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Joy Nicholas
Joy Nicholas, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 769
Experience:  Lawyer
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I don’t even know if this is the right place for these

Customer Question

Hi, I don’t even know if this is the right place for these questions but I’m clueless. I have a baby (13 weeks) & mine & my fiancées relationship is falling apart. It has been since I was about 6 months pregnant. We live together at the minute. If I was to leave him I have no savings, I’m on maternity pay, everything in the house is his. Would I be able to get any help in finding a home if I were to leave? He’s also told me if I were to leave him he’d get ‘ugly in court’ & tell the court about my history with self harm (all stopped before I got pregnant) to get full custody of our son. I’d want us to have joint custody because I don’t want to stop my son having a relationship with his dad & obviously I wouldn’t ever want to be without him. Would it be likely that if I were to leave him I’d lose custody of my son?
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Nothing.
Assistant: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Newton Abbot, Devon
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My fiancée doesn’t know I’m planning to leave
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Joy Nicholas replied 9 days ago.
Hi, thank you for your message. I am sorry to hear about your situation. Can I confirm have you spoken to anyone about this matter?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
No
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Is it £44 to call?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Sorry, I don’t have a spare £44
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
If I leave him I’d want joint custody, hopefully without the courts help, but if he were to file for full custody & say I use to self harm would I lose my baby?
Expert:  Joy Nicholas replied 8 days ago.

Hi, thank you for your message. You will need to either find a private arrangement between you or take the matter to court. The courts would look at your full circumstances and the best interest of the child. The fact that you used to self harm will not necesarily be a factor for you to lose your baby. If the court finds it is an ongoing issue they may order you do seek help. Your ex will need strong evidence to prove this is still an issue. In regards to the safety and well being of the child as the child is so young children are often kept with their mothers with an aim that they child will have contact with both parents. If you cannot agree on arrangements,

I would advise you to seek a child arrangement court order such an order can set out who looks after the child and when. Such an order once made can be enforced if it is breached. In order to do this, you will need to arrange for and attend a mediation appointment with your ex first to see if an order can be agreed. Even if you and your ex end up having to go to court to sort out the differences, you will normally need to prove that you’ve been to a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM). This is an introductory meeting to explain what mediation is and how it might help you. If your ex doesn't want to see a mediator, you should go to the MIAM on your own. You’ll then be able to prove you’ve tried mediation if you later want to go court. You can’t force your ex to go to mediation. In order to find a mediator you can use this link on the Family Mediation Council website here: https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/

You’ll normally have to pay about £30 for an MIAM, although sometimes this first meeting is free. Follow-up sessions usually cost you and your ex about £80 each - most people need to go to 3 or 4.

The cost of mediation varies depending on where you live. Phone around to find the best price, but bear in mind the cheapest might not be the best.

If the MIAM does not work and you not able to agree to mediation you will need to go to court. This will require you to fill out form C100 which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-c100-application-under-the-children-act-1989-for-a-child-arrangements-prohibited-steps-specific-issue-section-8-order-or-to-vary-or-discharge

You can find guidance on filling out the application here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/family-court-applications-that-involve-children-cb1

Send the original form and 3 copies of it to the nearest court that deals with children, you can find your nearest court here: https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce/apply-for-court-order

The application will cost £215. If you want to find a solicitor to assist with this process and represent you at the hearing you can find a solicitor using the Law Society find a solicitor search option here: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk. You can search by town or postcode to find one near you, as well as area of law in this case family law.

I hope this helps if you can please accept my answer, there will be a box to do so and give me a five star rating for answering your question top right corner and just answer will credit me for helping you.

Expert:  Joy Nicholas replied 5 days ago.

Hi, I hope all is well! I would appreciate if you can please accept my answer there will be a box to do so and give me a five star rating for answering your question today top right corner of your screen otherwise I receive no credit for helping you.