Hi. I'm new in this website. I'm desperately looking for help. I'm seoarated from my ex for 4 years. We have a child arrangement court agreement in place but for more than a year that it doesn't work. Mainly because my children refuse being with me, without reason, really. They just say they don't want to come. I kept showing up to pick them up on my time (every other week on weekends). But ended uo coming without them. When they were coming sometimes, they were trying everything to compromise me so it would be their excuse to not come the next time. This went on and on for a year. I never decided to apply for a court enforcement because my children would suffer more with that and they would probably hate me afterwards.
Now I've been made redundant in my job. From September i have no job. And therefore I decide to move back to Portugal permanently. There i own a house and i will have a job, but my ex will stay in UK with my children.
I sent her a letter to ask for an amicably solution about this. The court agreement is not working and not being followed for long time. I was looking for keep contact with my children on their holidays. I would pay for their travel and we could be together. Obviously if they wish, because now they don't come to me. So it would be always a question mark.
So, will i need to go to court to explain this and get it changed? Because i can see my ex trying to make my move harder now that she knows I'm moving. Just to make my life hell. Because I'm not being with my children for a year now, and i live in the area.
What can i do? I'm definitely looking forward to move back to Portugal now that i lost my job. And i have house without need to pay mortgage or rent, and already got few job offers there, so it would be great, even to keep paying her the child maintenance.
Could you give me some advise please? I want to try avoid going to court because it's costly and take long time. And it's frustrated because i end up paying court fees, paperwork, etc. And she gets benefits and end up not paying anything.
You say you have a court arrangement for the children, but is that for the time you are meant to see them at weekends or the child maintenance payments or both?
As your circumstances have changed considerably and you are leaving the UK it may be that the court arrangement/order is no longer applicable and needs to be re-visited?
I too spend most of my time out of the UK working and rarely see child. However, he will soon be 16 and be able to travel without the need for his mother's permission so I am told?
I did not bother with court orders as enforcement seems to be a problem. I have colleagues who have not seen their children for years as ex wives have ignored the court orders.
Thanks for your reply. Yes, i agree. Unfortunately we will always be playing the way the mother wants. And obviously most don't facilitate on anything, using the children to hit us. And unfortunately the Court hardly decides against them. And to be probably successful, we may need to spend all our money including reserves. For me there is a limit. And hope one day my children will understand what happened.
But for now my question is always what i can do regarding the fact i have a court agreement in place, not being followed by 14 months, and i would like yo move to Portugal permanently.
I sent my ex a simply plan that could eventually be agreed by her without the need of going to court. But knowing her, she will always try complicate everything.
If she doesn't reply to my proposal, can i just move on and use that letter as proof (i sent her signed for letter)?
Or do i need to spend money and time going first to Mediation and afterwards to Court, and wait for a decision?
Because i have jobs offers for September and if I'm not there i will end up losing them. And i will be unemployeed on that time. I'm not looking forward to any more mind-games.
if you have child arrangement order where it states mother to make children available to spend time with father, then I don't think it will be an issue if you were to move abroad. the court order is about your availability, and it can not force you to see your children.
how old are your kids? you mention they don't want to see you and court order is basically useless. you could apply to vary your order, for you to see children after you moved to portugal and you to make travel arrangements, but seems like it will be the same problem where kids are not interested in seeing you or mother not encouraging contact? if moving to Portugal is the best option for you, then go for it if that's what you want. The court order is not preventing you.
Your post is a little vague so I am not sure that I understand correctly so I will reply with an two examples:
You have a court order for child maintenance in UK. You leave for Portugal on September. You stop paying. The mother will have to take the order to something called REMO that will send the order to Portugal that will try to enforce it in Portugal. You can just leave and wait for the mother to go through the process that takes several months back and forth between UK and Portugal, document translations, etc. So just leave and wait for the mother to do that.
You have a court order for child maintenance. You leave for Portugal on September. You continue paying whatever you are paying now. So just leave and continue paying.
If you leave for Portugal, the problem is not for you but for the mother so not sure why you are worrying. Just leave and continue paying for your kids as much as you think they need or don't and wait for her to go through the process. It is long process. You don't need to go to court. Just leave.
Thanks for your reply and help me understanding the process.
My children are 10 and 14. Will be 15 next month.
So i understand that the court can't force me to see my children. That sounds so so bad, and makes me feel so sad and destroyed...
