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Separated Dads News/Blog

By: Katy Harrison - Updated: 15 Dec 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Maintenance Children Csa Payments

Speed Up the Family Courts

16th May 2012
I was interested to read today about the new Children and Families Bill that will see a six months limit set for the time it takes to resolve care cases in the family court.

Under new government plans courts will have to dramatically cut the time they take to reach a decision on the custody of children. In some parts of the country, Cumbria being one of them, this will mean that the courts will have to slash five months off the time they take to resolve a case. The new bill which comes into force in 2013, will state that care cases must be resolved within 6 months.

It doesn't state however if this time limit includes contact cases and or custody cases, which would be difficult to complete within a 6 month limit - as most cases seem to be never ending.

In the north of England in takes on average 58 weeks for the court to come to a decision involving the custody of children where the parents have separated. That's over a year, which a shocking amount of time for parents and children to be effectively left in limbo. The family courts do need a shake up of epic proportions but father's rights also need to be addressed, something this government seem to mention in their speeches yet forget in their actions.

I totally agree that they courts need to speed up the time it takes to make a decision with regards to the custody of a child and I also welcome the new plans to enforce this but I can't help but wonder how this is going to effect the decisions that are made. If the courts are aiming towards targets then how can we be sure that they are basing the decisions on evidence/facts and not targets? What will happen to the already lax attitude of some Cafcass officers who do don't do a through job as it is, and sometimes write reports that are unfounded (something we've blogged about before)?

Hopefully the new time limits will have a beneficial effect on the outcome of cases and not a detrimental one where children and fathers suffer further due to pressurised courts trying to meet targets.

More on The Queen's Speech & Fathers' Rights

10th May 2012
Reading about the reforms set out in the Queen's Speech, it does seem that fathers look set to be given additional rights to see their children after family break-up or divorce, as long as it is in the child's best interests.

The family justice review undertaken last year found against introducing a legal presumption of shared parenting. It warned that it could create an "unacceptable risk of damage to children".

But in yesterday's speech a consultation was announced to strengthen the law to ensure that, "where it is safe and in the child's best interests", both parents are able to have a relationship with their children after they split up.

Children's minister Tim Loughton said ministers want to "clarify and restore public confidence that the courts properly recognise the joint nature of parenting" and "We intend to legislate to stress the importance of children having an ongoing relationship with both their parents after separation, where that is safe and in the child's best interests. We will be consulting on legal options shortly."

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said: "It will mean that we make it a statutory prerequisite for separating couples to consider family mediation before starting court proceedings over child arrangement disputes. Family mediation can be quicker, cheaper and provide better outcomes for all concerned."

Children's minister Sarah Teather said: "Parents want to do the right thing for their children but too often the state lets them down. It is wrong that families and young people have to fight the system to get a fair deal. And it is unacceptable that they have to endure endless delays to get the help they need or that they are caught in the middle of services not working together."

"This new Bill will mean that children and families get the support they need when they need it most: just after birth; if they have a disability or special educational need; when parents separate; or if they are in care, waiting for adoption."

At Separated Dads we welcome this initiative and hope that it is both effective and imminent!!

The Queen's Speech & Fathers' Rights

9th May 2012

There was some welcome news in the The Queen's Speech today it was announced that the government is moving forward with controversial plans aimed at strengthening the rights of divorced fathers to see their children.

The Queen's Speech said: "Ministers intend to strengthen the law to ensure children have a relationship with both their parents after family separation, where that is safe, and in the child's best interests."

The government is shortly to start consultation on how the legislation can be framed.

The plans are warmly welcomed by SeparatedDads who have written previously to the Prime Minister to seek improvement in the rights of Fathers. On the flip side, some lawyers have questioned the need for legislation, saying it is unnecessary and could do more harm than good.

As more details are announced we will keep you updated...

Child Support Hollywood Style

4th May 2012

Billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, who is now married to Hollywood star Salma Hayek, is being taken to court by his ex-girlfriend Linda Evangelista for child maintenance for their 5 year old son. But this is not your average case for child maintenance, there's no CSA involved here.

The amount that the parent with care, Ms Evangelista, is seeking is a staggering $46,000 a month! This works out at around £28,432, which is more than a lot of people earn in a year. Wow, that kid must need a regular supply of caviar to cost that much. Of course Francois-Henri Pinault should pay for his child and he should pay a lot, let's not forget he is a billionaire but Ms Evangelista is herself a millionaire with an estimated worth of 8 million.

