Separated father with new family- covid issues

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    I was hoping for some advice on the below:


    Father with 2 children (5 & 7 y/o) with ex wife.

    New partner and 7 month old child.

    Living with new partner and child. 30mins away from previous children.

    Usual child visitation outside of covid situation- every other weekend & Wednesday evening pick up from school.

    Current situation:

    Children have remained as separate as possible for safety and we have not carried on with the same visitation routine.

    I work from home and my partner is on maternity leave (fully adhering to guidelines).

    My ex wife works part time, but hasn’t been working as caring for the children. She is classed as a key worker (financial sector) and her employer has been flexible allowing her to stay at home fully paid, apart from when the children have visit myself. Her employer will be adding pressure to return to the office sooner or later.

    Children school now has further key worker positions available for the children but I would rather they didn’t return at this point as I see it as a risk to visitation. I originally offered to have the two children here for the duration of lockdown, but this was declined.

    Over the course of the lockdown I have had the children from my previous relationship over for twice for a week at a time. This was done after discussions between all parties and the confirmation that all had been in ‘isolation’ and a 14 day gap had been left with my ex wife not attending her office.

    On the last visit by the children (week com 25th May) it was discovered (after my eldest spoke of it) that my ex wife had been doing the below:

    – Visiting others private gardens with the children (twice of which is known).

    – Having others in her private garden on numerous occasions.

    I have taken the matter up with my ex wife who believed it not to be an issue due to her following social distancing rules and was in the best interests for the mental health of the children, however failed to mention issues about mental heath of children when asked everything was fine.

    Current issue:

    A clash between family units has occurred due to the feelings between my current partner and my ex wife on the non compliance to government guides as mention above.

    It was a tense situation before this recent issue, and I have previously persuaded my partner that my ex wife would not put any of the children at risk, hence was able to facilitate the visits. In further conversation with my ex wife to try and broker an agreement for going forward, she continues to excuse her actions and believes the situation to be blown out of proportion. My partner feels that my ex wife has lied about the situation and put our child at risk.

    There have been subsequent messages with my ex wife who claims to have not understood my question prior regards ‘isolation’ but at the time she gave me a few exceptions i.e. daily exercise, picking up a laptop from work, visitors dropping off shopping to the exterior of the property, and people ‘popping their head over the fence’, so I hence assumed she was following all other guidelines .

    I have asked my ex wife to confirm that she understands the most recent government guidelines and will abide by them going forward, to which she has confirmed she will.

    There was no trust before this recent incident (as ex previously lied sending a sick child who she had kept off school whilst partner was pregnant (high risk)) and my partner is not wiling to trust my ex wife again with this matter. My ex wife fails to acknowledge she was wrong in her actions that breached guidelines and just keeps making excuse after excuse.

    My feelings are mixed as I wish to she all my children but see my partners point of view in not trusting my ex wife and not wishing to have the children visit until safety can be guaranteed (i.e. a vaccine- which is a long shot).

    I’m concerned that if my children do go back to school it will further extend the non visitation situation.

    I have tried my best to act as an intermediary between my partner and ex wife but have a desire to see all my children.

    Nor do I think direct contact between the two will be fruitful given the high state of emotions and could worsen the situation.

    I am fed up of the constant arguing and back and forth messages to the point where I’ve lost hope to moving forward.

    Help required:

    I’m unsure how trust between parties can be established and a safe framework for all be put in place whilst under lockdown.

    Any advice is appreciated?

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