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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 935
Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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Assistant: How can I help? I would like to ask about

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Good evening
Assistant: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I would like to ask about parental responsibility, as I am currently in a situation involving two children, one of which is mine, and another is not, but I've been her carer for about 5 years now
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No
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: Uk
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Do I pay anything for the advice?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I have just started my trial

Hello my name is Ross and I will be assisting you with this matter. Can you tell me what your question is specifically please. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Good evening, I have got a situation with my son, where my ex and her partner are accusing me of manipulating my son because he cries whenever he goes to his mom as he wants to spend more time with me. She told me that she would give my son for a whole week today and I've just been there at their place to collect him but they refused me to see him

Sorry as I am currently travelling I cannot take a phone call but I can advise via this text service.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Also, she has got a daughter with another man, to which I have been acting like a father, carer for past 5 years. Now, because she's accusing me of manipulating them, she's refusing me to see her at all. Would 5 years experience as a carer make me eligible to apply to parental rights?

Ok thank you there are a couple of issues here please give me a few minutes to address these. Is the contact between you and your son just an agreement or is there a court order?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
If you are unavailable to call me right now, can I cancel the request for a phone call? I wanted to either speak now or just be in touch by messanges
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
It is just an arragement between us two
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I think it is also worth mentioning that she's didn't want me to pay her any child maintenance for the last year and half, would that affect my case anyhow?

Firstly, if you ex partner is refusing to let you see your son, and is being difficult in general then you should firstly, attempt to go to mediation to see if you can get some kind of agreement in place. However, in anticipation that this might not work, you would need to go to court and get a legally binding court order in place. This means that in the future, if your ex pattern attempts to do any of the same then you can make an application to have her held in contempt of court. The difficulty with this and the harsh reality is that if you go to court and she says you are doing this then Cafcass may become involved and want to speak to your son about the situation and that is not fair on the children, however, it is sometime necessary sadly. Ultimately as long as you have the child's best interest at heart then that will come out during any investigations. In terms of the child maintenance, no this wouldn't really matter. You are clearly looking after and paying for your child when they are with you so don't worry about this. Finally, in terms of the daughter. I am afraid that you don't really have any chance at all of getting parental rights despite your long term relationship with her. Parental rights can be very difficult to get even when all parties want this to happen. Sadly, this is the harsh reality, as you don't have any parental rights, the judge would not be able to order any contact for you with the daughter. However, hopefully the mother will eventually do the right thing and allow you to spend time with both children.

To find a mediator in your local area, use this site :

http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator

In order to apply to the court, you will need to fill out and send form C100 (copy attached) with a cheque of £215 payable to HMCTS to your local family court centre. Or you can ring the court and pay over the phone (or pay in person if you go directly to the court and pay at the counter). If you are on low income/have low savings you can apply for a fee exemption here:

http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

Once you apply the court will list a hearing where you and your ex attends. There will be a family advisor there too (from Cafcass) and if arrangements can be agreed then a consent order will be drawn up.

I hope this information has helped. You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

 

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

 

I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

 

Kind regards

 

Ross

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Right, thank you for that. I have just been looking at people who I can get help in regards of mediation, do I have to ask my ex for the consent to do a mediation, or can I just pay for it myself and notify her of it?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
In regards to court I would prefer to avoid that to not drag my son to courts to get this case solved. Also, I am aware that mediation is not legally binding, so would it be worth to get a solicitor to draft a consent order?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Of course in case where mediation would be successful

Yes, you could get a binding agreement, and your ex would have to agree to mediation however, it will be explained that this is an easier option then legal proceedings (which can be rather encouraging). Additionally and for your own peace of mind, if you did at any point require to go to court then your child would not be involved in the proceedings. Worst case scenario, Cafcass would perhaps send someone to school just to speak to him and on a level that he would be comfortable with and understand. Your son, at no point would have to attend court and be questioned or anything of that nature. These issues are dealt with very professionally and delicately.

I hope this information has helped. You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

 

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

 

I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

 

Kind regards

 

Ross

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
That's not a problem, I will leave you a 5 Star rating at the end of this conversation, but I do have more questions if you don't mind. That's really reassuring that my son would not be dragged to courts so thank you for your help on this. In this case, would it be reasonable for me to contact the mediation first, and then in case my ex refuses to attend a mediation, go to court? Or would it be better to do areange a mediation and apply to court at the same time?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Also, would child services be included in this if I'm accused of manipulating my son?

Try mediation first, court is always last case scenario. Cafcass are basically "child service" but they are only their to establish facts and report to the court. They are not there to punish you etc. The fact that the child spends time with both parents is a very big positive for you in this case. As your son wants to spend time with you then it is highly unlikely that there is any type of parental alienation etc. going on. However, as I am sure you can (frustratingly) appreciate. When an accusation is made then it must be looked at.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Another question, would it be possible for me to request in any legally binding way for my ex's current partner to not discipline my son? Some time ago he called him his "second daddy" and I won't hide that this was really upsetting to hear, since he knows this guy only about a year.

The experts are only really meant to answer one thread of questioning on here but I will give advice on this. The answer is no not really, obviously if he disciplines your son in anyway he should not be i.e. smacking then you can stop the your son from going to that house for safeguarding reason, but you cannot legally control what two people can say to each other. I appreciate that this would be extremely frustrating to hear this, sadly, these are the challenges life throws at us!

I hope this information has helped.

 

I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

 

Kind regards

 

Ross

Ross Miller and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank you for that and I do apologize, that's the first time I'm using this site. In this case I will contact a mediator tomorrow and try to sort this out through mediation agreement. In case I've go more questions, can I keep asking on this conversation or should I stary a new one?

Not a problem! you can come back to this feed and I can help further if needed. All the best.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Apologies, another question ahead. In the past, my ex has made a decision to send my son to a nursery that's just around the corner from her place without my consent. I understand that because it was about year and half ago, I can't really report this, but would this have any kind of effect on court's decision (in case we actually go to court)?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I have not reported this previously, because I understood that at that time it would be the best Solution for her and our boy (travel-wise) , but now since I will try to have him for longer periods of Time (before I was having him every other weekend, now I would like to switch to share parenting, 7 days every other week) , could I ask to get him moved to a nursery that's more accessible for me?

Not really the only thing you cold show is that she makes decisions without your consent, but to be honest, the court wouldn't really take this into consideration at all.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thank for so much for you help

You are very welcome, I wish you the best of luck moving forward.