Apparently the $46,000 is to cover certain costs for the child, which are claimed to be $7,000 per month (£4,326) for a nanny and up $16,000 per month (£9,889) for armed drivers. Yes, that's right armed drivers for a five year old. With the amount she's asking for it does pose the question; is the $46,000 for the child or for the mother's lifestyle? Ms Evangelista has in the past been questioned about the need for an around the clock nanny as she doesn't work everyday. She responded that when she does work it can be up to 16 hours a day and that when she is not working, she is working on her image for her modelling career. If Ms Evangelista wins it will be one the biggest ever recorded child maintenance payouts. In addition to the monthly payments Ms Evangelista also wants Mr. Pinault to put a house into a trust, like he has done for his daughter whom he has with his current wife Salma Hayek. However, Mr. Pinault's lawyer is confident she won't be getting that much, adding that the judge will focus on the cost of the child and not the parent's wealth.

We don't really know what to make of that case...it's a ridiculous amount and clearly not based on the child's needs.

Expert witnesses in the family court

2nd May 2012

Recently, on TV and in the press, there have been reports of inadequate and under qualified expert witnesses being used in family court cases. There have been calls for a change in the way experts are used in family court and also the way they are regulated. The current lack of regulation is causing delays, wasting money and also in some cases, allowing unqualified experts to give evidence that could lead to families being wrongly torn apart.

The story of one woman, Sharon, mother of four, (details can not be given) highlights the shocking effect that flawed reports, from experts, have on the family unit. Sharon lost all four of her children after turning to Social services for help, soon after the children were placed into care because of flawed evidence submitted to court by so called experts. Sharon eventually won her children back but the damage was already done.

So what effect do experts have on family court cases where the parents can't agree on access? We've received numerous comments and emails about the failings of Cafcass officers and social services, when involved in contact cases. Not only that but many of these Cafcass reports have been submitted without even meeting the parents, or seeing the parents with the children. Surely these people are not qualified to submit reports on the fate of the child's future relationship with the non resident parent? Apparently they are. However, the government says that reforming the family justice system is crucial. By working with the experts as well as others such as the legal services commission, they can develop better standards and ensure that the focus remains on the children's needs.

With current cases being highlighted in the news and calls for tighter regulation, there is hope that in the future these expert reports will be more closely scrutinised.

Giving Up the Fight?

30th April 2012

Over the weekend we asked on the Separated Dads Facebook page:

We have to say we were shocked by the response, within minutes there were dozens of comments from dads across the UK saying 'yes'. These dads felt they had no other option but to walk away from the fight to see their children, for the children's sake as well as their own. It is heart breaking that dads feel this way when all they truly want is to be part of their OWN children's lives but what can they do when the mother of the child is so vehemently against contact?

FIGHT! If you think you can't afford to go to court because you do not have the funds to hire a solicitor, you're wrong. You don't need a solicitor to go to court you can do it yourself, by applying to court and representing yourself is possible. You can also look into taking a McKenzie Friend into the court room with you, these are not solicitors, a McKenzie Friend is a non-legally qualified person, who can offer you support and advice in court. So many dads have been successful and you can too.

If you've been to court and it really didn't work for you, don't give up on your kids, you may not be able to see or speak to them everyday but you can show them that you thought about them everyday. Keep a scrap book or diary, it might sound a bit soppy but just a few words and photos of you and your family can soon turn into a mini family history book, something to show your child when they grow up and come looking for you. As well as doing that buy birthday cards, Christmas cards, presents, and write letters, do anything to show that you thought about your child. All of this will help you to show your child that they were still a part of your life even though you were not allowed to be part of theirs.

If you're feeling lost and don't know what to do, or where to begin with the fight for your child, or you just want someone in the same situation to talk to, visit our Facebook page.

Let's Talk Money

25th April 2012

Here at Separated Dads we get lots of child maintenance questions sent in to us, most asking how much do I have to pay and how can I ensure that the money is spent on the children. However, recently we received one asking if he has to pay child maintenance at all?! His reason for asking this was that his new partner, whom he lives with, has two children from a previous marriage. Due to the fact that his new partner and her children live with him he thought that he was not legal obliged to pay for his own children and wanted clarification of this. NO, was our first thought, of course you have to pay for your own children! And for him this is true, he does have to pay child maintenance for his own children regardless of the fact that his new partner has her children living with them.

