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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 4
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Customer Question

Hi, My name isXXXXX have two young daughters age 12 and 9. I separated from their father while I was pregnant with our second daughter as I found out he was having an affair with an 18yr old girl he worked with. Since then in october 2003 I have battled with him to have contact with the girls especially my oldest daughter as she loved her daddy. I have never asked for money, only help to care for the girls in the evening if I was on duty at the hospital. This was always sporadic and unreliable and i would often have to find alternative care or cancel my shift at work very last minute. Eventually this broke down when he moved his new girlfriend and her children into his home, our girls were then made to feel unimportant and had numerous confrontations with the children because they felt all dad wanted was for them to bath, and look after the other two kids. Which my two were happy to help with until that is all they would do. Throughout the start of this year I had been to their dads house on separate occasions to try and defuse the arguments and the distress that the girls were having with his girlfriend, where she would get so angry shouting at them she would be spitting in their face. After all tries failed i suggested to their dad that he spend time with the girls alone so they could see he still loved them for who they were and that it wouldn't feel like they were being left out. He agreed to this but then didn't bother even to reply to his daughters text messages to see how he was. At this point I had, had enough, my health was suffering and I ended up in hospital needing fluids and such like. Their dad agreed to care for them the two nights I was a patient. On day two I received a call from my oldest daughter who was extremely upsets and shaken. Her dads girlfriend had not collected her from the correct place at school and she had waited for nearly an hr and while doing so called their house number and mobiles and did not get an answer, she then called my sister to collect her and to drop her off at her dads house when his girlfriend jumped at her screaming how she was being a selfish B*tch and what was she going to do as she couldn't get me as I was in hospital. On hearing this I discharged myself from the hospital and collected my daughter. I then sent a message to their dad stating that the girls did not wish to go up there anymore unless all the screaming stopped. From that he stopped all contact. I then decided after 10yrs of separation I would seek help from the CSA to claim maintenance. As their dad is self employed he has made out he does not earn more than £100 a week, how can he run 3 cars, a home and numerous holidays a year if that were the case. The CSA contacted him requesting £5 a week child support which should have been paid monthly at £20.09 per month, this has never been received as yet, what I have received is a letter from his lawyer requesting acsess week 1 friday to monday and week two tues to friday. Considering I had suggested this to him earlier in the year and he flatly refused, but now CSA have stated if he has custody of the girls 2 or more nights a week he is not required to pay anything. Considering that every time he looked after the girls while I worked I had to buy fuel to heat his house and either send money or food up so that the girls had food. In the 10 years we have been separated I have helped him financially with his rent and cars, I worked in my spare time digging gardens and painting homes to help him get his business of the ground. I even wrote a letter to the local housing association to help him gain an affordable home as he had been sharing a home with an ex employer?friend who was now selling up. A couple of times while he was signing on the dole he would appear with new ideas on how to increase his income, on at least three occasions he had been advised by the Job center to gain custody of one child on paper so he could receive a higher benefit, housing payments, council tax payments and tax credits, he didn't want either child to live with him he just wanted it on paper, I swiftly refused and stated if he asked again I would find out who he was seeing in the job center and I would report her for getting him to request this. How could any parent even think of suggesting this, if anything happened to me how would my daughters feel knowing one belonged to me and I gave the other to her father. To me this is not about the money at all, I will carry on working as I have done to support my children even if I need to work two jobs as I have had to do in the past to get by as not working and claiming benefits is not and has never been an option for me, to me I'd lose all self respect and I wouldn't be setting a good example for my children to follow. Could you possibly give me some advice to what I should do in regards XXXXX XXXXX letter I received, I do not wish to restrict his access to my children and I have never done so in the past. Kind regards Nicola
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

As I read your narrative I assumed that you wanted advice as to how to restrict contact because of the behaviour of his partner and also how to claim child maintenance at a proper level. However, you have said nearer the end that you don't want to restrict contact and that it's not about the money.

Can you clarify what is is that you want to achieve?