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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES: 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. 5. If one topic or question threatens to overwhelm the webchat, MNHQ will usually ask for people to stop repeating the same question or point.

Webchat with family law barrister Paula Rhone-Adrien on Monday 13 July, 7.30-8.30pm
47

BojanaMumsnet · 10/07/2020 14:23

Hello

We’re pleased to announce another webchat with Paula Rhone-Adrien, a family law barrister with over two decades of experience, practising from Lamb Building Chambers. You can read her previous webchat here.

Paula will be able to answer questions about the divorce process during lockdown, as well as more general questions about family law, including financial protection, emotional self-care, custody arrangements and domestic abuse.

Paula regularly attends Court representing clients across the social spectrum, from
the Magistrates' Court to the Court of Appeal, in a range of areas including: divorce
and finances; disputes between parents regarding where their child should live or
how much time they should spend with the other; the region/country a child should
live in; child welfare, be that the concerns of social services regarding negligent
parenting (sexual, physical or emotional abuse) or one parent accusing the other;
and domestic abuse (representing the alleged victim or the alleged perpetrator).

Paula is a BBC Expert Voice and has worked with a number of broadcast networks and TV production companies in the UK. You can listen to Paula on this episode on marriage on BBC Woman’s Hour.

Post your questions on this thread or join us live on Monday 13 July, 7.30 - 8.30pm.

Please note any answers from Paula will be the general stance taken by the Family Courts as opposed to specific to the individual’s case - and please do not include any names or anything that could identify where the person/child lives.

As always, please remember our guidelines - one question per user, follow-ups only if there’s time and most questions have been answered, and please keep it civil. Also if one topic is dominating a thread, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. (We may suspend the accounts of anyone who continues after we've posted to ask people to stop, so please take note.) Rest assured we will ALWAYS let the guest know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Many thanks,
MNHQ

Webchat with family law barrister Paula Rhone-Adrien on Monday 13 July, 7.30-8.30pm
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Atadaddicted · 10/07/2020 17:10

Thank you

My divorce and financial settlement was settled 4 years ago.

I suspect my ex has had a very significant pay increase since then.

Can the settlement be reopened? Am I entitled to see his wage slips?

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Claliscool · 10/07/2020 18:11

Thank you.

My ex husband refuses to allow me phone contact with my children and he has then 50 per cent of the time. It is affecting our bond. We have it court ordered that he should facilitate this but I cannot afford representation to go back to court. Should I go unrepresented?

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Gobbolinothewitchscat · 10/07/2020 20:11

Asking on behalf a friend

She and husband are litigants in person. Husband has residence of their child (aged under 7) since they split a few months ago as she has been ill and in hospital. Now discharged. She sees her daughter (with overnight stays) at least 3 days a week

Mediation has failed. There is a prohibited steps hearing in a few months at her instance as husband has moved about 10 miles away and wants to remove their child to a new school.

She has not made an application for an arrangement order yet but assume she should do as she would like primary residence of her child and there is no question if parents being able to agree between themselves? Would that hearing be conjoined with the prohibited steps one if possible? She has a date for the prohibited steps and a directions hearing in a few week so presumably she could make an application for an arrangement order and an application for both matters to be heard together as where her daughter lives is quite germane to where she attends school?

Any help very gratefully received

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cakemeupbeforeyougogo · 11/07/2020 07:11

Do pensions earned in New Zealand/Oz (which are still there but not being paid into and which have never been accessed) get counted as part of the UK asset pot during divorce?

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Windyjuly · 11/07/2020 08:14

Hello, thank you for coming on. Grandparents '' rights ''. Apparently, if they used to see the gc, they have more sway in demanding they see them in future. Is this true? My husband doesn't speak to them and ended up in therapy due to them. If they ever took us to court, could they demand to see them? What level of detail would be required, what grounds to try and stop it? Eg my husband ending up in therapy, or them verbally abusing me after daughters birth (days after), not giving one child a gift at Xmas... Saying negative things to the children...
Thanks.

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WittyWhitty · 11/07/2020 11:04

Hi - thank you for taking the time to give advice.

My dillemna is this...

Pre-Lockdown, daughter (age 9) saw her father every other weekend and for a few hours one day after school in the week. This is an arrangement we came to ourselves - the courts have never been involved.

However, since lockdown, he has refused to stick to social distancing guidance, even when it was against the law. He has visited family and friends in their homes throughout, has attended several non-socially distanced house parties and has put our daughter in (what I consider to be) high risk situations, such as travelling for hours in a car with other households and mixing her with several other households in a non-socially distanced way at a gathering in his home.

Neither daughter or I are comfortable with this and as such, I have paused our arrangement for direct contact, instead facilitaing indirect contact through video calls and messages.

