How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35046
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

I collect my children (5 and 9 years of age) from my ex wife

This answer was rated:

I collect my children (5 and 9 years of age) from my ex wife every other weekend (we are still going through divorce proceedings), I do not work and have no car at the moment. My partner allows me to use her car to collect the children. However, my ex refuses to pick them up and insists my partner does it. As i will not agree to this, she is now telling me I cannot see the children and will not allow me to take them if I am not prepared to return them myself (she is aware of my difficulty with this). She is manipulating the children and uses them as a weapon against me, she has sent me lengthy insulting e-mails but it amounts to the fact that she will not let me have contact.
I am unable to instruct a solicitor due to my finances and she has instructed her own solicitor to not deal with issues regarding child matters. This needs to be done directly with her via e-mail. I am not happy with this. I feel my only way forward with this is to gain a contact order. My ex is forcing this also, but she is fully aware that I cannot afford one and will not get one herself although she repeatedly tells me to get one.

How much will a contact order cost? and is there any help I can get with this?

Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What is the distance involved and may I ask why you do not wish to return the children?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not work and have no personal income and no car. My partner pays for the petrol and the use of her car to collect the children. She supports me entirely and she is only on a carers allowance as she cares for her disabled mother I feel it is only fair to ask my ex to pick them up from me as we are doing the first journey. My partner has to ensure she is home from her mothers just to return my girls and sometimes it is inconvenient for her to do so.


a one way journey is 23 miles and takes 40 minutes ( 46 miles there and back)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is refusing to allow me to call speak to the girls unless i provide a mobile to my 9 year old daughter. My daughter already has a mobile but i have not been given the number and my ex insists i provide a secondary mobile. She has told me not to call the house phone. I was due to collect the girls today but did not as I have no means of transport. When I called my ex on her mobile to speak with my daughters, she shouted a lot of nasty abusive comments in the back ground, whilst leading the conversation by telling my daughter what to say.

Which of you moved away from the matrimonial home?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I did. The house is mortgaged in both names, but we agreed it was best for her to remain there with the children and to not sell the house.



I am afraid that the only way to resolve this is via a Court Order dealing with the Child arrangements
You will first have ti try and discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation
If that fails then the only option with regard to contact is to apply to the Court for a Child Arrangement Order dealing with what contact there should be and how is should b effected
the form you need is here
the fee is £215 unless you are eligible for Fee Remission
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the above information.


On reading the application form for child arrangements, it states that MMIAM (Mediation, Information and Assessment Meeting.


Firstly, I have requested several times for my ex to attend mediation, to which she ignores. Her own solicitor has written to me stating that if an arrangement fails to be agreed, they would like me to confirm my willingness to attend mediation. I have confirmed with them that I am more than willing to attend mediation, just as I have myself suggested in the past.


It would appear the clause "fail to meet an agreement" should have read, failure to agree to their clients terms. My response to the law firm was met by, please note we are not instructed to deal with child matters. Any further attempts of asking my ex to attend mediation have been rejected or ignored.


How can I proceed without having MIAM or Can I have my ex instructed to attend mediation?


Sorry, my questions are endless.






You do need to try mediation first.
You simply contact a local Family Mediator ( and arrange a meeting.
So long as you attend it is not a problem if your ex does not - but you MUST attend
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you