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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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I divorced from husband 3 years ago and part of our agreement

Customer Question

I divorced from husband 3 years ago and part of our agreement is that we have 50, 50 share of our son however when I have our son he still dictates as to what I can and cant do. Also I was in a relationship for a while but he said to our son that he wasn't prepared to share him with another man so made him choose between telling me to end my relationship or he would move away. I am at a loss as to what to do with the situation.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.

My name is Mac and I will try to help you with your question. First I need to ask for some more information.

Is your agreement in the form of a Court order, or is it something less formal than that?
Are there any other aspects of the agreement relating to your son?
Do you have any other children?
How old is your son?
Do you and your ex-husband live in the same town/city?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was a court order, just that we have the 50, 50 share .

He is 12. And I only have the one child.

Yes he lives approx. 10 mins round the corner.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.
And apart from the example you have given in your question, how does he control what you can and cannot do with your son?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have to have my ex father in law to have my son before and after school. On one time my son was going to be on his own for 15 mins before school, when he found out he said he would call the police. We were married for 16 years and he was very controlling.

Also my son is scared to stand up to him so constantly I am left in the shadows.

When my son started secondary school I wasn't even put down as a next of kin as my ex filled in the form.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.
Just so I am clear - do you mean that you only have your son with you if your ex-father in law is also present?

If that is the case, is there some history that meant that was ever appropriate/necessary?

If not, why did you ever agree to it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No its just when I go to work in the morning he comes to my house to "babysit" so to speak, then after school until I get back from work.

I have been bullied into the legal side of the divorce he took over completely

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.
It seems to me likely that you have been mentally or emotionally bullied for sometime by your husband, and have had your self-confidence completely eroded insofar as your son is concerned.

I wonder whether you have thought of putting in place some more support around you - have you tried looking for support groups in your area perhaps? Or being frank with a family member about the pressure you feel under and your need for someone to back you up?

You have a lot more power in this situation than you think, but I appreciate that you feel unable to exercise it. Just commenting on some of your ex-husband's behaviour:

- I'd be very surprised if your ex-husband did call the police as he was threatening. If he did do so, unless he lied to them, I doubt they would attend. If they did attend your house, they would see that everything was fine and go away. If he called them again, they'd be more likely to warn him about wasting their time.

- you should tell your ex-father-in-law politely (but firmly) that you no longer need or want him to come round unless you have invited him beforehand. It may take a little while to train him, but just stop letting him into the house - and be firm about telling him not to pop round.

- your ex-husband's comments to your son about your former partner are outrageous and he is putting your son in a terrible position. You should write to your ex-husband and ask him not to speak to your son about adult matters, and specifically not to place him under emotional blackmail.

- in my years of family law I have heard ex-husbands make all kinds of dire warnings about how they are going to give up work / never see their children again / move abroad etc. I probably wouldn't be a lawyer today if I had five pounds for each threat I'd heard. But, on the other hand, I've never actually been involved with a case where a husband has made a threat to do something completely out of the blue like that, where he has actually gone ahead and done it. It's almost certain that all your ex-husband's threats are posturing. As your son grows older, he will see that.

In the meantime, you should try to show your son what a strong independent person you can be, and start taking bold independent action of your own. From now on, everytime your ex-husband is offensive or threatening or tries to bully you through your son, keep a written record. (Perhaps a diary). And tell your ex-husband that you are doing that.

If his behaviour continues, you should consider making an application to the court, but that is not for now, in my advice.

I hope that is helpful. Good luck. Be brave!


Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.

I notice that you have not given a rating for my answer to your question. Is there any aspect of your question or my answer that I can help you with? If not, I would be very grateful if you could rate my answer.

Thank you,