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TOPIC: Seriously taking advantage....

Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #106864

Hello,

In need of advice please. For nearly a decade i have had a shared residence order in place. For the last 12 months i have continually been dealing with the ex doing what she believes is her right to change arrangements contrary to what is written in the court order. This has been going on since we left court all those years ago...i really should have nipped it in the bud so to speak a long long time ago as it has become what can only be described as abuse.

I feel emotionally and physically abused by the continual crap that is thrown in my direction. Her regular use of harassment, intimidation, threatening behaviour, stalking, denigrating and dismissive of my role as a father and continually having to put up with what can only be described as mental/physical torture.

I wrestle daily with a part of me that is fully aware that i am being walked over, taken advantage of and slowly but surely being excluded from my children's lives. Then i contemplate the process to rectify the situation and the stress and worry of the outcome scares me to the point i put up with the ex and her bat-shit craziness.

When is enough.....enough?
Now i don't want to get into specifics here because i fear that she will find/read this post but need advice regarding a change to the current residence order and/or ultimately a change of residence...... as there have been so many breaches of the original order it is beyond a joke and the ex seems to keep finding new ways to either take advantage or ramp up my stress levels to the point it is now affecting not only my health but the relationship with my children.

Am i correct in thinking that because i have a residence order in place i just need to apply to the court to change/amend it or do i need to attend mediation with the mother.

I really do not want to get into a court battle as that is precisely what the ex would make it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

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Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #106867

hi,

how old are your kids? does the court order state that the kids live with both parents?
I don't think your ex will want any changes.

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Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #106889

You can't change an existing order by arguing that you're sick of her antics.

Your first step after a court order breach is to enforce it.

Most parents behave after this - as the enforcement typically has a strong language around punitive action.

If she continues, and builds up a history of breaches, and/or behaviour that can be shown to harm the children, which is typically a very high bar to prove... then you can argue for residence.

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Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #106922

Children are now 12 & 14.

We have a shared residence order that states i get them for 30% of term time and 50% of holidays.

At the end of March/beginning of April we agreed verbally that we would treat the current lockdown as holidays and share the care 50/50. That did happen during April.

May is a different story and she has taken it upon herself to split it 1/3 to me and 2/3 to her...giving herself four of the last six weekends and splitting the other two between us so i havnt had them for a whole weekend since way back in April

What is annoying me is the fact that i was looking forward to spending some decent time with my children during the lockdown and whilst they are not at school. I did suggest we could do a week each or some other system etc...but ive not had any response from her about this. In fact i dont get much of a response from her unless she wants something.

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Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #106923

I'm afraid you're going to have to work through that.

Understand what your minimum enforceable is - and stick to it.

The minimum in your case is to at least nominally follow the school term dates as if there was no covid. I wouldn't think any judge would argue against that.

So whereby it would normally have been school time, you get them 30%, and holiday time, 50%.

Unfortunately verbal agreements - or even written ones outside of a court order aren't worth a damn.

The covid situation has screwed things up, but you're unlikely to be able to call what she is doing a breach, much less argue for a transfer of residence because of it.

Understand that some fathers haven't been able to see their children at all since the lock down, and they have been able to do fkall about it.

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Last Edit: by flyingember.

Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #106926

Just looking through the notes for last year alone she has left either one of the kids or both at home by themselves whilst she went to work on at least 4 occasions.

She has taken either a Friday or Sunday sometimes both from me when its my weekend at least half a dozen times stating that this is what the kids want and she has not influenced them etc..when i try to arrange the time back i get told don’t be silly i can’t have that time back because it was the kids choice so i have to just suck it up.

I have arrived at the school to find no kids & then when i called their mum they are in a car travelling somewhere? - she has removed them from school early to go on a long weekend break…without informing me even though it was my scheduled weekend.

I am never allowed phone calls when they are with her - she will not accept the calls and even in the once in 20 times i get through its always we are busy and i get a 30 sec call...shameful on her behalf as i would never be so cruel to my kids which is evident in the history of calls i take when they are with me - even though i would be fully within my rights to tell her to f off i don’t because i put the kids first.

She likes to regularly visit my house to drop off something that the children need (arranged by her with them via WhatsApp etc, so i have no knowledge that she is coming) during their time with me so they are never fully away from her influence and emotional interference.

For the last ten years I have only been allowed to have the kids for any substantial length of time on two or three occasions. One was a holiday which she tried her best to scupper/ruin (thankfully she did not succeed) and a couple of camping trips. I was hoping to having some decent time with the kids...without her in the picture if at all possible....something that she does not allow. She is having 7/8 days at a time with the kids during which i don't get to see or speak with them at all.

