her. my ex has decided allow me to only have 2 hours a week with my children on a saturday, now originally this was a temporary situation where i would go to her house spend the time with them around her and her family (wasnt situation but anything to see my children) the agreement was after a month it would go up to 3 then 4 and so on and so fourth. with the inclusion of me taking them out and spending time with them like a normal father would do. a year has now past and where i am still only allowed the 2 hours a week becuase according to my ex my daughter has aniexty and stress with and seperation. i dont feel this is the case perhaps due to the fact that when she goes into hospital this is understandable as for a child to go there and be prodded and poked and injected its not nice, however when ever i am with my children they feel safe and i cannot see any signs of distress from her. my theory is that my ex has been playing on this condition and that infact she is emotionally rubbing their own stress and anxiety onto her which i was informed is a type of abuse.
we tried mediation before and was agreed that the time would increase and i would be able to do more with them on my own and this isnt the case. what i would like to know is what should i be going into mediation as i find them prodominantly agreeing with the mother but when a plan is put into place its not enforced. i also understand that yes its not a legal document and that it cannot be enforced but can it be used if i was to take this further. i have requested their medical records as well to get the information reference the stress and anxiety ready for when we go back to mediation as per the mothers request. if i find out as well that she was lying about medical conditions with my daughter am i within my right to refuse to hand them back due to a safeguarding issue or is this a myth? i am on the birth certificate just (that was hard enough as well) so i do have parental responsibilities towards the children. any help would be much appriciated.
Thanks31 July 2018 at 6:28 pm #14035
It sounds as though ultimately you will have to go to court. I would first speak with the mediators to ask what they would suggest seeing as the agreements are not enforced. They will obviously think paying more money to them is a good idea! But that’s not really the point – they may offer to speak with her first. Depends really what they’re like. They will know court is the next step. However, in taking her to court they would ask that you try mediation first, which you have already done. Having said that, taking someone to court is naturally going to cause bad blood and take time. CAFCASS at court will use terms such as “we are here to help to negotiate for you because negotiation has broken down or become impossible” and it isn’t technically quite that from what you described, which means it might be best for everyone if you try and talk. That may not need mediation. It might just be a question of telling her that the agreement isn’t working for you and the next option would be court – don’t make it a threat, just make it clear that, having tried mediation, that’s your next option if she won’t stick to the agreement. That might move things along.
Yes, as a man you are already at a disadvantage. Yes, as the non-resident parent you are at a disadvantage. So make no bones about it, people aren’t going to care about you or your feelings, so everything must come back to how this is better for the child. They will throw everything at you to get you to react negatively. They will say things like, “don’t you know how upset you’ve made her” and you’ll be thinking, “what about me not seeing my child?” to which they would roll their eyes and think “how selfish of the pathetic man”. Ultimately you will get more at the end of the court case, but don’t believe you’ll be treated well for being right. And God forbid that during the process you show emotion or feelings, because then they will start thinking you’re unstable. I realise this is unfair. Welcome to the life of a father… I know, no one ever tells you this as you cradle the baby in hospital after the birth and feel proud and full of love.
And no, be wary of the medical conditions thing. The key thing will be the child’s well being. If you have evidence that, for example, the child is receiving unnecessary medical treatment then yes, you can keep the children away from her and alert the police. However, if all she’s doing is lying, believe it or not, though that strengthens your case, there will be no penalties for her (she’ll claim, and they’ll believe, that she did it to restrict access to you because she’s wary of you having contact, without any examples or proof to back it up, to which they’ll answer “well done Mother, what a great Mother you are”), so you’ll only get yourself into legal trouble by using the child as a hostage. That actually makes YOU look bad, despite the fact that SHE is telling lies.
They only care about the child, remember, not you. So what if you’ve been lied to? You’re a man and quite despicable for having emotions. They much prefer men who who have the decency to openly be the bad guy – drink, drugs, violence, denying the child is theirs, infidelity… etc. They prefer those men because they can “help” them improve their lives and get access. Otherwise they expect you to prostrate yourself and announce everything is your fault and you are just so grateful the Mother once decided to ask what your name was let alone anything beyond that.
PM me if I can help further.