But i have no more power to keep fighting. Not either i would have money. It's fighting against the impossible because she manipulates them as she wants. And i can see that so clear, but never ever i can prove it and that defeats me straight away.
So, i believe life continues. And i can't just stop on time and suffer because of this. Because that's my ex satisfaction. And my children don't have idea yet what she is doing to them. Well, to me is ok as I'm adult and i survive. But to them... Totally unacceptable and cruel. But this is the system we live with.
So, i won't be changing the court arrangement. I will just move on and wait for her to sort out the child maintenance.
I will always stick to the law regarding the child maintenance. Obviously according to my salary. I won't be paying for sure 430 pounds a month as I'm paying now. It will be according to my wages there. And in Portugal i will be getting something like 800 euros a month.
But then it's not my fault. Hope she saved the 16000 pounds i paid in the last 4 years.
Once again. Thanks for your reply.
No. Nobody can force you to see your children.
The 430 you mentioned is on the order or she open a case with CMS?
Hi. Thanks for your reply.
Regarding the fact to see my children reached my limit last year, after spending almost 3.5 years being submissed to my ex way. Like i mentioned before it's so hard to know we can't do a lot to change things around because when a mom is bad and evil they use the children just for their benefit and to hit the ex partner.
My children started coming to me as per court agreement, and first couple of months they were happy. They even cried because they didn't want to go back.
But immediately after, the next time they were going to be with me again, they were completely different and didn't want to come.
Anyway. Doesn't matter. I appreciate the fact i found this website which is helping me mentally, and I'm reading so many experiences of other people that gives me strength to keep my head up.
Answering now about the Child Maintenance. Yes it was agreed with the CMS. They send me the anual payment review and I pay monthly by direct debit. Never missed a payment or went late. 4 years, so far so good. Because like i said previously, i would always do everything i can to pay what is required, ofc based on my salary.
So i presume she will have to sort out the child maintenance when I'm in Portugal, right?
She will probably need some details from me. Or maybe someone from CMS will contact me?
Or should i go there and sort out myself?
Because in the first few months i will be unemployed there. And will be getting unemployed benefit there for 6 months or until i have a job. I have something in view already but never know what can happen. Can't take it for granted.
Your suggestions are welcome and much appreciated.
@wahlstedt The CMS works only in UK. When you leave, just call them and tell them you moved to Portugal and they will close the case. Your ex will have to go to court first, then REMO in UK, to Portugal ....... It is her problem not yours. When the case is in Portugal, they will call you, you can show them your employment status and go from there. Please note that your children may suffer so maybe just send them what you can.
Thanks for your message.
It is my obligation to help financially my children. I just need it by law. Not decided between us because again, that would be more headache and i would probably need to seek mental health help to deal with her.
Until i get myself sorted first, i won't be able to help. Which means probably couple months. Afterwards i will if everything is legaly sorted. I understand when you say my children can suffer, but it's not the case as i know for granted that she is really stable, with great savings that resulted from the divorce, from my monthly 430 pounds that i pay her, in last 4.5 years. She doesn't spend that much for them. Additionally she still work with a 380 weekly income. And obviously council house and more benefits.
So, I'm sure she can manage until everything is legaly sorted. Because i won't be transferring her money by my will as it will always be reason for more critic and it won't never ever be enough, no matter what.
It's not like me trying to make her pay now for what she's doing to me, because in the end i know whatever i pay her should be for my children.
She thought i would be always around because of my children. She thought she could play with me using my children. But enough is enough. And if that's the way she planned, now she can keep raising my children alone. And one day my children know where i will be.
It's sad all this. Because i love my children so much, but I'm scared if i would stay around i would lose my mind one day and end up in prison or something similar. And i still got many years to live front of me. Life is too short.
@wahlstedt I am in a similar position as you so I understand perfectly. I am still trying to access my son but she is blocking every attempt I make so I am not sure how much longer I will try. Just go to Portugal, don't tell her anything not even that you are leaving or your address. Just inform the CMS that you are leaving so they close the case. You don't have to tell them anything else. Good luck.
Unfortunately she knows already because we work in the same place. And live in same area, so she would find out by now already.
And i would inform her anyway just for one day not get my children to tell me that i abandon them. I will email her and explain that whenever my children want they can visit me. If it means after they are 16, then let it be like that. But at least they know where i am.
If it was just because of her, i wouldn't obviously. Even knowing she would find out sooner or later.
Let's be strong and keep living. Otherwise we may get depressed and crazy. And like i said. Life is too short for that.
Thank you. And good luck for you too