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My story.
#1
Hello everyone.

I would just like to share my current story.
I'm a 22 year old father of two beautiful boys aged 2 Years old & 6 Months old.
My first born, Bertie was born when i was 19 years old and Cameron was born last year.
I got with my partner in 2011 a year after we left school. Everything was fine and going amazingly well when we had our first born and then thing's started to change more a less her parents started getting involved in our relationship and started to resent me. It all began when my ex partner and myself had agreed to move out because of her house being to crowded etc it was a small council house where originally it was myself my partner her parents and her brother and sister and also a German Shepherd running around. I'd started to save up for the deposit and everything i was 80% on the way till i come home one day and she spoke to me and said she didn't want to move anymore to where i replied "Why?" and she said "My parents don't want me to leave". A few months had passed and one day her Dad cornered myself in the kitchen got abusive and threatened to do harm to me and then he chucked me out for no reason other than wanting for us to have our own place. Things got worse in the house and my ex even knew that she would have to go soon enough. Then in 2015 we found out that we were having a second son we were both happy and excited. Things started going down hill from then she would get snappy and aggressive her parents were always arguing and my eldest son was picking it all up he started punching and learning to swear he would always stay round mine on the weekend and when i questioned my ex about his behavior and him swearing she denied everything and blamed it on me. Then it came to November when Cameron was born it felt like everything had changed everything was going amazing yet again and 2 weeks into Camerons life things started happening again her family were putting words in her head to where i got told to leave and we broke up. She then denied me contact for a month meaning i couldn't be there for camerons first christmas. I had my eldest just before new years day and then i didn't see either of them till 2 weeks ago. Since then my ex went down the motorway doing 95mph and i didn't know if the boys were in the car with her. Her mother texted me on my ex's phone the other day saying "We don't want anymore contact with you, don't text or contact on social media thanks" i can't even ask where my sons are or how they are or even for a picture of them. She still lives in the house it's overcrowded and my sons are always ill. Social won't even help or look into it. Even through all of this i still love her obviously for bringing my two beautidful sons into the worldbut everyday is just getting harder and harder not knowing how my sons are  i have friends who are separated fathers and they've said it gets easier but how?
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#2
You're not on your own here and we hope other dads will be able to tell you about how they've coped etc. Your sons have a right to contact with their father. If the mother is being obstructive you could try suggesting mediation to create an agreement for contact times etc. If she is unwilling to go ahead with this, you might want to consider court action for a child arrangements order. We hope the information on our website helps.
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#3
Thank you for the kind words and advice. Thing will change in time i hope
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#4
Hey up young father of two Smile

Firstly, irrespective of your relationship with your ex and her family, remember most mums are actually pretty decent when it comes to looking after their offspring, I'm not saying us dads are better or worse, but obviously we don't get the majority of the time with them so our efforts aren't so well recognised. As SD has said, your children have a right to contact with you, but if the ex is being difficult or coerced by others into stopping them spending time with you then you need to get yourself a plan of action and get the ball rolling.

Do you think your relationship with the mum is beyond solving or are you still hoping to work things out? Are you named on the boy's Birth Certificates? What is your current living situation?

If you'd care to give us a bit more information then we can better advise you as to the next steps to regain contact with them.

Finally, for now, keep your chin up, most situations aren't a total loss and there is a way through this, but it might take some time before you reach a conclusion.
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#5
Hi Norfolk n Good Smile

Thank you for the reply and the kind words. It's good to know that i'm doing the right thing

Yes, the relationship with the mum is 100% beyond solving. She hasn't replied to me in a week now. The last time we got on was when she wanted me to sign a deed poll to change the boys surnames over to her surname. Even since i refused to she got nasty and so on. Including taking my sons on holiday without me knowing. She also goes out late at night and leaves my eldest at hers and takes my youngest. I'am on both of the birth certificates and i'm currently living with parents working full time hoping to have a place by July. I live in a bungalow with 3 bedrooms and a massive garden which is more than what room she has at her house. I would like to work things out with her but the way things are at this moment in time it's like talking to a brick wall she said she wanted to get on for the boys sake (This was when she wanted me to sign the deed poll). At the moment it's just the fact of not knowing how my sons are and when i'll next see them and with my eldest sons birthday coming up it doesn't look like i'll be there
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#6
If things are that strained then the sooner you get started the sooner you'll get a resolution. Are you currently paying child maintenance to the mum for your boys?

https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance/y

Go to the above link and put in all the relevant information. This will then give you a figure which you are deemed to pay. As much as it may stick in your throat to give your ex money, they are still your boys and you are liable to contribute to their upkeep. Make sure all payments are made by traceable means, don't hand over cash. If you do you've got no proof you've paid it. Pay by cheque, or other means which can be traced. Note all payments as child maintenance. That way you are protecting yourself.

Now to the issues of contact, if she won't speak to you then the first step would be to try and enlist the help of any good friends which you might have in common, see if they can talk to her on your behalf and be a voice of reason. If you haven't or it doesn't work then write her a letter outlining your desires for contact with your boys, be realistic and don't denigrate your ex or her family. Keep it focussed purely on the boys and their relationship with both of you as parents, you could maybe put in how kids do better with two parents, appeal to her emotions saying how would she feel being deprived of her father's love and support over the years. It might work, so is worth trying. Give her a suitable time to respond, say two weeks, and if this doesn't work then you're going to have to spend a bit of money......because next would come Mediation, here you'd sit down with a mediator and discuss the issues involved, your ex would be invited to attend for the same, then if it was deemed suitable, you'd sit down together over a few sessions and hopefully reach a resolution that way. Mediation has no legal standing and can be, and quite often is, disregarded by one parent. So if this doesn't work, or it's not deemed suitable, then the next step would be to apply to the courts for a contact order. Yet again, more cost there, but it's something you can do yourself if you're prepared to. You don't have to use a solicitor.

