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A Separated Dad's Story of How He Got Residency Rights

By: Clare Birtles - Updated: 12 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Residency Solicitor Court Cafcass

Martin shares his story about how he eventually obtained a residency order against the odds:

Two years ago my ex-wife had an affair with a much older man. I was aware that something wasn't right in our relationship, but I guess I was in denial because I didn't want to consider the break up of what had been a very happy marriage up until that point. We also had a very young son – at the time she met this other man he was still not two years old and I dreaded what a break up of our marriage would do to our child.

Although I was usually working long hours, when at home I loved to spend time with my son right from the day he was born. In comparison, my ex-wife had never been a particularly involved mother. I won't say she doesn't love our son, but she's never been particularly good with children and finds them 'boring'. As time went by her interest in our child seemed to lessen rather than increase. She also took on more work (or rather visiting her boyfriend and claiming to be working), so that our son spent virtually his entire week either with me, or with my parents.

Obviously it couldn't go on like this forever and when I discovered I'd caught a STI (from my wife as I certainly wasn't involved in any other relationships!) I hit the roof and it all came out in the open. We did attempt to patch things up, for the child's sake, but not long after, just before Christmas, I came home to find my house stripped of all possessions worth taking, and my wife and son missing. There was a letter on the table saying she and my son had 'gone to live with a better man' and a very strong hint that I might as well top myself because she was going to take the house and everything else I owned. Apparently I wouldn't want to carry on living as I'd 'spend the rest of my days paying for her and my son to live in my house while I lived in poverty'.

Importance of Getting a Solicitor Quickly

That was the lowest point in my life, I don't ever want to be there again. I admit I phoned the Samaritans many times that Christmas because I seriously considered doing just what she'd suggested, but love for my son and very supportive friends and family kept me from going crazy. Luckily I'd been to see a solicitor the day after she left, one of those 'first hour is free' consultations. They were very good and helped with my application for divorce. I can't state enough how grateful I was later for getting to the solicitor immediately after the event rather than waiting.

Then in the New Year things started, slowly, to pick up again. First, my ex-wife dumped our son on me, as she couldn't cope/didn't want him and her new partner was not interested. Shortly after, she went to see a solicitor and I started getting official letters demanding all kinds of things. But as I had a solicitor myself to deal with these things, I wasn't bullied into anything foolish, again counted my blessings on getting a reputable solicitor so soon after it all happened. We agreed a schedule, but immediately she started messing around with it and changing days on a whim – so I was often left sat in a cold car for hours waiting for my son.

Help from the Police

Following the advice of my solicitor, the next time she 'forgot' to hand over our son I contacted the police, who turned up on her partner's doorstep and persuaded her to hand over the child. The next day she, my son, and her new partner all turned up on my doorstep and her partner attempted to make threats. I just slammed the door on him, but I later found out from the police that I would have been within my rights to punch him – something to bear in mind if you're in this situation. Make sure it's clearly seen as defensive though and, if possible, that a witness is present.

The first (directions) court hearing passed without any major changes in childcare arrangements. The divorce itself came and went – my ex-wife NOT being able to make a claim on any more of my property, so I kept my house, car and sanity, despite all her threats. She and her new partner split up, she moved into a tiny flat completely unsuited to a two year old.

To get 'even' with me she had me arrested for an alleged assault and attempted rape that never happened. After arresting me, locking me in a cell and interrogating me, the police were so convinced nothing had happened they let me go with a great deal of sympathy. In dealing with the police about matters like this it seems absolute honesty and patience are the best options. They have to go through their routines even if they don't believe anything has happened. Another lesson, never lose your temper when fighting legal battles, try to stay calm, focused and logical.

The Cafcass Report is Crucial

Then started a year of legal battles over the residency of our son. The big decider here being the assessment of the Cafcass Officer and her report. Luckily for me, my ex-wife's instability and messy private life was picked up by the Cafcass Officer. Again, absolute honesty is the key. As I believe is usually the case the Judge in the Family Court went almost entirely on what was said in the Cafcass report. So if there is a key to 'winning' in the Family Court it is to leave a good impression with the Cafcass Officer, as they're only interested in what both parties can offer the child. The end result for me has been a final court order in my favour with my son having two days of contact a week with his mother.

