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Advice please!
#1
Good afternoon all!

Just after a bit of advice really and would like to know the legalities behind what my Ex wife is doing at the moment with regards to access to my children.

Story so far

Divorced 2013 joint custody of my boys with ex, after not doing things correctly money taken from me by ex wife (my own stupidity) but now had clean break and what was a joint house now signed over with more cash gone her way. Now re married and also have a child with my wife and another on the way. I currently work maximum two days a week (zero hours contract so can sometimes, like this week be 0 days a week) and the other three days I am the primary carer for our daughter. I pay for my boys each month and I nearly always over pay even more so now as I am putting a flat rate across for them per month so I am over paying by 80% each month, we have an agreement that when my wife and I have the boys we do not pay maintenance due to us having them (this seems to work for us). This also means that we have them all school holidays for the full holidays this cutting down costs on childcare for them as she works full time. They currently reside in Norfolk and us in Wiltshire, we usually meet in Cambridgeshire to do the exchange. 

This weeks issue is that yesterday she said that she would be setting off at 1630 this doesn't work for me as my wife is in the military and possibly may have to leave a bit later so wouldn't get there at the same time. Anyhow if things sometimes change then one of us may drive the whole way with the boys to drop them more often than not this is me doing this with the 10hour round trip. She is now stating that this (today) will be the last time she will be meeting half way with the boys. Personally I think I am being reasonable and I have tried reasoning with her but all I get is abuse. We have spoke about the boys living with my wife and I but due to my ex getting benefits she wouldn't be able to keep the house they are currently in if the roles reversed (if we were the primary carers for the boys) so she is stuck. Even though we both agreed that they would be better off here due to having me at home, as I would then stop working fully, I currently only work so I can give the boys money and she is aware of this.

My wife and I are at our wits ends due to the constant roller coaster of how she reacts to things, usually badly. My wife asked me to google what would happen if we kept them with us, this is not going to happen but just want to be aware of the legalities.

I hope I'm not being irrational here but advice would be great, thank you!
Reply
#2
(02-10-2017, 12:37 PM)Liam_T30 Wrote: Good afternoon all!

Just after a bit of advice really and would like to know the legalities behind what my Ex wife is doing at the moment with regards to access to my children.

Story so far

Divorced 2013 joint custody of my boys with ex, after not doing things correctly money taken from me by ex wife (my own stupidity) but now had clean break and what was a joint house now signed over with more cash gone her way. Now re married and also have a child with my wife and another on the way. I currently work maximum two days a week (zero hours contract so can sometimes, like this week be 0 days a week) and the other three days I am the primary carer for our daughter. I pay for my boys each month and I nearly always over pay even more so now as I am putting a flat rate across for them per month so I am over paying by 80% each month, we have an agreement that when my wife and I have the boys we do not pay maintenance due to us having them (this seems to work for us). This also means that we have them all school holidays for the full holidays this cutting down costs on childcare for them as she works full time. They currently reside in Norfolk and us in Wiltshire, we usually meet in Cambridgeshire to do the exchange. 

This weeks issue is that yesterday she said that she would be setting off at 1630 this doesn't work for me as my wife is in the military and possibly may have to leave a bit later so wouldn't get there at the same time. Anyhow if things sometimes change then one of us may drive the whole way with the boys to drop them more often than not this is me doing this with the 10hour round trip. She is now stating that this (today) will be the last time she will be meeting half way with the boys. Personally I think I am being reasonable and I have tried reasoning with her but all I get is abuse. We have spoke about the boys living with my wife and I but due to my ex getting benefits she wouldn't be able to keep the house they are currently in if the roles reversed (if we were the primary carers for the boys) so she is stuck. Even though we both agreed that they would be better off here due to having me at home, as I would then stop working fully, I currently only work so I can give the boys money and she is aware of this.

My wife and I are at our wits ends due to the constant roller coaster of how she reacts to things, usually badly. My wife asked me to google what would happen if we kept them with us, this is not going to happen but just want to be aware of the legalities.

I hope I'm not being irrational here but advice would be great, thank you!

How is your arrangements worked out? (Court Order, Mediation or Formal Document).

