my ex wants to force my son to see him

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  • #8350 Report

    onwardsandupwards
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    hello my name is Amanda , I have 2 children a daughter aged 12 and a son aged 9 .
    <div> I need advice please. My ex husband is really getting angry as my 9 and a half year old son is not wanting to visit him as often. For 6 years my 2 children Harry 9 and Summer 12 have been staying at my ex husbands every other weekend fri night til sun afternoon. Harry my son is saying he is bored there and his Dad isn’t spending any time one to one or even with his sister and him alone with his Dad. Their 6 yr old half sister from their dads affair is always present even though their is a nan in the same road and his partner is there. To get to the point i really am asking what age a child can be forced to see his dad as i have never ever said no in fact always been messed around with pick up times and drop off times. We only signed statement of arrangements for children in the divorce which was for fortnightly weekends and no consent court order . It was clear adultery but i had no money for the divorce and he couldn’t petition his own adultery apparently so i had to sign unreasonable behaviour which i was told would not stand against me it was just a reason to get divorce to g9 through. As his baby was being born in 9 months when he told me about the affair i just wanted it all sorted . He is taking legal advice has  seen a solicitor and is threatening to take it all the way to court. I just want to see my children happy and he says Harry has no choice yet as he isnt 13 years of age. Harry has told him in the past when he didn’t want to go as much and he made him speak to him for 20 mins in his car. Harry came in saying jm seeing dad once a month.  Only 2 weeks ago his dad said to his sister whatever Harry wants to do so now he is getting more aggressive i need advice please . My son is now terrified of his Dad so much so he won’t even go to the door now. I am concerned as his 2 dogs are chewing my sons chews my daughters headphones and also they are on a sofa each downstairs while his other 2 sleep upstairs. does anyone know what happens now my ex has gone to a solicitor ? he said see u in court and this is upsetting my son also .</div>

    #8362 Report

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    A solicitor doesn’t actually help you much in court, they’re just expensive, so let him go ahead and you can put your side of the story forward. The court only cares about the children, not you two. It is fair that he sees his children, but they will take into account the issues raised. However, I have to say that I am in a similar situation from the opposite side and the argument used against me is that “they don’t want to see/speak to you”. But the fact is if they said they didn’t want to go to school or eat their dinner what should a parent do about that? Sometimes a parent has to be the boss. If a court orders so many hours and times of visits then you need to work with that, just like you have to get them to school on time and can’t just take them out and go on holiday whenever you feel like it. They will also take into account what happens to the child during that contact time and may impose actions upon him to manage that time, with a later review period. But, yeah, let him pay to take it to court if he wants to. A solicitor can’t affect the decision and you can represent yourself (or for a small fee get a McKenzie Friend for advice before and on the day – look them up). By the way it never goes straight before a magistrate/judge. There is an assessment period first where a report can be formed based on what can be agreed RATHER than it going before a magistrate/judge. So, trial ideas and agreements, then see where you go from there. All the best.

    #8381 Report

    onwardsandupwards
    Participant

    thanks so much , I’m sorry to hear you are that the other end your side . I believe in my children both seeing their Dad regularly , when he took them away last year it was very last minute and I had no clue of where they were staying or an emergency contact number. You see because my ex husband filed for unreasonable behaviour against me in our divorce I have always felt he has had the upper hand. I didn’t have the funds to pay for the divorce by side but it was clear adultery as he told me he was having an affair and that she was pregnant. I found out then that he couldn’t petition his own adultery. What I should have done is not let him stress me out and wait the two years then it would have been classed as separation. I guess with the baby being born 9 months after he told me I just wanted to not be married to him anymore , made me feel unwell. I focused on the children, got two lots of counselling for my daughter and helped them join clubs like beavers and brownies. I don’t understand why he is getting so angry , he has spoken to my son a few times , he promises him things like time together and it never happens. The bay from the affair turned out to be a girl so that didn’t help she is now 6 and left with my Harry all day when he is there , my daughter goes aged 12 she is close to her Dad. then there is a 17 year old step sister , well sort of they aren’t married, it’s his girlfriends daughter) she calls Harry a little git forces him not to leave the table at dinner if he needs to , and recently my son is saying his dads girlfriend is being nasty to him too. I wish life was simpler. All I want is the kids to be happy. My daughter comes home has a go at Harry and me , then Harry gets upset. My ex in laws keep texting Harry saying how disappointed in him they are that he hasn’t stayed at his dads for a while and that lots of money and orange jellies are building up there for him. They seem to try to be blackmailing him. I spoke to my ex at the door and said can you take him out on his own now and then , let the 17 year old have the 6 year old or the mother and take my daughter with my son just them to do stuff , he turned round to me and looked at Harry and said I’m not going to be emotionally blackmailed by an 8 year old. My son wouldn’t even know what blackmail means. I need to look up this Mckenzie’s friend you mentioned , who do I pay for that ? must do some investigations. I’ve been stressing about finding a solicitor because I never had one during my divorce and I ended up still having to pay a conveyancer. However, the solicitors I have all contacted are all charging £120 plus vat for what they say is a detailed report. So what you think I should so is wait to see what comes from him? he said he has spoken to a solicitor and the age is 13 and Harry is too young to give his views , what will happen now , will it be the 4 of us in a room and a mediator . I don’t want his legal person there and me have no support. Maybe I can take my Dad or someone who knows Harry well , I have been with my partner a year who Harry adores but not sure whether to take him. As I say thanks so much for replying I have been worrying so much and been thinking of nothing else. As Harry was so scared to got to the door Sunday when he dropped my daughter off, , she basically said Harry wave Dad off, he was too scared he seems to have pushed him further away . At work but not concentrating very well !