Stay Focused on What's Best for the Child

A final word of warning though. Having said all this, my battle for my son is not over yet. My ex-wife has come back (yet again) with a bid for residency. I shall, of course, fight it, in court if necessary, and I won't let her win. It's not easy, it's not cheap and it's lengthy, so any father who wants to fight for residency really needs to think long and hard about what they will go through. At the end of the day although it might be tempting to go in with guns blazing in the heat of the moment, in quiet retrospect the only thing that really matters is the health and wellbeing of the child, isn't it? As a father if you focus on that and not on your own hurt and anger, you will be doing the best for the child in the long run regardless of the outcome of the legal battle.'

Martin Spencer (not his real name)

Thanks to Martin for sharing his experiences with our readers.

If you have a story to share that could help or inspire dads in a similar situation to the one you have experienced, please Contact Us. We can change names to ensure your anonymity.

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[Add a Comment]
Credeam ca sinteti totul pentru mine, dar ati dovedit contrariul. Sunteti o persoana complicata. Spune- ti ca ma iubiti??Dati-mi voie sa nu va cred. Am spus ca-mi doresc o persoana care sa ma respecte. Total gresit sa imi cere- ti o suma de bani,daca v-as fi cunoscut cu cea mai mare placere as fi ajutat. Dar in cazul dv. nu e valabil,imi pare rau si de faptul ca asociati fotografia mea cu numele dv. fara acordul meu.Cred ca m-am atasat de o persoana nepotrivita mie .Imi pare rau sa o spun dar cred ca e trista realitate. Eu sincer m-am indragostit de imaginea dv. si chiar aveam nevoie de o inima pereche. Dorinta si impulsul de a avea pe cineva de incredere linga mine s-au dovedit a fi o mare greseala din partea mea .
laura - 10-Feb-17 @ 8:37 PM
Iv recently found out that my partner of 2 years has been romanticly involved with another man over the last few months. We are unmarried but have a 1 year old daughter together. My name is on the birth certificate. She is unaware that I know. What are My legal rights as a father if a separation happens as I don't want to miss out on her growing up. Am I allowed to take my daughter with Me when I've?
RB - 26-Dec-16 @ 8:50 AM
Hi, wonder if anyone can help please. Son is 18, 19 in March, and doing college course equivalent to A levels and leaves June next year.I've paid, via a deduction from my wages (work for govt), under the old system for last 16 years.Ex wife gets child allowance of course.Son and mother don't get on, son has moved out and has a room in family friends house, rent free. Can I ask CSA to stop the deduction now? What proof will I need of his move?Or will I have to wait until March next year when Child Benefit stops. Thanks, Malc
malc - 22-Nov-16 @ 7:24 PM
My wife left me several weeks ago for another man.I have sole responsibility for the children and offered her regular contact.She met up with the kids maybe twice in 4 weeks. It turns out that tge man she moved in with is heavily involved with drugs.My ex wife has declared she is not interested in the kids anymore but accepts their phone calls.She constantly lies to the children telling them she will coming home soon. This obviously builds their hopes up. The time is coming to tell the children the truth but i really dont know what to tell them.
Keiron76 - 19-Nov-16 @ 6:48 PM
My boyfriend of 8 years is fighting for custody of his kids, the mother is neglectful,dating a guy who is abusing my boyfriends kids, there was a recent incident,that my boyfriend had no part,apparently the mothers boyfriend beat on my boyfriends son, even the police were called and police called dyfis, on this guy, my boyfriend waS forced to return the children for the mothers visitation she picked the children up to drop them off to her boyfriend to babysit the same boyfriend the police called dyfis on the week prior, my boyfriend has an attorney but his children are not being bathed,fed right,the mother never has them,and the mothers boyfriend is abusing them,the children Are 8-9. Boy and girl, they both cry and beg daddy please don't make us go,he will beat us for telling you, my boyfriend cries himself to sleep at night he doesn't know what to do the courts are taking their good ol time on the custody issues his son will text him please come get me the children are being punished in ridiculous ways by this guy is anyone have any advice on what you can do since the system is failing him,his poor daughter comes home with feces in her underwater days old, the first night home they eat 5 meals right in row,they are old enough to say what happens to them,but social service aka dyfis keeps a blind eye for the abuse and neglect happening, years ago my boyfriend had to go threw council ingredients,home inspections,you name it,even