Does your arrangements documents set out the collecting and returning of the Child?

Is your Child Support set out in any documents or is it a CMS (or old CSA) case?

There is a way forward what I can give you an opinion on, but I need to know this detail first, its its 1 way if on court order, another if Mediation, and other still if just on Formal Document.
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.
Reply
#3
(02-10-2017, 02:50 PM)MarkR Wrote:
(02-10-2017, 12:37 PM)Liam_T30 Wrote: Good afternoon all!

Just after a bit of advice really and would like to know the legalities behind what my Ex wife is doing at the moment with regards to access to my children.

Story so far

Divorced 2013 joint custody of my boys with ex, after not doing things correctly money taken from me by ex wife (my own stupidity) but now had clean break and what was a joint house now signed over with more cash gone her way. Now re married and also have a child with my wife and another on the way. I currently work maximum two days a week (zero hours contract so can sometimes, like this week be 0 days a week) and the other three days I am the primary carer for our daughter. I pay for my boys each month and I nearly always over pay even more so now as I am putting a flat rate across for them per month so I am over paying by 80% each month, we have an agreement that when my wife and I have the boys we do not pay maintenance due to us having them (this seems to work for us). This also means that we have them all school holidays for the full holidays this cutting down costs on childcare for them as she works full time. They currently reside in Norfolk and us in Wiltshire, we usually meet in Cambridgeshire to do the exchange. 

This weeks issue is that yesterday she said that she would be setting off at 1630 this doesn't work for me as my wife is in the military and possibly may have to leave a bit later so wouldn't get there at the same time. Anyhow if things sometimes change then one of us may drive the whole way with the boys to drop them more often than not this is me doing this with the 10hour round trip. She is now stating that this (today) will be the last time she will be meeting half way with the boys. Personally I think I am being reasonable and I have tried reasoning with her but all I get is abuse. We have spoke about the boys living with my wife and I but due to my ex getting benefits she wouldn't be able to keep the house they are currently in if the roles reversed (if we were the primary carers for the boys) so she is stuck. Even though we both agreed that they would be better off here due to having me at home, as I would then stop working fully, I currently only work so I can give the boys money and she is aware of this.

My wife and I are at our wits ends due to the constant roller coaster of how she reacts to things, usually badly. My wife asked me to google what would happen if we kept them with us, this is not going to happen but just want to be aware of the legalities.

I hope I'm not being irrational here but advice would be great, thank you!

How is your arrangements worked out? (Court Order, Mediation or Formal Document).

Does your arrangements documents set out the collecting and returning of the Child?

Is your Child Support set out in any documents or is it a CMS (or old CSA) case?

There is a way forward what I can give you an opinion on, but I need to know this detail first, its its 1 way if on court order, another if Mediation, and other still if just on Formal Document.

Hi Mark,

So the clean break from the courts states that I must pay maintenance, as previously stated this is a mutual agreement now and is documented each month by bank transfer.

Arrangements are made between us on the fact that I will have them every school holiday, we don't do weekends as a 10 hour round trip on a weekend is too much for them and also us as parents.

In the divorce paperwork it just states that we had come to an agreement on access so nothing further.

I hope this helps.
Reply
#4
(02-10-2017, 03:11 PM)Liam_T30 Wrote:
(02-10-2017, 02:50 PM)MarkR Wrote:
(02-10-2017, 12:37 PM)Liam_T30 Wrote: Good afternoon all!

Just after a bit of advice really and would like to know the legalities behind what my Ex wife is doing at the moment with regards to access to my children.

Story so far

Divorced 2013 joint custody of my boys with ex, after not doing things correctly money taken from me by ex wife (my own stupidity) but now had clean break and what was a joint house now signed over with more cash gone her way. Now re married and also have a child with my wife and another on the way. I currently work maximum two days a week (zero hours contract so can sometimes, like this week be 0 days a week) and the other three days I am the primary carer for our daughter. I pay for my boys each month and I nearly always over pay even more so now as I am putting a flat rate across for them per month so I am over paying by 80% each month, we have an agreement that when my wife and I have the boys we do not pay maintenance due to us having them (this seems to work for us). This also means that we have them all school holidays for the full holidays this cutting down costs on childcare for them as she works full time. They currently reside in Norfolk and us in Wiltshire, we usually meet in Cambridgeshire to do the exchange. 

