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Rights to Step Children
#1
Hi all, 

At last i have found a forum that has been great on advise for us fathers.
 
So here goes i have been split from the ex for 15 months now we are at the beginning of mediation etc, i have a daughter with her and a step son who i have brought up as my own since he was 18 months old (he is now 9).

I have an amazing relationship with the lad and all the time i do everything that she wants i get to see him but the moment i don't i get the " he isn't your real son "card and i have no rights whatsoever to see him unless she lets me!!!!
Also i am in a dilemma regarding holidays, obviously i can take my daughter away where ever i like but i cannot imagine leaving the boy behind so can anyone shed a light whether i'm allowed to take him too ?


What i cannot understand is i have been told i have a legal responsibility to find a new home for the ex,daughter AND step son as i took him on when i got with the ex, so surely if this is the case i must have some rights with having a relationship with him too after the divorce?

I hope this makes some sense lads and fingers crossed your advise can help me 

Thanks
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#2
Who told you you have a legal responsibility to find them a home?

Aside from splitting any assets you do not. She has to find a home with any assets she receives or she gets to remain in family home and you have to find somewhere for yourself.

MarkR will be able to give you some answers around your stepson. He is very knowledgable on this subject.
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#3
When i went to see the mediator for the first time i was told by her i had to find a 3 bed house for my ex and kids. Exact words were i had a legal responsibility as i took them on when i married my ex!?!
Just to add the family home is solely in my name i used to and still do pay the mortgage and i also put in a very substantial deposit from my other property to buy it.!!
How do i speak to MarkR sorry this is my first post as a newcomer to this site.
Thanks for your help so far.
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#4
(03-31-2018, 08:26 AM)Trimmer78 Wrote: Hi all, 

At last i have found a forum that has been great on advise for us fathers.
 
So here goes i have been split from the ex for 15 months now we are at the beginning of mediation etc, i have a daughter with her and a step son who i have brought up as my own since he was 18 months old (he is now 9).

I have an amazing relationship with the lad and all the time i do everything that she wants i get to see him but the moment i don't i get the " he isn't your real son "card and i have no rights whatsoever to see him unless she lets me!!!!
Also i am in a dilemma regarding holidays, obviously i can take my daughter away where ever i like but i cannot imagine leaving the boy behind so can anyone shed a light whether i'm allowed to take him too ?


What i cannot understand is i have been told i have a legal responsibility to find a new home for the ex,daughter AND step son as i took him on when i got with the ex, so surely if this is the case i must have some rights with having a relationship with him too after the divorce?

I hope this makes some sense lads and fingers crossed your advise can help me 

Thanks

A lot depends on the status of the 9 year olds natural father.

In my own case, my ex had a daughter who was 2.5 years od when we started to date, and moved in together about 6 months later.
Her natural father had died when she was 2.
When we seperated back in 2013, I got the same as what your getting now.

The problem that I had was on my first application for PR, the Social Worker lied to Court, and this is subject to a live complaint so I can not go into detail, except to say that evidance now exists that she put my ex partners "wishes and desires" to Court, and not that of the child, who was 13 at the time.

However, last year not only was my 2 placed with me, with the Local Authority saying what I was saying 2 years back (when they sided with her), but I got PR for her, 4.5 years after seperation, under "Father by assumption" rules.

The requirement in law is 6 years of bring up the child as if it was yours, and a "Spends time with" Child Arrangements Order being made.
To be clear on this, a Child Arrangements Order was made on my Step Daughter, what says she lives with her mother, but that she is 15  and able to make her own decisions on how much time she spends with me, and that her mother is not allowed to obstruct or influance this, and that it will take place a min of 2 times a year.

Due to that Order, I also then fited the Remit and was granted PR for her. Getting PR does not mean I have to pay Child Support for her.

In your case, regardless of status of the natural father, you should get contact, but it might be more like once a month.

Regarding the 9 year old, you can go straight to court, as you do not have PR. Limit your involvement with Mediation, to what the law requries, what is regarding your natural child.

As far as the law is concerned, you do not have to provide a home for your ex or any of the Children, if they do not live with you. What the Mediator is trying to do, is disguise Money or Benefit in Kind your ex is going to get, into being Child Support what is not income for Means Tested Benefit, when in fact she might have a claim for Spouce Maintance, what creates a pound for pound reduction in benefits.

How it works is your ex can claim as a single parnet from date of seperation. She can only get Housing Benefit for a 2 bedroom house, until the boy is 10, when under the law, she needs 3 bedrooms as children over 10 can not share a room with anyone of the other sex (except in a Hotel Family Room situation).

This means that if she gets a 3 bedroom now, she based on Milton Keynes Local Housing Allowance rates (where I live, what might not be the same as the member we are advising), there is a £100 shortfall until the boy is 10, so that might be something you want to help her with in the short term, so your child does not have to move twice.

Your only legal requirement will be to pay child support for your daughter, and you should get contact long the lines of every other weekend, and up to half school holidays, what will create a reduction.

Maintance to her will be based on her status at the start, if she was disadvantaged by the relatinship, and also your ability to pay comes into it. The days of an order until the child is 18 have gone, a Judge will have to take a view on how long she needs, to be able to get herself back to where she should be.
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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#5
Thank you very much that is such a great help learning all this. Muchly appreciated
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