made me and my children be interviewed to ensure that we were allowed to be around his children I have a clean record I've never been in trouble and I don't do drugs yet I was being need to pee in a cup and prove my innocence while the mother who takes Xanax is passed out half the time and the other half the time I'm not home with the children guy says has been called several times on her boyfriend for hitting the children yet they keep making my boyfriend let her have her visitation dyfis gave the mother a two week notice to do a pee test, yet made father's gf ,me,pee within 12hrs,nothing to hide I did as they requested,dyfis was called on mother and boyfriend why were we being questioned and tested? After coming out clean as a while of coarse , the actual mother wasn't tested till weeks later, the children Are intelligent kids,and are fully aware of around them, they have told police,told dyfis, about there experience while with mother,and out being started for 2 days straight, I don't understand why the courts do not see a light reason to remove them from her,place them back with there father,who has a yard,food they can bathe,mother lives over a store they never see outside bc she works while abusive boyfriend watches them,he puts them in a room,till next morning no lunch,no dinner most nights,dyfis saw for themselves only beer in the refrigerator no food, why is the law and our system not stepping in to help them why?
Sissy - 25-Jul-16 @ 6:33 PM
My boyfriend of 8 years is fighting for custody of his kids, the mother is neglectful,dating a guy who is abusing my boyfriends kids, there was a recent incident,that my boyfriend had no part,apparently the mothers boyfriend beat on my boyfriends son, even the police were called and police called dyfis, on this guy, my boyfriend wS forced to return the children for the mothers visitation she picked the children up to drop them off to her boyfriend to babysit the same boyfriend the police called dyfis on the week prior, my boyfriend has an attorney but his children are not being bathed,fed right,the mother never has them,and the mothers boyfriend is abusing them,the children Are 8-9. Boy and girl, they both cry and beg daddy please don't make us go,he will beat us for telling you, my boyfriend cries himself to sleep at night he doesn't know what to do the courts are taking their good ol time on the custody issues his son will text him please come get me the children are being punished in ridiculous ways by this guy is anyone have any advice on what you can do since the system is failing him
Sissy - 25-Jul-16 @ 5:11 PM
I was wondering if anyone could help me out. My brother has a two year old son with his ex girlfriend. He sees his son 3 times a week for 5 hours a time. We went to pick up the child yesterday and were told he would need to go to a&e as he was not walking on his right leg properly (happened in his mothers house) unfortunately the child is on a child protection register due to his mother being in an abusive relationship and then returning back to it. As we got home from the hospital yesterday my brother received a phone call from the social worker claiming that there has been a physical assault made against him towards his son. My brother has his visitations in our house with my parents and other brother so he is never on his own with the child. Nor would he ever lift his hands to his son. We don't get on with the mothers family due to the fact they were keeping her violent relationship from us and social services so this is done entirely out of spite but what could my brother do?? Many thanks.
Calvin1234 - 14-May-16 @ 9:03 AM
I was wondering if anyone could help me out. My brother has a two year old son with his ex girlfriend. He sees his son 3 times a week for 5 hours a time. We went to pick up the child yesterday and were told he would need to go to a&e as he was not walking on his right leg properly (happened in his mothers house) unfortunately the child is on a child protection register due to his mother being in an abusive relationship and then returning back to it. As we got home from the hospital yesterday my brother received a phone call from the social worker claiming that there has been a physical assault made against him towards his son. My brother has his visitations in our house with my parents and other brother so he is never on his own with the child. Nor would he ever lift his hands to his son. We don't get on with the mothers family due to the fact they were keeping her violent relationship from us and social services so this is done entirely out of spite but what could my brother do?? Many thanks.
Calvin1234 - 14-May-16 @ 9:01 AM
Pusser - Your Question:
Hi yeah reference my last, I'm pretty sure she's not happy but she didn't physically stop my daughter leaving and is fully aware of where she is? From what you're saying Mediation is probably best in order to cross the T's and dot the I's.