This got us thinking about how the CSA work things like that out, and do they under any circumstances, take into account other people's children who live with you? After searching through their numerous leaflets we came across the 'Exceptional Circumstances' leaflet, in which it said the following:

'Yes, there are some other factors we may take into account when working out child maintenance. Doing this is known as a 'departure' from the normal way we work out child maintenance. These other factors are shown below.

You have other care costs

  • Since before 5 April 1993, you have been responsible for your partner's children or your former partner's children, who are not your own but live with you.'

So if you had been responsible for children that were not your own from 1993 onwards they would be taken into account when working out child maintenance. This doesn't help our questioning dad, the answer is still the same for him, he has to pay child maintenance for his children - but it is interesting to know that the CSA do take different circumstances into consideration.

What we did find while trailing the internet and CSA leaflets, was a host of tools and calculators aimed at helping you work out what you should be paying without having to go through the CSA. They can be found here at www.cmoptions.org.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Down... :-( - Your Question:
Hello, Need some advice, I have paid maintenance without fail since I split up. My ex decided to move away with her new partner, I was against this as it would mean instead of me seeing my kids 2/3 times a week I can now only see them 1/2 times per week. She said when she moved that she would keep the current payments in place, now she has changed her mind and is seeking to up the payments due to me not seeing them as much. So I have now been hit with not seeing my kids as much and now potentially having to pay more for that. can she do that ? Or do I have to take it on the chin. advice please.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this - and I'm afraid she can. However, likewise you may be able to claim a special expenses variation. These are also known as 'contact costs' and cover the expenses you must pay to keep in touch with the children you’re paying maintenance for. If your ex has moved away and it costs you in travel, bus fares or overnight stays (if it is not feasible to undertake the journey in one day), please see link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 16-Dec-15 @ 1:55 PM
Hello,Need some advice, I have paid maintenance without fail since I split up.My ex decided to move away with her new partner, I was against this as it would mean instead of me seeing my kids 2/3 times a week I can now only see them 1/2 times per week.She said when she moved that she would keep the current payments in place, now she has changed her mind and is seeking to up the payments due to me not seeing them as much.So I have now been hit with not seeing my kids as much and now potentially having to pay more for that.. can she do that ?Or do I have to take it on the chin... advice please ..
Down... :-( - 15-Dec-15 @ 7:41 PM
Gray - Your Question:
Good evening all, my ex wife keeps threatening to stop me seeing my children. ( which breaks my heart).One is 9 and the other is 14. It costs me £60 every other weekend to collect and take home, but this is on top off my £250 csa payments. I don't mind paying to collect them as I love seeing them but financially it is becoming difficult. Am I entitled to any reduced csa payments or ask my ex wife to contribute to the travel costs? I had to move away for a job and somewhere to live.

