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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35050
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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i have no court order but an arrangement through solicitors

Customer Question

i have no court order but an arrangement through solicitors with my ex-husband to hae joint care of our 3 children.
last wek he removed children from school and stopped all contact.
he informed social services that my boyfriend had made threats to him via my daughter (which i was unaware of)
i do not live with my boyfriend, and have never done so- we see each other when the children are with their father, or occasionally he may visit for a while.
Can he stop me seeing my children even though i can assure that they will be in no contact with my boyfriend?
My solicitor has said i will not receive legal help, is this true?
can the police stop me seeing my children, even though i was not involved in the threat allegation?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

Has your boyfriend made these threats?

How old are the children?

Who receives child benefit? What time do the children spend
with each parent?

When you say "removed from school." Please

How long have you known the boyfriend?

Is this an isolated incident out of the blue, or is there other

It would be useful if we had all the background details
please. Thank you

Bear with me today. Please because I am online and off-line.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My boyfriend denies this allegation, the social worker has said that my daughter confirmed to her that threats to my ex husband were made.
She also said to the social worker that she was uncomfortable around my boyfriend because 'she didnt like him'

My children are aged 4,5 and 8 yrs old the eldest being my daughter and 2 younger boys.

I have known him as a friend since 1993- I had no contact with anyone including my own family till I left my husband in feb.2010.
I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend since march 2012.
We do not live together and have never stayed over. He lives and cares for his elderly mother. In the past 2 yrs he has been around my children no more than 6/8 times- when he has collected the children from school and during the time of his fathers funeral 3 weeks ago.

There has been many complaints by my ex husband being jealous of my relationship. Threats to take the children away from me, 1 accusation of Gangna boyfriends punching him in the face, my husband chose not to report this to the police, my boyfriend denied ever seeing him on the said day, no charges were made.
He also believed that his car window had been smashed by my boyfriend, no charges were brought against him no evidence .

The children were with me at my parents when we separated , my husband was not happy with this, and would tell the children they were the cause of our break-up, I reluctantly moved out and rented a house, my ex husband did not want me and the children to remain in the matrimonial home.
We got divorced in October 2012 with a very small settlement only enough to buy a new car! Because he threatened to sell the house, my children didnt want this so I gave up my rights to the house.

He insisted that the children remain in the school near the matrimonial home, which was a half an hour drive one way for me, I couldn't afford to live near my kids. He wouldn't allow me change schools so we arranged that he would drop the children in the morning, I would collect them, take them to my home, until 7:15 /7:30 pm the children would sleep overnight with my ex-husband , this continued till Friday , I would collect them from school and keep them till Sunday.
All holidays are shared equally , with my ex deciding what week suits him, always.
The easier option wouldve been to move schools but this was my ex-husbands insistence.

My ex-husband has tried his best to make the children feel my current boyfriend is taking me away from them. Prior to this my daughter had .
an excellent relationship with my boyfriend , they would joke and play when we ever visited him at his home, she enjoyed playing with his 5 yr old nephew.

Last Thursday I went to school to collect the children as normal, the school informed me that my ex husband had taken the children 45 mins early
He did this the following day, then sent me a text message to say I was not to see or speak to the kids because my boyfriend had threatened him.
I went to school on Monday and Tuesday , luckily he was late on Tuesday , and I consulted with the police , they said there was no reason I couldn't take them as normal. I told my ex-husband I was not going to do what he had done and he could take them at 7pm as usual.
I had only driven approx 10 mins down the road when I received a call from plaistow police station, my ex husband had complained that my children were at risk of harm because I was taking them to my boyfriend, completely untrue , my boyfriend isn't at my home , my ex-husband knows this!
The police said welfare officers were leaving to come to my house and take my daughter into care. Of course I was distraught at this idea so I agreed to turn back and drop the kids off to their father.

The same night my ex-husband called to say if I wanted to see the kids! He is playing a game, he is claiming I am a risk to my children , but wants me to see them.

For over a week I have had no contact from any authority to explain why I can't see my kids-
The social worker told me that my ex-husband has filed a residence order as urgent, and I don't even know what that means?

I am currently In receipt of benefits and my solicitor has said I am not entitled to any legal help. I have no money to fight this in court!

I am very hurt and frustrated why this is happening, I have been extremely understanding with contact with my ex, and have never interrupted visits with their father so there was no need for a residence, which I have proved, however I am fearful that if he should get residence he will not allow me regular contact.

I want the children to live with me, my boyfriend will have no contact with my children, I can assure the court of this.

Please help.
Azra khan
Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
Have you received any paperwork at all?
What benefits do you receive and what other income do you have?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have only received an email this afternoon from my ex-husbands solicitor , it is a copy of the application for a residence order to the court .
I have no other income, I am receiving child tax credits and income support , child benefit
Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
Do you have any assets?
Did the solicitor say you were not eligible for Legal Aid or just that they no longer did it?
When is the hearing?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have no assets , but he said that the rules on legal help were changing and from April all legal help in relation to children's matter would stop
I have no date yet for the hearing , I believe my ex has only just made the application.
I still don't understand what is stopping me in the meantime not to continue my regular contact? Social worker has said I need to sort it out with my ex or get legal representation, the police have not contacted me to say that I am 'not' to see my kids-
Why can't I just go and collect them as usual? Until we go to court?
Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
Find another solicitor who will be more proactive and apply for Funding so that you can apply for a Residence and/or Defined Contact Order.
Yes new applications cannot be made after April but that is still three months away
With regard to the current position the fact is that since there is no Interim Emergency Residence Order in place you are entitled to have the children in your care and Social Services can only remove them if they can prove that they are at immediate risk.
However children should not be the subject of such emotional and physical tugs of war.
Much better to get your court application in and let the Judge find out the truth