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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33318
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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my wife and I have been going through a very difficult separation,

Customer Question

my wife and I have been going through a very difficult separation, they moved to another part of the country about a month ago and relations got mush worse, two weeks ago I had our two boys for the weekend and during the weekend there was an instance while we were out in the centre of London that I thumped the eldest in the shoulder while we were walking down the highstreet to get his attention to stop mucking about, it was gentle and both boys laughed about it and nothing more was said,
after that weekend and for the past two weeks my wife has not replied to any calls or emails or texts, I was so worried that I was about to call the police and texted her once last time to say so when she replied saying that I needed to contact someone, it seems to be some child safe organisation who are investigating this incident and have referenced it from a text discussion I had with my wife about it. I don't understand why I had to contact them to find out what was going but I have arranged a meeting with them on Monday, they would not send me any details or point me in the direction of anywhere I could get advise and have advised that I don't need legal advise,,, this doesn't sound right
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?
What is the agreed pattern of contact?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

they are 8 and 10

there is no documented agreed pattern of contact, up until a few month ago they lived about 3 miles away and I saw them almost every weekend, we are not legally separated but for the past 2 years I have been waiting for my wife to "decide what she wanted to do" as she had "mixed feelings" very complicated but I had waited but had been putting increasing pressure on her to finally make a decision, I had waited since march 2012, I was also putting pressure on her to make more formal arrangements and agree contact as I wasn't happy that I wasn't able to speak to the boys during the week , a month ago they moved because she had to move for a new job but when they moved it got much worse and contact was very difficult, she wouldn't tell me the address or phone number of where they had moved to and I was threatening to get a formal interim court order about access when this all happened

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Was there any mark left on the shoulder of the child?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not possible, it was a very gentle thump...to the top of the shoulder as we were walking along beside each other and all that happened was that he said, what "did you do that for" and I said" because you were messing about, he said, why didn't you hit bobby I said, because you were closest , they both laughed, started dodging between each other , we kept on walking down the high street and messing about the whole time.

this was in the middle of the highstreet walking along towards tower bridge on the day before remembrance sunday

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Be under no illusions - your ex has reported this as potential child abuse.
You will be asked to give an account of what happened - please do NOT use the word thump - it makes it sound bad - use the word tap which from what you say is more accurate and speak about in terms of the clearly boisterous outing it was.
It is entirely possible that you will be told that there was a mark.
Do NOT get upset or defensive - it immediately makes things look worse.
Instead stay calm and say that you fear that this is in fact related to the contact difficulties that you have been having BUT be attentive to what they say and if you feel it is appropriate do swallow your real feelings and say that perhaps you are more robust with them than you realise
Once the meeting is out the way you need to organise an urgent family mediation appointment to discuss ongoing contact with your ex
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
You are entitled to know where the children are living and where they do to school.
the children are entitled to regular contact with you
Attempting mediation is now compulsory prior to issuing court proceedings - if it doesn't succeed or she refuses to attend (you must attend the first appointment no matter what) then you can make an application to the court - details here
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/cb001-eng.pdf
Please ask if you need further information
Clare

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