Our Response:
Yes, possibly, please see gov.uk link here. You can ask the CSA/CMS to take into account certain expenses you pay such as travel expenses. These are called ‘special expenses’ and can reduce the gross income figure that is used when the CSA/CMS works out child maintenance. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 14-Dec-15 @ 11:48 AM
Good evening all, my ex wife keeps threatening to stop me seeing my children. ( which breaks my heart).One is 9 and the other is 14. It costs me £60 every other weekend to collect and take home, but this is on top off my £250 csa payments. I don't mind paying to collect them as I love seeing them but financially it is becoming difficult. Am I entitled to any reduced csa payments or ask my ex wife to contribute to the travel costs? I had to move away for a job and somewhere to live.
Gray - 11-Dec-15 @ 11:08 PM
My first baby was born at 1.42am on Sunday 6th sept 2015. I was there at the birth, I was there throughout the whole pregnacy, I have been for my girlfriend and her little girl for 7years. I helped her through the legal process with her previous partner with regards to residency of her first child. Ella my I guess Ex-now, has literally barred me from having any contact with our newborn babygirl soon after getting back from hospital earlier this wk. Has blocked me on FB has sent me a very long nasty text and all for doing absolutely nothing wrong. We are not married and I am afraid she'll name the child without my surname and take her completely away from me. This woman had done practically the same to her previous partner and her mum also did the same to her dad. Her family are very troubled people. Although Ella is generally a good mother she is a troubled woman who has had several bouts of depression, including 6mths last year 2014. I am not necessarily concerned about the safety of my baby or her sister I am very afraid I am never going to see her again and also lose the bonding stage of our babys life. All our friends and my family would clearly state I have been amazing towards ella for 7yrs and it is however ella/her insane family that have the main unfounded issue with me and men in general. Infact her mother had to escorted off the maternity ward for shouting abuse at Ella. I can't afford solicitors etc and I am not sure I want to go down that route as it rarely works and the baby is too young to be away from mum, I just want to see her. I have tried ringing texting emailing her but no joy. Have stated i am happy with any contact she is comfortable with but no joy. Has she the right to prevent contact and the right to not name me on birth certificant??? I have no idea of what to do. I want to play an equal part in her life and give my all to her. It is about what you give a child not what you get out of it. I feel contact orders don't workas they caneasily be breeched. I feel in lightof her mental state and pass history of stopping contact a Joint residency would be best so I the right to equal parenting and would be able to have greater access as she grows up so can ensure she is safe... Could also help the mother more who obviously is struggling emotionally
Stephen - 12-Sep-15 @ 9:54 AM
@G - who do you want to prove this to? You can just show the person letters of correspondence from the CSA, or ask for a statement. I wouldn't let this bother you, it shouldn't get you all worked up.
Karl - 22-May-15 @ 11:56 AM
How can I prove that I'm paying CSA to my son,his mother has a bank app n shows him all the time there's no money from me, she obviously has another account it goes in he hates me she's ruined our relationship I'm at my wits end
G - 18-May-15 @ 6:49 PM
@Dan_1989 - it is always a tricky one as you can't really force him to see his son. It sounds like he is over enamoured by his new girlfriend and has let his responsibilities slip. It might be a matter of pointing out his responsibilities and that he can't just pick up his child and drop him when he feels like it. Other than that there really isn't much you can do, usually it's the other way around and fathers are having to fight to see their children.
Sam - 23-Mar-15 @ 2:49 PM
Hi I'm looking advice about my ex partner, as a mum I just wanted to know what other dads think of this, he recently decided he wants to see less of our 4 year old son, he usually sees him every weekend Saturday afternoon till Sunday evening, but since he's got with his new partner (who's pregnant with another mans baby and has a child by a different man) he wants to pick my son up at 6:30 on Saturday's and drop him off on Sunday lunch time every other week, I work 3 out of 4 Saturday's and at this moment in time I can't change my hours at work, he's told as I'm the 'main carer' it's not his problem or his responsibility to look after his son, my son is devastated his dad doesn't want to see him as much and got himself all worked up about it, any advice on what I can do to try and resolve this matter with his dad without it affecting my work and my son would be most grateful
Dan_1989 - 20-Mar-15 @ 9:56 AM
@cokey123 - You may be interested in the article Ex Partners and Parental Alienation Syndrome, see link here. While is is not really recognised through the courts because it is very difficult to establish, it is being recognised as an issue. You don't say how old your daughter is, but if she is interviewed as part of the process the Social Services should be able to define whether or not they think she is telling the truth. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 5-Mar-15 @ 10:33 AM
