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I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66641

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Hi

5 months ago my wife was arrested for hitting my 12 year old daughter - she was drunk at the time..........

She is an alcoholic and went into rehab 7 years ago and was clean for 5 years - then 2 years ago she decided she could have a controlled drink but it was downhill ever since. She was bailed and not allowed to come back to the house

I found a rehab centre for her - I have 4 children - 18, 12 and twins who are 6

It has cost me £20,000 to help her get better - in the meantime I had to go to court and get a child prohibitive steps order, occupancy order and non-molestation order - all of which the courts granted without my wife being in attendance and are in pace for 12 months

She has now told me she doesn't want me and wants a divorce and is planning on staying down in Bournemouth when she is out of rehab - she has also told me that she wants and will fight for the children to go and live with her - I'm pretty sure she has found someone else while down in Bournemouth

I don't know what to do next.........

1. Do I still need to give her money weekly as I am doing and paying for the last month of rehab?
2. What are the chances of the courts giving her custody?

I'm really struggling here with what to do next so any help, advice is greatly appreciated

Cheers

Neil

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I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66645

Firstly I would say dont be soft on her. I had my ex cheat on me, Destroy my finances and I was still trying to do the 'right thing' .
Whatever happens now you need to look after yourself and the kids. The Kids in the eyes of the law are always first and you have to approach any situation with that as your lead. It sounds like with what you have done there is a keen line of you putting them first and being the better parent to look after them full time.

If she is no longer living in the property and you are doing the day to day looking after of the children then I personally would stop all payments to her or on her behalf. Your approach to the court is the money is needed to cloth and feed the kids and now you are separated they are your priority.

If she does not complete the rehab or falls of the wagon it will only increase the chances of you having full custody. If your 'clean' and managed so far I would say the risky move is for the court to grant the access. Your a safe bet and you have to believe that.

As always your need legal advice, I would look at what benefits you can get now shes out of the picture to help you along if you havent already.
Record any events of contact, A solicitor may advise you to file for permeant custody now, get it done before shes on her feet or has the finance already. Im in a situation now where im stopping my ex taking them to new Zealand from the UK and it looks like the only way to get her to back down is to out spend her on legal fees.

If they look at this they will asses current risk to the children - that sounds high, they will look at contact thus far, poor and violent before even processing to a court date. I would say its in your favour. She may be granted access but your could condition this as supervised.

Think of you, do what you can to put her on the back foot financially, think of the kids and present everything your doing as in their best interest to the courts.

Sounds like you have been through a lot and are doing an amazing job. Keep your spirits up do whatever it takes for them and don't feel sorry for her -- that ship has said mate.
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I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66657

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Hi Neil

This is a very distressing situation for you, but it's good that you have the PSO/occupancy and non mol in place. Does the PSO cover all of the children?

As you have the children with you and orders are in place for the next 12 months, then you are in a secure position at the moment. It's highly unlikely that the courts will remove the children from their home and place them with her once the 12 months is up, but I would suggest that in 6 months you apply for a Child Arrangements Order for residency. As the children will have been with you for a good while, I'm pretty confident that the court would'nt transfer residence to her.

If she has chosen to end the relationship and is living away from the family home then you are within your rights to stop any payments you have been making. You are also entitled to claim the child benefit, working tax credits etc because the children live with you. If once your wife leaves rehab, she starts working you will also be entitled to claim child maintenance from her.

Try not to worry too much about her threats, I really don't think you have much to worry about.

Best of luck
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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Last Edit: by Mojo.

I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66664

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Thanks for replying - it really helps to hear someone say what you have

The order applies to 3 of the children as the oldest is 18

The 12 year old refuses to speak to her mum since the incident and has told social services she no longer wants mum in her life - she is seeing a counsellor as I do believe that every child should have a mum and a dad but I cannot force her

Just one question - when you say to apply for the order in 6 months as the court would give residency to mum - would this really happen? I do worry as all the stories I hear lean towards the mum being given the children

Thanks

Neil

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I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66669

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I'm pretty sure Mojo meant to type "wouldn't", and not "would" - just checking on that.

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I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66670

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Arghhh so sorry....actd was correct and it should have read as wouldn't transfer residence to her.

Thanks actd

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66671

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Thanks for clarifying!!

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I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66672

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Your poor daughter, it's early days so she may come round at some point but I would allow her space and time to come to terms with what happened to her.

I can't apologise enough for my typo error....as I said, I don't think you have much to worry about, once the children are settled with you as their primary carer and they remain in their family home, I can't see any judge interfering with that arrangement. They don't like to move children once they are settled and there has to be serious risk for this to happen....lets face it, the serious risks are much more likely to come from their mother as it stands.
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Last Edit: by Mojo.

I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66673

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Glad we got that straight. Basic idea behind it is that the longer the children are settled, the less likely the court is to transfer residence, so leaving it longer helps. Also, get them into clubs and activities that rely on you taking them (and that your ex would find it more difficult to maintain) - that way the children would lose out if residence was transferred so reinforcing that they should stay with you. Plus your kids will love what you do with them :)
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Last Edit: by actd.

I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66697

Fantastic advice from everyone Neil - keep on doing the great work as a parent.

One further thing that would do is to immediately inform CS (via letter and call) of your recent concerns and the high risk of impact on your children; especially your daughter.

Also I would also write to the family court (as precaution) to the judge that was involved with the PSO, NMO, OO to make them aware of CM's intentions that would disrupt the children's lives with severe safeguard issues already attached.
That way if a residency application needs to be made by you (without notice) then the judge will already be familiar with what is currently going on and likely grant it.

Like Mojo says keep on top of your orders and make sure they are renewed before expiry.

I too would not pay anything towards her and keep funds focused on the children.
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I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66703

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...yes I agree, as Social Services are already involved it would help to have a chat with them about the mothers threats, you could ask them, if she were to put an application into court for residency, what their position would be and what they recommend you do to further secure the children's safety in this respect.

If you apply for residency in 6 months time, the children have been with you a good amount of time for the court to consider their position as stable and secure. I don't believe they would contemplate removing your daughter from your care because of the abuse she has already suffered at her mothers hands and they are extremely loathe to split siblings up.

Best of luck with it all and if there's anything at all you need advice or support with please don't hesitate to ask.

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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.

I need Advice 4 years 2 months ago #66724

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Hi

Many thanks for all of the replies

I have already spoken to social services but their stance is that the case is now closed as I have put into place the necessary measure - I do have a copy of the combined assessment which clearly says that if mum was to return to the house they would look at seeking further orders - this was one of the main reasons why I went to court in the first place

You always hope for some bizarre reason that things can be sorted out and we can move on as a family but I guess its time to move on

The youngest 3 are all in clubs - the girls go to a gymnastics club and my youngest son plays football which I help to run - plus the twins are in a swimming club so that's already in place

Cheers

Neil

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