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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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My daughter's ex sees the 2 kids 6/14 days.One is 12 years

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My daughter's ex sees the 2 kids 6/14 days.One is 12 years old and the other is eight. He is trying to alienate my daughter by drip feeding them with poison comments saying things like look at your mothers concrete face and encouraging them not to speak to her when she rings up or being quite nasty to her if she does manage to speak with her. This carries on when they come home and some of their comments are really hurtful especially from the eight year old who usually runs to her mother after time apart
Both parties are with new partners and my daughter is expecting their first child together.The kids were overjoyed but now are commenting that the baby will ruin everything and we wont have any time for fun anymore,that thing is taking over everything I might as well go and live with dad etc. It is obvious that dad is filling their head. He is very manipulative and is used to getting his own way in which ever way he can.My daughter really is heart broken but how can she prove what is happening and what can she do to prevent it because she is concerned on the effect this is having in the kids.
Other things are happening too.Nicola is a single mum with very little spare money but she manages to buy school clothes and nice outfits,They go from school on occasions to dads but when they come home clothes are missing or they have been put in the drier and ruined.He also sells her clothes on Ebay and feels he has the right to do this.
He refuses to help with buying anything for the kids despite him being on 60000 a year saying the money he pays CSA is as much as she will get,yet his girlfriends two boys( not blood relation) are walking round in top class gear.
She has tried to access mediation but he refuses to attend.He went initially but was trying to manipulate the mediator saying he could give the kids a better life because they had more money and a bigger house and she told him it wasn't about that it was about the children. She has asked him to go back because she wants to change the mid week midweek arrangements.Is she in the wrong if she enforces the changes without mediation? What is her legal stance?
Welcome to Just Answer
Thank you for your question.
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that your daughter is experiencing with her ex.
I note that your daughter is concerned about emotional harm being caused to the children by her ex denigrating her in front of her children. I note that this is also effecting the children's behaviour whilst they are with your daughter. I note that your daughter has tried to mediate with her ex - this is the correct action to take - but her ex has been unwilling to engage.
Your daughter should now consider making an application to her local family court for a child arrangement order to confirm whom the children should spend time with and when. This can be done on Form C100. Your daughter should also submit Form C1A detailing the emotional harm that she considers is being caused by the children. The court fee is £215. Your daughters mediator will need to sign the form to confirm that she has attended at mediation.
Before the first hearing a Children's and Families Officer (Cafcass) will speak to both parties and your daughter should also explain all of her concerns to them. It is possible that court might order for a report to be undertaken to get to the bottom of what is going on as well as ascertaining the children's wishes and feelings.
If your daughter just reduced the time the children spend with their father then it is likely that the father will make an application for a child arrangement order and your daughter would be the respondent. The court would still listen to your daughters concerns and investigate matters.
Perhaps your daughter could also approach the children's schools to see if their behaviour has been affected at school. The school might also be able to offer counselling / support for the children.
If her ex decided to retain the children then your daughter should make an Urgent application, still on Form C100, for return of the children.
I note that your daughter has suffered emotional abuse from her ex. Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence and if you daughter can get evidence and she also qualifies on means then she may be able to get legal aid and a solicitor to help her. Please see this link - in particular the GP letter - if your daughters GP is satisfied that your daughter is suffering from a condition such as stress as a result of her ex's behaviour and he completes the template letter - then she should take this to a Legal Aid Solicitor.
Kind Regards
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her main concern is whether it would be worth going through the courts because their dad will want 50% shared custody. This is to avoid paying maintenance for the children .She has already involved the CSA to get maintenance
She was advised that the eldest child opinion( 12) will be considered and fears that he will not want to speak out against his dad ,accepting 50/50, thinking he is being 'fair' to both parents. My daughter fears that her daughter, who is most affected by this, will not be listened to because she is too young( 8) She is also starting to show defensive behaviour towards her dad because of his influence over them.
Initially dad had the children for 5 days a fortnight:Tues and Friday one week and Tuesday,Thursday Saturday the week after.This was negotiated via mediation and increased to 6 days, following a request from my daughter to spend weekend time with the kids and so that dad didn't go a full week without seeing the children. He now sees them Tues Fri Sat Sun one week and Tues Thursday the next.
My daughter requested in mediation, to change the arrangements (second week) as the routine is disrupting their routine and schooling, going back and forth every day during the week - he refused to attend and this was signed off by the mediator. She wants to stop the Tuesday visits( second week) to reduce tooing and froing. She couldn't offer an alternative because of the children's activities ( brownies etc.) and she knows dad won't take them. Historically my grand daughter started swimming lessons but on dad's day, missed the lesson stating he was 'too busy.' My daughter had to change days to ensure she went on her time.It undoubtedly happen again if his days were changed
There is an issue with childcare. My daughter kept the same arrangements since before the separation, collected by paternal grandma on Mondays, maternal granddad on Wednesdays and registered childminder Tues/Thurs, day off Friday. The children didn't want to go to the child minder, so their mother changed her hours at work to 9-3 Mon - Friday so she could be on hand to take the children to school and pick them up without having to rely on anyone else, and so she could spend more time with them after school.
My ex son in law is now wanting his new partner to pick the children up on 'his days' which my daughter does not agree to. The teachers is also aware of the difficulties she faces and are working with her
My grandson is 12 and is able to walk to his dad's after school and that isn't a problem but my grand-daughter insists her mum picks her up from school and drop her off at dad's on his days
During school holidays they stay with their maternal grandfather for 2 days and paternal grandmother 2 days and books Friday off. This is a long standing arrangement( before the separation) maintaining contact with family.
Recently my ex son in law keeps changing these arrangements, leaving them with his girl friend/ parents. My daughter receives calls from paternal grandma, asking where the children are. He will then state in front of the children 'lets ask them what they want ' e.g he arranged to leave them with his girlfriends parents after my daughter had made arrangements with his mother, asking what they wanted to do. My grandson wanted to stay home but granddaughter who reacts badly to changes in her daily routine, wanted to go to grandmas. He texted my daughter to say that the children would not be going to his mothers as planned but were staying with his girlfriends parents. My daughter objected and picked her children up, taking a day off work.She did not know these people.
He demands that my daughter offerS first refusal to him if she has a night out planned. This is not reciprocated or he does agree but will give back word at short notice. He tells the children how much money he gives her and tells her that she is neglecting the children,sending pictures of worn out shoes etc. She pay's monthly for their shoes. He withholds clothes, and any clothes that he does send back, are often ruined, a crumpled mess,and often still dirty.
She no longer asks him to contribute additional monies other than maintenance. She provides all school uniforms, dinners, trips ,school activities,and essentials like food/clothing
She is pregnant to her partner of 4 years and wishes to maintain their childrens bond so time together is precious
Main issue is she has no objection to their relationship with their dad's partner but feels that she is being deliberately alienated by his bad mouthing her about money, derogatory comments about appearance .He doesn't allow her to contact when with him saying phone dead,or encourages bad behaviour , saying its more fun here. He wasnt like this until last 12 month and they worked together until his new partner moved in.What will court solve?Will he get 50/50?Can he leave children with anyone? Can he change routines?Would Judge consider all facts or just generalise? I need my children safe