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Alarm bells. Is my ex making a play for full custody children.

(38 Posts)
1DAD2KIDS Sat 23-Apr-16 19:05:23

Captian chaos (the ex) blows winds of uncertainty again. Basically my ex left me and kids (girl 4 years and boy 13 months) to live with another man 100 miles away. After alot of work getting over it all and coming to terms with years of emotional abuse and minipulation i am now in a great place. The kids are very happy and settled. We have a great set up, a great house, surrounded by loving family. The devorce is nearly complete nice and easy. She agreed to adultery and signed. Anyway she come down for the weekend to stay and see the kids. I don't mind this as we get on fine despite everything and I want her to see the kids as much as possible (she don't see them alot). I know things are not going well with the man see left us for. In fact I think everyone could see what a loser he is and that it wouldn't last. Anyway she told me that she maybe looking to move back to where we live. On the face of it that would be good. The kids could see their mum more and maybe I could get a break now and then.

But here's the thing I don't see here plan working without her becoming reconised as the resident parent and all the money that comes with it. She said she was looking at getting a 3 bed next to the school. Rent is about 650-700 a month and she worksing minium wage 30 hours, but she did mention getting housing benefit. She has no education and never has held down a job. It never matter as I could afford to fund the family on my wages. I don't think she could aford it working min wage or on benifits as a lone person. I think she could if she became the residential parent getting child benefit and a hefty maintenance (about £750 a month) from me.

I am not sure to panic or not. She changes like the winds. Ever since I have known her she has never held a job for much more than 6 months. She gets board and leaves. I funded 4 home business she started, all of which she got board of and gave up with nothing to show. It was only the other week she told me that she was thinking about starting a new life in Manchester.

People have warned me before on here if it all goes sour with her fella she may want walk back in and start playing mum again.
There was definitely something different about her this time as if the penny had dropped and she realised her mistake. I think staying in our nice house thar be and the kids bought made her pine for the family life she walked out on. Or maybe not as she said to me we would probably still be together if it wasn't for the birth of our baby boy. angry how dare she Blame our little boy. We would probably still be together if she didn't drop her pants and move in with her aging overweight drug smoking dead beat step cousin angryangry. She never can see her own fault.

So would she need custody of the kids to fun the house and lifestyle she's talking about? Or could she afford it on benifits or min wage? Also if she needed custody of the kids to afford it is it a viable threat that she made be planning to make a play for having the kids full time? Is that why she wants to move next door to there school. We have no formal legal arrangements with the kids as I didn't think we needed it as we still get on. Do I panic and get to the solicitors or just ride it out as another one of her plans she never follows through.

dillydotty Sat 23-Apr-16 19:11:09

Do you get the child benefit?

blueberrypie0112 Sat 23-Apr-16 19:12:28

You should. she left the kids for a boyfriend among other things. She is not settle enough to take the kids.

1DAD2KIDS Sat 23-Apr-16 19:13:09

I earn too much for child benefit.

Treetopchallenger Sat 23-Apr-16 19:14:18

How long have you been a single dad for?

starry0ne Sat 23-Apr-16 19:16:44

I would definitely get legal advice...I assume you have child benefit in your name?

To change residency she would have to prove you are neglectful or it is damaging the children..

I would make sure you keep any documented evidence of you offering , supporting contact..Anything that goes against her..

I still have evidence of how much of a risk my Ex is should he try for contact..Despite not been in touch for years... I keep it as security for my son..

You know her better than anyone else.. Do you think she really wants the kids...It doesn't sound like she does to me just a daydream

GeorgeTheThird Sat 23-Apr-16 19:17:55

It sounds as though she might be. But you don't have it agree to it. The court would need to be given a good reason to overturn the status quo. If the children have been living with you for over say 9 months, and you have childcare sorted, that is the status quo.

HenryHoovered Sat 23-Apr-16 19:22:51

You can register for child benefit but choose not to have it paid if you earn too much.

Sunshine87 Sat 23-Apr-16 19:23:11

Has she suffered from post natal depression just the comment about your son? Could explain her recent behaviour? I would get something written legally just to protect yourself incase she does make a play for the kids.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 23-Apr-16 19:43:39

Has she seen her children regularly and consistently since you split up and she fucked off 100 miles away?

