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TOPIC: Dont know where to turn

Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77754

:(
Well here goes, and I hope not to bore whoever may read this.
I have two young sons aged 3 and 7 and up until 30 months ago we lived together with their mum, now my ex. the relationship between their mother and I broke down when my eldest was 5 and youngest just under a year old. The house which we lived in was my house that was bought for me by a trust fund left to me by my parents so there was no mortgage on the property. My ex admitted to me that she was seeing someone else and it was agreed that to cause as little disruption to the boys as possible that I would go and rent a property close by and she could stay in the house with the boys. I was not going to charge her any rent as this would counteract as maintenance, living rent free.
On the day I moved out I discovered that she had moved her boyfriend into the house and I asked her to start paying some rent as why should he now be living in my house rent free. Over the last 29 months they have lived in the house for free, and I have seen my boys on a regular basis and provided for them when I can to the best of my ability and time, working around my continental shift pattern. Money has been very tight at times with paying rent and maintenance for my daughter from my marriage.
In January this year I decided I was going to sell the house as the boys are getting older and because I am only renting a one bed bungalow with damp problems, and the fact that when the boys stay with me we have to share the bed, I thought it was about time to sell up. this immediately caused problems and the boys mother wanted £20,000 from the sale of the property for a deposit for a new home for HER boys. The following months were consumed by bitter threats and arguments on her behalf demanding this pay off, I eventually agreed to pay her £15,000 on completion of the sale and this then caused more problems and threats. A legal document was drawn up and she and her boyfriend and the boys left the house. Unfortunately they had to stay with friends for a week until they could move into their new home, which they are renting, by I was told by my ex the money was for a deposit on a mortgage. Well, this in itself was deemed to be the worst thing I could have done to the boys by leaving them homeless for a week and I will never be forgiven for. This was at the beginning of August and I was expecting there to be mention of maintenance for the boys at some stage in the future, but 3 weeks after her pay-out she was demanding that I help her pay for their school outfits and other thing that they required. I put £90 into her account as a gesture as this was all I could afford but this was seen as a :joke:. she is now demanding that I pay her £400 for maintenance for August and September. I have told her that I cannot pay her any money as I am still paying for my daughter and still paying rent and that my daughters maintenance finishes this month so I will start to pay her the correct amount of maintenance in October through the CMS. This however is not good enough as she has told me she is struggling, bearing in mind she had £15,000 off me at the beginning of august. I have been harassed and verbally abused by text for the last 4 weeks over this and today she has now said that I cannot and will not see the boys until she has a payment, she has also told my son why I am not going to be seeing them, and told him he cannot go to after school football with his class mates because I will not contribute. I am now worried that she may hold this against me and not let me see my boys. The texts I receive are very hurtful and nasty, calling my a useless father and a waste of time and they have a dad with them now who is more than a father than you have ever been etc. This whole situation is really getting to me now and I need help, I am even considering going to the Police about the abuse.
any advise would be greatly appreciated, am I a bad father for not giving in to her demands?

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77755

I really feel for you. £15,000 and she still wants more! I know that some of the senior boarders will be able to give you advice on what to do legally to get access to your sons.
Your boys were staying with friends, they weren't homeless. And it was only for one week when you'd provided a rent free home for her and her new boyfriend. Do either of them work and if they haven't had to pay rent for so long what have they been spending their money on? I'm guessing now that the free ride is over things aren't running so smoothly for them both. How much would the rent have been on the house?
Of course you have an obligation to provide for your sons. Maybe the other members will be able to say whether that £15,000 and the free rent can be counted towards your maintenance payments.
If you have evidence of any threats of violence the police are there to help. They won't contact the people making the threats if you don't want them to but they will make a record of it and if you fear for your safety they can link your telephone number so that you could call and not even talk and they would send a car round to your home.
Keep a record of every communication you have with them, of every time you see your children. Let your ex make the mistakes and if you decide to take the legal route you'll be able to show what they are like.
You're trying to do the right thing - you're making an effort to be a part of your childrens lives. Why other parents can't see this and cause so much trouble is beyond me. There are more important things than money.

