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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34905
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My son is having a difficult time with his wife who kicked

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My son is having a difficult time with his wife who kicked him out in December and then refused his access to his children. She refused to speak to him or have anything to do with him but her family abused all of us and him on FB. She did not tell him the children were ill and had to have medical treatment. Out of desperation he went straight to court and they adjourned the case pending a mediation outcome. He attended one mediation session and his e wife has not abided with the discussion of that mediation and they had to return for a second mediation. As she is on benefits she gets it for free but my son has to pay £100 per hour which he cannot afford. He has to pay £240 for the first session and now they want another £240 from him. The meeting was adjourned today as he does not have the money and he is on a low income. Overtime is not guaranteed but they insist in taking it into account. Also his e wife is chasing him for maintenance although they originally agreed on joint custody. He feels that there is going to be no resolution from mediation as his wife is argumentative all the time and it seems that the mediator is biased with her comments. On another note, he is dyslexic and gave the mediator notes to help himself along in case he forgets anything, and she has refused to look at them as she said she is obligated to show them to his wife. Please help as we are desperate to resolve this issue but financial it is not viable. The next court hearing is on 25 June and his wife says she is not going to court and wants it sorted through mediation. What are his chances if he goes ahead with court and no more mediation.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When did the overtime stop?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He works for the NHS as a porter and they only get overtime when they are short staffed. His basic monthly salary is £1,500 as he is only on band 1. At present he is still doing overtime, but on that kind of pay he has to pay for his flat as his wife left him homeless even though he is still on the tenancy agreement as the agency is refusing to remove him. He also still pays for her IVA as she refuses to pay for it and he still pays for her mobile phone but that contract ends this month some time.


He can pay for the first session of mediation but cannot pay £240 every other week as his wife seems to be drawing out the procedure as she gets it for nothing. He also feels that he is getting nowhere as I previously stated she did not abide by the terms of the first mediation at which she was asked to allow him to see the children on his days off and much as possible to rebuild a relationship with them. His son is 2 and a half and his daughter is 4 moths.


Also his wife had a relationship with her e throughout the whole marriage and the children get left with him and she does not tell my son where is children are or whom they are with. He has not paid her anything for the children yet as they originally agreed on joint custody and he is prepares to give her what is set out by the CSA once it is agree as how often he can have the children. He does shift work so can have them quite often before going on shifts but she will not even allow him to fetch his son from the school as she says he will get confused yet her ex can fetch and take them as according to her they know him and have a good relationship with him. We are not allowed to see the children yet her family have full access.


It is out of desperation that my son went to court as she refused to answer his messages when he asked how the children were and just refused to communicate with him. She informed everyone that she has full custody of the children and she makes the rules. This has got very messy and as previously asked we just want to know what his chances are in a court of law.


This is making him very ill and depressed. He abided by the court by agreeing to attend mediation but feels that his wife has the upper hand as the mediator informed her at the first session that Alan has a right to know where his children are and then at this last session told Alan that as they are separated Trudie does not need to let him know where or whom they are with. He feels he is getting mixed messages and just does not know where to turn as he really is not financially secure.


Also he still paid all her rent for January/February which is £650 per months, the council tax bill, and water to ensure a roof over his children;'s heads as well as a child from her ex. Please help as we are desperate. She is receiving full benefits and we also feel that she needs to refund him some of the money for January/February as she was receiving benefits.

