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Can anyone help me to help my DB please??

(12 Posts)
OhToBeFree Fri 01-Jul-11 11:55:38

(also posted in 'relationships' but thought might be relevant here too)


Wonder if anyone can offer some practical advice on my DB's situation. Having been through some rough relationship probs myself, I don't feel I'm really the best one to advise him so need other's perspectives please.

My DB is going through a nasty bitter divorce. He has two young DCs with STBex who he loves with all his heart.

The Ex is making it very hard for him to see his DCs.

She left the marital home with the DCs and is now set up in a council house and claiming benefits. DB is left in house paying all the bills and struggling to keep his business afloat by himself. He works away a lot but can't get away from this as he has to travel to where the work is.

DB would love to get 50/50 residency but at the moment nothing is being sorted legally and his Ex is telling DB when he can see the kids, cancelling last minute or making plans and then changing them. He's just working around it and whenever he's allowed to see his kids, he makes sure he's there.

Anyway, he's only allowed at the moment to have kids overnight for one night a week. When he takes them to see their Mother at their meeting point the kids are hysterical saying they want to stay with their dad. Its emotionally hurting him so much.

He then gets a letter from the CSA to claim for maintenance this week but he wants his kids overnight more and wants more time with them so how can she claim for maintenance at this stage when nothing is set in concrete and his Ex is pulling the strings.

He's so low. Not sleeping.

I wasn't married so not sure how the legal system works in this sort of thing but surely if the Dad is devoted one and wants his DCs as much as possible, how can it be allowed that the Mum does all the dictating and has the say in when they see their Dad, moves their doctors surgery with DB knowing, potentially moving them to another school without DB's consent.

I am someone who works with my Ex and he sees my DCs whenever he can whether thats overnight or whatever and I really cannot see how a Mother can do this to their DCs when it is clearly upsetting them too.

Sorry its long. There is a lot more to it but the DC situation is the hardest right now.

They are divorcing because his Ex had an affair a few years ago and they've been unable to get over it as a couple so their marriage just deteriorated over the years.


cestlavielife Fri 01-Jul-11 12:35:32

he should offer to medaite

cestlavielife Fri 01-Jul-11 12:36:39

use mediation to firm up an agreement giving set contact times and schedule (with room for rescheduling if neeed obviously - but a fixed contact schedule works best for all)

if mediation sessions dont work then he will need to file for a contact order

OhToBeFree Fri 01-Jul-11 12:45:40

Thank you cestlavie

He has already tried for mediation but she didn't turn up because she is accusing him of mental abuse so apparently didn't need to turn up.

I will advise him re. contact order, thanks

STIDW Fri 01-Jul-11 12:47:40

Above all arrangements for children need to be practical. How would 50:50 shared residence work if he works away a lot? If he works away would he be able to care for the children overnight during the week? Does his wife work at all?

Children need regular and consistent contact. When arrangements cannot be agreed through negotiation he will need to apply to court for contact or shared residence. Shared residence doesn't have to be 50:50, it can be in different proportions and practically isn't that different from traditional contact/residence. These days most parents have to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting before the court will hear an application.

He will be liable to pay child support based on the number of overnights contact now but if circumstances change he can then apply for reassessment.

STIDW Fri 01-Jul-11 12:50:26

Sorry x post. DV is an exception for attending mediation.

OhToBeFree Fri 01-Jul-11 12:55:34

OK thanks.

He would arrange his nights away working around his DCs as he works for himself.

OhToBeFree Fri 01-Jul-11 12:58:19

I am biased of course but if either of them is capable of mental abuse it certainly is not my brother

OhToBeFree Fri 01-Jul-11 12:59:49

'He will be liable to pay child support based on the number of overnights contact now but if circumstances change he can then apply for reassessment.'

I think his ex knows this and that is why she is preventing more overnight stays.

cestlavielife Fri 01-Jul-11 15:52:47

he needs a record of his attempts to negoatiate, offer reaosnable contact etc showing he polite calm etc - and keep any of her texts/emails where she rants. (if she does)

he needs to be careful to show he is very reasonable etc

he should keep all contact written from now on so there is a good record

cestlavielife Fri 01-Jul-11 15:53:00

contact with ex i mean

STIDW Sat 02-Jul-11 17:19:28

If here is alleged DV and mediation isn't possible I would recommend negotiating through a solicitor.

The biggest obstacle to shared parenting 50:50 after divorce is the absence of shared parenting before the relationship broke down. When a court application is made the judge must give regard to a welfare checklist including the perceptions of children, background and the effects of any change is likely to have on the children. If your brother works full time and his wife doesn't work or works part time to fit around commitments to the children the probability of being awarded shared residence 50:50 is less than if they both work full time and share taking and collecting to childcare/nursery/school/doctor/dentist plus the nuts and bolts of parenting (preparing meals, shopping, washing, helping with homework etc for the children.)

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