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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have a childcare issue. The children father has not seen

Customer Question

Hi, I have a childcare issue. The children father has not seen the children in two years. I have not been in a relationship with him for 5 years. He was abusive and after I split up with him he was convicted of harassment after tracking my car to find out where I lived. He was prosecuted for harassment. Children services opened a social work assessment and completed the assessment and closed the case. They advised that if contact were to resume it would need to be through a third party and he would need to seek legal advice. Last ear he asked for contact and said he had instructed a solicitor. I went through the process of gaining legal aid as I had a non mol in place at the time. However, his solicitor never got in touch so legal aid was refused as he wasn't actually persuading the case. The case to the solicitor was closed. Anothet year on he's asking for contact again. I have no funds to pursue via a child arrangement order. Although I don't feel he is a direct risk to the children, there is a risk of him obtaining information about me via the children. There have been several convictions of assault and he has an extensive Domestic abuse history. I would have a third party facilitate the handover of contact but I feel stuck, without a plan in place I risk getting sucked back into him exerting control over the contact of the children. I also wouldn't want to go against children's services advice. They didn't involve him in the assessment process at all so he hunks I'm making it all up!! What do I do?? Can a solicitor out a plan in place or agreement? I know mediation is not Appicable due to violence. The children want to see their father but it needs to be safe. We be moved three times because of him!!
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 6 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. If your finances are within the legal aid limits and the conviction is within the last 60 months then you would be eligible for legal aid to assist initially to reach an agreement through solicitor's correspondence or if he pursued an application to court, for legal aid representation. Have you contacted any legal aid solicitors in your area to assess this?

Expert:  Clare replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more than 30 years.

I note that you cannot apply for Legal Aid since your ex has not made a Court application

Given all the risks the best way forward is to offer contact with hand overs at a local contact centre.

You can in fact still use mediation despite the Domestic Violence if you wish - it is simply that it is not mandatory on your case.

This may well be the best way of resolving matters if you do wish to facilitate your children's wishes and do not wish to pay for a solicitor

Please ask if you need further details

Expert:  Harris replied 6 months ago.

Further to my colleagues comments above, you are in fact entitled to advice and assistance from a solicitor prior to any court application and this can be under legal aid (it is called the Legal Help Scheme). Under this funding, subject to your financial circumstances and the required domestic violence evidence being available), the solicitor can correspond and negotiate with the father on your behalf, and also make a referral for mediation if it is deemed appropriate. Subject to your financial eligibility you may also be entitled to legal aid for mediation.

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Expert:  Harris replied 6 months ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

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