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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
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,Thank you help and advice yesterday

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Hello Clare,Thank you for your help and advice yesterday with regards ***** ***** issue of contact with my little girl.I am writing to you today with a complete separate issue regarding contact of my son. He resides now in North Wales with my ex wife from whom I have been divorced from now for over 3 years, I do not know the exact address as she has always refused to give it to me and any correspondence that I do try and make is either through email or through post to her fathers address, I do believe that they still live in North Wales in Conwy, but as time has gone on I cannot be 100% certain.My son is now 10 years old and will very soon be celebrating his 11th birthday on 2nd January. My divorce was finalised on 14th December 2012 after a full financial hearing in court, in all the divorce took almost 2 years to settle but in all that time I had enjoyed regular bi-weekly contact with my son from Friday afternoon from school until 8pm the Sunday evening, as well as every Wednesday evening after school even though I had to do a 60 mile round trip each time to collect him and then return him. The very last time that i had him was for four nights over New year 2012/13 which also took in his 8th Birthday and we did have a very close and loving relationship.After that my ex wife set out to stop me seeing my son, although I did have him the following weekend as this was prior to the date of 14th January 2013 that the court had set out as the day that she could attend to collect her chattels. The following Wednesday came and went and she was not there to handover him, a text later that evening simply said the he didn't want to see me. A solicitors letter followed telling her that she had to comply with the contact arrangements that were set out during our divorce and that she had to make him available for collection the following weekend. To cut a long story short, she didn't, what she did was have her father there with my son locked in the back of his car and i had to speak through the window to my son who had obviously been coached to say that he didn't want to see me, he was physically trembling and upset but as i tried to to speak to him my ex father in law was stood over my shoulder and refused to leave and let me talk to him. I could remember at the time my solicitors words were to not get into any altercation and after some choice words exchanged I could do nothing else other than walk away, this still haunts me now and i have not seen my son since, this was around the end of January 2013.I have have tried periodically over the ensuing months and then years to maintain and/or re-establish contact through email ( but Ive never been sure that he is actually receiving them, when I have had a reply it has been extremely suspicious due to wording and phrasing as to who has actually written it.), phone (but she blocks my calls), Ive written to his school, phoned and even attended his school and they were evasive and would not allow me to see him. I have tried 3 times in the past 3 years now to engage mediation and each time it has failed due to her refusing an she says its pointless as its not her, its my son that doesn't want to see me. I know that i should probably have gone to court before now but in all honesty I haven't had the money to, since my divorce i have moved around a lot and its taken a long time to get settled, I was left without anything after my divorce. i have also always been worried about what going to court would mean that my son would have to go through and I felt i couldn't put him through that.He has a little sister now 22 months old, as you will no doubt be aware from my previous question yesterday, that he has never met. They need to know each other and have a relationship and i need my son back in my life, its been far too long.Thanks Mike.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HI MikeThank you for your question.Do you get regular reports and updates from school?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I did request this and I had to have a row with the head who I remember at the time said he would have to consult there legal department !
I have received one end of year report a few years back, but nothing last school year and they have put me on there email list but that is only the school bulletins that I receive.
Thanks, Mike.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
The starting point is to find a mediator in her general area who is also trained to work with young people and then arranging to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting there (it is worth the effort of making the trip)http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/If (when) she refuses mediation then instruct an enquiry agent to trace here (about £90) and then issue a Court application using a form C100 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/c100-eng.pdfIf she cannot be traced you will also need to issue a form C1 and ask the court to order the DWP to release her address TO THE COURT for service.At 10/11 your son is still a little young for his wishes on contact to be decisive especially in the circumstances and his reluctance (if there is any) will need to be explored before the court accepts it as real - which is where the trained mediator may come in again.At the same time write a polite letter to the school saying that you are sure that they have now realised that since you have parental responsibility you are indeed ENTITLED to copies of school reports and ask for the last three years worth to be sent to you. Send them a stamped addressed envelope to make it easier.I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good morning Clare,Thank you for your reply and the information provided, I only wish now that I had done this sooner.My only query is, If, as i suspect she will, she refuses mediation once again. You refer to the fact that any reluctance on my sons part would need to explored and again refer to the trained mediator. If she has refused mediation how would that work ? Or would it fall upon Cafcass to be involved ? I am just not 100% on the mechanics of how this would all work.With regards ***** ***** release of her address, am I right in thinking that this is also something that i am entitled to know given that is where my son resides ?Thanks, Mike.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I understand your regrets - just don't let the delay get worse!
If the matter goes to court then a CAFCASS report will be prepared BUT if there are no safe guarding issues then it is not impossible that the court will order that mediation is attempted once again so that your son's wishes can be expressed through a mediator - it tends to depend on the practise of the local court.
The address issue is less clear given the delay - which is why I suggest that you get an investigator to trace her
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
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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