Given that his ex had not adhered to what was agreed at mediation then it is your son's interest to attend at least one more before the court hearing - so that it is clear that this is not a case suitable for mediation as his ex will not abide by it
The Court will not take the matter forward until they are certain that mediation will not work
The Mediator did not look at the notes as she is correct - any paperwork HAS to be shared - so if she had looked at them she would have had to show them to his ex
Your son has one simple request - he wishes to see his children and that does not need any notes.
It is a reasonable request with the only complication being the fact that the youngest is so small which means at present his contact is likely to be limited to a few hours at a time
Provided he is clear about what he wants - to see his children - then there can be no confusion
The fact is that your son is entitled to know where the children are living - but not where they are all the time - and that is no doubt where the confusion arises.
When mediation fails then the court will continue with the matter but it is not an instant process and there will be more hearing to come
I am afraid that he is responsible for paying Child Maintenance immediately - so if she has made an application to the CSA then he must start the payments as otherwise arrears will accrue
Equally I am sorry but she owes him nothing
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My son met one of the parents of his son's school and they told him that the 1st time they went to mediation his wife's ex was looking after the children. When he questioned her at the recent short mediation she again refused to tell him where the children were and he asked her again if they were with her ex. His wife stormed out of the mediation informing him that only she knew where the children were and that she was sick and tired of everyone of spying on her.


She has sent him a text message today saying that she has decided to withhold the children from him now till the court case on the 25th as she will not be spied on and has now reported him for harassment.


My son has agreed to go to another mediation in a fortnight's time to try and sort this, but his wife is being difficult and this is her way of retaliation by refusing him access to his children. Where do we stand on this?


Unfortunately he cannot afford a solicitor's fees and has no option but to do this on his own. As she is on benefits she gets everything for free.



So long as he has set up the next mediation then that is fine.
What contact has he asked for?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has asked for joint custody as agreed between them before the separation. In the beginning he was seeing his children 3-4 times per week, but when he got home from attending his sister's wedding in Norfolk, he wanted to see his baby daughter and she took the baby away from him saying that she does not know him as he had not seen her for a week. He again asked to see his child and again she refused.


He told her she could not prevent him from seeing his daughter and she called the police on him and accused him of domestic abuse. He contacted the police and they said that they were not taking the matter any further as there were no signs of domestic abuse but did advise him to stay away from the house even though he was on the tenancy agreement (which incidentally he still is). She then also informed him that the police advised her to have no further contact with him and to not let him see his children till a court had decided.


When he contacted the police they referred back to the incident report and said that there is no record that they advised her to whithhold the children from him as there is no court order in place and they are not in a position to give such advise as there is no evidence of abuse towards the children.


That is when she went to mediation to sort it out but has not abided by all the arrangements put in place and also advised that she did not want to go to court. Now that a parent just spoken to him and in conversation mentioned that her ex is collecting the children from school etc and he mentioned it at mediation she has lost her temper and called the police once again on him for harassment. The police came to see him today but as yet we do not know what has been said as all they would say is that there are children involved.


I also need to mention that two years ago she tried to take her life by taking an overdose and was admitted to hospital. Her mother and sister also have/had mental health issues but I am not sure if her sister is still under mental care.


My son is now at the end of his tether and has said that he is taking her for slander as she is causing him a lot of stress and he is also thinking of looking at mental health issues.


I hope you can help and give us some sound advice on this matter.


Thanking you in anticipation.

What arrangements were actually put in place at Mediation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was agreed that she is to let him see the children as often as possible for a short period to rebuild his relationship with his children. In the two weeks he only saw his children 3 times, as she would not let him collect his son from nursery as she said it would confuse him.


Thereafter they would then look at letting the children stay over with him again till at a time when they can go back to the original agreement.


She has now denied him access to his children again and the Police have advised him to get all the evidence together as after investigation today the Police found no cause for harassment or otherwise. She has also told the Police that he threatened to take the children away from her in front of the mediator and that is why she has reported him. At no time did he do that, and the mediator was present throughout the meeting, so we are at a loss as to why she is behaving this way towards him.


It seems that she is using the children as leverage and also informed him that by taking her to court he is not thinking of his children and being selfish, but it is felt that the situation is in fact the other way around.


The mediator contacted my son today and informed him that she thinks mediation will not sort out or be a solution to this issue and perhaps it would be better to pursue it further in the court. Trudie seems to be going against all the points that were originally discussed at the 1st mediation.


That is good news - I have to say that I did expect this given her approach - but it is good to have it confirmed
He must start making the CSA payments as soon as possible - the assessment can be adjusted once the children start to spend the night with him
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