Ideally, I would like our daughter to be able to see him, but ex seems very unwilling to change his behaviour so it would be safe for her to do so.

Ex understandably is upset by this and up until recently has not engaged with the indirect contact, despite our daughter trying to contact him, but my question is, knowing that his behaviour would be putting our daughter (and therefore myself) at an increased risk of catching Covid, am I within my rights to pause direct contact or not?

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Songsofexperience · 11/07/2020 15:33

Hello, my marriage collapsed a couple of weeks into lockdown. It had been on the rocks for a long time before then. My H is in complete denial and insinuates all issues stem from (imaginary) mental health issues. He's threatened to walk away from my and DCs lives completely if I went ahead with divorce. He would quit his very well paid job and basically just go off somewhere I couldn't find him. It sounds utterly ridiculous but it's a threat he's made a number of times now. I told him fine, go ahead, except that I was made redundant last month. I'm looking for another job of course but these are challenging times right now. Is there anything I can do to prevent him from deserting us financially? What are my options? We have a joint property and a substantial mortgage which he has refused to pay off over the years. Instead, he's put money into various savings accounts, most in his name only.
I'd rather be poor than in such an unhappy marriage but ideally, I'd like to find a fair arrangement! Not sure where to start. I have to consider the option that he's not bluffing.

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nowtimeforme · 11/07/2020 16:37

I am divorcing and owned my own home before a 5 year marriage, have the large pension and my ex has a large personal loan. He is now living rent free with OW and we want a clean break Order. How likely is it for a judge to approve our consent Order where I keep my house and pension and he keeps his debt if we have both amicably agreed and requested it? We have 3 kids which I have sole responsibility for in future. Both of us work but he earns more.

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Babypiggy · 11/07/2020 16:53

Hello my quesion is - current mediates agreed 50:50 childcare. Ex husband works shifts this means on his time sometimes his GF look after my son overnigjy so he can see our son in the morning and take him to school. I am free at these over nigjt times and believe son should be with me. Happy for ex to take him to school or come to ours and have breakfast. What would be my chances of getting this agreed in court. Ex h has never shown me copy of work rota and refuses to.

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Fattynoms02 · 11/07/2020 17:46

Hi, my husband and I are planning on separating. Husband plans to move 10 miles away and share 50:50 custody of our daughter. She won't start school until September 2021, how do we agree where she goes to school? I would prefer for her to go to school near where we live so the area is a bit more familiar for her and I have a bigger support network nearby. I'm really stressing about this (and splitting up generally). Thank you

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Atadaddicted · 12/07/2020 11:57

@Atadaddicted

Thank you

My divorce and financial settlement was settled 4 years ago.

I suspect my ex has had a very significant pay increase since then.

Can the settlement be reopened? Am I entitled to see his wage slips?

I asked the above. I have a second question please.

My child has Recently been diagnosed with Adhd and there will be significant financial consequences to this in terms of support etc.
What can be done to secure contribution from my ex? Thanks
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Mewli · 12/07/2020 14:26

Hi Paula Thanks for looking at my question.
I started an online divorce during lockdown. My stbxh finally
responded after 2 attempts to get him to do so.
I applied for a decree nisi but was refused because my stbxh has one
name (the one he goes by now) on the petition and
a different one on the marriage certificate. We got married in the US
and he changed his name in the US. I do not have the document to
support his name change.
He is unlikely to give this document to me.
I ran up the divorce courts and explained this.
They sent out correspondence at the start of the month asking him to
submit the evidence they need.
I have not heard anything back. What else can I do to get this divorce
application moving?

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sadwithkiddies · 12/07/2020 17:06

Thank you.
Is a court likely to give father with 30% care of a disabled child 30% of child benefit & disability living allowance? Father states he needs the financial assistance to enable him to care for child.
(Previously had alternate weekend contact with no financial assistance)
To be clear this will be a private financial arrangement to ensure child see's father.
Father will stop paying child maintenance also.

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Dempsey1 · 12/07/2020 20:03

My son’s dad refused to have him during lockdown (which I was angry about) but he now goes over again odd afternoons. Son doesn’t want to go and has disclosed some concerning things to me about his behaviour (loud, aggressive, threatening rants - witnessing aggressive domestic arguments - regularly calling my son disgusting, lazy, embarrassing). I knew some things pre-lockdown and was aware my son had self esteem issues, but what I know now has definitely joined up the dots.

I have now refused overnight contact and said I don’t want him to drive him back from football matches (when they start again), as these are the 2 main areas of risk. His dad says our son is exaggerating, or has been coached by me, so he’s taking me to court.

