My ex and I were in court in January over child arrangements where we tied everything up into an order with a parenting agreement. Throughout the process my ex wanted me to have the children one night a week and I wanted equal shared care. Both cafcass, social care and myself wanted this. The judge ordered that I would have them 6 nights in a fortnight and my ex to have them 8 nights in a fortnight.
This decision was made as my ex said the children would be unsettled if they were to see her less (even though she's never around). There was never any mention of child maintenance and when we were both asked by court and social care if there were any financial difficulties we both said no. I have always had a family based child maintenance arrangement with my ex where I pay her half towards items such as private childcare, school uniform, passports, etc This has never been an issue.
She has recently sent me three emails claiming she wants myself to pay money into her household. She claims it is a struggle for her financially to support the children. She then changes her mind and states the money would be for me to pay her legal bills and personal debt. The last email we had she said she wanted money to pay for the items I already pay for.
Would there be grounds to apply to the court for a variation to the order, to allow me to have one extra night with the children based on the following:
- The children go 6 nights each fortnight without seeing me and are unsettled by this. By allowing me the extra night it would shorten the time the go without seeing me.
-Social care believed are time with the children should be equal based upon their needs but to also allow both parents to be on an equal footing, from my ex's actions she still feels she is a superior parent and is ignoring the wants and needs of the children.
- She states by having them the extra night she is financially struggling (even though she is on a high income salary) therefore surely myself having the children in my care that extra night and still contributing to children essentials would alleviate her of this 'financial struggle'?
- She states that myself paying for these items causes conflict so she would prefer the money. Again our whole court proceedings were based around what causes conflict between us and how to move forward. Our child maintenance arrangement or the apparent 'conflict' around it was never mentioned in court. My ex and I cannot agree on anything so surely the perfect time to resolve these issues would've been then in a mutual amicable setting.
I am happy to support my children financially in the way I always have since our separation, this is what we agreed on. I worry that now she has been deceitful and misled the court in order to use the system to get money from myself to pay her legal bills and personal debt (which she has admitted to). Surely this may have impacted the judges decision in January.
The judge also said that when the children are in our care it is the parents decision as to who the children spend time with. However as she fought so hard for the extra night, and her mother actually has the children until around 6-8pm. Again surely wouldn't a judge reconsider myself having this extra night as my ex is not even benefiting from it?