My son is 3 years old.
The next hearing is on the 6th of January.
Yes, the financial Order was sealed by the court. The barrister that was representing me told me that it was to be fair to him because he would be paying the mortgage for the rest of the coming years, and that to compensate him from having to pay it he would get a bigger percentage. We didn't touch his pension which was something my ex was very anxious about. I also mentioned to the barrister that my ex was lying about his income because he earns a lot of cash selling firewood that he does not declare. I told the barrister that I had prove of an account that the ex used to put some of that cash in, but the barrister said that if I wanted those proceedings to be dealt with and finished there and then that I should just accept what was being offered. My ex was representing himself. My barrister made me wait in a room while they both negotiated.
My ex has him. He has refused to give him back to me since the 8th of December. The nursery called me to ask why my son had not been to nursery since then and I told them that it was because his father had him and was refusing to return him to me. Last Thursday 19th of December I went to the nursery and the manager told me that after talking to me they had called the ex and he said he had moved to another town and was looking for a nursery there. I don't know where. Friends that know the ex have confirmed that he has moved in with another woman. They also confirm that he is working because they have seen him delivering firewood, therefore he is leaving my son with this stranger. On the hearing of the 16th of December he said in court that he was not working because he was having to take care of our son. He never mentioned he had moved, taken him out of nursery nor that he is now living with someone.
On the 16th he stated that he wanted full residency claiming that our son was in danger with me and that I wasn't doing a good job as a mother. I disputed that because his claims are false, he has no prove I have ever harmed my child and I have plenty of witnesses that have come to the house regularly (some of them practically daily) over the last 3 years that have seen that my son is healthy and there is nothing wrong with him. The nursery and the health visitor know there is nothing wrong with my son as well. I told the court I do believe the ex is using little one as a tool to get the matrimonial home and to throw my daughter and I out of it. The court decided the case is complicated and since Cafcass and Social Services had not presented any reports yet they adjurn until the 6th of January when they said that both parties should provide evidence. Meanwhile, little one has stayed with him and his barrister gave me some times during this couple of weeks that I could see him. I did not dispute that because I was afraid that if I objected they would not let me see my son. I had no representation, so I didn't know my legal rights. The ex has been letting me see my son at an Indoor adventure playground for 3 hours (2pm to 5pm) on the 17th and 19th of December and then at home (for 3 hours as well on Saturday 21st Dec). He will let me have my son on Christmas day from 9:30 to 6:30. Then on the 28th and 31st Dec for 3 hours at home again. 2nd and 4th of January 2014 at the Indoor Kidsplay adventure playground again for the same 3 hours. It was a very busy day in court on the 16th of December. We were asked to be there at 11am for the hearing but ended up being the very last people in the evening, they wrote all of this down by hand and said it would be typed properly and posted to me. So far I have got nothing. Meanwhile I have kept to the times I was given, and the ex drops and picks up my child. But I am feeling very anxious and stressed over the fact that I found out he had taken my little one out of nursery without telling me and has moved to an unknown address. As I have said before, friends who know him and have talked to him last week have confirmed that he is working (which he said he wasn't in court) and that he has moved in with a woman he met recently to another town (which he also kept to himself). I feel my child is at risk because the ex is leaving my child with a complete stranger while he goes to work. Besides little one has been behaving oddly when he first sees me, I am afraid this woman and/or the ex could be trying to turn my little one against me. He is my son. He should be with me, he is only 3 y/o.
The ex is making false accusations. On the hearing of the 16th December his barrister spoke on his behalf saying that my son is in danger with me because I drink when I have him and that he has had "accidents". That is absolutely untrue, he has had scratches and minor falls like any active energetic child his age does but it has nothing to do with whether I drink or not. And never something serious or significant. My daughter and friends that visit my house over the last 3 years regularly are witnesses of that. I always make sure my son is safe. My health visitor and the nursery are witnesses that there has never been anything wrong with my son. I love him dearly, and they all have seen that. I have some of my friends willing to testify in court to that effect. His barrister and the ex are twisting the truth and awfulising things to make me sound bad. I told the court that in fact he is the one who drinks in excess. I have physical evidence of that: there is a Sainsbury's trolley in our garage that ex's drink-buddies brought him home in one time that he passed out drunk.
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His barrister also claimed that I wasn't a good mother because my son does not speak English fluently and is not potty trained yet. I speak to my son in Spanish as well, he is only 3 years 2 months old; all children develop at a different rate. He already speaks in short sentences but they are comparing him to some of those English kids that at 3 are very talkative (like the ex's nephew and niece). As a mother I did not worry about how quickly my son's language skills are developing because he is absorbing two languages at the same time: Spanish and English. I have a daughter who is 17 and also took her time in speaking fluently, she is perfectly fine and is quite smart. Both of them learned to walk quite quickly though. This barrister made it sound in court as if it was my fault as a mother that he was not speaking clearly and in full sentences like some 3 year olds do, which is ridiculous because all children develop differently. The barrister also said that my son not been potty trained yet clearly showed that I was doing a bad job as a mum. Absurd. That week previously to the ex deciding not to return little one to me I had just asked advice to my health visitor about how to start potty training him, I didn't even get a chance to start the potty training. The health visitor is a witness of that. Expert NHS opinion where they say that it is normally between 1.5 and 4 year old that a child is able to have bladder control and parents can start potty training as there is no perfect time. I doesn't have to be by 3 years old like the ex and his barrister were making it sound. (www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/birthtofive.aspx#close).
I think this is why the court decided the case was complex and wanted to see evidence from both sides on the 6th of January. Besides, as I mentioned before, Cafcass and Social Services had not provided reports or letters on the 16th of December.
I told the court that I believe the ex is making these false claims against me because he wants the matrimonial home and is prepared to do anything to take David from me so that he can kick my daughter and I out. I have suffered a lot of stress and anxiety from his constant threats and lies. Last year he was threatening me to make himself bankrupt if I didn't settle out of court for the financial side of the divorce. He was saying that if he did go bankrupt that the creditors would force the sale of the house and that we would be out.
The house is worth around £120,000 and there is around £60,000 left to pay on the mortgage.