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Sole Custody. Have you claimed this, if so do ou have any tips?

(25 Posts)
Flyingtree Mon 15-Jul-13 17:37:45

I have had enough and am going to start proceedins for sole custody of my two children age 6 and 4.

Has anyone else done this and might be willing to offer me any tips before I book my initial solicitor appointment to start the ball rolling?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 15-Jul-13 17:49:19

I hope you have deep pockets, Legal Aid is no longer available unless there is proof of domestic abuse. And it's not "sole custody", it's "residence" and you'd still need to sort out contact with the ex. Honestly, it's far better to avoid court if at all possible.

honey86 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:00:27

what do you mean youve had enough? of what? x

balia Mon 15-Jul-13 19:03:32

Firstly you need to consider the 'no order' principle. This means that if the children currently live with you anyway, and there is no threat of abduction, there isn't a reason for a Residence Order, and you have to have a reason to get an order.

Also, OldLady has a valid point - it is very, very expensive to go to court with a solicitor. Would mediation be a possibility to resolve whatever issues there are? It would be the first thing a judge would expect anyway.

cestlavielife Tue 16-Jul-13 11:53:58

there is no custody.
there is residence and contact.
is there evidence of domestic violence, neglect, abuse etc?does he see the dc at all? when how ?

i ahve soel residencey but that was after soem time of court heaering two year and due to ahrd eveidence of agression and severe mental health issues (Severe anxiety + depressive disorder resulting in ability looking after himself at times let alone dc - not your run of the mill depression)

Flyingtree Tue 16-Jul-13 16:43:16

He has already started court proceedings but did not turn up for mediation, didn't communicate with his solicitor and so the case has now been dropped.

He hasn't seen them in over a year and a half now. There has been no contact whatsoever, no birthday/Xmas cards, phone calls/Skype, nothing.

Yes, there was DV and I left when my youngest was 4 weeks old.

He has threatened to abduct the children before, and there is enough email and text message evidence to suggest that his sole purpose is to make my life as complicated as possible.

Cestlavie that is interesting as he does have those problems too. He has been living in his attic space for several years with no hot water or heating facilities, as the rest of his house in inhabitable (he is an extreme Hoarder. Although he says he would take the children to live at his friend's house who has fostered children before..his friend is a scout leader, and also runs a fetish shoewear company..just sayin').

Their father also claims some kind of incapacity benefit because of his alcoholism.

He doesn't want the children, the youngest has started calling my current partner of over a year 'Daddy' and they have both started voluntarily referring to their real father as 'Daddy (insert his name here)', sort of dissassociaiting themselves from him, although of course the youngest has no bond with him, having seen him only two or three times since we left when he was a newborn.

I have had enough of the stress from him amd need to move myself and the children on in life, I suppose is the reason. He clearly doesn't want them and I know of he ever had any contact he would do his utmost to poison my daughter's mind against me. I have never denied contact, I haven't pressed him for financial support (although it would be very helpful bit it won't happen, for other reasons).

PrettyPaperweight Tue 16-Jul-13 16:56:26

I don't think you can achieve what you want to through court.

Even if you are awarded Residency, your ex can, at any point, apply for contact, and if it is not safe for your DC's to spend time with him alone, the court will most likely order indirect contact (letters etc), or supervised contact at least to begin with..

I would think it is highly unlikely, based on what you have written here, that any court would believe that your children would be better off if their father was ordered never to have any contact with them ever again.

But, if your ex isn't seeing your DC's at the moment (you say if he had contact with your DD, so I'm assuming he doesn't) then I'd let sleeping dogs lie, as they say. If you apply to court, then he'll be notified, and given the chance to respond, and he may make life more difficult for you.

Flyingtree Tue 16-Jul-13 17:13:40

He will jump out of a hotel window with them, prettypaperweight, I have his email to say he will do so. Surely a court isn't going to allow the children into his care after that?

Flyingtree Tue 16-Jul-13 17:14:42

Anyway, does anyone have experience of claiming sole custody? I'd just like to know if you have any tips on beginning the process.

Thankyou smile

PrettyPaperweight Tue 16-Jul-13 17:16:47

flying several experienced posters have already explained - there is no such thing as sole custody!

If you want to attempt to remove your ex's parental responsibility, then that is a very different issue.

Flyingtree Tue 16-Jul-13 19:18:14

pretty There it's now called Residency. It's the same thing. Isn't it?

Flyingtree Tue 16-Jul-13 19:18:45

Blimmin' iPad. 'There is', that should read.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 16-Jul-13 19:35:43

Residency establishes which parent is the Resident Parent, and which the Non Resident. There is no question about that in your case, you are the RP and already have "residency" so there's no need for a "residency order". What you really want is a contact order specifying that your ex can have only indirect contact, ie letters, emails, no phonecalls or Skype. However I'd be inclined to follow Pretty's advice about letting sleeping dogs lie, starting any sort of legal action may simply stir him up and start shouting. And you might not even get the contact you want, a court may well order Every Other Weekend and Half of School Holidays (it may seem unlikely to you, but it wouldn't be unheard-of).

