Court order to make dad schedule contact properly?
Hi, new to this site. Have been separated to my ex for just under a year, we have 3 children together. He works shifts but is able to find out way in advance if he wants to, what his shift pattern is. We have an informal agreement that he sees the children when he has a day off but he will never tell me in advance when this is (deliberately, so I can't plan anything. He was possessive in our relationship). He is currently giving me approx. 2 days notice. He rarely has them overnight, which he justifies by saying he has to put in overtime to make ends meet now he has moved out. However he deliberately puts overtime in on the least convenient days, blocking having overnight contact (i.e. when he has 4 days off, he puts in to work the middle 2 days). He is approx. 45-60 min drive away, so having them after school is a lot of driving and little quality time.
However when we argue about the minimal amount of effort he puts in (e.g. never telephoning his children, even on their birthday) he says things like "don't you dare try and stop me seeing my children!"
I've always said he can have them literally whenever he wants, even if he picks them up for a couple of hours in our local park in the summer months.
I'm going to apply for a Court order to try and make the contact more regular and predictable, with him telling me in advance. I would particularly like for him to have them Friday-Sunday the one week he has Thursday-Sunday off - that's just one weekend a month, which I don't think is unreasonable.
However, from what I've read, it seems an order is more enforceable when it's the resident parent refusing to let the non-resident parent have contact, but you can't "force" a parent to have contact (however he does say he wants to see them, it's about when). He cancelled mediation following the MIAM and has refused to work on a Parenting Plan. The only thing he wishes to discuss is the mortgage.
Has anyone been in this situation? I'm hoping that the potential threat of a court fine if we can get an order in place will stop him acting so immaturely and let us put some stability in the children's lives.