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TOPIC: Newbie on board

Newbie on board 6 years 3 months ago #19227

I've been surfing the net for some time trying to find the right advice for a multitude of questions I have with regards to my two children who currently live with their mother and after countless searches I decided it would probably be best to find a forum such as this, tell my story and ask the questions I need answering, to see if people can point me in the right direction(s).

Two years ago I split with my partner of 20 years after she went somewhat off the rails and decided that I was surplus to requirements. As we never married there were numerous pros and cons to dealing with the separation but there are some things that a divorce lawyer could probably have helped with.

I have three children aged 15, 10 and 6 (yup, as one was starting school she wanted another one) but after having three, a boy, a girl, and another boy, but once the last one went into full time education she decided she didn't want any more and therefore I was sent on my merry way to start my life again. I know they say life begins at 40 but I wasn't expecting to spend my 40th birthday single but these things happen. Anyway, I set about finding myself a new house to move into after agreeing that the family home would be sold and the money split. What my ex didn't plan for was that my eldest wanted to live with me.

After spending several months getting myself and my eldest son sorted I met a woman who was everything I'd ever wished for and who showed me what a real mother and a real partner is, so needless to say we've recently married, although this required moving a fair distance away from my ex and my younger two children.

So now I'm living many miles away with my new wife, her three children and my eldest in a three bedroom house (2 boys in 1 room, 2 girls in the other) while my ex partner lives with my two younger children, a boy and a girl in a three bedroom house.

This is however where things start getting questionable as to whether I should leave my ex in charge of looking after my two younger children, or for that matter whether she's wanting to pack them off to me so she can do her own thing without the hindrance of looking after them.

I should also probably point out that my ex has a habit of getting obsessed with things, people, fads etc.

It's taken nearly 2 years for our house to be sold, not because it's taken that long to find a buyer, but because my ex spent a year out "finding herself spiritually" and then when she finally did start to get stuff sorted she's been slow to respond to legal forms with the sale.

Within a week of my eldest moving in with me she cleared all his things from his room and moved the youngest in there so that the two children had their own rooms, giving my eldest no option to move back with her, but then later decided that she wanted a "creative space" for her hobby and not wanting to disturb the harmony in her bedroom, she moved the two children back into the same room so that of the three bedrooms in the house, she has two and the children share the third room.

After deciding that she couldn't be bothered to cook she started looking into raw foods, then went through a phase of feeding the children a diet of vegetables and when the children weren't feeling well she put this down to their bodies detoxing from the chemicals and crap that they've been fed in school etc. I'm not 100% sure whether they are still not eating properly, but I'm led to believe they're still on this "fad" diet.

At the start of this year she registered as being self employed so she could class her hobby as a business, and also so she could claim working tax and child tax credits. Her hobby, when she does anything possibly grosses £10 a month if she's lucky. But as far as I'm concerned she's basically doing this so that she isn't forced to claim income support and look for work, and instead can sit round doing whatever she feels like while living off the fact she has two children in her care.

During the six weeks holidays I had my two younger children for three weeks, the journey to collect them cost over £100 in petrol to drive there and back and I also paid for my son's coach fare so that he could spend a week with the three of them then a week with just his mother (although he spent most of that time staying round friends' houses), of course during this time she gave me nothing towards looking after them, but instead spent somewhere in excess of £800 going to see the same stage show numerous times because she fancied one of the actors and going to concerts because she fancied the singer.

I'm not 100% sure where or when the "home schooling" idea came into the equation, but as of September this year my children are now being "home schooled", this basically consists of the children getting up whenever they feel like, watching TV, drawing or playing on the computer. Any time I've spoke to them during the course of the day they don't seem to be able to list anything they'd have learned. Likewise any time I've seen them on video chat the mother is rarely anywhere to be seen and they're hardly ever dressed.

She has no control over them and as a result they pretty much do what they want, when they want during the course of the day.

My 10 year old is now allowed to use the oven and hob herself and tends to make lunch for both herself and her younger brother.

She's been struggling to find any rental accommodation because a lot of the places she's been looking at over the past six months don't accept benefits and as she only lives off benefits her current option is to live with a relative until she finds somewhere, but she recently discussed (with the kids before mentioning it to me) the idea of them coming to stay with me, my wife and our kids for a month or so while she gets herself sorted out. None of her family are particularly child friendly, mostly due to her lack of control over them so it's probable that they'd accommodate her but not the kids, but given that it's taken six months for her not to find anywhere so far, I'm hardly expecting her to find anywhere within a month (especially in December).

