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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 23708
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I am legally married but left my house with my four children

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Good afternoon
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: I am legally married but left my house with my four children but my husband is asking for the kids to be returned and I am afraid that I may lose them. what can I do
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: no
JA: 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?
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I can not afford a lawer

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

I need more information before i can answer you fully -

how long were you together and married in total?

is the house mortgaged or rented? in who's name mortgage or tenancy?

why have you left and how old are the children?

and where are you now?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I have been married for 14years. The house is rented. Financial abuse and infidelity. Children ages 13, 11, 9 and 8.
I am at a friend house in Enfield
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I don’t work. I don’t know if I can afford £44 at this moment

I assume that your husband is applying for a Specific Pursuit Order to compel you to bring the children back.  He can normally only do that if you have moved out of the area such that he would not be able to see them.

You might want to wait till he makes the court application and then defend iton the basis that you are frightened to return home.  With young children, you could actually get an order for him to move out.

A person who believes that they are being bullied or who has been a victim of domestic violence or coercive controlling behaviour, can apply to court for a non-molestation order to prevent the other person coming within 100 m of them and an occupation order for the alleged perpetrator to move out of the house.

Here are the government webpages on exactly this subject.

A range of people can apply to the court: spouses, cohabitants and ex-cohabitants, people living in the same household (but not employees), tenants, lodgers, boarders, and certain relatives such as parents grandparents, in-laws, brothers sisters, and engaged couples.  So basically people who are in a close relationship either physically or family or living together whether that’s in a relationship or just the same house.

There doesn't actually have to be physical violence per se because there can be coercive behaviour for example as you will read in this excellent article: D

If living arrangements are involved, it is very often impractical to live in the same house and it would very often be allied to an occupation order which defines or regulates the rights of occupation of property by the parties involved.

Many landlords will not change the name of the tenancy agreement for example without a Occupation Order.

It always helps if a report was made to the police recently because that is good evidence that this actually happened.  The reason is that to report something to the police which hasn’t happened is a serious offence of wasting police time and/or attempting to pervert the course of justice which potentially carries a short jail sentence.  So the civil court will take more notice if it has been reported to the police.

Having said that, the civil court will normally err on the side of caution and grant the order.  However if the order is applied for based upon fabricated facts and that comes out in the wash, that is also perverting the course of justice and contempt of court and also potentially carries a jail sentence.

It is one of the few areas of law which legal aid is still available in certain circumstances so it is certainly worthwhile contacting the solicitor in the first instance.

As there is usually some urgency with these kind of applications, it can be done on an emergency basis and there is the facility on the form to do that.  An applicant can also attach a Certificate of Urgency (a letter with that heading) explaining why this should be in court on an emergency basis, usually within a day or so.

These applications are usually made “ex parte” which means that the other side doesn’t get notice.  What I mean by that is that they are not told “if you do this again we will make an application to court”.

The first they know about it is when the applicant gets the order and they are given the order.

The effect of the order is exactly the same as a restraining order to restraining order is something applied for by the police/CPS through the magistrates court (or exceptionally the Crown Court) whereas a non-molestation order is through the family/civil court.

Section 1 of the Domestic Violence, Crime & Victims Act 2004 May the breach of a non-molestation order a criminal offence.  It’s serious stuff.

You have probably seen a pop-up offering you the chance of a telephone call at an extra cost.  It is up to you whether you have a telephone call or not but do bear in mind that a 15-30 minute telephone call covers an awful lot of ground and you can get an awful lot of information in that time.  So you can ignore it or go ahead or go ahead later.  It’s your choice.

Meanwhile, we can carry on on here. Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** was helpful

It was my pleasure to assist you. Please come back if anything else crops up and needs clarification.
Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Good morning Stuart. I have been told that the fact that I am not working I will have the garden of the children please is that true

I’m sorry, I don’t understand

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
My inlaw are saying that I will not have the right to the children because I am working

I think what they are getting at is that there is no point in you having the children while you are working that’s a different thing than not having them when you are not working.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
How much do you charge for taking a case
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I need to sort things legally and fast as it is affecting me and my children

I’m afraid that we are specifically not allowed to take instructions from here.
If the site were to be a source of potential clients, we would no longer be independent because we would have an interest in pursuing litigation.  With no interest in pursuing litigation, we can be really objective with our view is to whether something has a good chance or a limited chance of success.

In any event, for logistical reasons you would be better using a local solicitor .

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Ok thank you

It was my pleasure to assist you. Please come back if anything else crops up and needs clarification.
Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
If my husband collects the children from school without my consent, what can I do

If there is no Child arrangement order then as you are married he has parental responsibility and he is quite entitled to collect the children from school as indeed you are.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Ok so what can I do now because that’s what I am afraid of

You need a Child arrangement order.

Fortunately, there is a lot of information on the Internet about Child Arrangement orders and the government have actually produced a guide on the subject which is here.

The different types of Child Arrangement order are:

1              A Contact Order which specifies when parent sees a child,

2              A Residence Order to determine who the child lives with,

3              A Prohibited Steps Order to prevent a parent doing something with the child such as moving away either in this country miles away or taking the child to another country.  Particularly relevant if there is a chance that the parent would go to another country and never return.  The parent wishing to prevent the move would have to convince the court why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move.  Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account.

A Prohibited Steps Order is to prevent child Abduction and it’s one of the few areas of law for which legal aid is sometimes still available.  It’s often therefore worth seeing a solicitor.

4              A Specific Issue Order to allow a parent to do something specific with the child such as moving away to another part of the country or indeed to another country.  .  The parent wishing to move would have to prove why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move..  Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account.  It would also encompass things such as changing school if the parents cannot agree, changing the child's name, and anything other specific.

The courts will not get involved in a Contact or Residence order unless the couple have been to mediation first.  So the couple would have to try mediation even if it subsequently fails and the matter proceeds to court.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Good morning Stuart
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Your answer was helpful thank you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Is it possible to apply for a universal credit even if I am homeless

You would need to ask another question about benefits eligibility because it’s not my area of expertise and it’s not what your question is about, your question is about a Child arrangement.

Not having an address and being on the street homeless is a lot different than staying with someone who may be a friend

Customer: replied 12 days ago.

No problem

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I still need child arrangements, housing and finance as well to be able to look after my children. My friend is just accommodating us for a short period of time because she is also married with a child. I am trying to find out what I can do for the safety of my children.

I appreciate that.  Is there anything specific I can deal with for you now?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Not at moment thank you

Thank you.  Kind regards

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