Will my sons views be taken into account during the process? He is 10 years old.

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JamieLeeCurtains · 13/07/2020 00:46

I'm interested in @sadwithkiddies's question.

Does a Non Resident Parent who has the child for significantly less than 50% of the week have any rights to any part of a child's DLA payments? Or to drop their own private child support payments as a result of the child receiving DLA? (The DLA being paid to the Resident Parent.)

Thank you for doing this webchat.

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Livandme · 13/07/2020 08:26

Have separated from h.
Have told him I don't want to go to mediation whilst children are out of school as I have enough on trying to home school.
Hopefully they will return in September.
Currently I receive a wage from his business, despite not doing any actual work, I did when we we lived together. I think this is counting as my "child maintenance" from him. What are the pros and cons of this set up please.

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stressedout37 · 13/07/2020 08:47

Hi, just wanted some info on the courts stance on child contact during lockdown. Obviously i understand each case is specific but ex and I came to agreement (begrudgingly on his side) that he wouldn’t see our child during lockdown. Ex previously had minimal contact with child in a supervised contact centre. Once lockdown started to ease I proposed contact but ex has refused to engage because contact is not occurring in a location he wants. The contact centre isn’t open. Any thoughts on how the court may view this? Thanks so much!

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enyaheadress · 13/07/2020 10:59

I would like to move to America with my children as the rest of my immediate family live there and I am about to get divorced. Their father’s name is on the birth certificate and the children are 17, 14 and 5. Will I need to go to court to apply to move with them? Follow up: Is this an expensive process?

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FlabbyGodMother · 13/07/2020 11:38

Parents divorcing. 14 year old girl doesn't want to see her father. They didn't have a close relationship during the marriage and now during one to one time with him she feels uncomfortable and anxious. She has chosen not to see him and won't even talk to him on the phone. She is a young carer to her sick mum and was very hurt by him leaving for another woman. Mum has tried and tried to get her to see her dad, there is no Parental Alienation, but she is a bright, strong young lady and refuses to do so. Can she choose not to see her father ? Can he insist that she does?

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Delbelleber · 13/07/2020 12:53

If a father not named on the birth certificate asks his solicitor to arrange a parental rights and responsibility agreement can the solicitor judge the situation for herself and advise the client not to proceed? Or would they have to follow through with the clients wishes without judgment?

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makingmiracles · 13/07/2020 13:19

If a parent with PR (other parent deceased) assaults his child and is not allowed direct or indirect contact with the child, what options do deceased parents family have in terms of wanting to offer a stable home for the child?

Parent who assualted wants child to go to ex wife (stepmom) but deceased parents family would like them to live with them (very suitable, big enough house etc)
Currently stepmum being assessed for taking them.

Would the deceased parents family need to go through court? What would be the best course of action and does a special gaurdian order need parental consent?

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aceofspades987 · 13/07/2020 13:58

What's the general rule on how long supported access should go on for when the NRP is an alcoholic? Thank u

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Rhubarbcrumblerules · 13/07/2020 18:50

My decree nisi was granted a couple of years ago. for various reasons nothing has happened since then i.e the financial agreement. Once we have reached a financial agreement (hopefully to be sorted out between ourselves) what do i need to do to get the ball rolling again and get the decree absolute? Many thanks

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Stealthynamechange · 13/07/2020 19:03

Hi

Thank you for reading.

I have ds 3 years, ex & i split 2018 not yet filed for divorce, ex has ds 3/7 - sun night, mon, weds night. He collects ds from mine at 1845-1900 after work on sundays. Im concerned about him picking him up so late, esp when ds goes to school. Ex works fri/sat/sun & lives 45 mins from me. He insists on 50% chb, refuses to pay maintenance. If i make a claim or dont send chb he refuses my access to ds. Would a court be able to help with this? Im worried about being bullied in mediation and dont know what other contact arrangements to suggest given exs shift pattern. I dont want to give ex ds mon tues weds as he would want him to go to school in his area, (less good schools, im in walking distance of excellent school) any thoughts on what contact court would recomend? Thanks

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takeabrolly · 13/07/2020 19:19

Married for 16 yrs and separated about 6 weeks ago. We are trying to agree financial arrangements, both have solicitors. I have recently retired, husband is older and retired before we married. No children.

When we bought this house I sold a house I'd had prior to the marriage and put in £96k deposit. I paid all the mortgage and bills and the house is now mortgage free.

A 50/50 split seems unfair given that I've paid everything. If we went to court do you think I'd be awarded more than 50%? My pension is bigger than his and we have about the same amount in savings. Is it worth me fighting it or should I give in? Would I be at risk of losing more because of the bigger
pension income? Interested to hear your thoughts!

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