Is this enough for an application to court? Considering this is just the last twelve months??

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Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #106927

Sorry you went through all that - they will always try to find a way to rile you up.

The missed Fridays/Sundays - always make a decision to either nip that in the bud or let it go. If you let it go, time lapsed and the fact that you didn't enforce it at the time don't help you.

The school thing - again enforce it hot.

The calls - anything in the order says anything about calls? if not, not much you can do about it. Anyway, this is always a lost battle for resident parents, the kids will eventually get phones and you can whatsapp and call to your hearts content.

Actually you say that she contacts the kids via their whatsapp - so presumably you can reach them direct, no?

Visiting your house to drop stuff off - You can always decline her coming over, and tell her she is now allowed to come to your house. You may have to stand your ground on this one. What's she gonna do? If she shows up, done open the door. IF she stays around, hell call the police.

You say you have 50% of holidays and then say you don't get them for a long time - enforce it hot buddy.

Be firm with your kids - tell them they have mummy call time between 7-8 or whatever and that's it. Also make their time otherwise fun.

Not trying to rile you up - just stating how lawyers/courts will see it.

In any case, none of these are going to enable you to transfer residence - at best you'll get some enforcement, perhaps some further specific issue orders.
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Last Edit: by flyingember.

Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #106999

Thanks for your replies.

She is always trying to find ways to rile me up…most time i don’t bite and just let it slide…life is too short n all that. Just recently it is starting to really eat away at me. Money and property worries...Lockdown getting to me perhaps?

Does not mention anything in the order about calls unfortunately & yes the kids now have mobiles so can contact them that way if needed - although i try not to get the kids involved when it comes to organising handover etc… i consider them to still be children and therefore it should not really involve them.. i have considered confiscating the kids phones when they are here to put an end to her interfering/organising with out my consent etc...as bizarrely i can never reach them via mobiles when they are with their mum (it is obvious she is controlling them when they are with her).

How do you enforce anything with somebody who is a total control freak, without upsetting the kids.
She likes to visit my house, more intimidation tactics, even when i am on holiday for a nose ffs!!...i would love to have alternate weeks, give the kids a chance to be themselves and relax and have some fun, without seeing her!! Telling her to get lost when she shows up unexpected would really effect the kids. Probably why she does it, and i am a soft touch!!

Would i be able to argue a change to 50/50 as it clearly states in the court order that the children do reside with both their parents as set out below etc… I can’t believe she is that ignorant and again i put it down to her trying to rile me up as you mentioned. I would like to claim for one of the kids but she refuses. I now do not work due to disability and she is working full time and claiming all the benefits.

No worries, not riled up - as you say it's all good as i do actually see my kids unlike some dad's out there - over the last 12 months i have seen two solicitors and neither of them gave the same advice. It is informative to hear another persons view or how they think a legal team would view it. I do wonder though how a judge would view her behaviour?

All the best

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Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #107010

hi,

i don't think a judge would be happy with your ex interfering with you, when you spend time with your children. but i would not return to court over that. if it was other way round, she would probably put a non-molestation order on you. you could warn her that she is harrassing you, by turning up at your place randomly. if it doesn't stop,you could report that to police if its so bad.
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Seriously taking advantage.... 3 months 3 weeks ago #107012

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Fundamentally if the mother is breaching the order by dictating terms or not allowing contact to take place, you can apply to court using a C79 form and this does not require attendance at mediation.

If you want to amend / vary the order, you will need to attend mediation first.

If you believe your ex is harassing you, you need to ask her to stop and consider speaking to the police.

Best of luck.
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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Seriously taking advantage.... 2 months 1 week ago #108422

Hi

So i have some other issues & hoping you could advise. The ex has been leaving them at home on their own an awful lot more over the last few weeks.
They are 12 & 14 and can keep themselves amused for a while but really its becoming a little more regular?

So would i still need to go through mediation before applying to court to vary residence?

I have mostly had them during the week and she has mostly had the weekends.....I know this situation works well for her because i am basically a sitter for her etc.....i could enforce the court order and insist on having them one night in the week and every other weekend & push to have them the days she is at work which would mean i would have the kids more then her, she knows this obviously.

If i did that then the kids would be left home alone a lot more because even though i only live a few miles away she will not bring them to my house and they don't answer calls or the door if i go round.....i know this would work to my advantage, but I've had the kids a lot more by toeing the line and accepting them during the week. Like has been stated before there are lots of dad's whom haven't seen their kids for months.

What is annoying the hell out of me is the fact that she still refuse's to allow me to claim for one of the children.....even though i don't work and am claiming benefits and for the last several months have had the kids a heck of a lot more then normal which costs etc...

