Posted by: H | 2010/05/05

Access to children.

My buddy is divorced and he pays financially whatever he should (and more) towards the upbring of his two children. According to the court order, he is allowed monthly sleepovers but this never materialises. His ex-wife famous words were: "  It depends if the children wants to go" 

He adores his kids and they have wonderful times together but when they are back home with their mother, he battles to have telephone communication with them. Nobody answers the phones. To me it is quite clear, she does not want them to see or contact him and puts pressure on them in this regard.

When he travels all the way there to pick them up for a week-end (300 kilos one way) after arranging it with her, there are normally other arrangements made for them and he is lucky to see them for a couple of hours, never mind sleepovers. She just pulls up her shoulders and say she cannot force them to go with him. But this is nonsense, she wants to alienate the kids from him (I guess they are 5 years and 10 years of age). The things that the kids say makes it clear that she talks bad about him in front of them.

How do you proof that she is "  terrorising you?"  How can you enforce the court order that says that you may take them away for weekends? Can you force her to see that it is her responsibility to comply with the court order? She just makes as if it for the kids to decide whether they want to see their father and further makes live as difficult as possible for him.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert


The new children's act makes provision for children to have equal access to their parents. Unfortunately, when a parent hasn't dealt healthily with their emotional issues they harm their greatly by using them in their personal vendetta instead of focusing on their wellbeing. Children have a right to entertain an equal relationship with both parents and both parents have equal rights in the upbringing of their children.
Someone should suggest divorce coaching to the children's mother so that she can overcome her bitterness and move on with her life and nurture what is best for the children. Your friend should consider mediation with his ex and otherwise he can approach father's 4 justice who will be able to advise him on his rights and on how to claim them.

All the best.

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Our users say:
Posted by: G-Dad | 2010/05/13

It is best to solve this problem ASAP, the kids are the victims, they live with the mother and have no choice but to be loyal to her, you can give her a written notice that you will pick the children up at a specified time, should she refuse then you will have no choice to request the courts to force her to allow you access as stipulated, you should also stipulate call time, normally on a Tuesday and Thursday between 17H00 and 20H00, and she has to answer the call when you phone, if she still do not answer the phone then simply keep record of the notice and the times and when no access were allowed, kids 10 and 5 should not be in a position to say they do not want to visit, unless mother told them to say that.
If you gathered enough proof then lay a charge of contempt and at the same time ask the courts to order her to pay the costs and to stipulate phoning times and removal access.

It might be worth your while to take a social worker along when picking up your kids, she will then write a report for the courts, alternatively get a social worker or psychologist to monitor the access, they will phone the mother when the children has to be picked up by the father, the social worker will note the mothers excuse which can be used in a court at a later stage.

To charge the mother with contempt you will have to proof to the courts that she is aware that she in in contempt.

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