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77756

Thanks for taking the time to read my post Paul. Yes they are both working and they have had 2 holidays abroad without the boys and 1 with them, they drive around in a 62 reg Range Rover evoque. If I had been charging them rent it would have been 525 a month. I know I have an obligation for maintenance and am most certainly not denying that, I will and want to pay for them as I have with my daughter but I want it to be done properly through the Cms. I went on holiday for the 1st time in 7 years in April to Portugal for 4 days without my boys and had hell to pay.

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77758

29 months at £525 per month = £15,225 + £15,000 = £30,225! Plus whatever other payments you've made to her.
You moved out of your home and her new partner moved straight in!!! You've paid the equivalent of over £1,000 per month. Was your ex legally entitled to half of the house?
Stick around - the guys on here really know their stuff. They helped me and many other dads in every way I can think of from emotional support to helping you understand the complexities of the legal situation with regards to your children. They all seem to have been through the same things we're going through and come out on the other side.
I hope things work out for you. Be polite to your ex, don't give her any excuses to withhold your children from you or to claim domestic violence. Again and again (including my own experiences) there are many mothers out there who will stop at nothing to deny fathers access, whether it's because of money or new relationships or just simply spite. I've read many posts on here and other sites where fathers just give in and walk away. You have to be strong, not give in to threats or demands, and put your children first above all else.
There are success stories, there is hope.

The good news is that the courts are now of the mindset that children having regular contact with both parents is the best thing for them. Best of luck. Be strong, for your children - they may need you one day.

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77759

No Paul, she wasn't entitled to anything, I'm trying so hard to be calm but it is so hard, I do not speak to her or answer her texts anymore and she doesn't like it.

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77760

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Hi and welcome to the forum

I hope you don't mind but I've moved your post to the Legal Eagle section where it should get more views although it's also maintenance queries.

Firstly, I would ask them in writing to stop harassing you and then if they continue you need to log this with the police on 101 - to be honest you could do this anyway but the police with advise you to tell them to stop and then if they continue, the police would get involved.

With regard to the financial side - I really would take some specific legal advice from a solicitor on this. It might be worth paying for a one off letter to lay out your position on the finances and contact with the children. Unless a court ordered otherwise in financial proceedings, your only liability would be the CMS minimum.

Unfortunately, without a court order in place, she can stop contact with your children. A solicitor can't force contact to restart but a one off letter might work. I would suggest setting up a mediation appointment as if things went so far as having to apply to court regarding the children, it's mandatory for you to have attempted this process. If it fails or she won't attend, a mediator would sign the form that gives you permission to apply.

www.nfm.org.uk/

Some of our other members may be able to tell you more on the financial side of things but I really would consider speaking to a solicitor.

Good luck

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DAD.info Moderator

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.

Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77767

Hi There,
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As has been said by Paul and Yoda, these messages are harrasment and you can report it, but first as Yoda has suggested, write them a letter stating that the messages are harrasment and unless they stop you will inform the police.
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With regards to the house again as said you should take some legal advice about this, if you weren't married I'm not sure what the standing is on what she is entitled too, but if she has agreed to the 15K then that should be the end too it, but it's worth checking and getting legal advice to be sure or you may find she can come back later on down the road and demand more money from you.
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The 15K you have given her won't count towards child maintenance and that also goes for the period she lived in the house rent free, but the good news is, CMS can only back date to the point that they were contacted to open a case, If it were me I would contact them ASAP and have everything set up through them so that you don't get any further issues.
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If your ex continues to stop contact with your boys, then you would firstly need to attend mediation, if she won't attend or you can't work anything out, the mediator will be able to sign the court application for you so you can apply to the family courts to have an child arrangement order written up.
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Good luck and keep us posted and we will try and help as much as we can.
.
GTTS

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77785

I've just been receiving more abusive messages threatening that I wont see my children unless I immediately pay £200 when I go to pick them up. I have explained that I will be paying through the cms as soon as the claim she has initiated is able to progress on 8th October. I have patiently explained yet again that i can't pay until I have finished paying for my eldest, the final payment has gone out and I will be able to pay anything to support my boys that The cms asks me to from October 8th onwards. In response she has clearly admitted to telling my 7yr old son that his 'pathetic old dad won't look after him' she also has said that the 'kids know exactly what you're like' and that their sister (my eldest) has been looked after but that I won't look after them. she has also said she has told the boys to expect me on the morning but told me they won't be going with me if I dont pay her demands. She has also said she will call the police if I turn up without cash. Is this emotional abuse of the children and should I turn up and politely request the children or not?