Me and my wife have separated and i had my 6yr old daughter on weekends unless i was on call every was fine until i ask my wife for a divorce then in January 2015 i had my daughter for the weekend and droppedher off at her mother house as arranged then the next thing i know the police call me as my daughter had said i was drinking beer and we had a argumentover mytablet and i threw at her which is all untrue,as i believethat my ex wife has put words into my daughter mouth or told her to say this to the police as she didnt want us to break up so now im wait to hear what goingto happen from the police and social services, socialservices have said that the section 47 has been completed just waiting for the assessment to be completedand i ask them to talk to my ex wife about contact with my daughter which i just heard back from them and apparently my ex wife told the socialservicesthat my daughter had to her that she doesn't want to see me again which i believe my daughter has been poisoned against me by my ex wifeany help
cokey123 - 5-Mar-15 @ 12:33 AM
Would someone call me I am a board trustee of Toc H UK and chair of Barnsley branch of Toc H.I have some ideas regarding dads and lads projects.
Toc H Barnsley - 14-Feb-15 @ 3:07 AM
@Matt - this is a tricky situation as by not running this through with your ex, then it could pose all sorts of problems later on. The fact you have PR means you could take your daughter to live with you, but your ex could then could apply through the courts and it might jeopardise your position, as the outcome will be judged on the best interests of your daughter. The courts like structure and continuity in a child's life and you taking her 160 miles away would not give that. The fact you would be taking her out of school, away from her friends and not least her brother and mother might sound idealistic, but the reality might have a very different outcome. I'd be brave, discuss it with her mother and see what her opinion is. However, I personally think this is unfair to put such pressure on your daughter to both choose between you and her mother and also uproot her whole life.
Rache - 28-Jan-15 @ 2:09 PM
I have a 50/50 childcare arrangement which has been established for four years. I have a 10 year old girl and a 16 year old boy. I would like to move into my new partners house but she lives 160 miles away. My son is happy to stay with mum because of his college work. But my daughter wants to come with me but is scared mum won't let her come. I have parental responsibility. My ex partner left the children with me when she had an affair. Do I have to ask permission or can I tell her we are moving. I don't want to stress my daughter with a big argument.
Matt - 27-Jan-15 @ 4:34 AM
My ex partner and I have 2 children 16 y old boy and 9 y old girl and 50/50 childcare arrangement for the last four years. I have now met a new partner and I want to move in with her.Unfortunately my new partner lives over 160 miles away. My son wants to stay with mum because of his college work which is fine. My daughter wants to come with me but is frightened that mum won't let her come. Do I need to get mums permission for her to go or can I just take her. I have parental responsibility and I am on the birth certificate. When we originally separated my ex had an affair and left the kids with me. What can I do?
Matt - 27-Jan-15 @ 4:17 AM
Hi, I am trying to reestablish contact with my 10 yr old son.. It has been 6yrs since I last saw him... I had a contact order, parental responsibility and regular fortnightly contact until 2 months before his 4th birthday... My ex never wanted me to have contact with my son and from the day he was born did everything in her power to prevent me seeing him and building a relationship with him.. I took her into court and CAFCASS was involved, to begin with I was happy with this, as after the initial interview with them the CAFCASS report stated that my ex was unreasonable, unstable, refused to even consider allowing me contact with no grounds to do so, and was refusing contact out of spite... It also stated that I, myself was a good father, responsible and loving, always putting my son first.. Due to this report I was awarded a contact order giving me 2 days during the week and every other Saturday.. I was over the moon... Everything went well from then on, that is until Ms Eileen Ford (CAFCASS Family Liaison Officer) got involved... My son was almost 2 by then... During my first meeting with her she informed me of how upset the court decision had made my ex, that although she had accepted the fact I must have contact with my son, the amount of contact I had been awarded was causing her deep emotional issues... Would I agree to reduce the contact to just the fortnightly visit on the Saturday for a period until my ex got her head around it... I had no hostility or bad feelings towards my ex and still cared deeply for her, so I agreed to this in the hope my ex would come around... This did not happen and till the day my contact was stopped this was all the contact I had with my son... The last time I saw my son was 2 months before his 4th birthday, I had driven 230 miles from Gt Yarmouth to Blackheath for 9am to collect him.. I was met at the door by my ex's mother, she said that my son wasn't ready to leave, and would I mind coming in for a few minutes as they needed to talk to me... I was ushered into their lounge where I discovered Ms Eileen Ford sitting in the arm chair next to my ex.. I was then accused of being in a stolen car, the car not being in my name and being uninsured... I denied this, told them that the car WAS mine that it was registered in MY name and insured by Me... I was called a LIAR, by both my ex, her mother and Ms Eileen Ford...! I was told by Ms Eileen Ford that contact arrangements HAD to be stopped until I proved the legality of my car, that this was to put my EX and her MOTHER at ease...! I asked if I could still take my son swimming using public transport (10mins on the bus from outside my ex's home) and leave my car where it was... To this Ms Ford said No..! I asked if I could take him to the park across the road for a couple of hours, again Ms Ford and my Ex said No, that until my car paperwork was seen contact would NOT go ahead.. This was because they did not believe the car
