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I'm at a loss with what to do, need some serious help
#1
Hi all,
 
I will give a brief overview of my situation and then I'll explain what has prompted this reach out for help.
 
My current situation is that I live with my partner of 2 and a half years. She has a daughter whom we see on the weekends and I have two children who I see on the weekends also. They get along great and we're really lucky that they enjoy each other's company and get on so well. They have seen each other regularly on 3 out of 4 weekends each month for the past 2 years now. My partner has no issues with her ex and there are never any issues with contact. However my now ex-wife (HALLELUJAH), keeps presenting issues with contact of my children.
 
I will admit, I was a broken man when we first split up and I wasn't in a very good place. My children remained with her for a few months and I stayed in our matrimonial home whilst they stayed at our static during the summer holidays. I was not in a great place these few months and did not see my children much at all. I then moved out of the house and continued paying for it as well as seeing them when I could (around working shifts) as I moved out and lived with my mum. She moved her boyfriend (whom she got with very shortly after we split) into the house with my children and I objected to him doing so from day 1. I foolishly transferred over child benefit into her name whilst I continued supporting the kids by ensuring they had a roof over their heads, paying the mortgage, rent, council tax, electricity, and gas. As far as I was concerned I was paying for their upkeep.
 
After about a year of them staying there my partner put the house up for sale (which was in joint name) and I only became aware of the sale when I saw a sign outside of the house one day. After a while it sold and there was no equity in the house so neither made any profit which I was glad of. By this point in time I had managed to rent a new home for myself (3 bedroom property) where I could have the children over to stay. My son had his own room and the girls shared a room.  
 
Needless to say, by my ex selling our house she had in effect made herself homeless and was relying on the council to provide her with accommodation. I had already stated to her that she didn't need to do this and the children can stay with me (this is in 2015). She ignored my wishes which were in the children’s best interests and went ahead with applying to the council anyway. She even stated to me that she wouldn't be able to get a council place without the children! Initially they put them up in a temporary accommodation which is nowhere near where the children’s school or previously lived and this was for a month at least. She didn't update me regularly about what was going on and even though we'd had a discussion where she said if she thought it was affecting the children she would leave them with me, it never happened. Anyway, as predicted, council did nothing and she eventually privately rented with her boyfriend and his twin.
 
A whole host of issues have arisen from this situation (that’s for a different thread) but the crux of the matter is that on Thursday evening I found out that they are homeless again, and that the children would not be seeing me this weekend. No explanation given, just that they wanted to spend time where they lived.
 
I point out that the children live with her Monday to Friday and I see them for 2 weekends, then she has them for one and then I see them again the Friday evening. So at the point of getting this message I have not seen them since the 26th Feb. Her message says something about a family support worker will be in touch, no details so I can contact them, NOTHING! So I panic, I take the next day off of work and I contact a solicitor, get good advice and then go to the school to see them and make sure they're ok as my ex is giving me no information. On speaking to them I find out they have been homeless since Monday and she hasn't made the school aware at all. If I hadn't have spoken to them I would never have known how long they'd been living there for. Unfortunately I have no court order in place as the verbal agreement had been fine up until this weekend. I am at a total loss, I'm in the 9th week of my training for my new job and this is going to massively affect where my head is at. I'm just hoping for some advice from someone if they can help. 
 
On a side note, this is not the whole situation, there are lots of other issues which I could write about but it would be a longer post than it already is.
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#2
Hi Ben

Did you go to mediation when you split up?
I think what you need to do is separate the issues

I see 2 themes.
One is you want to see your kids (and know when you can see them) so you are going to need to start mediation to agree child access arrangements with your ex
You need to formalise this... if mediation fails, go to court
Keep records of all the times you have seen them since split and also all times you have had access denied
Getting a solicitor is a great thing you already did

Second issue (and maybe more immediate) is if they have somewhere to live?
Check with the solicitor as i think this helps you because she has your children but you don't know where they are (she is not updating you) so you can probably apply direct to court
What she is doing is wrong - she should be working WITH you and putting kids first
She obviously is having some tough times with accommodation but you remain their dad and not telling you where they are or their situation is not helping...

PS - how did she sell the joint house without your agreement?
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#3
Benjamin - you may want to "anonymise" your post - remove place names basically Smile
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
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