PrettyPaperweight Tue 16-Jul-13 20:20:49

A residency order has no bearing on the responsibility a parent has (other than slightly altered rights regarding taking a DC abroad) - so even if you had a residency order the non-resident parent still has a say in medical decisions, choice of schooling etc and he can still insist, for instance, that the schools send him copies of reports, Governor elections, permission slips etc.

You really can't cut your DCs dad out of their life unless he wants no part in it. The court will protect them - not allowing unsupervised contact if he's a risk to their safety, for instance, but it won't order him to stay away completely forever. The law states that it is a childs right to have the opportunity to have a relationship with both biological parents.

I'm not sure why you're so determined to achieve what you've already got ? Your ex hasn't been in contact for over a year, so what's the problem?

cestlavielife Tue 16-Jul-13 22:50:41

It isn't clear . You say he hasn't seen them but is hassling you ?
Makes no sense.

Gather all evidence all text messages the dropped court case etc and ask solicitor to apply.
Yes it will stamp de facto situation. It will also settle the contact issue and you might have to go thru six months or more of trying to have regular supervised contact vbefore a residency order is stamped.

I applied for ridency to settle contact issues as well. When you apply for residency the judge wants to k ow the contact arrangements. So you can't just have residency without a mention of what the contact arrangements are. So you will be opening that one up and be prepared for it to be LOng haul before getting final order as he wil, be given chances to have supervised contact etc. if judge thinks the scout leader is good n paper then they could order that person supervises initially.

Flyingtree Tue 16-Jul-13 22:59:57

There's no contact order, no contact whatsoever officially or unofficially. He doesn't want the children and has stated the whole court case process and mediation was devised to 'purport as much wrath and vengeance possible' against me.

I can't see how it's in the best interest of the children to stay with a father who is effectively going to destroy them to spite me, but then again, I am aware it happens.

Ok thanks everyone.

PrettyPaperweight Wed 17-Jul-13 06:56:16

flying As your DCs are safe, and have no contact with him, then there is nothing you need to do for their sake.

Unfortunately, you will have to come to terms with the fact they their Dad isn't the man you thought he was, and as much as you might want to cut him out of your past completely, he will always be the 'father of your DCs', even if that's only on paper and even if they never see him again.
As they grow up, they may choose to have an independent relationship with him; it will be a lot easier for them if you are able to accept that, despite how he has behaved towards you, rather than expect them to remain loyal to you and reject a father they may have no memories of.

Meglet Wed 17-Jul-13 07:18:06

flying yes, XP would do anything to hurt me including threatening the children when we split. I saw a solicitor a few weeks ago and I was also given the 'let sleeping dogs lie' advice. IIRC if you want residency then you have to find your ex and ask him, which obviously they won't agree to, so it's sadly better to hope they fade away.

But I was also told that as xp hasn't seen the dc's in 4yrs, and there was some domestic abuse involved that if he suddenly popped up out of the blue and wanted to see the kids he'd have to spend money on a solicitor (fat chance) and a court would more than likely request a contact centre as he is a stranger to thew children, which he refused to attend last time. If he took the children I could also call the police as, again, he has had nothing to do in their upbringing.

So, yes it's a shit state of affairs and leaves you and the dc's slightly vulnerable I'd have their parental responsibility removed after domestic abuse if I had my way but there are a couple of safety nets that should hopefully keep him away and keep you and the kids safe.

balia Wed 17-Jul-13 18:18:25

I know there is an awful lot of propaganda about how courts are totally biased and give Dads anything they want, but that really isn't the case. If there is no contact and the children live with you, then you effectively have a Residence Order. If there's no contact, what have you had enough of?

betterthanever Wed 17-Jul-13 22:15:46

Is he still in contact with you? even though he doesn't see DC?

cestlavielife Wed 17-Jul-13 22:44:54

There is no contact and court process was stopped so you just ignore him totally .

Or report to police for harassment.

If he was to try and say stop you taking them abroad without permission it would look stupid if you have record that there has been no contact.

Just keep good records of any contact offered and not taken.

Hamwidgeandcheps Thu 18-Jul-13 15:52:52

Op - are you trying to put something in place to prevent future abduction/similar? Is that what you're after?

somedayillbesaturdaynite Thu 18-Jul-13 16:11:26

If it is as hamwidge is saying then it is a Prohibited Steps Order you need.

Hamwidgeandcheps Thu 18-Jul-13 16:47:41

Someday I was thinking along those lines too. Op you need some good legal advice.

titchy Thu 18-Jul-13 17:36:06

So does he never see dc or is it once a week as in your other thread?wink

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