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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1437
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My husband has recently left the family home, leaving me with

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My husband has recently left the family home, leaving me with our two young children (7 and 4).
As it stands currently, he is dictating all contact arrangements. I try to arrange mutually agreeable contact, but he turns up at the house and lets himself in as he still jointly owns the house. He is arrogant, unpleasant and controlling while he is here. I feel like I have no control over anything. He is demanding residential contact and I want it to be non-residential for the time being. He disappeared last weekend without word when the children were expecting to see him and then breezes back this week and starts demanding when he will see them. Do I have any rights or do I just have to go along with what he wants in terms of arrangements?
Thank you for your question.
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
Please can I ask - do you think your children would be safe with their father? If not - why not.
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

For the 6 months prior to leaving, he subjected my two children (especially the eldest) and myself to emotional neglect/cruelty through ignoring, detachment, coldness etc. My eldest has obviously been affected by this. He is also a heavy weekend drinker and therefore I have concerns if they had needs in the night and he couldn't hear respond etc.

That said, I do not think that he would willfully harm them physically.

My concerns are as their mum and the person that has nurtured and cared for them. I am keen to understand how much contact needs to be agreed or if he can just dictate arrangements i.e. he has today said that he will go to school and nursery on Friday when I'm at work and take them to his house and bring them back the next day. I have said no to this, but he has told me I have no right to say no and he is doing it.

Thank you for your response.
The courts consider that children have a right to spend time with both parents as long as it is safe to do so.
I note that you have concerns in relation to domestic abuse, emotional harm and alcohol misuse.
It is your duty to safeguard your children.
Perhaps you could seek to agree a schedule with your ex that increases over time so that you can be reassured that contact is going well and your children are enjoying the time with their dad.
You should consider making a referral to a mediation service so that they can assist you both agree a schedule that works best for your kids. One such service is:
If you were married to your ex when your children were born (or he is named on their birth certificates) then your ex had parental responsibility for your children. Therefore he would be able to collect your children from school / nursery. If your ex did do this then you should make an urgent application to your local family court on C100 asking for your children to be returned to your care.
If you have been a victim of domestic violence then you might qualify for legal aid for a solicitor to help you. See this link for further info.
Kind Regards
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply Caroline.

With reference to the C100, could you confirm that would be applicable if he took the children without my prior agreement or kept them overnight without my prior agreement or does it not come into effect that quickly?

Apologies for the further question, I'm just so unclear about what my rights are as their mother and primary carer. I would have thought arrangements would have to be agreed between us and not taken into his own hands. I am not denying or preventing contact, but do want a say in what those arrangements are.

Thanks again

Bless you - you don't need to apologise - please do just say if you need me to clarify anything.
Normally all children act should go to mediation before an application can go to court however if the matter was urgent then the court would consider your application
If your children normally live with you and he collects them without your permission and you don't know when they will be returned then you should make an urgent application on Form C100 take it to court and wait to be heard by a Judge seeking return of your children. You will also need to prepare a statement setting out the concerns you told me about and how the children normally live with you.
Court fee is £215 although you may qualify for a remission / reduction. You should fill out form EX160 to see if you are eligible.
As mentioned above you should try mediation to agree a schedule but if he does simply just take the children from your care then you should act quickly as set out above.
Kind Regards
Please remember to rate positively
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your help.

You are very welcome.
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