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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28852
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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my husband left me and our 3 children and is forcing me to

Customer Question

my husband left me and our 3 children and is forcing me to let him have them 3 nights a week, then leaves them with his parents. he does not have another house. he is refusing to give me maintenance and threatens me every time he doesnt get his way
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HI
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children an dhow does he force you to let them go?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

hi there,


My daughter is 3, and my sons are 6 and nearly 9. He knows i used to be agoraphobic and suffer from general anxiety and post traumatic stress, for which im recieving antidepressants and regular contact with my GP, which was caused by nearly dying last year. He is aggressive, although he has never hit me, but has told me he wanted to and threatened me in front of the children. He is known for being the 'loophole king' in that he will find any little loophole legally for anything. he is currently staying in his parents house round the corner, he said if i dont let him have the children 3 nights a week he will take me to court, knowing i dont have the abilities to get through that. He has also threatened to take me to court to get full custody of the children and state i am an unfit mother. Because of my previous agoraphobia, the fact that im being treated for what was initially post traumatic stress which has turned into depression due to his treatment of me. he has displayed alcoholic tendencies and has driven drunk, and gone into work drunk. Work - we own a business together. Him and his business partner started up a business, with my support, and eventually they asked me to work for the business which i did, and my husband gave me half of his shares, so i hold 25% due to the efforts and hard work i put into the job, the sacrifices, the hours, and this was one of the reasons i got so ill that i nearly died. He knows i am scared of him and his parents. His mother actually abducted my husband when he was a baby, she moved so the father couldnt find him. This was after she lost custody of her other son. A few weeks ago when my husband and i were amicable, we agreed to try a rota i'd suggested, and on one of the days that the boys were due to come to me after school, his parents turned up at school and took the boys back to their house. When i rang them to explain they were due at mine they refused to let me have them, claiming my rota was 'stupid' and that is was too confusing so they were taking it that it meant my husband was supposed to be having them. my husband was at work. I called him very distressed and he told me 'tough'. So im worried about abduction, i dont want my children to stay with them, its not his house, its in the middle of a renovation, they dont have a bedroom, my daughter has a room, my sons - one has to sleep on a blow up bed and the other has to sleep in bed with his dad. I initially told him he could see them whenever he liked but i wanted them to stay home, see their friends, do their after school clubs, do normal, routine stuff, and stay a friday night with his parents. When his parents leave, he is insisting he still have them 3 nights a week, and wont allow me to have them even though he is currently forcing me to work at home, and i can happily have them here. He now says he is only going to give me £450 a month towards the mortgage and bills, knowing i only take a small wage from the company which was a sacrifice on my part so the company could grow, and that i cant afford all the bills without help. yet it is too high to get any legal aid or benefits. We have massive outgoings due to his first business failing, we are repaying lots of money per month on credit cards and loans. I dont know what to do. im not an unfit mum, he says because i cant drive far that im unfit, and that i should be taking them out all the time, knowing that im not fit enough due to lasting effects from my operation and illness. I would like to point out it was well known during our time together, that he would not get up with the children, get them ready, refused to ever brush their teeth, wouldnt take them to bed at night - the kids adore their father, he buys them expensive toys and takes them to play places which they think is great. But my eldest told me the other day that daddy lies. ive postively encouraged the children with regards XXXXX XXXXX dad, but they keep hearing him walk in and say horrible things to me, making me upset and cry. this is hurting them, and they are my number 1 priority. ive tried sending emails to him, ive offered several offers in order to be able to get along and not affect the children. he returns them unread and has also blocked my phone number so i cant call him. he has said im 'harrassing' him, when im not, i just want to sort out agreements so the children dont suffer, but hes already gone back on an agreement whereby i had a witness. He has also turned all my staff against me, i dont know what hes been saying, all i know is that he has been saying things. hes has told me and people that im evil, an appalling wife and disgusting as a mother. thank you. sorry for the length, its complicated so i want to make sure I will get a truly objective answer so i know what to expect for the worse.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Do you think you could be strong enough to fight him for the children if need be?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If i have to do that, i may be shaky but i will do it. they are the most important things, i just want to protect them from all of this. Ive heard again this afternoon that hes been calling me heartless and telling everyone im asking him for loads of money and that im stopping him from seeing the kids, which is a total lie! apparently he also put it on facebook although ive blocked him so i cant see. Its like he is attacking all my weaknesses, he knows that i cannot stand people calling me a liar, im a very honest person, and he knows i cant stand the idea of people hating me. He keeps telling me his rights as a dad but i cant seem to find out any of my rights?


thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Are you willing to consider divorce proceedings?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, he doesnt want to know at all, he has stopped all contact except via email, and is stopping me working at our company so i am confined to my house for the time being. Hes had an affair once that i know about and i took him back. i always said that if we split up again that would be it, and he is saying that he hasnt loved me for the last 2 years. So it is definitely going to be divorce. But i just cant find out about any immediate rights that I have with regards XXXXX XXXXX children, the business, and finances. I keep offering different solutions to him, he just threatens me with court if i dont do as he wants. hes got his parents over from spain as he knows im scared of them too. I hate living in fear, and its upsetting my kids. i want them to see their dad, i dont want to deny anything to anyone, but im not happy with them staying overnight in a house that isnt his, without any of their stuff or a bedroom, while he goes out, and i do mean literally every night, and leaves them with his parents. They live in spain but have a house in england aswell, they will be returning to spain soon i hope, although as i said, he knows i am scared of them, they seem to think that they know everything and everyone and have the money to throw at any court case whereas i dont. I will not have my children taken away from me, I have people and my doctor to say that im a good mum. My kids want for nothing, and have most of all, my time. i feel i am giving them the emotional support at the moment whereas he says they dont need to know anything, what they want to do is 'tough', and states that they are children, they will do as theyre told. Please can you tell me my rights as a mum?


 


thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The court regards XXXXX XXXXX of the children as being paramount - and if you have been their main carer until now then that is what the court will expect to continue.
It is right and proper that your ex should also spend time with the children - but only if he is willing and able to actually spend time with then - not just leave them with his parents in unsuitable accommodation.
You can try discussing matters with her using family mediation (www.familymediation helpline) but if that fails then you can apply to the court for a residence order setting out that the children live you and a defined contact order setting out the time that they spend with their father.
You can read more about children in this situation here
http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
You can apply to the CSA for child maintenance - and once the divorce has begun you will be able to apply to the courts for your share of the assets
You will be able to stay in the matrimonial home until your youngest is 18 or you cohabit.
I hope that this is of assistance
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,


 


thats great thank you - can i just clarify a couple of points with you though please? The first is, my husband is refusing to pay any of the household bills, and i have only asked him for £645 per month - he takes home over 4k per month and currently has no outgoings other than his car finance and credit cards in his name. I can take care mostly of the bills if he pays that amount, but leaves me none spare. His argument for this is that he is only giving the amount to be used for his children and has stated that if i cant afford the credit card payments (which are in my name but were opened for joint purposes and used for the family stuff, holidays etc), then I should just 'not pay the credit cards'. Which is ridiculous as i normally do the finances and he has approx £1700 disposable income a month. The £645 Ive asked for is so i can pay my bills, but will leave enough money for him to rent an apartment in order that he can have a room for the children (although they would have to share, 2 boys and a girl), but i do want him to have a relationship with his children, just not in the current circumstances and especially when im not allowed to call at his parents house and they wont answer the phone to me (aswell as the fact they took the boys from school and refused me access.)


 


The second question is, knowing my ex, he will try to argue that im not the main carer because i work. I stayed at home with both the boys and when my little girl was born. however, as i said, my husband and business partner had started a business. when my little girl was 6 months old they begged me to come and work for them (im a bookkeeper) and i started working 2 days a week. Throughout the months as the business grew, my husband made me work full time. and currently i work mon to fri, and have childcare for my daughter, until september when she starts school. Im working at home and have her in nursery 2 days a week, and we have a family member who comes here and looks after her 3 days a week, while i sit at the table and work. He never looked after the children, never brought them presents, wrapped them, did christmas and birthdays, refused to even brush their teeth on the rare occasion when i was ill for example, and as i said, never got them up and ready for school or nursery and never took them to bed, did their homework etc.


 


Will be be able to argue that im not the main carer because i work?


 


Hes been looking up fathers rights, but he doesnt have the full picture, hes insisting he has equal rights and time with the kids. which hes not having at all. He is spending all his disposable income by going out every night. since he left a month ago he hasnt given me any money, although as the mortgage comes out of his bank account which he knows, i hope he has enough left in it to pay that bill.


 


sorry for more questions, its just very difficult to find out what rights i actually have, it doesnt seem like there are many men out there who want to have their children overnight so often and refuse to pay anything towards the house that they live in with me.


