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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10259
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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09 Further to your reply, which was helpful, although my

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Further to your reply, which was helpful, although my partner very much wishes for the threatening texts and emails from his estranged wife to stop, he is worried that if he goes to the police or applies to court for a restraining order in order for her to get a formal warning not to contact his new employer, as you suggested, he will be completely cut out of the loop with regards ***** ***** information about his children and his contact with them will be in jeopardy. He has repeatedly asked her to be civil and restrict any communication to practicalities, but she is extremely angry and vindictive and uses every opportunity to be abusive, but he feels he has to put up with this in order to sort out access to his children.He wishes to divorce and offered her the chance to divorce him, but she refused. He has now been separated from her for two years, but she will not give consent for a divorce so he will have to divorce her on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. However, this will infuriate her and she will discuss this with the children. Is there anything that he can do to stop her from discussing and over sharing inappropriate information with them? I had a collaborative divorce and we signed a code of conduct, agreeing to be civil and keep our daughters well being in mind at all times, but if a divorce is acrimonious, as this is sure to be, can the court enforce any codes of conduct and can access to the children be sorted out as a matter of urgency?My partner would like his children to grow up in the family home, and for it not to be sold until his youngest child (now 11) has finished secondary education. However, if the children's mother continues to make access so difficult he can see that it would be necessary to sell the family home in order to buy two separate houses which could accommodate all five children. What are the options for a divorce which avoids selling the family home? As things stand, his estranged wife has said she will never allow any of them to stay the night in his flat. If his eldest daughter says she is going to her fathers flat to see him, she gets unpleasant texts from her mother berating her and saying she has betrayed her mother. All the children see him regularly, but tell their mother they are doing something else to avoid her getting angry with them. She doesn't know that they visit his fault and have breakfast etc. She often sights his lack of contact with the children as his major failure as a father. He doesn't want to tell her that he sees them more than just the pick-ups and drop offs that she requests him to do because he knows they will get in trouble and she may try to stop all contact and make life very difficult for the children.He is dealing with an extremely difficult individual whose fury shows no sign of abating, despite the fact that she is on her third relationship, her first new partner being introduced into the household days after my partner moved out. She is unable to control her anger and has physically attacked him twice. He does not think that she would physically harm the children, but the emotional damage she is doing is very worrying. She validates even her very worst behaviour by saying that if he hadn't left her she wouldn't be forced to behave like this, so it's all his fault. He is trying to proceed with civility, but is finding dealing with her increasingly difficult and the constant barrage of abuse and character assassination he receives on a daily basis is taking its toll.Any advice on how to deal with her would be gratefully received.Many thanks,
Malini Stevenson

Contact orders contain a warning that if the resident parents starts to deny contact, that the parent denying contact is likely to end up with a community service order. He can always apply to court either for the child arrangement order in that respect, if there is not one already or, for an order to enforce the existing order. He shouldn’t be worried about going to the police although the threat from a solicitor is probably going to be seen as not quite so confrontational.

If she will not give consent for a divorce after 2 years separation, he can always divorce her for unreasonable behaviour. It is not at all difficult to find enough unreasonable behaviour to get divorced. As part of the divorce proceedings, he can actually ask the court to grant an injunction to prevent her discussing this with the children if he feels that it would alienate the children towards him and that knowing what is going on in minute detail, is not going to be in the children’s best interest. The reality however is that even if that order was granted, there is actually no way of enforcing it. Hence, the court will not normally get involved with orders like.

I’m afraid that child contact is not deemed to be an emergency issue as child welfare is.

If he agrees that the house is not to be sold until some stage in the future when the youngest child is 18, they can agree what they like between them provided the mother is able to pay the mortgage and the bills of the house in the interim.

She might say that she doesn’t want the children to stay in his flat but she is not in control of that.

Because of the irrational behaviour the potential effect on the children and their welfare, he might want to consider applying for residence for the children to live with him. It’s going to need evidence of her violent nature and the kind of nasty texts that she sends to the children. I think there is a slim chance that he would get residents but he could hold that over her as a threat if she is continues to act in the way that she is or make contact difficult.

Can I clarify anything for you? Please rate the service positive so that I get paid. We can still exchange emails. Best wishes. FES.

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