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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
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 estranged wife is denying me access to my 3 and 10 year

Resolved Question:

My estranged wife is denying me access to my 3 and 10 year old children. She warned me she would do that if I didn't manage to pay the Septembers mortgage payment on our house (I'd lost my job). She is now telling me that my 10 year old does not want to see me because they have to move (there were other arrears on the mortgage) and my 10 year old knows it's my fault (my estranged wife told her I didn't want to pay the mortgage and that I wasted money buying them food when I last saw them and an expensive birthday present for my 10 year old, which was actually a second hand cheap present from ebay). I have tried to request access with my 3 year old and my estranged wife tells me that picking my 3 year old up would upset my 10 year old. My 10 year old has text me to say it 'wouldn't be fair' to let my 3 year old see me.
The fact is, my estranged wife missed mortgage payments in March, April and May, despite me giving her £130 a week for the mortgage. I then started to pay the mortgage as well as give her CSA weekly. This all lead to me not being able to afford the correct insurance on my van, so I was unable to keep a contract and earn the money I had perviously. I am still running my own business and things are picking up, I could save the house by the end of this month, but my estranged wife has told me to let it go to repo so that she can get a house rent free. At the same time as telling me this, she is still denying any access to my kids, telling me if I keep asking 'things will get really nasty'.
I am stuck for what to do next. I have read about Parental Alienation Syndrome and it seems to fit everything she was doing and saying about me to our eldest when I lived in the marital home. Things have now got even worse and I'm scared my 10 year old will never want to see me at this rate because her mother is poisoning her against me.
I think I want to go for joint custody of the children, but how will that stand if my eldest still doesn't want to see me? Also, how do I get the ball rolling and how long will this take? Should I get social services involved because I believe she is manipulating my eldest?
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.
Which part of the Uk are you in?
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
How far has the divorce reached?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I live in Caerphilly, Wales. The divorce has not begun yet, because I haven't had the money to start it. The only citation I can make for the end of the marriage is 'unreasonable behaviour' and, when I did have some cash to begin proceedings, I did not want to anger my estranged wife further when she received the documents stating that. I am actually in another relationship now, my wife believes that this relationship began whilst I was still living in the marital home and so tensions have understandably been high. She has claimed on numerous occasions that she will begin divorce proceedings, but this hasn't happened as yet.

The house is worth around £100,000, if we were to sell we would probably just cover the amount of outstanding debt against the property. We were in quite a bit of arrears before I left.

Nathan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much is the mortgage payment and how much is the CSA payment?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

The mortgage payment is £470 and the CSA payment she was expecting me to pay as well was £130. Since I haven't had income for the last three months I've been paying £7 a week.

Nathan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi Nathan
The law says that Children are entitled to regular contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary
In the circumstances the Court will need to be convinced that your elder child really does not wish to see you - but if that is the case then it in no way changes the fact that you should be seeing the younger child.
If your elder child feels that is unfair then the answer is for her to see you too!
You should try and discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
If (when) that fails then you can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order setting out the time that the children will spend with you
You can read more here
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/cb001-eng.pdf
With regard to the house your ex needs to be aware that the Council will NOT rehouse her if they feel that she could have remained in the property - and clearly she could have done had the mortgage been paid.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
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