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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33953
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 husband and I separated 2 years ago and had a complicated

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My husband and I separated 2 years ago and had a complicated contact arrangement between ourselves that to me now in my new job etc is unworkable, he will not allow me to amend anything and is insisting we remain with he original arrangement despite the fact he took residency (not through court) of our eldest son with no consultation to either our son or myself - our boys are 8 and 13. Can I just change it? Mediation will not help as he is a manipulative bully and has always managed to walk all over me I suffered years of emotional abuse that I cannot prove and he is in my opinion now using the children to continue his bullying. My youngest son no longer wished to be at his dads house on Wednesday nights when they all go to a uniformed organisation - he has told his dad he doesn't want to go any more as has the eldest and he has bullied and bribed them into continuing as it suits him and his agenda - what can I do? He has also failed to pay maintenance for the last 2 months so I have been forced to lodge a claim with the new csa.
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.
How is their time shared between you - an dis the eldest happy with the situation?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,My eldest is with me alternate weekends and Monday nights - he wasn't happy to start with as it wasn't discussed with him; however now he sees that he doesn't have to wash, change his underwear or look presentable, that he can get away without completing homework as dad has him out 3 late nights a week, in the holidays dad leaves him home alone all day so he can pretty much do as he pleases.My youngest goes to dad's Monday and Wednesday nights plus alternate weekends - dad also insists he is dropped at his by 730am every morning for breakfast before school - Felix would rather I drop him at school and does not want to do Wednesdays as they go to St. John's ambulance and he has done it since 4 and is bored of it now but dad will not let either of them give it up and will not let me take him to school.I should add that he used to expect me to do all school pick ups and cover all holidays bar one week in the summer and on his nights he would pick up children on his way home from work, I have now changed that so that if it it is his night he has to collect from school and feed them etc as well as having them overnight - during school holidays he now has to have them all day on his nights as well, this caused a very large rift and lots of bitterness on his part as he thought I was being unreasonable this is when he decided Oliver was going to live with him in order that he could claim child benefit tax credits and claim maintenance from me. I didn't think I was being unreasonable as everything has always been what is convenient and suits him, whereas now my work has changed and I no longer just work term time school hours but in his eyes I have put my work first and do not care about the children - the fact is I have been struggling financially and wanted a better career and prospects so that I can do more with the children. I have always worked around the children and continue to do so, I very rarely have to use child care and usually this is a grandparent or my partner who the boys idolise.Thank you
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
So far as the mornings are concerned simply make the change and allow you and your son more time in the mornings by taking him to school - frankly I would start as of monday.
With regard to the rest arrange an appointment with Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk) choosing a mediator trained to work with your people so that your children's wishes can be brought to the discussions.
When that fails you will then be able to apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order setting out the arrangements for the children - which should be child centered and not father centered.
Leaving a 13 year old home alone all day amounts to neglect and I suggest that you ask the court for an order insisting that he arranges proper child care
I appreciate that the Mediation hurdle is a big one - but these days it is a step along the way - and you dod not have to be in the same room if you prefer not to be
You can read more here
http://www.familylaw.co.uk/system/uploads/attachments/0000/2078/CB1_1108.pdf
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your advice I have looked into mediation and can it seems get algal aid for that due to my current financial circumstances - do you think it would be unreasonable of me to say that ; mornings are changing as of now and that I would like fair and equal access so therefore we both end up with alternate weekends and 1 night per week with our non resident children and if he doesn't agree then we will proceed to mediation? As currently he has 2 nights with his non resident child whilst I only get one with mine? I have already pointed out the neglectful nature of leaving a just 13 year old home all day but he insists he spoke to NSPCC who told him it was fine as he would ring him during the day and try and pop in for lunch.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your advice I have looked into mediation and can it seems get algal aid for that due to my current financial circumstances - do you think it would be unreasonable of me to say that ; mornings are changing as of now and that I would like fair and equal access so therefore we both end up with alternate weekends and 1 night per week with our non resident children and if he doesn't agree then we will proceed to mediation? As currently he has 2 nights with his non resident child whilst I only get one with mine? I have already pointed out the neglectful nature of leaving a just 13 year old home all day but he insists he spoke to NSPCC who told him it was fine as he would ring him during the day and try and pop in for lunch.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Yes I think that is a good way forward
For an occasional day the 13 year old being home alone could well be ok - but not every day during the holiday
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/for-parents-and-carers/guides-for-parents/home-alone/home-alone-pdf_wdf90656.pdf
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you - I feel much clearer now!! Yes it was everyday of the holiday, but according to him I shouldn't question his parenting or judgement hmmmm
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That is of course incorrect - you retain Parental responsibility for both children!
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33953
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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