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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1774
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My question is regarding my child. My ex husband has sent

Customer Question

Hi my question is regarding my child. My ex husband has sent a letter through mediation wanting access to see his child. My daughter is 3 years old now her father left us when she was only 9 days old. I have never heard from again in all these years regardless of my countless attempts of trying to contact him. He has never given me any financial support before I was pregnant nor while I was pregnant nor after when the child was born or up till date. We never lived together permanently he would come and go as he pleased to my place an arrangement he preferred and never changed when we got married. I even had to divorce him as he just completely walked away. I am worried as to why after nearly 4 years as it is child's birthday in March he has taken action for contact now and only through the courts and has not tried to attempt to approach me in any way. I do not want to allow him access to my child. During my pregnancy he did slap me very hard but I never reported it to the police at the time I instead became scared of him and plenty of times throuhout the pregnancy he kept telling me to abort but I refused and after my child was born he came round one night extremely drunk being very threatening and abusive I did not allow him into the flat and called the police who came but he left before the police arrived. I financially can not afford court fees where as he can. I do not know the law or what law is on my side.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
Mediation is usually the first step before he is able to apply to court for a child arrangement order to see your daughter. If mediation does not take place, or is unsuitable, the mediator will sign him off and he will be able to apply to court. Given the history of assault, it may be helpful to contact the mediator and request that they potentially have a shuttle mediation service, which is both of you sitting in separate rooms and the mediator goes between you to negotiate an agreement. If they do not, it may still be helpful to attend a session to see what he is requesting before matters escalate to court.
If he does pursue a court application, the court's initial view is that the child has a right to a relationship with both parents, which will include contact. The court will also look at the needs of the child and assess why there has been such a gap in contact. Nevertheless, the almost four years of absence will not necessarily preclude him from pursuing this application.
In relation to financial support, you are free to submit an application for child maintenance directly to the CMS - http://www.cmoptions.org/en/other-arrangements/statutory-service.asp - who will accept your application and do their own work to assess how much he should be paying legally. This is based on his gross salary, whether there are any other children in his care and how many nights a week on average your daughter stays with him.
Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this.
Expert:  Harris replied 10 months ago.
Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

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