    #8387 Report

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    Hi. http://mckenzie-friend.org.uk/services.html

    They are effectively like self-employed people who understand family law and the whole court process (and I think their charges vary because they don’t work for a company). Because I am taking the action, I got one to help me organise myself. He filled out the paperwork (rewrote my stuff in slightly more court friendly prose), talked through what to expect, sent me loads of useful documents to read, etc. He charged £50 (I paid in cash, but ask in advance what they prefer) for what was supposed to be an hour but took 90 minutes. He said if he wanted me with him on the day that would be £250 excluding travel fees, etc. But the court sessions for the first meeting are all 10am and 2pm and you don’t know in what order you’ll be seen. A solicitor will charge by the hour. A MF will charge to be there while you need them. Mine might not be best because the court will be appointed that is nearest to the childrens’ main address, and for me that is light years away, so my MF is trying to contact a part-time MF in that area to sound out his costs, which will obviously be cheaper. They can’t intercede but you can just ask their advice and they will make sure you don’t say yes or no to things which disadvantage you. A solicitor might speak on their clients’ behalf but actually their advice is going to be the same for a higher price.

    But this is how it works if he takes it further: He has got to go through mediation with you if possible. If that doesn’t work out he can get the mediator (and not all mediators are qualified to do this so he may have to find a specialist and you might need to be seen by them also – in my case it wasn’t felt useful because of everything that had gone on before and my partner’s reluctance to mediate) to sign off a MIAM saying you’ve tried mediating and it hasn’t worked out (a court won’t accept anything without this). Then they file a C100 form which is quite boring and detailed and he has to prepare a Parenting Plan (his wish list). Anything he doesn’t include is non-negotiable later without starting a court case all over again. His solicitor will probably help with these – expensive stuff, but really if you’re not a drooling fool you can do it yourself and there are plenty of helpful sites and examples on the interweb. He will also need to make a statement to bring to court on the day, which explains why he’s had to go this far. In theory, having got the MIAM and applied to court, it takes about two weeks for you to receive the paperwork from CAFCASS (who are the mediators at court) so that you can fill in your side of the C100, prepare any objections to the Parenting Plan, and answer any investigative questions for the CAFCASS report (usually written in timeline fashion, as in diary of how you got to where you are now) to present on the day (hence, make sure you have a detailed diary). You should get a copy of the statement he intends to present on the day but CAFCASS admin is not always thorough so may only be handed it on the day. The first court mediation will then be about three weeks later.

    I suggest you just sit pretty for now and when/if you get this paperwork (which ought to be after mediation anyway and that could take months!) then go to a MF for backup and help you write your responses (but do the writing in advance – they are really there for tweaking and advice). The link above I found a bit out of date but it has a helpline and you can identify MFs in your area.

    On the first appointment it’s just you two, a MF/Solicitor, and a CAFCASS mediator. From that they decide a follow up report, which could take up to three months, to present to a judge/magistrate. If it goes that far, you will still only be allowed a MF/Solicitor present. Don’t get scared – it isn’t a criminal case! It is just two people who can’t agree sitting around and asking a judge to decide what to do. Like Solomon. There may be a follow up court appearance if they can’t reach a conclusion. When they do, it will be binding.