She can apply to court and ask for anything she wants. But that does not mean it would automatically be in the children's best interests for her to have them living with her full-time. Even if she was the best mother in the world I can't see her getting more than 50/50. While it goes to court, and all the time (and expense) that takes, she would have to finance the rent from her own resources because she wouldn't get that much housing benefit or much else while there were no children living with her. If she was awarded 50/50 it isn't likely that you would have to pay her any child support.

If you have any documentary evidence of erratic or inconsistent behaviour I suggest you keep it safe.

If courts are a true reflection of the rest of society (and they aren't always) I suspect she would be judged rather more harshly than if she was a man who had deserted his children and wanted to waltz back in and take them on solo.

I cannot understand how any woman could eff off and leave a small baby unless their life was at risk. I just can't

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Sat 23-Apr-16 19:47:51

She would only be entitled to HB for a one bedroom property, and if she's working 30 hours a week it would literally be a few pounds towards it. As far as benefits, again if she doesn't have the DC with her then she would maybe get about £30 wtc. She would not be entitled to any child related benefits as she has no children living with her.

Is it widely recognised that you are the resident parent ( by nursery/school, health visitors etc )? If so then I wouldn't worry about her gaining custody especially as her contact with your ( very young ) DC is sporadic and on her terms ( I've read some of your other threads ), I can't imagine a court looking favourably upon it.

Watch out though, because if she's anything like my useless father, she'll be asking to "borrow" the kids so that she can get benefits and larger house. Say no if she does ask. Please also contact child benefit and let them know that DC live with you full time, as if there is no claim and she puts one in then it will look to the authorities like she has been caring for the children.

Fourormore Sat 23-Apr-16 19:49:28

Presumably she could claim child benefit (if you can't) and tax credits. She can claim these as the NRP.

I'm unsure of the rules on housing benefit for NRPs - I seem to think there had been a legal challenge but don't know for sure.

Either way, claiming benefits, tax credits etc will not make her the primary carer and as others have said, the status quo is with you. As its only been 9 months then she could go to court and end up with 50/50 (or similar) but it's unlikely that she would have the children moved to live with her at this stage.

I wouldn't get wound up about it. She sounds very flaky. I'd ignore it until she actually invites you to mediation or applies to court.

goddessofsmallthings Sat 23-Apr-16 19:55:08

When did your ex leave, or how long have the dc been staying with you?

In order to get the mythical 3-bed house next to the school at a rent of £650-700 a month she'll most probably be required to provide one month's rent plus the same by way of deposit and, as many landlords don't accept HB claimants, she may also have to provide a reference from her an employer attesting to the fact that she earns sufficient income to pay the rent.

Imo the only thing you have to panic about is her making overtures to return to you if another man/scheme/plan doesn't grab her fancy in the meantime.

As advised by others (above), I suggest you register for child benefit asap www.gov.uk/child-benefit/eligibility

Hissy Sat 23-Apr-16 20:40:04

Never, ever let her stay in your home again. SERIOUSLY.

She walked out on her kids, dumped them and abused you for years. Stop making her bloody life easy!

She organises her own stays with a friend, hotel or whatever. Her visits with the kids are short and supervised, you meet her somewhere neutral and observe

Do not support her moving near you in any way shape or form

dillydotty Sat 23-Apr-16 20:55:54

I think you can claim it but no actually get any money. It registers you as primary carer and makes it easier to claim if your income drops. You need some sort of legal recognition that the kids are with you.

1DAD2KIDS Sun 24-Apr-16 16:02:22

Thanks for putting my mind at ease. Kids have been with me 7 months now. So as the kids are recognised as living with me and registered at my address with various organisations I shouldn't have a problem. It's not like there is anyone out there who would say otherwise, even my in laws. I have the best in law's by the way. They have been so supportive to me and the kids. I think it says something when even her own parents say the kids are far better off with me.

I think I got a little worried unduly. The trouble is I didn't put myself in her mind set. In reflection this is probably another half baked plan. I doubt she actually considered how to fund it.