DarrenJF - 8-Sep-14 @ 1:45 PM
Is it kidnapping if a father takes his daughter on holiday in this country without the mothers consent
Mike - 17-Jul-13 @ 7:39 PM
the system well and truly sucks my partner split with his ex 41/2 yrs ago we have been together 4 he fought in court for 2 years after proving the mother was an alcoholic etc etc they awarded contact but she still calls all the shots she says there not allowed near me because shes so pathetic and emotionally kills his 3 kids brains against everybody,everybody needs to stand together because the court is just a waste of time and effort my partner seems to let her get away with it but iv told him i wont because it doesnt just affect his life it effects his children she used to physically abuse him how can any court let this mother keep her kids!!!!
laurak - 1-Jun-13 @ 12:18 PM
I have been seperated from my ex hubby for almost 6years. We have two beautiful boys who lived with me post seperation and stayed with their dad wed and Thursday nights as well as every other w.end too. I met my new partner last year and he was the first man I introduced to the kids. He has since moved in and we are planning our new life together, moving house and possibly even a baby if we are lucky. My eldest child's behaviour has become increasingly difficult the last year or so and I was putting it down to hormone changes and starting at High School so was experiencing a lot of change. My eldest son, 12, won't accept my new partner and has even cited him as the reason why he has decided to live with his dad full time now. I let him go thinking he'd be back within a week however 6months have past and he seems happier with his dad. On top of this he has stopped all contact with me. It's extremely upsetting and hurtful and I don't know what to do? I should mention that my ex left us for his best friends wife and they are still together now albeit not living in same house. He is a very controlling man and appears to be enjoying the hurt this is causing me, albeit I'm trying not to let them see how much it is affecting me. Today I heard from my youngest son that my eldest son is starting at a new school next week. This is news to me and I really would appreciate any advice on how to proceed. Many thanks in advance...
Jools - 3-May-13 @ 10:00 PM
Can anybody let me know where to get a template of the first letter you should write to the mother, My son has been told he can no longer see his daughershope you can help
Grandmother - 30-Apr-13 @ 7:16 PM
I really hope someone can help me with this as me and my partner really cant see the light. my problem isnt access but how much the ex trys to give me my son. I have him friday nights and all day saturday + overnight & have him til sunday teatime. And pay my csa like alot of dads on here'. she rings and harrasses me to have him more through the week which I did I used to have him wednesday nights also while she went to college. Now the really horrible bit' theres alot of times where she wont pick him up at the required times she will just say keep him another night I need a break etc. if I say no I willl drop him off she will say no im going out and wont be in. can I ring the police or social services? I once had my son on a tuesday night and I recieved a text at 2am in the morning saying I need a break & I wont be back til sunday?? not having a care in the world that I have a job to go to'. so I have to ring in sick and this will soon lead to disciplinary action if allowed to continue. Or if am at work ( previous jobs) she would turn up with the bairn and just leave him at the front door of my work. I have now learnt not to tell her where my workplace is. she then went one better and took him to my mothers workplace. She seriously doesnt care what problems her actions cause. On a personal note nothing can be planned as she always spoils it. I do my bit with my son as I love him but ive gotta go to work + see my partner laura. I really hope someone can help or show me the light'. because if not al soon be in the batman suit am afraid.
aka - 27-Mar-13 @ 11:22 PM
My ex & I have been separated for two and a half years, and divorced for 3 months. I pick up our two children from school on a Thursday and they are with me until Saturday evening (sometimes until Sunday) I also see them on a Tuesday evening for a couple of hours while the ex goes to the gym. My relationship with the ex is fairly amicable, however whenever I stand up to her or she doesn't like what I say she threatens to not let me have the kids. She has just moved the children's schools and informed me via text message 2 days before they finished their old school! I always seem to back down, as I do not want the children to witness any heated arguments. Any advice or help would be most welcome!
Applemac27 - 26-Mar-13 @ 10:17 AM