Our Response:
Mediation also has court approval - please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 26-Apr-16 @ 2:05 PM
Hi yeah reference my last, I'm pretty sure she's not happy but she didn't physically stop my daughter leaving and is fully aware of where she is? From what you're saying Mediation is probably best in order to cross the T's and dot the I's....
Pusser - 25-Apr-16 @ 9:55 PM
Pusser - Your Question:
My daughter is 15, she has decided she wants to leave her mum and live with me which includes a change of school, she getting in trouble at school and hates living with mum! I've tried to be diplomatic but this has been the case for at least 2 years and it's all come to a head, she's now moved in and has a week at school before she changes, is there anything I should be doing legally? We have shared residency but mums the primary. Many thanks for any advice.

Our Response:
You don't say what your ex's opinion is regarding your daughter's move. If your ex is in agreement then if you wished, you could draw up an agreement via mediation. Otherwise, you can simply agree between you. The matter only has to go to court if you as the parents cannot agree on the move and one of you decides to apply to the court for a decision of where your child should live.
SeparatedDads - 25-Apr-16 @ 2:00 PM
My daughter is 15, she has decided she wants to leave her mum and live with me which includes a change of school, she getting in trouble at school and hates living with mum! I've tried to be diplomatic but this has been the case for at least 2 years and it's all come to a head, she's now moved in and has a week at school before she changes, is there anything I should be doing legally? We have shared residency but mums the primary. Many thanks for any advice....
Pusser - 24-Apr-16 @ 11:29 PM
JJ - Your Question:
I have recently escaped a bad domestic violent relationship and have had to relocate for the safety of me and my 4 children. Their father has been in contact and wants to see the kids, but the 10 year old doesn't want to see him, and I don't think it is a good idea due to the severity of his mood swings and bad temper, anger issues. I would like to know about my legal rights to have the kids reside in my care perminately.

Our Response:
As their mother, your have natural custody of your children. If you wanted this confirmed, then you would have to apply for a residence order, please see link here. If your ex takes the situation to court in order to apply for contact/access, then Cafcass will get involved and you can put your views forward. Please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 11-Feb-16 @ 11:14 AM
I have recently escaped a bad domestic violent relationship and have had to relocate for the safety of me and my 4 children. Their father has been in contact and wants to see the kids, but the 10 year old doesn't want to see him, and I don't think it is a good idea due to the severity of his mood swings and bad temper, anger issues. I would like to know about my legal rights to have the kids reside in my care perminately.
JJ - 10-Feb-16 @ 6:29 PM
I would like say that although being honest with cafcass is important you really have to watch your back with them. Most of them do not work in a "professional" manor and use their personal feelings about a person to write their report. The cafcass officer in my case lied in her report and lied in court!!I questioned her in court for two hours and caught her out and proved she was lying several times but the judge was not bothered. I would recommend that all phone conversations are taped and any meetings are taped with a covert camera....DO NOT TRUST THEM. Every person involved in the custody battle for my children was a women (apart from my ex's barrister)!! and all had the point of view that children should be with the mother. I had to battle a barrister, cafcass officer and a judge by myself. It did not matter what I said or proved in the end I was Just wasting my time. DO NOT TRUST ANYONE is my advice.
The Daddy - 9-Feb-16 @ 8:44 PM
hunty - Your Question:
Hi,my partner has said to me she wants to move to England with my 2 kids aged 10,8,we live in Scotland just now,I disagree with this but it seams she is now trying to go ahead with her plan, the thing is I don't trust her to look after them property as she drinks every night and is very lazy around the house,what r my options

