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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33810
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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Hi, I signed a separation agreement over 6 years ago and cant

Customer Question

Hi, I signed a separation agreement over 6 years ago and can't find it, my ex us refusing to give me a copy and is refusing to tell me his solicitor so I can get a copy. How can I obtain a copy?

Thanks :)

Becky
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 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.
Why are you looking for it at this time?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Claire, I wish to change the visitation arrangement we have for the 2 kids as my ex has them every weekend and now he also wants them Wednesday nights and says as he will be looking after them as much he would seek no monetary gain (stop paying the £250 per month) .

I want to alternate weekends so I get some quality time with them. I'm not sure what I signed as it was so long ago. He keeps texting me pushing me to agree for the Wednesday and now extra time in Easter holidays, he keeps saying he's getting his solicitor to write me a letter so needs an answer to whether I'm "refusing access" in Easter and Wednesdays or not.

Thanks

Becky
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How old are the children and when does he have them at the weekends?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
12 and 9. He has them from Saturday morning till Monday evening every weekend.

Thanks

Becky
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Have they asked to change the arrangements?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes to have Wednesday nights as well as every weekend.

Thanks

Becky
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sorry just to check - this is what the CHILDREN also want?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Claire, he has asked them and they apparently said yes but i suspect under duress and to keep him happy as any child would who loves their parents. I have asked them and they are not very keen on going over there on the Wednesday. I'm trying to be careful as its delicate and i don't want the m to feel uneasy about the whole situation.


 


Thanks


 


Becky

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Then you are indeed a good mum!
Do not concern yourself about the Agreement - it is not enforceable and has no relevance to the current position which is about what needs to change now
It is perfectly reasonable for you to want to have weekends with the children - just as it s reasonable for your ex to ask for extra time in the holidays and even midweek.
However the real issue is what works for the children and for you both.
You should offer to discuss matters with him using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
If that fails and he still wishes ti change arrangements then he will have to apply to the court - at which point you can argue your side of the matter as well.
Even if he does get Wednesdays he will still need to pay Maintenance since on balance you still have more nights each week
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Claire,


 


Before Christmas I asked to discuss a new arrangement with him and he refused. I asked twice for us to attend mediation and he refused. I also asked for a copy of the separation agreement, again he said no. I then asked for his solicitors details so I could obtain a copy and he refused to tell me!


 


Just before Christmas my mum was diagnosed with cancer and is still very ill, so this dropped off for a bit. I want to see my kids on quality time and i am a bit fearful as to what I signed all those years ago as I cant remember what was in the agreement. Would there have been anything to do with the visitation? I'm worried I will change something and he will get me in court about it. I managed to find out who his solicitors are, would I be okay to email them and ask for a copy of the letter or ask if there was anything to do with visitation?


 


He was a control freak in our marriage and is still trying to dictate to me now. I want this to get sorted as soon as possible so I can get on with life and make sure the least disruption is pressed on the kids. I have the new proposal ready.


 


Many thanks for your time Claire


 


Becky

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The agreement is NOT enforceable and you do not need to know what it said - it has no relevance other than an indication of what it was thought would work then
Simply tell your ex and his solicitors that you will discuss Wednesdays and Easter at mediation
In fact arrange Mediation with a Mediator who is also trained to work with young people
If he refuses then simply write and inform him what the new pattern will be (maybe Friday to monday on alternate weekends) one overnight in the week and half of all school holidays.
(This assumes that the children like the idea)
If he does not like it then he can apply to to the court for a defined contact Order and the court can decide what is best - and it will have no interest in what may or may not have been agreed years ago
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Claire. I understand what yo are saying but I am really worried that I will go against something that was agreed. I'm unsure whether we have joint custody, equal residency? I don't get it


 


If I enforce a new visitation what is stopping him refusing to hand the kids back one weekend? Does he have the right to do that? His partner is hassling me too regarding my kids, telling me to make a decision on Wednesdays because they have a solicitors appointment when I found out they really didn't. messaging their phones saying she misses them and asking them what they are up to yet I am not allowed to contact them when they are over there at all. They are both trying to play games and im not strong enough to deal with them at the moment. I miss my kids and im worried to change anything in case it gets really ugly


 


Sorry, I really don't know what to do :-(


 


Thanks


 


Becky

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
At the moment the children Reside with you and have Contact with their father - but there are no orders in place
You both have Parental responsibility.
The arrangements that are in place have been there for some considerable time.
At the moment yes he could indeed simply not send them back one weekend - and you could then apply to the court for an emergency residence order so that they are returned to your care
The old agreement has no relevance to this
Ignore their games and simply concentrate on doing what you clearly do best - putting the children first
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


 


I'm sorry to keep on, but what if tell him i am having the kids next weekend, will he be able to get a court order to have the situation changed back. I really am worried what I signed in the separation agreement, I may have signed something in there saying I was not allowed to change matters without his consent, or something.


 


 


The kids are going over there tomorrow and are due back Monday im so scared he will refuse to hand them back come Monday night. Would it be easier for us to both submit to the court our preferred arrangements for the kids and let them decide? Im just so worries him and her are going to make life so hard for me if I tell them the visits are changing.


 


Becky


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The agreement is not a binding document and he cannot enforce it in anyway
You cannot just change the arrangements - you have to use the process
Arrange the Mediation with a Mediator trained to work with children.
If he does not agree to do this then write with suggestions for a new pattern of contact
Then put it in place
IF he does not like it then he can apply to the court
If he refuses to return the children on monday you can get an emergency Residence order within 24 hours
He cannot get an emergency contact order in 24 hours
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33810
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare
I sent him a letter outlining my proposal and gave him a deadline. He has responded by asking to meet with the children to talk about what they want. I don't mind meeting up with him but I'm not sure the kids need to be there though?
He also stated that he is happy to go to court if I still refuse to budge, which is him saving face I guess due to the ultimatum I set out in the letter based on his continued refusal to compromise. He has obviously sought advice this time which I am pleased about.

What is the right step to take next here?

Thanks Clare

Becky
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I suggest that you point out that placing the children in a position where they have to make choices in front of you both is abusive at this age - but then offer t ouse a Family mediator also trained to work with young people so that their views can be brought to the discussion between you
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare

Okay he's agreed to come to mediation and I've registered. I'm waiting for a date to come through. He texted me today to say he had advise from his solicitors PA saying if the date isn't through by next Tuesday he could press on with the residency order? What does that mean? Is he trying get the kids to live with him?

Last weekend the kids went to his as usual and took their phones so I could contact them. They told me that he deleted the texts as they came through and his girlfriend kept checking my daughters phone every time it beeped saying (in front of the kids) "is that her messaging again). I had one text back all weekend from by boy saying happy Easter from both of them which I suspect he wrote.

He insists that both he and his GF can text both kids when they are here and they both do so probably 5 times or more a day. Some texts are a bit "manipulative" too, like "we really miss you and don't want to spend anytime away from you weekends again.(in lite of me having them Mother's Day weekend)

Both of them are just a pain in the neck and I just want shot of them both.

Sorry Clare, moaning again :-/

Becky
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Actually new rules came in yesterday which mean that unless you have tried mediation first you CANNOT apply to the court so that would be interesting!
Clearly you can raise the texting point in mediation
Clare

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