This weeks issue is that yesterday she said that she would be setting off at 1630 this doesn't work for me as my wife is in the military and possibly may have to leave a bit later so wouldn't get there at the same time. Anyhow if things sometimes change then one of us may drive the whole way with the boys to drop them more often than not this is me doing this with the 10hour round trip. She is now stating that this (today) will be the last time she will be meeting half way with the boys. Personally I think I am being reasonable and I have tried reasoning with her but all I get is abuse. We have spoke about the boys living with my wife and I but due to my ex getting benefits she wouldn't be able to keep the house they are currently in if the roles reversed (if we were the primary carers for the boys) so she is stuck. Even though we both agreed that they would be better off here due to having me at home, as I would then stop working fully, I currently only work so I can give the boys money and she is aware of this.

My wife and I are at our wits ends due to the constant roller coaster of how she reacts to things, usually badly. My wife asked me to google what would happen if we kept them with us, this is not going to happen but just want to be aware of the legalities.

I hope I'm not being irrational here but advice would be great, thank you!

How is your arrangements worked out? (Court Order, Mediation or Formal Document).

Does your arrangements documents set out the collecting and returning of the Child?

Is your Child Support set out in any documents or is it a CMS (or old CSA) case?

There is a way forward what I can give you an opinion on, but I need to know this detail first, its its 1 way if on court order, another if Mediation, and other still if just on Formal Document.

Hi Mark,

So the clean break from the courts states that I must pay maintenance, as previously stated this is a mutual agreement now and is documented each month by bank transfer.

Arrangements are made between us on the fact that I will have them every school holiday, we don't do weekends as a 10 hour round trip on a weekend is too much for them and also us as parents.

In the divorce paperwork it just states that we had come to an agreement on access so nothing further.

I hope this helps.


Thanks for that.

The first thing I have noticed is the fact that you now have dependent Children (with 1 more on the way), and therefore you Child Support should be looked at again.
You can check this using this link, http://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance . Its only your income from Wages or Self Employment was is considered, not any Benefits (including Tax Credits) or any earnings your current partner has was is considered. Once the other child is born, you need to look at it again as well. When the link asks about staying contact, you need to check that over a year your in the 53-104 nights bracket, as if you do not have over 52 nights, no reduction takes place. If you are paying more than what this calculator says, then if you wanted to force the issue, invite your ex to put CMS in and stop payments in the mean time. If the court order has said an amount, then you would of had to apply to vary it, using the fact that you now have dependent children as the reason.

If your ex does not meet you half way, and it was her that relocated, creating this distance issue, then in a CMS case, you can ask for your "Excessive Travel for Contact Costs", to be considered. It will reduce Child Support by about 9p per mile.

How things sit in law in your case, is that you both are on the same legal standing, assuming you have PR (by being Married to your ex on the day the child was born, or be being present and signing the birth certificate). However, it would suggest to people that it was agreed at the time your ex would be the Resident Parent, so to bring an case it would be up to you to show a reason for it (what must be anything after the agreement was made).

You need to arrange Mediation going forward, and get the Child Arrangements documented on one of their agreements.
This should set out the arrangements for collecting and returning the children.

If you wanted to contest Residence, then you also would need to do this via Mediation.

To make a Child Arrangements Application you need either
a, a Mediation "Deadlock" letter
b, a "No Show" letter from Mediation
c, a Mediation Agreement to exist, and either side not follow 1 aspect of it.

The money side of things has no legal bearing on where the Child should live. The Judge will only be interested in what is best for the Child, and they do not like it when a Child is being used just for financial gain.  If the child is 10 or over, there "wishes and desires" could come into things.

While your existing arrangements are by agreement it does not matter, but you would not get all the school holidays if your ex disputed it in court.
What the Judge would do, is half the "Quality Time", what is weekends and school holidays. That is why the normal starting point is Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks, and up to half school holidays. Just because your not having the weekends, does not mean your ex has no right to school holidays.
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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