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Contact with kids has just stopped
#1
Hi Guys.

My ex and I went and did mediation recently. I thought we were doing OK until I mentioned the settlement (35%), and the terms of immediate payment. She then got shitty and said "where the hell am I supposed to get £55K from", followed by "you can't make me sell the house". Fast forward a week, and my daughter came round to see me and my new girlfriend on Thursday, and we had a really nice evening. 24 hours after, and my ex wife sent me an email saying that my girlfriend had been physically abusive, and I had been verbally abusive, and because the kids don't feel safe, she is stopping all contact. 
Apparently the school has notified social services. Needless to say, I really don't know what the hell she is on about. This is supposed to be my weekend to see my kids (9&12 years old). 
I know this is a stall tactic, as if I can't see the kids, then perhaps she thinks she can stall on the settlement. The decree nisi isn't through yet, as this year loads of people are getting divorced, so there is a backlog (she filed against me in January). I have sent the email straight to my solicitor, and not replied to the ex at all.

What do social services do?

Thanks
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#2
Do you have an order in place?
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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#3
not yet. This is early days. It was agreed between me and the ex that I would see the kids every other weekend (and they can stay over), plus I can see them every Tuesday and Thursday evening (but only if work allows, as sometimes I am too far away to get back in time). Who does the order? is that a court thing?
Thanks
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#4
Social Services will do nothing other than close the case as theres nothing to support her claims. She also told the school so they could do her dirty work for her and phone them up as they have to. All you can do is remain calm, don't ring/text her unless solely about access to children. Being calm and not reacting will even more so disprove what shes saying is more likely done out of malice
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#5
Try keep any communication in writing so it can be used as evidence if needed, i'd suggest downloading a phone recording app on your phone in case she calls you, see what your solicitor says, but I would doubt the school would get involved too much as they probably see this sort of thing all the time.

An order is an enforceable court order, if you can avoid going down that route, do your best, as myself and a lot of others will vouch for the stress and hassle it causes, though sometimes unfortunately it is the only way to resolve things
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#6
Ok the mistake she has made that until today she has accepted that there were no safeguarding issues

Social Services are likely just to ask what's happened and close the case with no further action

I would advise you to lodge a c100 - but please be aware by doing this your going to open up A MAJOR earthquake - expect to have contact ceased and be accused of DV, etc - keep calm and child focussed - you don't need your ex to tell you that your a good dad

if you have dates, times, pics, of your time together with the kids then that's all the better

your kids are at the age that if you take this to court they will be asked what they want
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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#7
I would also suggest submitting a C100 (applying for a child arrangements order) - the divorce and finances can wait - you need to get the contact with the kids sorted as the first priority. The social services report may work in your favour - ask for a copy of the closure report if they come and visit you. Also if they do come and visit you be aware that although it seems like a friendly chat they are noting everything. Be calm and honest and they will tell you're telling the truth. I had this last year. She tried to catch me out by throwing in a couple of things son had said we had done that he liked - things we had never done - to see if I'd agree (ie say anything that was good!) - i just pointed out that was strange as we'd never done that but he did like doing xyz with us. They just come and look and see if you're living in a hell hole full of druggies and when everything looks normal and you calmly explain that financial discussions at mediation have just broken down and she is angry with you, and you're worried about the children not coming as a result - that should help. They may not even do a visit. If they don't, I would phone them and explain the situation and ask for it to be noted on file.

i am just thinking about timing though. Ideally you'd want the SS closure before submitting an application. What you could do meanwhile is get a Solicitor's letter sent categorically denying any allegations and saying the ex should recommence regular contact immediately.

Make no mistake - the combination of anger over finances - and you having a new partner - will make the ex out for revenge and disruption (she will see it that your partner is benefitting from her loss so she is being spiteful and stopping you enjoying time with the children).

On the other hand you don't want to wait long before submitting an application as that's longer not seeing the kids (if she keeps this up which it seems she might). So you could just submit it anyway and put in your summary what has happened - eg My children have been spending time with me regularly every other week-end and overnight on x day, since Jane and I separated on x date. Recently during mediation, there were disagreements over finances and I believe Jane is unhappy that I now have a new partner. Shortly after the last mediation session, Jane reported me to social services for physical and psychological abuse and stopped the children from seeing me. I am concerned about the stress this is putting the children under and their psychological wellbeing at present and respectfully request the court make an order as follows. I also request an interim order to reinstate contact as quickly as possible. (Then set out what you want in detail - eg 3.15pm Friday to 9am Monday every other week-end, 3.15pm every Thursday to 9am every Friday and half the school holidays).

If you have anything at all from Social Services meanwhile (a closure report or even just verbal confirmation that they are not looking into anything) then say so in the summary. eg - I confirm social services consider there are no issues and have informed me of this/and have forwarded their closure report confirming there are no issues.

I think I would get a Solicitor's letter sent though - because you can use a copy of that as evidence at a final hearing (depending on what happens after it's sent).
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#8
Thank you all for your help. I did have a bit of a result yesterday, as I did get a chance to talk to my 9 year old via Xbox, which my ex has no clue about. I told them that I love them both very much, and that it isn't my choice that I am not allowed to see them, and that I am fighting to fix this. I will be in touch with my solicitor later today, but timing is rubbish, as I am off out of the country until the 8th June, so may not get much resolved over the next week or so.
I know my ex has got the ache, a mutual friend has said as much. She got with her ex after I moved out to try and get back at me, but apparently her now "shagging second best" (not my words), is starting to show. I am never going back there, so she needs to move on, but using my kids as a weapon against me really isn't nice.
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#9
But she is still witholding contact and the longer that goes on the longer it takes to get it back. 8th June isn't so far away. Start filling in the c100 and the summary - it helps get you focused. Get solicitor to send a letter telling her to reinstate contact and categorically denying allegations and pointing out the children have a right to spend regular and significant time with both parents. Are you signed off mediation yet?
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#10
Another update. I spoke to social services about a month ago, just to introduce myself, as I hadn't heard anything from them after I had a chat with the Headmaster and confirmed that he had notified Social services.
I have seen my solicitor (2 weeks ago), who is now putting things in motion to allow me to see my kids again. I still talk to my kids on WhatsApp, but I know that the ex is reading my son's phone, as he isn't allowed to take it to school, yet he is "online" during school time, so I can only put things like "Love you, miss you, hope you are ok etc". My Daughter has her phone password protected, and always stuck to her, so we can text freely, as my ex can't read that. Both the kids miss me like crazy, but my daughter is taking this badly. I am glad I have had the chance to say that I am not giving up on them. I know many dads wouldn't have had the opportunity to put their side across, as the mothers block access and fill the kids heads with "well, daddy doesn't love you anymore".

Until today, I have heard nothing from any legal body, however, my partner went back to her place today (as we do half the week at hers, and half the week at mine), and phoned me in tears, saying that one of her neighbours said that CID had been looking for me and her on Wednesday. I have spoken to the Police control room to introduce myself, but they have nothing on their system. Apparently it was a guy and a women. Do social workers normally have a Police escort?
I think this is possibly a follow up to the ex's allegations of physical and verbal abuse. Following a recent visit to my solicitor, he didn't seem too concerned with the school/social services etc, but he did say that the judges are sick to the back teeth of these delay tactics for pay-outs where the ex uses the kids, and that it will look very bad on her. The emotional damage she is doing to our children is concerning. Its not their fault, and she is only trying to hurt me, but hurting them as well.
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