Need Help. Wife using my children.

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castaway
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Need Help. Wife using my children.

Postby castaway » Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:18 pm

Hi,

I have separated from my partner for 18 months now and she has completely stopped all access to my two wonderful children (2yr and 4 yrs). She demands I pay maintenance which I am sure she spends on herself and not my children. On top of that I have not seen them for 18 months.

Can anyone recommend a cheap family lawyer?
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Treol
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Re: Need Help. Wife using my children.

Postby Treol » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:57 am

It sounds like you're not paying maintenance and not supporting your end of raising children. Unless you give more detail, I don't blame her for not taking you into consideration until you step up.
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mrsbfrombalham
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Re: Need Help. Wife using my children.

Postby mrsbfrombalham » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:53 pm

Sorry to hear you are going through a tough time
Both of you will need to learn to communicate with each other for the sake of your children. That means that you should indeed be able to see your children, but you also pay your ex maintenance. If she looks after the children, then she will no doubt spend money on them - but sadly you have no control over what exactly she spends it on - you will have to trust that your children’s needs are covered.
To help you find a suitable maintenance amount, you can use the below government calculator:
https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance

With regards to finding a family lawyer, I can recommend Jones Nickolds - http://www.jonesnickolds.co.uk - not in the area but you don’t need to actually see you lawyer face to face.
For a cheaper option you can use Co-op legal services – but remember that, like any service, you get what you pay for https://www.co-oplegalservices.co.uk/fa ... olicitors/
Another route you may want to explore to smooth things over with your ex is mediation. Not sure where you are based but I can highly recommend Turner & Johnson near Wandsworth Common. http://turnerjohnsonmediation.co.uk/
All the best
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Sometimeslovely
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Re: Need Help. Wife using my children.

Postby Sometimeslovely » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:18 pm

The money I get from my ex is primarily used to cover the children's needs - clothing, extracurricular activities and the rest (not that there's THAT much!) goes towards food and utility bills. We can afford to go away from time to time and I can afford to treat myself every so often but this is not through any exploitation of child maintenance. The money I get from my ex is sporadic as he has a gambling problem that eats away at his money. I don't push for it as we have a roof over our heads and food in the cupboards. I also, possibly controversially, think that maintenance is not black and white and there are many variables. Pay what you can but emotional and pastoral support are far more valuable.

Hope the above links for solicitors are helpful and good luck.
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hal
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Re: Need Help. Wife using my children.

Postby hal » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:37 am

castaway wrote:Hi,

I have separated from my partner for 18 months now and she has completely stopped all access to my two wonderful children (2yr and 4 yrs). She demands I pay maintenance which I am sure she spends on herself and not my children. On top of that I have not seen them for 18 months.

Can anyone recommend a cheap family lawyer?
Ex-family lawyer here. It's a bit of a flag that you've not seen your kids for 18 months (i.e. your youngest was 6 months when you last saw him or her and they have not known you for ¾ of their life), and you're only just looking to resolve this now. And it would appear to an outsider that you are only considering your position as a result of demands for maintenance - you mention not seeing your kids as a matter "on top of" the maintenance demands. Time with your kids seems a secondary consideration, given how you put it in your post. Not a great start with regard to any court presentation.

That being said, contact is a right of the child, for the best interests of the children, not a right of the parents. As such, the presumption will be that some form of regular direct or indirect contact with you will be in their best interests, unless there is some other intervening factor (emotional distress, domestic violence etc). This is best done by agreement, but can be done by court order backed with sanctions if ignored. For all kinds of obvious reasons, better it is done by agreement to ensure it works smoothly. Fighting every visit out with your ex will be emotionally and financially draining for you both, particularly if it ends up with frequent court visits, and harmful for the emotional wellbeing of the kids (which can be one reason incidentally to refuse future contact...). Better to use family money on yourselves than on lawyers and mediators.

My advice? Agree the maintenance position ASAP with her first. Don't try to link it to what you perceive to be access rights. Whether or not you have contact with the kids, you are for better or worse financially and morally liable relative to your means. Any maintenance money is for her and kids for kids' benefit. Don't worry about what precisely she spends it on - to some extent it is irrelevant unless she has some financial problem such as a gambling issue: it all goes in the family pot and enables your joint children to be maintained. Agree a reasonable figure that you can afford as a separated family and then stick to paying it.

Then unless she is refusing any and all contact, in which case you will need lawyers, separately agree regular structured contact with her depending on your living circumstances. Could be weekly, fortnightly or whatever. You may well need some introductory sessions with her and the kids at first, or a third party or contact centre (if they still exist), if it has been 18 months since you've seen them and they are potentially unsure around you.

Sorry if that appears blunt: it's not intentional. A degree of that comes from it being on the internet rather than in person - genuinely wish you good luck and hope you get it all sorted without the need for lawyers!
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