Our Response:
If you have Parental Responsibility and you think your ex may leave without your consent - the you can apply for a Prohobited Steps Order. A PSO is granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. We have all heard the stories of a parent taking their child for the weekend and not returning them or going abroad with them and it becoming extremely difficult for the other parent to get their child back. Thankfully, this is one of the scenarios that a PSO seeks to prevent. While there is no guarantee you will be awarded this, it is an option that is considered through the courts and the situation would be assessed whether any move out of the area would be in your children's best interests. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 2-Feb-16 @ 1:42 PM
Hi,my partner has said to me she wants to move to England with my 2 kids aged 10,8,we live in Scotland just now,I disagree with this but it seams she is now trying to go ahead with her plan, the thing is I don't trust her to look after them property as she drinks every night and is very lazy around the house,what r my options
hunty - 2-Feb-16 @ 6:55 AM
K - Your Question:
I have just read through this page and genuine people like myself are seriously looking for advise as the authorities or govern bodies fob us off and families can be tough all I see is a repetitive answer with no help at all!! Clearly you have no idea how to deal with our concerns it's just Facebook and a link I think whoever set this up is shameful I just hope if the people who commented are genuine and can contact each other for comfort and information cause your advise is absolutely useless!!!! Shame on you!!

Our Response:
We have a great many questions that come our way, as we have many sites, so we cannot answer them all. Some questions need a more involved answer, (and if you read all the comments you will see some people are given more helpful advice) whereas some only need a link and some basic help. We are a free service and do not charge. Our objective is to solely point people in the right direction. If our readers wish for more involved help, then they are free to seek professional legal advice. There are very few other free advice services online and we do get a lot of thanks from people who we have helped. People also have choices and there are plenty of other forums that they can turn to if they wish to speak to others about their problems.
SeparatedDads - 21-Jan-16 @ 12:43 PM
Mk - Your Question:
My partner has 2 children with his ex wife the eldest is 6 the children have been living with my partner their dad for over a yr now he has received no money in maintenance and she has still been claiming all the tax credit and benefit he and his children now live with his family as he couldn't afford his own place the children's mum has had little contact and now has no daily and just gone through another divorce has demanded the children back! The children do.not want to go back my partner and I plan to marry in the next year and are trying to swap my council house so we cam be a family as I have two children we have been together 3 yrs so it's not a light headed decision we have asked her to sign the benefits and the children over but she refuses every time how do we fight this? How doesy partner go about claiming money for his children it's not right she should get it

Our Response:
Your only option would be to take the matter to court. if the children are not living with the mother and she is claiming benefits, then your partner needs to apply for residency. If he is successful,the court will award the benefits to him, the resident-parent. If the children have been living with him for some time, and have a consistent family life, then it is unlikely the courts will remove the children from your partner and hand them back to the mother. If he cannot afford legal fees, he can self-litigate, please see link: How to Represent Yourself, here. Please also see: Applying for Custody: Court Procedure here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 21-Jan-16 @ 12:28 PM
I have just read through this page and genuine people like myself are seriously looking for advise as the authorities or govern bodies fob us off and families can be tough all I see is a repetitive answer with no help at all!! Clearly you have no idea how to deal with our concerns it's just Facebook and a link I think whoever set this up is shameful I just hope if the people who commented are genuine and can contact each other for comfort and information cause your advise is absolutely useless!!!! Shame on you!!
K - 20-Jan-16 @ 11:33 PM
My partner has 2 children with his ex wife the eldest is 6 the children have been living with my partner their dad for over a yr now he has received no money in maintenance and she has still been claiming all the tax credit and benefit he and his children now live with his family as he couldn't afford his own place the children's mum has had little contact and now has no daily and just gone through another divorce has demanded the children back! The children do.not want to go back my partner and I plan to marry in the next year and are trying to swap my council house so we cam be a family as I have two children we have been together 3 yrs so it's not a light headed decision we have asked her to sign the benefits and the children over but she refuses every time how do we fight this? How doesy partner go about claiming money for his children it's not right she should get it
Mk - 20-Jan-16 @ 11:21 PM
Derek - Your Question:
Hi, What is the best arguments for a father to present to court in order to be granted by the court a residency order? I am in Scotland.