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77787

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That's awful. I think you need to set up mediation asap.

It's up to you whether you go to pick the children up or not. If you go and she refuses to let them go with you, at least you tried and they will know this. If you don't, you give her opportunity to tell them you don't care. It's a tough one.

If you do attend, in your shoes, I would have my phone in my pocket on voice recorder in case she becomes nasty. Not too much use in a family court case but if she ever involved the police, you have a recording of the incident.

I would advise keeping any correspondence with her to a written format as much as possible, that way you have evidence of all this if you ever have to go to court regarding the children or are falsely accused of anything.

If you do go and she refuses to let them come with you, I think you have to calmly say that whatever is going on between the two of you, that is not the children's fault and they should not be aware of all the issues.

You can't reason with an unreasonable person sadly. I really would set up mediation asap before this deteriorates further. It can take 2-3 weeks to set up so isn't a fast process.

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

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DAD.info Moderator

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.

Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77790

Or you could buy a dedicated audio recorder - Maplins sell them for about £40. Is it worth the extra cost? In my case it was because you can have your phone in view and your ex partner won't know that you're recording - they could even use your phone. I believe from the research I've done into recording laws and speaking with the police and solicitors that it's perfectly legal. Also if you do have abusive messages on your phone, synchronise your phone with a computer and back them up - messages get deleted or phones get lost.

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77798

Well that went well. I went to get the boys this morning at 9am with my girlfriend who came along just as a witness. When I got to the front door my ex answered it and immediately asked me for money, I told her once again that I did not have the money to give to her and that it will all be set up through the Cms next month. Once again the abuse started again on her part referring to my daughter as a whore because she has received her last maintenance payment and 'her' boys have to go without. I kept very calm and was told I had better spend money on them this weekend I just nodded and stayed calm and the boys got into my car. During this time I was told to watch my back and that I have no idea of the claim she's putting in against me and just usual verbal abuse. I had a message from her when we got back saying that she felt intimidated and harassed that I turned up 'mobbed handed and it is now in the hands of the police.
When we got back to my girlfriend's we were getting things ready to go on a picnic to the park for a few hours when Mr policeman turns up. The police had been called by my ex and had come to get my side of the story. The police officer said that I had apparently been abusive an made a gesture to my ex by the way of my finger going across my throat, I was truly shocked to hear this allegation and I showed the officer the amount of abusive messages I have received from my ex.
He could see what I was putting up with and basically advised me to maybe get a court order as regards to me having the boys on a regular basis on and meeting at at pick up point. The officer said that he was going to go back to see my ex and ask her to stop with the messages.
I never wanted thing to go this far but if this is the way it has to go then so be it.

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Dont know where to turn 3 years 4 months ago #77801

Hello petepedro,

The information and opinions I give are through my own personal experience so please seek legal advice regarding any claim on your personal financial assets.

You were not married therefore she has no claim on your personal assets. However, under the Children's Act she could claim on behalf of the children for example, to finance putting a roof over the children's heads. You appear to have safeguarded yourself regarding this by having a legal document stating the payment of £15,000 was paid to her for a deposit on a house she intended to purchase which she agreed to and accepted. My understanding is that now she has left (over two years ago) you can do as you choose with the house.

If you or she open a case with the C.M.S. the amount they calculate is the sum you are responsible for paying for the children's maintenance. You are under no obligation to pay any more but you may well choose to pay for "extras" as and when you choose or your finances allow you to. You have a right to have a life also and when the children come to stay with you, you will need money to be able to take them to places of interest and to be able to buy certain things for them.

It would appear your efforts and generosity have not been appreciated and the situation between the two of you is turning very nasty. As Yoda has stated in his message to you, get mediation sorted a.s.a.p. and if this is unsuccessful go to court to get a Court Order for contact. If you have a Court Order an Ex can still be unreasonable or try to be but you have the law on your side when it comes to contact with your children.

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