My battle to see my kids, Advice wanted.
Hello All, I have been divorced 5 years and have been trying to get shared care of my two children now,8 and 11yrs for the last three years. My ex went ballistic when she found out I was going for shared care I think for two reasons. Firstly it would mean my $1200/month in child support would drop and secondly she would miss the kids terribly when they weren’t with her. They are her world. Anyway from that time she has manipulated the kids feelings towards me by telling them things I had supposedly done in the past which at best were gross exaggrations of the truth and at worst straight out lies that never happened.
We eventually came to a compromise 18months ago which saw me have ther kids 5 nights a fortnight plus a couple of afternoons a week. This went along ok until this time last year when out of the blue she applied to have all my contact with the kids ceased for various reasons none of which were true. This has led to a year of going back and forward to court. The kids were further poisioned by thier Mother to such an extent they refused to come on my days and as she was not encouraging them to come with me the whole parenting order broke down and become worthless. The children have had some child therapy sessions during the year but these were ineffective.
I have not seen my kids since March this year! There have been times I have bumped into them around town with thier Mother but they freak out and are quickly ushered away .I send them letters letting them know I still love them and try to call them but they refuse to talk to me. I am currently trying to get a hearing date so my lawyer can prove she is in breach of our parenting order so then the Judge will be forced to make a decision on what the contact arrangements will be going forward.
From my point of view any contact is better than none. The court process is extremely slow and I am extremely frustrated by what is going on. My ex is happy as she has the kids fulltime which I continue to pay for. My kids are happy that they don’t have to spend time with a Father who they are now scared of and who they consider to be a mean and nasty person. Which I am not and there is no evidence to support her claims that I am. All I have is a parenting order that isn’t worth the paper its written on. They are a complete waste of time when one party decides not to abide by it. Although her line on this is “I encourage the kids to see thier Father, but they don’t want to go. It has nothing to do with me” She knows very well that she has manipulated thier thoughts and beliefs about me to such an extent that yes of course they don’t want to come.
I know I am not the only person this has happened to and would like feedback on what my best plan of action may be. What have other people done in my situation and how has it worked out for them? My friends and family are saying stop battling with it and move on with your own life and eventually the kids will grow up and come back to you. How do I know this will ever happen ? This sounds to me like giving up and turing my back on my kids . Also it means I miss seeing them grow up and enjoy spending time with them like I have done since thier birth. But a part of me is wondering if this is what I have to do now. I have almost exhausted all possible avenues to try and get to see my kids and still have not got them.
In this country Fathers are suppossed to have the same rights as Mothers. The reality is the Mother still gets preference over the Father. The childrens lawyer says its a sad situation. The Judge says “yes” I should be seeing the kids but doesn’t know what is the best way to acheive this. It seems the Family court is all for sorting out custody disputes in a softly softly manner which is all good where two parties can work together,but in my case where she refusing to have anything to do with me and would probably prefer I didn’t exist the court just raising its hand and says this is too hard ! And of course the gem they have to rule by is ” Whats best for the kids”. Well society tells us that having a Father and a Mother in childrens lives is the best for all concerned.
As an aside to this is the child support issue. I have always paid the full amount I have been assessed on and while it is my biggest expense, I have always accepted this as just being the price you pay for a broken marriage. They are my kids and it is my responsilbilty to help pay for their upbringing. What I am questioning now is why should I have to pay this when I am am doing everything to be in my childrens lives yet it is they who don’t want to be with me? Why should I still support them when they don’t want anything to do with me? The kids and thier Mother want to cut all ties with me then that should include financial as well . I will always be here for them and if at a time in the future they want me back in thier lives I am only too happy to be there for them.
Any comments would be appreciated as I am really at the end of my tether on this. I feel upset, frustrated and tired by what I am having to go through. It shouldn’t have to be this way.