Our Response:
I am afraid we cannot answer this - the argument has to be truthful and not a contrived one. If you have valid reasons for wanting residency of your child, then you will be able to put these forward via Cafcass. Please see: Applying for Custody: Court Procedure, here.
SeparatedDads - 13-Jan-16 @ 1:50 PM
Hi, What is the best arguments for a father to present to court in order to be granted by the court a residency order? I am in Scotland.
Derek - 13-Jan-16 @ 12:54 AM
andy1r - Your Question:
Hi, my ex and I are currently going through the legal mill of custody for my 20 month old son, just now she has an interim order and will be looking for joint residency (not what I want but its a start)however my ex has only had my son back a week and its plain to see that she wants me gone permanent, need to say I removed my son from the family home for welfare reasons and lack of care.she is now running around trying to dig up dirt on me getting in touch with ex partners even went down the road of accusing me of historical assault which the police dropped all charges unfortunately not till after she was awarded interim.I guess my question is could I now return to court and try and get the order lifted as it seems to me with all this dirt digging and the abusive texts that I have receiving in the space of a week, in my opinion it would appear that she has not got my sons interests at heart but is more concerened with trying to bury me.any advice would be most appreciated thanks

Our Response:
It is very difficult to advise what to do in a situation like this - especially when there has been a lot of background history. You would really need to seek legal advice.
SeparatedDads - 18-Dec-15 @ 10:53 AM
hi, my ex and I are currently going through the legal mill of custody for my 20 month old son, just now she has an interim order and will be looking for joint residency (not what I want but its a start) however my ex has only had my son back a week and its plain to see that she wants me gone permanent, need to say I removed my son from the family home for welfare reasons and lack of care. she is now running around trying to dig up dirt on me getting in touch with ex partners even went down the road of accusing me of historical assault which the police dropped all charges unfortunately not till after she was awarded interim. I guess my question is could I now return to court and try and get the order lifted as it seems to me with all this dirt digging and the abusive texts that I have receiving in the space of a week, in my opinion it would appear that she has not got my sons interests at heart but is more concerened with trying to bury me. any advice would be most appreciated thanks
andy1r - 17-Dec-15 @ 12:44 PM
Unknown - Your Question:
Hello, I am going through a very similar situation myself as the article. My wife had an emotional online affair with a Romanian Guy she met on the internet couple years ago and moved out with kids but we reconciled and she agreed to not contact him again and came back to live with me. Things were great for nearly 2 years then I recently caught her doing the same thing with the same guy we had our arguements and she said she couldnt trust herself and wanted to split up. This was begenning of November 2015. So after few weeks all of a sudden on 1st on Dec 2015 while I was at work she decided to move out without telling me while I was at work and emptied the house and took the kids with her. On my return the house was empty and every room I was staring at rubbish and 4 walls. My parents contacted the police they were called out and they saw what had happened but couldnt offer me any help as they cannot do anything about it. So I got on with my life and I contacted her after a week that I wanted to see the kids she agreed and I have had the kids 3 times since it happened and as I am still in process of furnishing the house I havent had them overnight yet. The last time I saw her I found out that she had the man from Romania living with her who had arrived there on Thursday the 10th of December with just a suitcase. My children have never met him before so he is a stranger. Even my wife has never met him before and this is the first time he has come to this country. I am worried about my kids with all this change in such a short time specially just before christmas. My kids are 9(Stepson), 7 and 3 we were married for 7 years. I informed child services about a strange man coming to this country and my concerns regarding my kids and believe he is just here to use my seperated wife and kids for money.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You have a few options regarding your relationship with your ex and it very much depends on which way you wish to pursue things. Regardless of what has happened, it seems your ex still very much wants you to be part of your children's lives, which is a plus for you, as quite often this isn't the case. Therefore, you can dig in with some fighting spirit and get your house in order and have a supportive family-based agreement regarding your children. This will allow you time to get to know whether this new man is a good influence on your children's lives or not. While anger may be a knee-jerk reaction, it never helps to let anger get a grip. You may have to option of taking it to mediation and court and fighting for residency of your chldren, but there is no guarantee you will be granted this. Also it may cause bad feeling between you and your ex, estrangement between you both and have an adverse effect on your children. I advise to try and be as agreeable as you can regarding having your children when the opportunity arises, and as the weeks or months unfold you will be able to asess the situation more closely. This will help you to make more informed decisions in the future that will hopefully benefit both your children's welfare and yourself. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 16-Dec-15 @ 11:09 AM
Hello, I am going through a very similar situation myself as the article. My wife had an emotional online affair with a Romanian Guy she met on the internet couple years ago and moved out with kids but we reconciled and she agreed to not contact him again and came back to live with me. Things were great for nearly 2 years then I recently caught her doing the same thing with the same guy we had our arguements and she said she couldnt trust herself and wanted to split up. This was begenning of November 2015. So after few weeks all of a sudden on 1st on Dec 2015 while i was at work she decided to move out without telling me while i was at work and emptied the house and took the kids with her. On my return the house was empty and every room i was staring at rubbish and 4 walls. My parents contacted the police they were called out and they saw what had happened but couldnt offer me any help as they cannot do anything about it. So I got on with my life and I contacted her after a week that i wanted to see the kids she agreed and I have had the kids 3 times since it happened and as i am still in process of furnishing the house i havent had them overnight yet. The last time i saw her i found out that she had the man from Romania living with her who had arrived there on Thursday the 10th of December with just a suitcase. My children have never met him before so he is a stranger. Even my wife has never met him before and this is the first time he has come to this country. I am worried about my kids with all this change in such a short time specially just before christmas. My kids are 9(Stepson), 7 and 3 we were married for 7 years. I informed child services about a strange man coming to this country and my concerns regarding my kids and believe he is just here to use my seperated wife and kids for money.
Unknown - 15-Dec-15 @ 12:43 PM
BabyAva - Your Question:
Can anyone please help - I need some arguments/reasons to include in my reply to my wife's divorce petition to back up my request for 50/50 residency for my 1 year old daughter - at the moment my wife is insisting that she stays with her full time and I only have daytime access - I have been looking after her nearly full-time while my wife has been out working - I believe I have a strong case for a residency - someone out there must have had a similar experience. I know the courts favour the wife but I have a real need to continue my bond with my daughter.Thanks For Any Help

