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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33290
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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Clare I have the following response from F regardingmy

Customer Question

Hello Clare
I have the following response from F regardingmy asking that he allow our daughter to take safety courses in canoeing/kayaking and stating that I will return to court if he does not do so : "I do not agree with your concerns about my ability to prepare Lily for 'more dangerous activities' and hence I see no reason to follow your outlined conditions. We will therefore take Lily on watercraft other than sail boats.
I can assure you that both Jodie and I will take and follow all necessary and appropriate safety precautions to keep the children safe."
Please advise Clare. Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
Then the way forward is simple.
You make an immediate appointment for Family mediation and when that fails you apply to the Court for a Prohibited Steps Order and a Specific Issue Order.
You are calm on the issue and simply say that you wish your daughter to have proper independent training BEFORE she undertakes such activities
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Clare.

What is Family Mediation and could you tell me how to apply for it? Because there was domestic violence I believe I need not apply for this? The Order directs that F and I attend Solution Focussed Therapy sessions courtesy of the L.A, which we have done. But these are independent of the legal process.

There are two other issues looming, one imminent. As you know, F has asked that i agree to our daughter having an additional German passport. I have replied that I see no reason for her to have such a thing as she already has a passport and I will happily hand this over if he abides by the Order by giving me proper notice and itinerary. F may be intending to email me about this soon, I don't know what he will say - probably that he intends to apply for one anyway. (However, he needs my permission for a German passport to be issued).

Secondly, I may feel I need to apply to the court for more child maintenance. But I will leave this subject for now.

My point is - should I await to see what F has to say next about the additional passport before applying for mediation/applying to the court, to avoid having to apply to the Court twice or possibly three times on separate issues?

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You could claim exemption but it would be better to be seen to have tried.
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
Since he cannot apply for the passport without you there is no need for concern - you simply go ahead with this issue on which you have a very calm strong point to make
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Clare.

Since the question as to what constitutes a sailing vessel has been a point of contention since the final hearing, with F defining it in the way the YHA does (a vessel propelled by sails) - could you advise please if I can take this opportunity of applying to the court, to get clarification on this issue.

Something along the lines of "i ask the court to consider the extention of the current prohibition which applies merely to sail-propelled vessels, to other watercraft such as barges and motor-powered boats' as father's history of dangerous sailing suggests to me that he may also pose a danger to our daughter on such vessels"?

Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Also, must I choose different solicitors to our previously used ones for the application for mediation? Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You do not nee to use solicitors at all.
Contact a local Family mediator and make the appointment.
When it fails they will give you the necessary form to fill in
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Clare.


Since the question as to what constitutes a sailing vessel has been a point of contention since the final hearing, with F defining it in the way the YHA does (a vessel propelled by sails) - could you advise please if I can take this opportunity of applying to the court, to get clarification on this issue.



Something along the lines of "i ask the court to consider the extention of the current prohibition which applies merely to sail-propelled vessels, to other watercraft such as barges and motor-powered boats' as father's history of dangerous sailing suggests to me that he may also pose a danger to our daughter on such vessels"?



Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
No I would not advise that at all.
This would undermine your application and allow your ex to refer to your apparent paranoia
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare

Thanks for your advice. Sorry to be dim but I don't understand why I could be called paranoid by F when the court found him a danger on a yacht, when a moving barge on which he was in charge could pose a relatively similar although lesser threat. Doesn't it follow that I could be called similarly paranoid for asking for safety training before being allowed to canoe with F?

I just want to get it clear in my head and get it right. If F was forced to out our daughter through canoe training he well decide to taunt me with a canal holiday or one where he motor-powers his yacht.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry but there is a significant difference between a barge and a Yacht in terms of risks - there is no basis on which the Court would rule out a Canal Boat holiday - and asking them to do so would certainly be seen as being over anxious.
A Motor boat or yacht at sea is a much more dangerous issue
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Clare I just want you to know you are worth your weight on gold by the way.

I agree that a motored sailing craft is as bad as a sailing yacht. I take your point about the court and a barge holiday. Therefore can I utilise this opportunity to ask the court for clarification as to what is considered prohibited for the avoidance of doubt in the future? I would like to have confirmation regarding a motor-powered boat at sea. At present only a "sailing vessel" is named in the order.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
No need
This will come up within the applictaion without a doubt!
You have no need to raise it this early
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. I have emailed a mediation organisation to start the process. Then I presume I have to fill in an application to the court. What "application" are you referring to and how do you mean it will come up without a doubt, as I presumably have to be careful what I write on the application and what I say in court. I am hoping to do all this without a solicitor or barrister. Perhaos you can explain the process to me. Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You are applying for the two Orders I outlined and the court process will begin
This will be resisted by your ex
At the final hearing one of the matters you will raise will be his attitude towards the Order of the court and the sail/motor issues
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks C.

Is the prohibitive steps order to ask that he not take L canoeing or kayaking until the court has decided? And the specific issues order to direct that he must allow Lily some training? Do I apply for both once mediation is rejected?

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
No
The specific issue order is that the child attends the training that you have identified
The Prohibited Steps Order is to prevent him taking her on those activities until the courses are completed
You will HVE to attend the Mediation even if he does not
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have to attend the mediation? Please explain ( tomorrow even you've had some sleep!)
I thought I was doing it just to look good? do you mean just until they hear there was DV?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You have to attend the Mediation Information and assessment meeting - at which point they are likely to decide that mediation is not suitable
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok.
Do I have to/ should I inform F I'm doing so?
F and I were ordered to attend Solution Focussed Therapy as a means to reducing tension re co- parenting. This forum does help so a degree. But it doesn't shift F's opinions. He comes across as terribly considerate at these meetings. Are these sessions relevant at all?
Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I thought these were finished?
If not then you should raise it there first
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare

No, they are ongoing.