She also had an argument with my 10 year old daughter and ended up giving her six weeks to decide whether she wants to live with me or her, regardless of whether they'd be coming here for Christmas.

Before all of this came to light my wife and I were looking at a house exchange from our three bedroom to a five bedroom so that we all had our own rooms but now we're looking at the prospect that we may end up with another two children.

….. and that is pretty much my story so far. Just waiting for the completion date from the solicitor's so I know when the house will be sold, waiting to find out if my ex has figured anywhere that the three of them are going to be staying for the short term, unless anything else happens in the meantime.

So, are me, my wife, mother, mother in law, brother in law and various other people right in worrying about how well the two younger ones are being looked after and what damage their lack of proper education could do, should we do something to encourage the children to want to come and live with us? I've been told that by having them all here we would be given priority on the housing list due to overcrowding, but as me, my wife and my eldest step-daughter all work anything from 3-5 days a week (although I work from home) and we're already pretty much above capacity as it is, what could we do to in the meantime while we're looking for a bigger house?

Should I get in touch with HMRC about a potential fraudulent claim, should I get in touch with the school and the local council regarding the lack of education or should I get in touch with Social Services? I'm not even 100% sure whether Social Services are aware already as my son's counsellor in his old school did mention to me that she would have to notify SS that there were potentially two minors at risk due to the rather bleak picture he painted of his mother to her at the time.

Thanks in advance for getting this far through this and for any advice anyone may be able to give me, although I'll be separating the various questions in here into their own suitable threads in the respective areas.

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Last Edit: by FerbFletcher. Reason: Added comment regarding posting in correct places.

Re: Newbie on board 6 years 3 months ago #19239

  • Nannyjane
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Hi there and welcome! :)

Well theres so much going on here that I think rather than addressing all of your concerns, we should prioritise. In my opinion the priority is the childrens well being. The fundamentals such as diet and schooling need to be addressed. I think Social Services should be involved. They can be very slow to act and it may well be that they were told about the situation by the counsellor at your sons old school. I think its a good idea to talk to the counsellor that dealt with your son and find out if they did refer it to the SS. Once you have that information you can then make contact with the SS and ask that they become involved. You may initially feel that they arn't listening to you but keep at it and tell them that you feel the children are at risk....becoming ill through poor diet, possibly being left alone and also being unsupervised around oven and hood and being responsible for feeding them both.

I think it would also be a good idea to talk to the childrens school and the council about the issue of home schooling and what appears to be a complete lack of it. The children should be up and dressed and have structured learning, just as they would at school. Do you know if the children are being left alone at home or just being left unsupervised?

I would at the same time prepare yourselves for the possibility of taking your children in, and the changes that will have to be made to accomodate them.

As far as HMRC and fraudulent claims are concerned, I dont think you should get enmeshed in that right now...better to get the childrens situation sorted out and then if you feel you want to do something about it after that , then thats up to you.
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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.
Last Edit: by Nannyjane. Reason: addition

Re: Newbie on board 6 years 3 months ago #19243

As far as I'm aware they're just left unsupervised in the house but never left home alone. Over time my daughter has sent me videos of them playing in the living room and kitchen which generally involved diving on or off the furniture, making a slide down the stairs using cardboard packaging etc. or climbing on the kitchen benches and jumping off onto the tiled floor.

Getting my priority list sorted for tomorrow. Thanks.

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Re: Newbie on board 6 years 3 months ago #19245

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...One more thing I would suggest is to keep a journal and log all telephone calls, texts and emails with your ex and also with all the different authorities you contact, with dates and times. Make a note of the content of all conversations too. and dont delete any texts, emails etc. It will be a helpful reference when dealing with the authorities, and if you need to go to court.

Good luck with it all and if you need any help with anything just 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.

Re: Newbie on board 6 years 3 months ago #19275

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I agree with everything NannyJane has said above - it seems to me that this is a case of neglect and Social Services should be contacted immediately - at the very least they may intervene to support your ex and to keep an eye on the children and get them back into the education system.

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Re: Newbie on board 6 years 3 months ago #19283

Thanks for the replies. One of the things that became apparent as the years went on was that she loves babies but once they start interfering with her day to day stuff by running around or demanding attention then she'd lose interest.

Even their eldest brother who lives with me is concerned about their education and sadly to be fair doesn't really have a good word to say about his mum.

Tomorrow's going to be a busy day on the phone but hopefully a productive one.

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Re: Newbie on board 6 years 3 months ago #19288

Good luck mate. Let us know how it works out.

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