This is just driving me nuts because there is also the question of the house which is still unresolved. Honestly i have no idea where to even start, I am going round in circles mentally trying not to worry about my situation but it's there every time I wake up and I feel pretty helpless about how to fix it or whether I should even attempt to fix it?
Briefly... Ten years ago court awarded shared residency of my two children. 70% term & half of holidays. Ex still refuses to accept I have residence status and refuses to allow me to claim any benefits for even one of my kids.

I stopped p/t work a couple of years ago, which the ex was not happy about because I switched from WTC to ESA so her CSM payments ceased, have been in receipt of DLA, HB (single persons allowance) for the last ten years. Rent privately £830 per month and even though I've been successful in getting a DHP a few times over the last ten year's, last time they refused stating I need to move into a more affordable property, given that I don't have children living with me. Which is obviously incorrect as I have a residence order from the court.

At court the judge ordered that I transfer my interest in property to ex's sole name. That never happened and I know that I should've taken it back to court then but I couldn't afford to and mentally I'd had my fill of court etc... so she has been paying the interest only on the mortgage for the last ten year's, works full time and claims all benefits etc... I've suggested a few times over the last ten years that she should move out and allow me to move in, but she refuses to even consider that (even though she sold her other house 5 yrs ago and could have potentially moved into her partners house) Her viewpoint is I don't have any rights to the property only the 7% awarded at court.

At the end of last year/beginning of this year the chap with whom she had an affair with all those years ago moved into the property and so I tried to have a conversation with her about finances etc....given that he sold his property for close to 500k and also works full time I thought she would be happy to get me off the mortgage and I know they can afford to pay me. She still won't budge on the amount of money insists also that I should be paying her maintenance and its obvious that I can't.

I did speak to a solicitor last December for advice but honestly he was not much help. If anything he added another angle for me to worry about - CGT! If I did transfer my half I would be liable apparently & the bill would far exceed the 7% which the court order states I own so that's not really an option. Plus I know the ex wouldn't pay me so yeah... I would have to pay HMRC tax on my 50% of 300k?
I am unsure whether I own 50% or 7% as stated in court order. Given that she failed to transfer to her sole name i am of the opinion that I still own half... As you can imagine the ex is not in agreement. Its a nightmare if I am honest - I've become seriously depressed, confused about how to or what to do for the best.
I know that the kids live there so I've just kinda looked at it from the viewpoint that it's their house and left it as is but ultimately I don't see why I should house my ex and now her partner, who both work full time, both have pensions and each sold a house in the last few years!!
It is a crazy situation that I don't know how to resolve... Other then signing away my share of the house which I had considered last year just to put an end to it but now with possible CGT I am/will be seriously at a disadvantage even more?!?! Seriously though, its enough to drive anyone nuts!!

I am of the firm believe that she should be paying me rent as I was forcibly removed by a judge and she had changed the locks months before that decision, locking me out, making me basically homeless. That means Tolata route though and if you lose you have to pay the other person's fees.
I could force the sale of the house but then I would be the bad guy because she would certainly tell the kids that daddy was making them homeless.

I am sick of having to fill in the DHP forms every year asking for more money to cover my rent because a single mans allowance does not come close to covering the rent & the council won't budge on upping the award because i don't have the child benefit award in my name. The fact that i have a residence order is no help whatsoever, so even if i managed to get awarded 50/50 residence i know that the ex would not give up the child benefit (she has to relinquish it before i can claim it) so i would still be in the same terrible financial position and probably thousands of pounds worse off due to legal fees ( which i can't afford anyway).

There is also the question running through my mind that if i am still the legal owner of half the house then do the council have the right to tell me i can no longer claim housing benefit? Could they potentially ask me to pay back ten years worth?
There is a 150 mortgage on the property so i potentially have 75k tied up in the house ( plus any award of occ.rent etc...if awarded?) AAAAaaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhh?!?!?!

Somedays i feel like my head is going to explode with all this buzzing round and round??

Fact is i will probably not work again because of my disability and i feel rather let down by the solicitor's and the barrister's and the system. Apologies for the long post...it seems to have turned into a mini rant. I think I've bottled so much crap up for so long!!

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Seriously taking advantage.... 2 months 1 week ago #108426

hi,

are your kids left overnight on their own? NSPCC site states:

Children under 12 years old shouldn't be left home alone for long. Children under 16 years old shouldn't be left alone overnight.

if you want to vary your court order, then you would have to sit a MIAM and they may invite your ex for mediation. the problem is if you go back to court, your kids might tell them they don't want to spend more time with you, and court will listen to them due to their ages. sounds like you been consulting a lot of property lawyers. maybe you could speak with few more. find out best way forward with housing issue.

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