However, I have raised this issue at one, asking that F inform me first please if he intends to take our daughter onto the water, so that I could provide her with any safety equipment that would be required, if he had not already done so - all to no avail. He just says he doesn't need my input and that he will do what he wants because the Section 7/LA di not conclude he was a danger to Lily and therefore, given the recitals in the court order only relate to a "sailing vessel", I have no grounds on which to attempt to influence what he does in relation to other watercraft.

I think that the fact that he wants to take L canoeing and kayaking without any training at all - not even a professional drill on what to do if you capsize - is supportive of the idea that he is not acting responsibly

Anyway, I have sorted my individual mediation session for this coming Monday and they have advised I need not inform F at this stage.

Thankfully I have not heard back from him re obtaining a German passport for her. I hope I don't.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
If you have already raised it and he has dismissed it then that is part of your case for bringing the applictaion!
Calm and specific at mediation remember!
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare

I have attended mediation. I was asked what the issues were so I mentioned watercrafts and I also mentioned maintenance. I was told maintenance was something that could be dealt with at mediation. I was told that there would be disclosure of assets etc. I was very happy about this because F has a lot of money in shares, properties etc. However he has a low income from working, since losing his job as a teacher due to the allegations against him. (I don't know what his income is). He can. and presumably does, however, draw on a private income.

F was invited to mediation and was unwilling because he could not afford it. (This is of course ridiculous, he is one of the richest person I know).

In a room outside court at the final hearing,my barrister asked F's barrister if he would consider increasing the maintenance he gives me for Lily and he said No, and that if he didn't pay me privately I would get £0 if it went via the CSA due to his low income.

I have not been able to buy a new home. This one is on the market, but F is a two third owner. I will be renting with my new partner. I will have to provide a bedroom for my son and one for my daughter. I would like to buy a home in the future. I will earn a lot less when I move.

I am paid £300 pcm which I consider insufficient. This covers food for Lily and not much else. Given that F has a lot more money than I, can I add something to my application to the court, asking for more maintenance and for full and frank disclosure of F's assets?

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
These would have to be two separate applications.
I would suggest that it would be sensible to deal with the contact issue first.
I am afraid that the issue of Child Maintenance has to be dealt with by the CMS first - before you can apply for a top up
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
irst.
Thanks. I don't understand what you have said - 'I am afraid that the issue of Child Maintenance has to be dealt with by the CMS first - before you can apply for a top up"
Clare
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
If you wish to ask the court for child maintenance you will first have to apply to the CMS for an assessment.
Only where there is a CMS assessment already in place can you apply for a top up base don his financial position
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare. What is the CMS? How do I approach them and does F have to attend/agree etc? I already raised child maintenance in mediation but F stated he was not willing to attend. Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The Child Maintenance Service - which took over from the CSA
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare. Is the F's assets such as properties other than their home, savings and shares assessed by the CMA or just his income?
Thank you.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Just his income I am afraid
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's why I wantedto ask the Court! And that is what the Mediator said - that his assets could be considered and there would be full disclosure of all our finances. That's why I was going to state something about maintenance in my application. Because it's not income but assets I wish investigated.
Now I'm confused because if this is a subject that can be dealt with in mediation ( his assets vs his maintenance) then it logically follows it can be raised in court?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Hi

That would be a SEPARATE Children Act applictaion - the one that we have discussed before in terms of the house

However if you also wish the court to deal with the Child Maintenance you MUST first obtain a CMS assessment - then apply to have that "topped up" on the basis of his capital position

Clare

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare. Yes we have talked a lot about applying for Financial Provision under the children's act. I didn't know asking for more child maintenance came under this. Can you advise my best course of action as it is not straightforward.
F has low income
F has high assets
F pays £300 pcm on a private arrangement
F says if I applied via CMA I'd get nothing
I will have v low income once we move in July as I will be moving away from my place of work which is my main income
I will still earn approx £450 a week.
My new partner and I will live together with my two children aged 8 and 19.
He earns well but has no assets.
We will be renting. He will pay majority of rent.
Lily has been offers a scholarship at a private school (:-)). But it is not that high. My new partner will contribute significantly to her private education.
My low income will be put in a 'pot' to pay household and living expenses.
F does not believe in private education so has refused to pay towards it. He will not oppose her attending a private school though. ( I believe he has no right to do so any way).
The rental cost of the new house is £2000 pcm.
The house we're moving into was on the market for £1m until the owners agreed to rent IT to us.
They will want to sell it within the next couple of years. We would like to buy it but if this isn't possible we would like to buy a different, cheaper house in the sane general area.
I think F would be able to afford to pay me something more than the £300 pcm Towards Lily. I have calculated that the £300 pays for not much more than food for her. On top of that are hills, school trips, a home/bedroom, etc etc.
I am the resident patent and F has L one eve in the week, half the weekend and half of holidays.
If I go to CMA they would assess the maintenance F should pay as £0 so this presumably needs to be dealt with in mediation or by the court. F refused to attend mediation on the basis he could not afford it.
What should I do next? Give up?!
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You have to apply to the CMS first.
Whatever their assessment is you will then have to make a Financial applictaion under the Children Act.
The fact that he has extensive capital assets will not necessarily mean you will get more than £300 a month maintenance - especially as you will now be cohabiting and your daughter will have a good lifestyle.
Clare

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