    I was given a ball-park figure that to go through all of this palava with solicitors could cost up to £20k.

    He is right about the 13 year age thing I believe. I said before, and I feel this from my own perspective, just saying the child doesn’t want to do something isn’t a parental excuse, it’s their duty to get them to do things they sometimes don’t want to, and make it as easy for them as possible. I remember trying to pull sickies on a school morning and my mother was very firm and I went to school.

    <span style=”color: #1a1919; font-family: Lato, sans-serif; background-color: #fbfbfb;”>But right now the ball is in his court – lot of effort and time and money if he’s using a solicitor. Might take him a while to find out everything I’ve just explained to you. You’re not doing anything criminal, but you must understand that as part of mediation/court intervention, you will both have to make concessions – his will be access to the children, yours will be the terms of that access. The mediators/court will ONLY be thinking of the welfare of the children. His argument will be the need for a father’s contact (agreed it is a healthy thing), your argument will be your concern over your childrens’ unhappiness as a result of the contact, which might need to be probed further to find out what is happening during contact to provoke this. If it ever comes out you’re coaching him to hate these visits (just saying) you’ll be screwed.</span>

    Hope this helped. PM me if I can help further.

    #8391 Report

    onwardsandupwards
    Participant

    cheers, I am definitely not encouraging him not to go I start talking about beginning of the week , I explain Dad must be missing you and things like that. I have just read on a website that miam I have to pay for ? I thought mediation is free? I hope I get to do mediation although I think he will say he don’t want to do mediation and just start filling his forms in with his solicitor . I will wait to see what comes in the post. I have a mckenzies friend person hopefully ringing me 2moro on my day off as I have filled in their contact us form . im just worried that the 52 pound phone call for advice will lead to much more than 52 pound , hopefully they will explain what I need to do and how much , don’t want a big bill at the end. As my ex never messages me about times of pick up drop offs and anything really he is terrible at talking to me and doesn’t ask harry how he feels so I think that’s why he assumes mediation wont work. id like to think Harry could go for 1 night every 2 weeks with one of two visits in the weekday evenings and some time on school holidays . when me ex said he couldn’t do a weekend as he was working the Saturday I still thought he would come on the sat after work to pick them up but he cancelled the whole weekend , after that it seemed to upset harry as he wanted 2 weekends running and wouldn’t pick up from cubs camps. if it fell on his weekend he just said well I do 2 weekends on the trot after then but I may have booked something . wish it wasn’t so complex . might ask harry to write down a few things maybe then send that to his dad then its harrys feelings written down

     

    #8392 Report

    onwardsandupwards
    Participant

    sorry will pm you if I need more help not used to these forums thanks alot

     

    #8393 Report

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    Participant

    Ok, I’m going to repeat myself in bullet points:

    1. YOU don’t need a MIAM – he needs a MIAM before he can take you to court. If he wants to take you, he arranges and pays for the MIAM. You don’t both need a MIAM.

    2. Mediation is not free – but if he arranges it (which he has to prior to the case going to court) then in theory he pays. You could be entitled to help anyway but WAIT until the mediator contacts you – IF they do. They will talk you through all this. Until then, chill the F out.

    3. He can’t take you to court without proving he’s tried mediation. If you refuse or make it difficult, he can progress to the MIAM (but obviously not turning up for mediation makes you look difficult). But you said you would, so don’t worry, just CHILL.

    4. As I said quite explicitly, you DON’T need MF yet. So you are paying for a call for nothing. They will just tell you what I’ve already told you – they can’t help further as there is no case yet (and may never be). IF you receive court papers months down the line AFTER mediation, then you MIGHT need a MF, but you don’t HAVE to have one. If I were you, I’d cancel that call and do as I said originally, and just CHILL until your husband makes a move, which will take months if at all. He may decide it’s too much effort and money for him anyway.

    Does this make sense? CHILL. Do nothing. Stick to your guns. You are not committing a crime. You are not going to get told off for putting your childrens’ welfare first. His solicitor will charge £150 to tell him the same.

    Please PM or call me because I want to be sure you are ok as I feel you’re panicking for nothing and you said your panic is affecting your son. Don’t be that person. I am happy to explain this all again over the phone (and I won’t charge). I am trying to help. Just stay calm whatever, and do NOTHING. If you are suddenly made to, then we can take baby steps further.

    Will you please contact me privately so we can get this all straight?

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