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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34589
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My ex left and took our child. We are now divorced but she

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My ex left and took our child. We are now divorced but she will not give financial disclosure. I have no money or savings and neither has she. The only thing we had was our house that is in negative equity so there is no money there either. I am currently still living there and paying the mortgage, she lives in one of her brothers houses. she has custody of our daughter and she has christened her and enrolled her in a school with no contact with me on these matters. She has now returned to court to change the court order as she wants our daughter to spend less time with me than she agreed to at the first court hearing. One weekend Fri 9Am to sun 6pm then the next weekend Friday 10Am to Sat 6 pm. she is still getting legal aid to take me back to court but I am not allowed any more free aid even though we are both, financially, in the same situation. I now need to borrow money from my family to contest her court actions. I would like to simply adhere to the original order, even though she has, on numerous occasions, breeched it by failing to make my daughter available for contact. She either is not there when I call to collect or she will cliam that my daughter is ill and unable to see me. the original order says that if contact is missedc due to illness it is to be made up but this has never happened yet. It seems she can do what she wants. She has said that as SHE has custody and I have only contact rights that SHE can do as she likes. As I cannot afford to take her back to court each time she dose these things she gets away with them. How can she qualify for aid yet I do not when we are financially in the same boat.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When is the next hearing?
What further contact do you wish to ask for?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

next hearing 16th May 2014.


Ideally, joint residency. Realistically, continuation of the current but actually getting what I was granted and NOT her continually flouting the order with impunity.


How I go about this when SHE can get aid and I cannot is what I fail to understand. I had a solicitor but she told I was no longer allowed legal aid and would now need to pay yet my ex continues to get this so she will continue to do as she wishes.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What extra contact would you like?
School holidays, evenings mid week?
What can you manage with your work pattern?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Holidays are supposed to be shared equally but the last summer holiday (as an Example) consisted of 48 days. She offered me 18 then upped it to 21. This is meant to be a 50/50 split. On week long holidays of 9 days I get 4 and she gets 5. Again, in her opinion, this is fair and if I don't like it then I can take her to court, (her words). Last Christmas was a 2 week holiday. I was given 4.5 days contact.


when our daughter starts school the short weekend is to stop and be replaced by an overnight stop midweek were I collect our daughter from school at then end of the day and take her to school the following morning. My Ex wants this amended to a few hours contact midweek only, I assume by that she means collect her from school but return her sround 7 or 8 the same night.


I am currently unemployed though I am doing what ever temporary jobs I can get until I get back into full time employment.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What does the court actually say about holiday contact?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

 


Copy of excerpt from the court order


 


( a ) Week1 - Friday 10 am to Saturday 6 pm .
Week2 - Friday 9 am to Sunday 6 pm .
Week2 commencing 20th July 2012 .
( Once Abigail starts school, times changing to Friday after school to Monday drop off at school on an alternate weekend basis and midweek overnight contact to replace the Friday to Saturday contact ).
(b) One week during Summer 2012 ( see paragraph 5 below ) , there after leading to school holidays being shared equally . ( For the avoidance of doubt normal contact in paragraph 2 ( a ) above is suspended during holidays).
(c) Such further contact as may be agreed between the parties.
(d) If contact is missed for good reason, e.g illness , then it shall be replaced.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
Are you sure that she has legal Aid for this?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes, But I don't know how she is getting it.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
When were you first aware that she had it?
Clare

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she got it the same time as myself when we separated and she applied for a divorce back in 2012. I, however , am , apparently, no longer entitled to it, while she continues to receive aid.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

my apologies. that should have read September 2011 and not 2012. that was when she left (August )and took our daughter with her forcing me to go to a solicitor just to see Abigail as she would not let me see her or even know where she was. I still don't know where she actually lives and do not have a phone number for her. All contact is via a communications book (her mother actually writes in the book, my ex has NEVER written in it0 and I collect my daughter from her mothers home.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
let me guess - did she go to a refuge and allege violence?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

not physical but mental and financial abuse. Yet she was the one who hit me and our child. that was why I left work. To look after our baby because I feared for her safety when she was with her mother. I still have fears as she has come to on numerous occasions with bruises and burns. yet CAFCASS say their is no evidence of mistreatment.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Did she make any claim that this caused depression?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes but she was seeing a doctor about panic attacks when I first met her. she could hardly go outside with getting worked up. She was suicidal at one stage but I helped her through this (I thought) but she says she's not the maternal type and left all the cleaning/washing/tidying in the house to me as she (was a 21st century woman) -her words- and she didn't do housework. She didn't do any babywork either as she took her to my mums when she needed anything doing. I have no idea how she is coping now. at home I would return from work to find her in the kitchen having a full blown argument with no one there. Then, when i came in she started continuing the argument with me as if |I had been there all the time. I told her she needed to see the doctor but the next thing I knew she had taken our child and gone beck to her mothers. For a few days she said, to get her head together. 2 months later, after contacting a solicitor to try and find out what was happening and to see my daughter I get a letter from her solicitor saying that after a great deal of thought she had decided that she wanted a divorce.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Then I suspect that she obtained her Funding either by extending her existing Certificate to cover the latest application -OR by convincing a Doctor that her mental Health problems were caused by your emotional abuse
However you can deal with the matter yourself and take advantage of her application by asking the court to set the Holiday dates in stone - so that
half terms the holiday contact is added to your weekend - so either starts or ends at 12.30 on a Wednesday
That you have the first week of the easter holidays and the first (or last) three weeks of the Summer holidays, and that there is a process for sharing Christmas.
The onus will then be on you to enforce the Order the first time she breaches it.
I hope that this is of assistance please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I thought that the original order HAD set the holidays in stone. seems to me that she can do as she pleases so long as she knows i can't afford to take her to court

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
NO - set in stone means no need to negotiate as to actual dates
Taking her to court costs the Court fee only - you can do everything else yourself
Clare
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