As to postnatal depression maybe. The trouble is she has always been a bit strange. It's always like her head is wired a little differently from most. Not entirely sure if it anything you could put your finger on. I think she has some kind of personality disorder. It funny since we parted everyone is starting to come out the wood work saying things like she always was a bit of an old ball or they never actually liked her. Maybe it's the way she is that was the reason for gaslighting me for all these years and trying to undermine my relationship with my family and friend. For example for a few years on the trot she would tell me she tried to plan a suprise birthday party for me but the rest of my family were not keen on the idea. I spoke to my mum the other day and she said my ex had never spoke to her about a birthday party. Now you could say my mum would say that but I know who I believe. I don't think my ex is nasty or evil, it's just she's odd and I don't think she realises how wrong she is. It's like she rationalises things different from other people. I can tell you one thing despite her faults I honestly loved her with all my heart. I would have done anything for her and tried my best to save our marriage. Up until the point point I realised she had given up on me when I read a correspondence saying how she wanted to spend her life with this guy and wanted a baby with him. He wasnt to keen on the idea. He is a lot older and probably got enough on his plate paying CSA to his ex wife. You know the funny thing is I took me ages to get over the guilt of thinking I has let her down. I vowed to protect her for life. It felt like I had failed to protect her from her self. And because I loved her I was worried sick about the shit life sated for her self. Its ok now I realise I am not responsible for her actions and I have probably had a lucky escape. It's also fair to say I don't love her anymore (I would have thought that impossible a year ago).

I definitely want to the kids to see more of her. That why I let her come down sometimes. She has no friends down here or anywhere to stay. When the kids go up to her they stay at her parents house with her. As I don't want them at his house as she said he has hit her before and he used to date her when she had just turned 17. He would have been in his mid 30s then. I have nothing against age gaps. I just think there is something a little creepy about a step relative in his mid 30s sleeping with a girl who has just finished school. I am 32 and couldnt imagine dating someone who has just left school. Of course I don't know is this is truth or fibs to confuse me more. But you can understand my concern and why I don't let them stay at his house. We get on fine and even have a laugh and a joke. Both kids were planed. I believe it take two to make a baby and two should share bringing them up (ideal world). So yes I wish she could be around more from them. The trouble is with her come chaos too. So I allway have to second guess her and make sure her crazy doesn't upset the kids.I also don't trust her to always do things in the kids best interests. So you can understand why it's so important for the kids to be with me.

As for child support the way it works is I can claim it but then I would get a huge bill at the end of the year to pay it all back. So i dont want to face a hefty bill every year. I have just completed last year's return. When I got my pay rise we stopped it but I still had to pay back 600. The child benefit went to her anyway and she spent it how she wished. Most of it spent on her affair, sex underwater (for his pleasure) and buying him nice gifts. So it made be a bit sick to thing me and the tax payer had funded these things.

The main thing is she can't just take the kids and say know they live we me.

DoreenLethal Sun 24-Apr-16 16:24:56

I think even if you get the bill each year, it would be better to claim it and then pay it back, than let her claim it as that could be a chink in the custody/access/resident parent claim.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 24-Apr-16 16:30:58

You need to make sure she is t closing child benefit currently. You need to claim it ASAP and either pay it back with your tax return or opt to not recieve the money.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 24-Apr-16 16:31:28

Isn't claiming , not closing!

1DAD2KIDS Sun 24-Apr-16 16:35:47

She can't claim it, can she? The kids live with me?

Lunar1 Sun 24-Apr-16 17:28:05

Don't take the risk. Claim in your name, you can still make a zero claim, but it will stop her doing it.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 24-Apr-16 17:29:30

She shouldn't claim if the children live with you, but she could have could have claimed anyway.

starry0ne Sun 24-Apr-16 17:30:30

I don't understand what you mean you have to pay it back? do you mean you have to pay tax on it?

As for child benefit..Yes you need to claim this( even if you are above the income threashhold).. She may still be claiming it.. She will then have so many weeks to transfer it to you...You need to do this to close any loop holes to prove you are resident parent...

AndNowItsSeven Sun 24-Apr-16 17:33:04

No you don't pay tax you can claim it get a bit of interest on it and pay back the original amount in your tax return. Or make a zero claim.

rollonthesummer Sun 24-Apr-16 17:36:24

Definitely let the child benefit people know tomorrow. Assume nothing.

Claim the child benefit and just put it in separate account by direct debit each month so you don't touch it?

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