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Can any offer some advice for me to help my DB?

(4 Posts)
OhToBeFree Fri 01-Jul-11 09:53:42


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.


OhToBeFree Fri 01-Jul-11 11:19:47


Smum99 Fri 01-Jul-11 13:09:52

Your db needs to get himself to a solicitor for legal advice ASAP. He can usually get the 1st 30 mins free. Regarding access to his children, the mother has no right to withhold contact and he should be insisting on shared care - making formal proposals to her. Its' actually the child's rights to see their parents rather than the parents right to see the children so the mother cannot withhold contact and the law protects the children from this damaging behaviour. If the ex won't be reasonable and the children are distressed a solicitor can very quickly issue a letter asking for shared contact and she may be more likely to comply.

As he's in the martial home then it would have made sense for the children to remain. Regarding schools, he can contact the schools and inform them of the situation and that as he has parental authority he should be informed of all changes.Guidance from the government states that schools should seek permission from everyone who has parental responsibility and ensure that both parents are included in decisions - such as registering at schools. He could seek a specific order from the court to prevent her changing schools without his permission if he has genuine concern she would move without discussing it with him. Sadly it did happen to my DH, his ex moved the DCs away (so she could move in a new boyfriend) and he wasn't told until moving day. She had only just met the man so it was totally inappropriate, and of course it didn't last and she moved on to yet more partners. DH regrets not taking legal action as his DCs have had a life of instability but at the time he just couldn't believe his ex would behave like she has.

Like we say to mothers who are going trough separation he should hot foot it to a solicitor and start the wheels in motion so that he is treated with equality as regards to parenting and assets from the marriage.

He should also get support from sites such as FNF as he will get very good advice from fathers who have been in this situation.

Mediation is advocated now prior to court but he should definitely get legal advice first so he knows what rights he has.

OhToBeFree Fri 01-Jul-11 15:04:04

Thanks Smum99

Very helpful........The FNF website is fantastic.

Thanks again

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