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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34276
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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Customer Question

My ex partner continuously breaks a mediation agreement and goes for weeks without seeing our two children. He is very abusive towards me, constantly sending vile text messages and posting slander on networking sites. He has been physically abusive towards me in the past. I am not concerned about him being physically abusive to our sons but I am seriously concerned about the phycological and emotional effect he is having on the boys. He has not seen them now for a month, our youngest is only 18 months and as his dad left when he was only a few weeks they have never developed a bond. He seems petrified of his dad and becomes hysterical when he sees or hears him. I'm concerned he is not looking after him properly as he has been returned in saturated and soiled nappies and usually half dressed. I am also concerned about what they are being fed. Our eldest son has been referred to an under 5 specialist team with behavioural problems which I believe is a direct effect of their dad walking in and out of their lives. My problem is, I need to take this to court and want to put supervised access in place until I know he will commit to regular contact and our sons are happy with him. However, he is threatening to tell the court that I don't look after my children and they are unclean and poorly dressed. Social services have visited my property before as I had to call the police because of him threatening to hit me, the case was closed after one visit, so it is not a great concern to me if he proceeds with that lie as I know they are well looked after, clean and fed. My greatest concern is he is threatening to tell the court that my new partner exposes himself to my children and my stepfather hits them. These are obviously false allegations but very serious nonetheless. I don't no where to turn with this. Can you advise please? Many thanks.

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.
What contact was agreed - and what contact has he actually had in the last three months?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare, at mediation he said he wanted them every weekend Friday to Sunday or Monday, which I agreed to, he didn't stick to this but used it to tell the CSA he has joint custody. He then asked if he could change it to every other weekend Friday evening to Sunday which I agreed to, in the last 3 months he saw them for a few days over Christmas, two weekends in January, Friday evening until Sunday Morning and has now not seen them since 2nd February.

Thanks.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Was he actually able to cope with them?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't know what goes on when he has them, he hasn't even told me his address. He lives with his partner and their baby 51 miles away. I want to know his address and where they are being taken. This is something I have put in the court forms that I haven't sent yet through fear of the repercussions from him. My eldest (who is 4) talks about staying with his dads partners parents a lot so I think they may be taken there instead of to his house. I don't know though because any attempt to talk to him is met with abuse. Our youngest son is usually returned half dressed and has been in a saturated nappy a few times. On the last occasion he had them he was soaked through his vest and trousers. I actually take a change of clothes with me when I pick them up as most of the time I have to change and /or dress him.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
When is he expecting to have the children again?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He was supposed to have them on 14th Feb but told the CSA he was no longer having contact, I don't understand why. He then asked if he could have them last weekend beginning 28th Feb but didn't turn up at the meeting place, I waited 35 minutes. I don't know when he will see them now. I would prefer supervised access until he proves he will have regular contact because my eldest was really distressed when I told him daddy wasn't coming last Friday and I don't want to keep putting them through that.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Just to clarify - you have already used a Family Mediator?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes we both attended a mediation meeting in August 2013, I then made another appointment as he was not sticking to the agreement in November 2013 but he refused to attend.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
Given his behaviour and the fact that he has not kept to the pattern and has not told you where the children are staying it is reasonable for you to change the current contact arrangements
I suggest that you write/email him and tell him that in view of the disruption in contact and the problems which have arisen that for the time being contact will be at a local Contact Centre (www.naccc.org.uk)
If he accepts well and good - if he doesn't then it is up to him to apply to the court for a defined contact order at which point you can raise the issues of his address; his care of the children and his commitment
Yes he may well make false accusations - but since they are not true and are being made within the context of a contact dispute the matter should be dismissed reasonably quickly
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your help. That puts my mind at ease. I didn't realise I could make arrangements at a contact centre without a court order.


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - and most centres do not need a court order
Clare