I split with my ex-girlfriend at the end of february this year. Our Daughter was five weeks old. I left as asked and left everything to my ex-girlfriend. I saw my daughter on two occasions at the house until one day I turned up and she wasnt there. I was told by my ex's mum she had gone to Wolverhampton and will be back in her own time. I waited patiently until it had been over two weeks. I then contacted my ex's mum and asked when I can see my daughter. I was told I needed to have a meeting with her before contact could take place. I attended this meeting where my ex was present and was told contact had to take place in a contact centre. There reasons were that I was abusive and they had heard I hatched a plan to kidnap my daughter. I had no choice but to accept even though her allegations were lies. They said they would make the referral to a contact centre close by and would inform me when the first visit was. A month later, there was no contact. They ignored my texts, letters, calls so I had to get a solicitor. My solicitor sent a letter requesting contact which my ex ignored. So my solicitor arranged a mediation session and informed my ex which she didnt turn up too. I then could file for court and had to wait over three months for a court date. I effectively didnt see my daughter for seven months. We have just had our directions hearing, and my ex chose not to pursue her claims of violence or potiental abduction as she had no proof so rejected a scott schedule. An agreement was then made between myself, my ex and caffcass for contact to start in a contact centre for three months with the promise of moving forward in january. The reason I tell this is so father reading can gain hope. I have now attended the contact centre twice as it is fortnightly and I am the only man there! Patience and perserverance will pay off. If you are genuine and can be a positive influence on your child's life then the court can't reject your claim. Dont be dragged into 'point scoring' or 'mud-slinging'. The main priority is your child. Unfortunately for fathers we draw the short straw to start with but if you put your head down and nod along then you will achieve what you set out for. Nothing will ever give me the months I missed of my daughters life, but ive taken the right action to prevent that ever happening again. Without court involvement, mothers have everything. But once we get a foothold in our daughters life we can progress from there. The initial part is difficult, and may take time. State what you realisticly want contact wise. Dont shoot for things that your never going to get, but aim high. For instance, I have told the court that my wish in the future is to have joint- custody. Whether I get that or not is irrelevant. The fact that I have stated it now, so in a few years I have more chance of getting that as the court have seen I have worked towards it. Chins up fellas, and contact your solicitors.
craigs - 20-Nov-12 @ 6:28 AM
Hi all. My wife left me in early jan taking with her my two wonderful children of 3 and 4 years. She then proceeded to accuse me of raping her got which I was arrested, interviewed and eventually went to NFA. The she accused me of sexual assault and child abuse of my children. Again I was arrested, interviewed and NFA. My children haven't seen me since March! She is sagging her heels with the divorce as I still haven't had any divorce papers despite her saying she wants the divorce. She will not let me have supervised or unsupervised contact with the children as she maintains its unsafe and has apparently has managed to get the children to say that the don't want to see me. I am clear this is PAS. But am unclear what t do next. Whether to try to go to court and represent myself to apply for contact or to leave it got the sake of the children. Does anybody have any suggestions?!? Thank you in advance.
Fedup - 21-Jul-12 @ 6:10 PM
Great site here. I'm just wondering what the difference (if any) is between access, visitation and contact.More specifically I am wondering if there is any agreement/order that could be made whereby the mother brings the child to the father (and his family) even if only once a month. I live quite far away from the mother and my child and have been traveling three hours every week for the past six months.My child has only been here to see my family twice in that time.Which to me seems very unfair so I would like to know if there was some way that the mother could be bound to bring my child here at least once a month.To me it seems reasonable but she disagrees and basically says I have to do whatever she wants because she is the mother. Or if she could be made to allow me to have my child overnight at the weekends, that would be reasonable too, even if I had to go and collect her and take her back. Also I am not on the birth certificate even though I am the father.The whole thing stresses me out a lot and I do have negative thoughts sometimes, as you can imagine.Such as not seeing my child to avoid the stress.I would (probably) never do that though but it upsets me to have these thoughts, even if they are only fleeting.And that's on top of the upset I've already got with this situation. Thanks
PVW - 20-Jul-12 @ 1:40 PM
My brother and his ex partner split up 5 months ago, when they first split up she took ran off with their son, so he went to the solicitors and he was in court within 24hours and managed to get a residential order which she was served when they traced her, and she had to come bk with their son within 12hours and now is not allowed to take him within 2 miles out of town, they went back to court a few days after because my brother wanted access of his son after a few times at court he finally gt 2 and a half days with him,he is still going to court to try and get full custody. but today his ex partner has told my brother that she has been kicked out and he has to keep hold of their son, any advice on what he should do please?? Thankyou
sian_louise - 18-Jul-12 @ 11:19 PM
