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need some advice regarding my divorce, custody and child maintenance battle

(8 Posts)
benelux Wed 07-Sep-11 21:12:59

I need some advice regarding my divorce.
My ex and I have separated 3 years ago, (The reason was he was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and was very depressed, I tried to help him get through it but nothing worked we were very unhappy , so eventually I asked him to leave so I can try and bring our son in a happier environment)
Initially, we decided all to be amicable and he promised he will help me look after our 7 years old son. After just 3 months, my ex refused to pay any maintenance and support and to allow me to start divorce proceedings.
He bought a pub and claims he is earning only 100pw which can not be true but there is no way I can prove he is lying because of the nature of his business so my son gets 5 pounds child support that is what the Child support agency decided....
I work full time and single handedly pay a huge mortgage, bills, and support my son, In May 2011, my ex took my son and refused to return him for 5 days, stating that he belongs living with him and his new partner and their baby, and because I work full time and pay a childminder 3 days per week to pick him from school that I am not providing proper care..Like most working parents I am home with him every night the latest 630pm, but that is not good enough according to my ex! He started taking him to school during these 5 days from his flat which he made him travel nearly 2h each way in peak hour through Central London ...I was heartbroken, felt helpless but also felt like I am a failure if I involve the I went to a solicitor and It took me 24 hours to get a Court Order against him and get my son back, that put me in a huge financial strain (the legal bill was 4500 - since then, instead of being sorry and being reasonable he continues to make my life hell, verbally abusing me via phone calls and texts, threatening me and not picking or returning our son as arranged...I am exhausted and drained by all this and Trying to keep a job and to provide the best care possible. The latest is that his parents bought them all airfares to take my son overseas this Christmas, I have heard through an common acquaintance that he is saying he wants to go and live there with his new family and wants to take my son with them as well, Initially I agreed to let my son go and visit his grandparents but now I am too scared that my ex might not return him back.

What document should I get as an assurance which is legally binding for him to return him back to me after Christmas holidays? I have no way of finding money to paying a solicitor any more and can not get legal aid (apparently my salary makes me just 100 pounds over the threshold) sad(

We have mortgages on 2 flats, me and our son live in one but the other which he wants to keep is much more expensive - He does not want to give me as part of the divorce settlement half of the flat's equity and says he has a new family and I can not get anything for me and our son (his solicitor has advised him what to do , and because I can not hire one, I feel there will be nothing left for our son from our 17 years of marriage in which I contributed evenly for all our assets, I am so emotionally tired that I am ready to walk out with nothing after the divorce, I just need this hell to end and him to stop the abuse.
Please help me with some advice on any of the above if you can.

minibmw2010 Thu 08-Sep-11 08:32:49

Firstly, do not, under any circumstances let this man take your child out of the country ever !!! Just because you have agreed to Christmas doesn't mean you can't change your mind, if he was going to keep him a piece of paper, no matter how legal, is not going to stop him !!!

Secondly, speak to citizens advice for any help they may be able to give you.

Good luck.

cestlavielife Thu 08-Sep-11 12:19:06

is he paying mortgage on the other flat or is rented?

working and provding fr your child is a good thing - i was awareded sole residency and i work full time. ex's depression/MH issues means he coudlnt look after them anyway.

you need to start divorce proceedings he can object but he cannot stop you and so you can sort out residence and contact and financial split

try wikivorce as well for legal advise on specific matters if you will ahve to represent yourself but you will prob need a barrister at some point on technical legal issues

benelux Thu 08-Sep-11 21:20:28

Thank you so much for your kind advice, 'cestlavielife' and 'minibmw2010', I am so grateful! Yes, he was renting it for 3 years and I was not getting any part of what was left after the bills each month from the rent either but he moved in with his new baby and partner 2 months ago, I suspect his solicitor has advised him to do (they used to live above in a flat above his pub) so he can not give me anything from its equity. On the top of that he managed to have an overdraft of 3000 on the account where his rent was going in, and now because it is a joint account he does not want to pay it and I am liable even though I have not used and had access to the account for more than 2 just does not stop...wishing you all the best! I hope you have a happy life!

cestlavielife Thu 08-Sep-11 21:35:55

Well you should be able to agree to sort out property so you have one each in sole names and one of you may need to buy out the other on one property.

Machin11 Sun 11-Sep-11 15:13:29

I agree with minibwm, do not let him take yout child abroad, do not let him have the passport and if you think he may have got another, notify likely airport that you do no agree to him taking your child out of the country!!!
If he kicks off, let him, keep a diary of all the times he said he will bring your child back, and hasn't, and if he takes you to court, explain that you have no issue of your child seeing dad, however he has not shown that you can trust him with returning your child, and on X date you needed to get a court order and on x dates he didn't return him, keep all messages and emails etc that say the same.
Good luck as it sounds like you're going to need it, but you are doing a fab job, and lots of people work and use childcare!!

RedHelenB Tue 13-Sep-11 16:17:46

Have you got your son's passport?

I would get on with the divorce asap tbh. You will feel much better when you are in control of your finances.

Teachermumof3 Wed 14-Sep-11 08:06:47

Have you agreed to your ex taking your son abroad for Xmas? Who has the passport?

If my ex had failed to return my child home when agreed on a prior occasion then there would be NO way he'd be taking him abroad without me-not a chance. What if he never brings him back-how the hell would you know where they are let alone be able to bring him back?!

What does your solicitor or even the CAB advise?

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