Getting through all of this will take you some time so don't build your hopes up thinking you'll settle it in a few weeks. If the ex continues to put obstacles in your way it'll take several months.

I know how much not seeing your boys is ripping you apart, I've experienced it myself with my own daughter, but you'll have to get over it, at least for now. The road to contact is a bit rocky at times and you'll dig deep for reserves you never thought possible, but if you've a mind to succeed you'll do it.
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#7
Norfolk n Good, firstly i appreciate all the info you are giving and to all the other people that have posted.

I've been wanting to pay child maintenance for a long time but she has never come to an arrangement as to what i was to pay. When it was my first born i used to pay her £200 a month direct into her bank account. I've tried writing her a letter before and she just ignored it and threw it. I agree with you thinking that mediation is needed next but i don't think it will work but i want to try it for the sake of our sons. The only thing with the court order is i worry about seeing her father again as he was always aggressive and threatening, i'm only 5ft7 the rest can speak for itself. Every time something has happened I've reported it to the police and social. I would like a solicitor but at the same time from what i've been through with her and her family i think i could stand up and tell what's happened it might make me strong. I really do appreciate everything you've said and all the information you've given it's good to know that i'm not the only one who's fighting to see their children. Yet again i thank you for all the kind words and the boost to help me. I'm glad i joined this forum and i will continue to post all the updates to help fathers in my position.
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#8
(04-15-2016, 05:13 PM)BertieCameronsDaddy Wrote: Norfolk n Good, firstly i appreciate all the info you are giving and to all the other people that have posted.

I've been wanting to pay child maintenance for a long time but she has never come to an arrangement as to what i was to pay. When it was my first born i used to pay her £200 a month direct into her bank account. I've tried writing her a letter before and she just ignored it and threw it. I agree with you thinking that mediation is needed next but i don't think it will work but i want to try it for the sake of our sons. The only thing with the court order is i worry about seeing her father again as he was always aggressive and threatening, i'm only 5ft7 the rest can speak for itself. Every time something has happened I've reported it to the police and social. I would like a solicitor but at the same time from what i've been through with her and her family i think i could stand up and tell what's happened it might make me strong. I really do appreciate everything you've said and all the information you've given it's good to know that i'm not the only one who's fighting to see their children. Yet again i thank you for all the kind words and the boost to help me. I'm glad i joined this forum and i will continue to post all the updates to help fathers in my position.

From what I can see, there is no confirmed arrangments for contact in place. Norfolk is right in pointing you to the calculator, but as you will see, it factors in how much time the children are with you. Therefore, by all means help out if your able to, but do not sign any official agreements untill the exact child arrangments (contact) is sorted out in a way you can prove, (for example letter signed by both of you, Mediation or court order).

Bear in mind, if your looking to get a new place, that unless you have the children for over 51% of the time (and therefore get child benefit), their occupancy is not counted for housing benefit (or "bedroom tax in a Social housing situation).

For contact, given their young ages, their own bed in same room as you (or in living room if no gas fire), is acceptable.
For residance, you would need a 2 bedroom. If your looking at this route, bear in mind you do not need it in place (as you could be stuck with a contact still if you did not get it), but you must be able to demonstrate that your in a position to get one fast, and funish it to meet the childrens basic needs. You could try to get a 2 bedroom in place, and if you do not get residance take in a lodger (so you do not have a big shortfall in rent), but you need to get permission for this from the landlord.

http://www.entitledto.co.uk might be worth a look at, in terms of you seeing the overall picuture on benefits. Check out both options, where you the resident parent and where you are not.

Unless you can prove Domestic Violence or your children are in danger, you will not get legal aid. Soliciters cost a lot. You can get McKenzie Friends, but they also cost (not as much as a Soliciter), but even if they are allowed in court with you (they have no right, its by application to the Judge on the day), they do not have the right to address the court unless the Judge give them leave to.

A lot of people do it themselves. Bear in mind that outside of court, you are entitled to seek advise of anyone you want, who can help you do forms, documents and statements for use in court. Its only who goes in the court that is regulated.

There is a lot of info on the Seperated Dads website, and several regular people who post on here have been through the process themselves, and can give you advice for free.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#9
You say you currently live with your parents in a three bedroomed bungalow. If you get on well with your parents and they are happy for you to be there, it might be more advantageous to stay put if you can. There are a couple of reasons why I think this.

1, it'll be cheaper than living on your own, thus paying child maintenance won't be such a burden on your finances.

2, with regards to possible court action at some point in the future, not only will there be you to look after your boys during contact, but you can demonstrate to the courts that you have a support network close at hand to assist you if needed and you are able to ensure your boys also develop a decent relationship with their grandparents.
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#10
Just to back up what Norfolk is saying, staying contact (as long as the children have their own beds) at your parents would be acceptable. As long as its visiting relatives short term (up to 28 days at a time), your not breaking any housing regulations regarding over crowding.

If only you and your parents live their, it would be ok for residance as well.

If your parents are getting any Housing Benefit, your occupancy will count (but so will your income) and if the children was in a 3 rd bedroom (with you getting the child benefit), it might make the household overall better off.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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