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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
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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My fiancee and I split up, after 10 years together, less

Customer Question

Hi there,
My fiancee and I split up, after 10 years together, less than 2 months ago. We have a 3 year old son together.
My ex is now living with his ex (the one prior to our relationship - and planning to marry her) and her 6 or 7 kids (by 4 or 5 different dads), 2 of the kids are apparently my ex's, however she has stopped him from seeing them for nearly 14 years (she would let him see them, find out that he wasn't going to leave me for her and stop him seeing them again - this has happened twice during our relationship - this is the first time he has been in their lives for 7 years).
He tried to bring her to court for access for his eldest son (before our relationship and before the other one was born) and as soon as the court requested that she do a DNA test, she allowed him to see them again for a short time - the DNA test didn't happen. He did not find out about the other child until she was 3 years old (no DNA test has been done for this child either).
In the past she has had his nans house raided for drugs and firearms (there was no cause to do this) just to cause trouble for him, she also signed for a credit card in his name and ran him into thousands of pounds of debt - he foolishly did not have her convicted for this as he didn't want to rock the boat with her and paid it off. She only ever contacted my ex when she broke up with one of her many boyfriends (1 of which tried to kill her - I believe this was dropped to ABH as she wouldn't press charges - and another was an alcoholic) to try and get back with him, she also cheated on him throughout their relationship the first time they were together with my ex's best friend.
On one occasion she even tried to run me off the road while she had all of her kids in the car who were bouncing around the car and not in car seats, at the time the eldest would have only been 7 or 8 - I had to mount the footpath and almost hit a wall.
I do not want to stop my son from seeing his dad, however I do not want someone like her involved in his life, I don't believe her house is a safe environment (his eldest son has previously attacked both her and my ex in front of her other kids) or that she would be a good influence in my sons life. My ex currently sees our son when his mother is looking after him, however he will only spend less than an hour with him as he has something else to do with her. He has taken our son to the shop once and the park once on his own since we split up and both times he spent no more than 30 minutes with him. The first day he had him after we split up, he took him out with his other son (I had asked him that morning not to that as I didn't want my son confused as to why daddy suddenly had another son) and when his car broke down, he took my son back to her house for her to look after him while he fixed his car, without consulting me - essentially leaving my son with complete strangers. He only called to tell me this had happened as he knew our son would tell me and he knew he wouldn't get away with it. The only other day he spent with him was when he took him out with his sister as I didn't trust him to take him out on his own and I know his sister has her nephew's best interests at heart. When he has asked to have our son on other days, I have told him he can have him but she is not to be there nor are his other kids, he has then chosen not to have our son and spend the day with them instead.
I believe my ex is now looking into taking me to court for access (even though I am not stopping him from seeing him), however I would like to know where I stand with not letting her have access to my son. I have also mentioned to my ex that I want DNA tests done for her 2 children that she claims are his (he is not on their birth certs and she has never tried to claim any money through the CSA as I believe she is aware he can request a DNA test) as I don't want my son to be introduced to them as his siblings if it turns our that they are not biologically my ex's kids - this lead to him asking me for a DNA test for our son and storming off.
I have told my ex that we can talk about things once he is prepared to sit down like and adults and discuss this without his losing his temper and threatening me.
I am not trying to keep her out of my son's life out of jealously, how he has treated me over the last few week's has proven that we are better off not being together and all I want is to move on with my life, however I don't believe my son should be exposed to someone like her - if my ex is foolish enough to let her ruin his life again, that is his business, my priority is my son.
Apologies for the long winded and confusing saga, any help would be greatly appreciated :)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

In what way do you think seeing her will put your son at physical or emotional risk (bearing in mind he is not aware of the history)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,As mentioned her eldest son is prone to violence outbursts, so her house is not a safe environment. She is also very manipulative and uses her own children as weapons against their dads. As far as I am aware she stops all the kids from seeing their dads unless she is in a in a relationship with them. She also moves her new partners in as soon as the other one moves out, I feel for her kids, they've had several step dads in the past. I don't want my son involved with her only for her to kick out my ex in a few months time and him to lose her and 2 potential siblings.Also, we only recently split up. I don't want my son confused as to why daddy already has another family, one which my ex doesn't even know 100% if 2 kids are his or not.Her blatant disregard for her own kids safety when trying to run me off the road is also a big concern, if she's prepared to behave like that with own kids, what would she be like with a child that's not hers?Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

I do understand all of that but I have to be honest there is a limit to the control that you have over the contact that your ex has with the child.

For the avoidance of doubt there is no basis whatsoever on which you can ask for DNA testing of "his" older children - so please on no account even mention it.

At this stage your strongest argument is that it is too early after the separation for anyone else to be involved in contact at all.

It would be reasonable to establish a regular pattern of contact so that your ex sees the child for a few hours once a week with a review after three months, but at that stage if he is still with her I am afraid that it is unlikely that you will be able to successfully exclude her and her children from future contact.

The starting point is for you to discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation to agree a Parenting Plan

I am sorry - I am aware that this is not the news that you are looking for but sadly it is a realistic assessment of the position

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help, I appreciate that she may at some point be involved in his life, but it is far too soon. My priority is my son, not my ex. Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

i agree - much much too soon