Is there any likely hood of me gaining residency of my 7 year old son. I pay through CSA which is too much as he stays several nights with my partner and I throughout the year which the CSA are not aware of, we have kept records of this since 2009 with calenders. There have been several issues with the finacial security, home stablity which have been affecting him at my ex's. He now currectly speaks to a learning mentor at his primary school due to him showing very low confidence and self esteem. I have again kept records of issues caused by my ex such as drinking with him there, not being home when my son is meant to be dropped to her and various other incidents. I have him every weekend and some days in the week so there has always been a lot of contact with me (I am aware of ow fortunate this make me). My ex however is now trying to prevent this as much as possible and I do not believe her negativity towards me helps our son in his confidence issues and believe that the things which are said to him will only be detrimental as they are affecting his emotional well being. I greatly believe he would be better living with me, his sister and his step mother which will provide him with a much more positive environment and family stability and support. I live close to his current school and this would therefore not need to change. Thanks Andy.
Andy - 15-Jul-12 @ 10:07 PM
I have today been to Court representing myself to get contact restored with my son Alex aged 7. At the end of March 2012 his mother (my ex-partner) advised me that unless I agreed to pay more maintenance she would allow no further contact with my son. I said that I would not be blackmailed and said that I was paying what I was told to pay by the CSA plus additional monies for school uniform, school trips etc. From March 2012 all communication was cut with my son with my phone numbers barred from their phone and letters I wrote to my son returned marked "Gone Away". I went to Citizens Advice and managed to get a 30 minute free session with a local Solicitor who advised me what forms I needed to complete in order to apply for a Contact Order via the courts. I paid the £200 court application fee and with the guidance from the Solicitor I had met represented myself at court and contact was restored by the Judge and agreed contact for the future even involving overnight stays which my ex-partner had refused to allow previously.My advice is do not give up however bad the situation may seem and if necessary go to court. From my experience today the court seems to think that the child/children should have contact with their father and father's relatives. My ex-partner tried to say that she needed time to prepare our son for renewed contact with his father and wanted my initial contacts with him supervised.The judge did not agree and I have my son for a whole day to myself this Saturday. I also got to speak with him tonight on the telephone as directed by the judge even though I had to use a public telephone box as my landline and mobile phone numbers are still barred from my ex-partners phone but it was worth it.I know that things will not be easy between myself and my ex-partner on future hand overs but the very fact that someone in authority has told her of the consequences she may face in trying to restrict contact between my son and I was worth the wait.
Remmo - 12-Jul-12 @ 9:27 PM
What more can I say about the justice system when it comes to fathers gaining access to their children. I feel it is unfair that despite everything that has gone by having your kids every weekend without fail, how come after going to court and the lies and deceit portrayed by the childrens mother that it is the father who suffers with just 1 1/2 hours every fortnight in a contact centre. Todays world is very anti dads and I think we need to fight and stand up and be heard that we will not take this lying down. Parental responsibility is not a chore it is a God given right for any man who brings a child into the world and nurtures the child as they grow and then to have them poisoned against you in away that far outreaches the realms of normalcy in todays age. I have to sit back and take whatever access I can get until Cafcass complete their reports 12 October will be a day I will never forget as I will finally rejoice in the fact of getting my kids back with me without interference from their mother.
Harrylou - 10-Jul-12 @ 5:42 PM
I live in Scotland and have been separated/divorced for 7 years now. I found this website by accident through a google search recently and its a great support to get me through the tougher days, to read how others have faced similar issues and to get some practical advice and objectivity. I no longer have contact with any of my 3 fantastic children. I re-married 4 years ago and shortly afterwards, my ex-wife changed their surnames to her maiden name (without my consent). Over the past 7 years, my ex has done everything she can to obstruct all my efforts to maintain contact and I have been at my wits end trying to get to see them any any time and especially on their birthdays and at christmas time. I write to them all every month and never get a response. I don't even know if they even read my letters or cards. My ex has accused and threathened me with everything short of sexual abuse and domestic violence. I'm a relatively high earner and willingly pay child maintenance every month. I gave my wife our £500k home when we separated and she borught the CSA tumbling down on me. I'm interested in more equal rights for fathers but what I'd like more than anything is 5 quality minutes with my 3 children without pressure or prejudice from my ex - I would pay or do anything for that but as things stand, there is nothing I can do. I feel my children are lost to me forever. The law has to change and I'd welcome a 20 min conversation with Mr Cameron our PM to talk him through my story
Dr Steve - 10-Jul-12 @ 12:06 PM
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