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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33281
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Ex has not paid maintenance for 2 years and after we went to

Customer Question

Ex has not paid maintenance for 2 years and after we went to court 3 weeks ago he has threatened to tak me to court to change the contact order. A court apperance demand has now come through and he is asking for more time (half and half), bearing in mind he hasnt stook to the current order for over 3 years, i have accomodated on all occasions and have never stopped the children seeing him, he has always changes arrangements or sent them back early etc etc, i just feel like im being made out to be the bad person here and he is trying to change the access so he doesnt have to pay child maintenance. I cant afford to pay a solicitor so am doing all this on my own. I have my notes for the last 3 years on every text, conversation, changed arrangements etc to back up his poor committment but feel exhausted with having to go through this. What should i do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: 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.
How old are the children and how often has he seen them in the last six months?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Children are 8 and 10 years old, since Christmas he has seen them on 4 occasions ( overnight on 3 of these). Prior to that he had seen the children on 8 occasions (15 nights in total) since December 2012 .
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
When is the first hearing?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Directions hearing - 12th June 2014
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did he try mediation first?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We had mediation before the court hearing 5 years ago but it was unsuccessful, he was deemed unsuitable for mediation initially because he wouldn't accept that he would have to compromise - he wanted to use if as an opportunity to tell me what he was doing away from my solicitor. I don't think the judge will give a direction to go to mediation because we have previously.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
When did he make the application - since April mediation first has been a requirement
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He made the application at the beginning of may however he has stated on the form that we have had mediation previously and I was advised by the clerk that this will probably be sufficient to go straight to court , however even if we go to mediation I have no doubt that we will end up in court after.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
It shouldn't have been allowed - but as you say since it will not work it is a really a moot point!
Do not worry - since he has not actually been having the contact that has been available you have nothing to fear.
However hard it will be try and approach talking with CAFCASS and the eventual hearing as calmly as possible
before then turn your notes into a simple calendar - highlighting what contact he should have had in one colour and what he actually had in another
Make a clear note if there was any change at YOUR request rather than his
Make four copies - one for the court one for CAFCASS and one for your ex (and one for you)
Your approach on the day is to say that you see no reason to extend contact at this stage - but that you are willing to review it after six months of his having the full time currently available to him
You will find that the court sees this as a reasonable approach!
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare

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