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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I am not sure if there is anyone at the moment but I am

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Hi there,
I am not sure if there is anyone at the moment but I am desperate need of help. My ex is planning to take me to court as he is saying that I am emotionally abusing our children. According to the court order the children are under my custody. We fled in 2014 with the children due to domestic abuse. He is saying I am abusing the children by telling them not to share personal information about the two families. Is it really emotional abuse?
He gave me a typed letter on Friday with 4 pages and explaining his idea how bad I am. Unfortunately I destroyed the document. I am thinking he has a plan to win custody over our children.
Please help with an advice.
Afrodite Erdelyi

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-How old are the children?

-What are the exact arrangements have there been for your ex-partner to see the children under the order and has he complied with the arrangements?

-What two families and information is he referring to?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are 3 and 6 of age.
He is seeing the children every other weekends. Picking them up on Friday (it should be 5pm but always shifts to later) and returning them on Sunday at 5pm. (that is often later or earlier.) Apart from that he is giving a good care of the children and they are happy with him.
Two families mean me as one family and his family, he lives with his partner.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The court ordered mediation sessions as well to arrange the holidays share but he did not cooperate and refused the sessions therefore I am having troubles always to arrange it with him as he always comes to me last minute with his ideas. It makes it difficult for me to plan the holidays with the children.

Thanks for confirming. In relation to your concerns that he will apply to court for custody - you should not be fearful of this as it is not an easy thing for him to do if there are no serious concerns about the children being in your care. The issues you have said about what he alleges is emotional abuse would not be grounds to change custody to him. If he did seek to do this he will nee to apply to court and it will be for a CAFCASS officer to investigate and make recommendations, and for the court to make the final decision.

1. The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. Would you recommend me seeking for a solicitor in this matter?

At the moment it may not be worthwhile unless he is seeking to disrupt the arrangement and not comply with the order

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. There is also something. He thinks that our older son has Asperger syndrome. He is claiming it is neglect that I do not take him to a specialist. I do believe our son is fine. There were no problems reported from school. Once because of my ex's thoughts I asked to school to access my son and his social skills. He had some sessions at school but the said he is fine too. Should I take him to a specialist before the court hearing (if there will be any) just to confirm that with them. I feel this process is unnecessary for my son to go through.

If no concerns have been raised by the school and there appears to be no issues regarding his behaviour then this would not be considered neglect. If it is so serious he can seek for the court to make a direction for a specialist to undertake an assessment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the advice. Sorry, did you say that asking children not to share personal information is not emotional abuse? One day I was a bit upset and cried. It is hard of being a single mum and we went through a lot. I said to my older boy I wish I could provide you a better life. Later on, I asked him not to tell my ex and partner when I am upset. When my older boy was asked about me by my ex's partner, he said I asked him not to share information about us. My ex thinks this is emotional abuse.

The father's partner and the father should not be asking the children questions and engaging them in adult conversations as that itself will likely be treated as emotional abuse.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. This is what he just wrote: " Good luck with dealing with the consequences of your actions (he asked me to apologise to my older son for asking him not to share personal information in front of him on Sunday when he droppes the boys back home to me. I explained him I don't feel there was a reason for me to apologise and shared with him the same story I told you above) His message continues: " without care for the protection of our children. Sharing adult things with children is also a form of emotional child abuse. I am concerned for our children and that is my only concern. You have shown that you have not, do not and will not, therefore I will." I am sorry I am writing to you so much. I am just very upset and feeling that the hard time because of my ex will never end and I am scared of what he is planning to do.

If the only thing that he is alleging is you asking the children not to share information with the father about matters that do not concern him then you should not be worried and he will have no grounds to pursue a change of arrangement only on this basis.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Is there a law which would help me to have our life back to normal? I mean could I get help with arranging school holidays with him in advance, ask him to collect the children on time, not to leave the children alone in the night in the van when he is doing deliveries and finally I cannot receive text messages like this because they make me so upset. I am trying my best as a single mum that is all what I do. I recently started a childcare business which is going quite well considering I opened end of June so I would like to focus on that to provide a better life for the children. But the last 2 months my ex always comes up with something.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I left the office to become a childminder so I can spend more time with my boys.

What is the issue with the holidays? Also, does the court order specifically state that the children are to live with you or that you have a residence order?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The ordered us to attend mediation sessions so then we could discuss about holidays there with my ex. But he refused to attend so at the moment is him who tells me when he wants to have the children with him. I am trying to be flexible but as he always tells me the dates last minute I am not able to make plans for the holidays with the children. The children under my custody but we share the holidays and he has overnight contacts every other weekends with the children.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I mean the court ordered the mediation sessions.

Does the court order state that there is a residence order to you? Can you attach it using the paperclip icon here please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I am not able to scan the order. But it is called the child arrangements order. It says: the parties have agreed that: the children should live with the Mother, that the children should spend time, including overnight, with the Father on a regular basis at the conclusion of supported contact and to be agreed between the parties. (We had supported contacts at the Robert Centre for few months.) By consent, Afrodite Erdelyi must make sure that the children spend time with father in a cycle... The Court makes an activity direction and both parents shall take part in the following programme: Changing Lives Now Programme (we both attended separately). I cannot find details about the mediation sessions but it was said during the last hearing. Any person with parental responsibility for the children may obtain advice on what can be done to prevent the issue of a passport to the children. They should write to London Passport Office.. (He has my younger boy's passport and I could not get a new passport for my boy issued as I am not British citizen and the passport my ex holds still valid. He did not want to sign the documents for a new passport therefore I have not been able to visit my home country for over two years now.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It does not talk about school holidays and it says the children should stay with the Father's sister but they don't stay there. There was no written agreement about this. Me makes sure that the children, spend time with father in a cycle of two weeks for 4 alternate weekends commencing at the conclusion of the supported contact as set out above as follows:
Week number one: from 5pm each Friday to 5pm on Saturday, week number two: no contact, The children will stay at the home of the Father's sister unless otherwise agreed in writing, handovers will take place at Tesco in central Portsmouth, such other contact as may be agreed. I cannot find anything about contacts from Friday to Sunday and nothing about school holidays. I am really confused.

It is difficult to confirm what it should be without having sight of the order, but it seems to be clear that he should be having overnight contact every other weekend from 5pm on Friday to 5pm on Saturday and there appears to be no agreement to any contact between them outside of this - therefore if his usual contact falls in the school holidays he should see the children, if it does not then he should not be having contact.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think there was probably a separate advisory letter regarding mediation sessions and holiday arrangements but there is nothing written about it in the actual court order. I probably agreed with him on that just to avoid further problems. I was scared of him. He was angry.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2 years ago after the court case finished. I felt no one believed me. The solicitor was also questioning me. My ex was holding my baby down the stairs.. and the judge asked me for how long that was.. I said for few minutes.. and he said that is not possible.. the solicitor after the hearing came with a watch and was trying to show me the few minutes to prove that is too long.. so I lied she said.. The caffcass officer when he came for a home visit was not understanding too. My ex has two older children from his previous relationship and when I explained to the officer that his daughter asked help from the police once and his son fled to a hostel when my ex was strangling him, he said teenagers never happy with the parents. No one was helping. I was left with the thought that I have to hand my children to someone who can get very abusive. There was no support. It sounds terrible that I should of not even needed to let him have the children for the school holidays. I feel so guilty for everything.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the support, Sir. It really helped.

No worries, I hope it goes well. If you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris