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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34906
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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After 27 years together (20 years married) I left my wife last

Customer Question

After 27 years together (20 years married) I left my wife last August. We have 2 children - Abby (16) and Benjy (12). Over the last year Abby has refused to see me and Benjy has only seen me if I'm taking him to a football match. They both blame me for the break-up of our family. They don't understand why I left my wife. There was no screaming and shouting etc and as I now have another girlfriend they just think I ran away with someone else. I have never tried to explain the reasons for leaving my wife (adult issues shall we say). I've texted my children virtually every day. They very, very rarely answer. My wife has tried to obliterate all traces of my existence. She's blocked me from her phone and email.
i feel powerless. We are an educated family (my wife and I are medical consultants - and our children are bright) and I'm finding almost impossible to influence the situation in a positive way. Nearly a year has passed and I've hardly seen my children. They are only really exposed to my wife's view of the world. She says she continually asks them to see their dad (and I believe her) but her actions are entirely different. She won't do anything to actually help the situation. her attitude is 'well it's just the 3 of now - so we'd better just get on with looking after ourselves'. I'm not keen on legal action (if there is any) because that will be seen by all of them as me inflaming the situation. The biggest problem is that there is not really any other adult view being expressed to my children. If they don't want to see me - I'm guessing that's about it. Is this correct? many thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Have you suggested and family counselling to address the issue?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. The children won't go and my wife (or I) don't want to force them.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Have you remained involved with their schools?
Do they report any problems?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes - I've been to see their teachers but not much. The children aren't keen for me to go to the school so I've not been much for fear of exacerbating the situation.
The school is extremely good and has looked after them very well. It's an island of security and certainty for the children. The school don't report any problems.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
I am afraid that at 16 your daughter is entitled to make her own decisions about contact and there is nothing you can do to change that.
With regard to your son the law says a that a child is entitled to ocntact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary
Your starting point is to arrange to see a Family mediator using a Mediator trained to work with young people
If mediation fails then you can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order
You need to be aware that at 12 your son's wishes will be seen as important BUT he will have to have been given the chance to express them to someone other than his mother
Please ask if you need further details