Both parents should have equal rights and access unless reasonable justified!
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I am a 33 year old man, father of three and have been married to my wife for 12 years. I have worked since the age of 18 years old to provide a stable and secure home for my children and give them a adequate up bringing. I love my children and have always done everything in my power to protect and support them in every way.
I separated with my wife in 2010 after she had an affair and left to start her new life with two out of three of my children. The eldest child choose to reside with me as he didn't agree with what his mum had done however I was keen for him to continue having a good relationship with her. Everything was working well and I had my children over night on a regular basis both at the weekends and during the week, my wife and I were also amacable and we used to talk about the children's schooling and forthcoming events.
On my birthday last year l came home to find an empty house, my son had left, all his belonging had gone and a message from my wife calling me every name under the sun and stating I was never going to see my children again! Since this time I have been to court four times to get access to my children and I still have had no success!
The initial concern was the allegations of domestic violence she had made against me during our marriage which I strongly denied however I was prepared to prove my innocence. I attended court in December last year and they set out a court order for me to have indirect contact with my children and for investigations to be carried out and evidence to be gathered for the next court hearing.
I returned in April this year and my wife had flouted every item stated on the court order and I had had minimal contact with my children over the phone just verbal abuse from her partner every time I called and warnings from the police telling me to stop ringing the house because they have been informed I was harassing the children when I was purely ringing at the times stated on the court order to speak to my children.
The courts had gathered all there evidence, police checks were all clear and the children had been interviewed by Cafcass. The report stated my eldest did not wish to see me, the middle one was very keen to see me and my youngest at the age of 5 could be encouraged by her mother or other third parties to see me.
I then returned again in July, I had had no contact as recommended by the court and hadn't spoken to my children. My wife had flouted yet again everything set out by the courts. The courts then came to another conclusion that I could have Supervised contact by a neutral party that both my wife and I agreed on. My wife would not agree on anyone so they said at the last resort it would go to a contact centre. I was strongly against my children having to go to a contact centre environment however if it meant I saw my children I would do it.
I then sourced a contact centre and got it all arranged, at this point indirect contact was suppose to continue however I was having no contact with any of my children. Both my wife and I attended the initial visit at the contact centre and she was keen for contact to commence and agreed to bring the children along. The dates were agreed and contact was to commence..... I went along every two weeks for 10 weeks to see my children for three hours Supervised in an environment I highly disliked but it meant I saw my children but no, she didn't attend once!
So yet again I returned to court in October this year, by now I have completely lost my relationship with all three of my children. My wife has also changed all three of my children names by deed poll (illegally) to her partners name but she isn't penalised in anyway. I have continued to send them letters, cards and present throughout the year and at every birthday and when I attend court I was asked can you prove it? Did you keep a copy of the correspondence? My response was no, I am writing to my children who I love and care for I am not writing to the world and his wife!
I have been paying for a solicitor and a barrister to represent me in court which isn't cheap! I have now come to the conclusion I am never going to see my children unless I have complete control over this situation in having residency of my children. At this point my middle child has now changed his mind against seeing me so Cafcass write another report they state it seems there is a view of a good parent and a bad parent and the children are influenced by this however because this has gone on for so long and I have had no contact what so ever and it it now recommended the children have mediation. My wife, my children and I are to have a mediation service to help build our relationship and for the children to be encouraged to want to have a relationship with me again.
It is now November 2013 and it has been 14 months since I have seen my children, I was due to have contact with them this weekend along with the theropy service to support the children however this hasn't happened. My wife has not made the children available again so back again I go to court to appeal for enforcement against her.
Cafcass have now come to the conclusion that they CANNOT HELP my family move forward, they have also realised that there is no evidence that shows I cause any kind of Safeguarding concerns to my three children and that enforcement is necessary.
I could go on and on listing the things the courts have agreed but my wife has broken everything on every agreement. I am now on my fourth agreement and nothing is being enforced and unless she makes my children available I am unlikely to have any contact with them again.
I am continuing to work and earn endless amounts of money to keep a roof over my head and fight to see my children, I also pay CSA money to ensure my children are still feed andwateredyet she and her partner claim benefits and get legal aid,how canshe can break a legal court order time and time again and get away with it?!( what is the point in a court if they do not punish those that willfully disreguard their orders)
I want to see family courts system changed, as a parent who has a legal responsibility over all three of my children how can she get away with this when there is no evidence at all to say any of the allegations she has made are true? and I would never put my children in any kind of danger. I have had endless amount of difficulties with the schools as she has told them I do not have any parental responsibility and she has changed all their documentation to another name yet again. I know there are many many moreparents out there who have either been or are going through the same thing as me and I am passionate to make a change and believe thesystem isout of date and not forceful enough on those that flout legal orders.As a parent you should have equal rights and access, I know this doesn't just affect fathers but mothers who face the same diificulties.
Please show your support by sharing with others and getting as many people involved who you know have been affected by this or a similar case. Please also get in touch, tell me your story and support this particition to make a change to the family law system!