Our Response:
Our Separated Dads Facebook page may help you here as many fathers have been through the same or a similar process and can give very good advice.
SeparatedDads - 24-Nov-15 @ 11:51 AM
Can anyone please help - I need some arguments/reasons to include in my reply to my wife's divorce petition to back up my request for 50/50 residency for my 1 year old daughter - at the moment my wife is insisting that shestays with her full time and I only have daytime access - I have been looking after her nearly full-time while my wife has been out working - I believe I have a strong case for a residency - someone out there must have had a similar experience. I know the courts favour the wife but I have a real need to continue my bond with my daughter. Thanks For Any Help
BabyAva - 23-Nov-15 @ 4:51 PM
PeterParker - Your Question:
Hi, I urgently need some help / advice. I'm going through a divorce at present and have two children. Recently, my family have been speaking to my eldest (5yr old) about how he is feeling etc. He has now said on two separate occasions that his mom is always angry at him and she has smacked him in the face. I am deeply concerned about his up bringing at the moment and feel that he is not being loved enough by his mom. He's recently stated to my brother that he doesn't like his mom and would like to stay with me more. He's mentioned to me that he would like to stay with me more. What's the best way to tackle this scenario? Social services? Police? Solicitors?

Our Response:
I suggest in the first instance you seek legal advice. However, as your child is still young, his opinion will not be considered through the courts. If you are concerned at any point about neglect, then you can in the first instance contact the NSPCC helpline, linkherefor some help and support regarding your best options.
SeparatedDads - 23-Nov-15 @ 1:46 PM
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