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Ex partner chooses not to see the children - does anyone else have this problem?

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Hi Everyone

Mostly from what I have read it seems that there are a very large amount of people desperately fighting to see their children.  I have the opposite problem - my ex chooses not to see his children and refuses to communicate with me etc.  I was just wondering if anyone else is going through simmilar things and how they cope etc.  Any advice would be great thanks.
Clearly a very unsatisfactory position and we would like to hear more from you as to why this situation may have eventuated. We hear about this from time to time but rarely do we get any opportunity to explore the issue. Is the other parent a fair distance away? Does the parent have a new family? Is there any Birthday / Christmas arrangement? Is there any phone contact? You could contact an FRC to see if they feel some mediation would help and could be arranged to at least get to the bottom of the issues and at least get some clear explanation of why this situation exists. Are you getting Child support payments?

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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My situation is that we have been through 2 very emotional years through court because my ex wanted the children full time. We did week on week off for 1 year as recommended by our first family report but at the end of the year my ex told the court that it was not working.

My opinion that although the 50/50 was very difficult it was good because my children were able to have a relationship with their father. In the end it went to trial and the first one got adjourned after the family report writer and myself were cross examined (the hardest thing I think I have ever had to do). It was adjourned for both my ex and I to see a psychiatrist to be assessed.

The psychiatrist's report said that both of us were sane and that basically in our case it came down to who the children were closest to.

There was no question on any of the professionals part that that person was me.

Before we went back to court the children's lawyer suggested that the children live with me and spend every 2nd weekend from a Thursday till Monday morning and then half holidays. He did not accept this. Two days later his lawyer quit his case. So we went to trial again and basically the judge and the children's lawyer convinced him to accept what they had suggested and he did.

We did as per the order for the first 2 months and then he wanted to do a calender for the next year to show which days were who's - which is fair enough. It was done but he did not agree with the June/July school holidays for the following year and then said he refused to have the children until this was sorted out.

He did not spend any time with the children for a month until I finally gave in and let him have more days.

He then spent time with the children for the next month on his weekends - in the meantime he had put an appeal into Centrelink because he was not receiving any family tax payments as he was under 35%.

The day he found out he had lost his appeal is that last day he spent time at his house with the children and it was half way through his weekend. The children's lawyers took it back to court as we still had interim orders and the Magistrate basically said that she was turning the orders into final orders and to go and fight it out between ourselves (these were her words).

The orders are very basic orders with no specific orders regarding anything except that our only means of communication is via email. Which was fine with me because then you always have that as evidence of communication. However to this day I have never received an email from him nor a reply to any of my emails. I try to only email him if it is something very important and I never harass him etc. Last time we were in court was Dec last year and since that time he has made not contact with the children for their birthdays, fathers day or any contact at his house etc.

The only contact he has tried to make is he turned up at the children's school on June this year demanding to see his children. This was on a Monday after what should have been his weekend. The eldest 2 children did not want to see him and the youngest ones agreed.

The school did tell him that he was not to come there again unless it was agreed between my ex and I.

With regards to location, my ex lives 1 street away from me so distance can not be used as an excuse. He does have a new partner but was living with her when he was having the children week on week off. As for child support I do not receive any and nor expect to ever. My ex knows how to work the system well. After he turned up at the school in June I tried to do mediation through a family relationship centre but he did not respond. I was hoping that we could discuss about starting contact again. I am very easy to get along with but through out the court process I did everything by the book always made sure the children were where they were supposed to be even though at times he never turned up.

I have never ever stopped this man from having access to his children and have always let him come and go as he pleases to see his children. His attitude is that either he has them or I have them and nothing in between. I would also assume his pride has been hurt as he did not get what he wanted. The sad thing is that he is no longer hurting me and is only hurting our children and the mere fact that your children don't want to see you should tell you something.

I don't want to take the children away from my ex as I know that he is just as an important part of their lives as I am but I do feel that the children have the right to some stability and knowing when or if they will see their father. It is heartbreaking to think that are always wondering when it comes to his weekend whether he will just turn up at school etc. I got some legal advice and was told that I should make an application to court to have a few orders added to our orders saying that he has to give notice if he wants to see the children if he has not seen them for long periods of time. This hopefully will help to stop the fear of him just turning up and taking them from school when we least expect it.

I know that my story will make some people angry. The fact that you may be begging to spend more time with your children or even worse begging to see them at all and here is a man that lives only 1 street away from his children and chooses not to have anything to do with them. Again I have done everything in my power to encourage contact etc. but unfortunately I don't think there is a lot more I can do.
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