 


There are no assets except for my car which i fully paid off. i did have 2 cars and he sold my family car to his parents behind my back about 2 months ago.


 


he has 2 cars, still both on finance and refuses to get rid of one of them to free up some money, the finance payments are £375 and £269 per month.


 


The mortgage is an interest only mortgage, but again, a couple of months ago, the ISA that we had for the repayment part of the mortgage which ends in 15 years was cancelled (just before christmas) as our company had some cashflow difficulties. He says that in my monthly bills i am not allowed to 'allow' for the £700 per month that i would need to put by to pay for the house when the interest only mortgage runs out. He just stated that although i would be about 55 by then, that i would just 'have to get another mortgage' which i wouldnt be able to even be passed for, i dont earn enough now to qualify for a mortgage on this house. the mortgage (and capital as we have paid nothing off the value we borrowed) is 160k.


 


thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Please stop letting him bully you.
You have been the main carer even though you are working.
There is no "fathers right" to have the children 50% of the time - and his parents have no right whatsoever to remove the children from school
In the long term you will be able to stay in the property at least until the youngest child is 18 - at which point you will receive a larger share of any equity than your ex will.
You are also entitled to spouse maintenance
You have much more power than you realise - and it is time to turn the tables
Claire
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28852
Experience: 25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

brilliant, thats great, thank you!


Lorraine


 

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - good luck
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry to bother you again, its just an addition - he has just picked the children up, has stated he is getting a solicitor to get an order or something against me for harrassment (i can only contact him now through email, so i keep asking to sort out the chidlrens arrangements and financial arrangements), i also had a text saying one of our bank accounts has changed address today...i need to chase with the bank, but the major thing that has happened, is at some point, hes implied that his mum and dads house and bills have all been put into his name and account, and so he cant pay me any money as he is going to have to go bankrupt as he cant afford to live!! then told me how much he hates me, that im vile, that im using the children to get at him, that im threatening him, that because ive asked him to only have the children overnight twice a week instead of 3 nights a week, i am going back on my word - my word which was based on his incorrect insistence that he was entitled to have them 50% of the time, and if i didnt like it he would take it to court. knowing that i would be upset and wouldnt want to drag this all through court - he knew i still loved him and still wanted to be friends with him. hes now also 'insinuated' that his father, who has helped many shady characters avoid prison in the past, and who is a freemason, means that no judge is going to judge in my favour, and it wont be the kids he'll be dragging through court, he will be taking ME to court as im evil and he knows things ive said or done?? then he said 'fine, go to the csa, you wont get anything, because i havent got any money left to live on, im not giving you anything, you arent entitled to have any money for yourself'. If i know his parents, and i do sadly, they will have put their house in his name a long time ago - they live in spain, this was a uk base so they could see the grandchildren and children for longer when they came over - and this is precisely the sort of thing they'd do. i dont know what to do, the hate and anger i got from him, i now dont even know if he's taken the kids.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Sorry - why do you think their house being in his name is a bad thing?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hes saying he is going to go bankrupt as he cant afford to give me the £500 a month ive asked for towards the house and kids. he says he will have to go bankrupt as he cant afford to live and therefore i will have to go bankrupt - we have high outstanding debts from a failed business of his, credit cards and loans. monthly costs in total are in excess of 3k. i asked him to pay 900 pounds for the ones that are already coming out of the account, and i would pay the rest along with all household bills and other debts, but i am £500 short of all the bills. Im our bookkeeper and i do payroll at work. i also until recently had all access to his bank account, i used to move money between accounts to pay whatever bills etc. he cut off my access to the bank account a few days ago, and now suddenly he has taken over the running costs of his mum and dads house, their mortgage, So he says that because of this, he cant afford to pay me maintenance, and also the arguement that it was his mum and dads house in the middle of a refurb was not what i call suitable for the children to be staying overnight in, when they were sleeping on blow up beds etc, hes now saying that he has 3 bedrooms for the children to sleep in, but his mum and dad are just visiting, therefore there is no reason that he cant have them for 3 nights a week. so that i cant argue to keep them with me for 5 nights, which is what i wanted - to give them a normal life during the week, their normal routine, and then they could have sleepovers at weekends and holidays when he can take time off work, plus i also gave him the option of seeing them every single day, his mum and dads house is only 2 minutes drive away.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
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