How can divorcing fathers ensure that their relationships with their children are not interrupted or disrupted by their ex-partner?
A Father can prepare for divorce first by staying in the home, with his children, until there are orders in place that ensure him the contact he desires once he leaves the home.
This is essential in that once out of the home and away from the children, their contact with the children often becomes at the discretion of their spouse. This allows the parent who remains resident; and often that is the wife or female partner to be able manipulate contact with the children to further or advance her own agenda.
It is not uncommon, once out of the home for men to find themselves going weeks or months without meaningful consistent contact with their children because they are not in “care and control” of their children and no longer have unfettered discretion as to when they are able to see them.
Continuous periods of limited contact put men at a disadvantage when they want to increase their contact and presence in their children’s lives.
There is also an implicit statement or concession, as often viewed by the Court, that when a man leaves the home and the children, he is agreeing that it is best for the children to be primarily with their mother in the family home and have limited, controlled, or less than equal access to the children.
Further, once out of the home, it can be very difficult to get back in as attempting to do so may cause friction, result in police involvement, or even a possession order preventing a man from re-entering the home.
We find that men often leave the home under the assurances from their wife that they “can see the children as often as they like”, but they then find it limited in some way or other that they weren’t experience. Perhaps they are not “permitted” to have the children spend the night where they live, or have them for extended periods of time. Or, often they experience resistance if they are not providing enough financial support in the opinions of their spouses or partners.
There is no way to enforce oral commitments regarding time and contact with the children. So, it is best for men, when possible, to remain in the home with their children until there is an enforceable agreement regarding their contact with their children. At which time, moving out may make sense and be appropriate, as the orders are enforceable by the Court if the wife doesn’t comply.
If a father does find himself put out of the house, then it is essential that he immediately consider starting an action under the Children Act 1989 so he is moving toward those orders that become enforceable. Men put themselves and their presence in their children’s lives at risk every day they are without access to them in a manner they believe is appropriate. Time is of the essence as it can take weeks or months to get an order from the Court.
Karim Assaad is a London divorce solicitor at Cordell & Cordell. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience practicing family law, owning a proven record of providing indispensable advice to clients and delivering positive outcomes for them.
You can contact Karim on 0330 60 60 161 or by visiting http://cordellcordell.co.uk/.