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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28661
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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I lived with my partner and her 2 children for 8 years. In

Customer Question

I lived with my partner and her 2 children for 8 years. In that time I brought both of them up as my own. One is 18 and one is 15.

We split up 4 months ago and I have had very little chance to see the youngest who regards XXXXX XXXXX her father.

I have just received a solicitors letter from my ex partner saying that I should no longer contact or try to see the 15 year old. Can she do this legally?

Any help would be much appreciated
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 12 months ago.

Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to help you with this today. Please bear with me if I ask for more information.

What does the 15-year-old actually want.

Although it is not absolutely relevant did you pay towards both children's upkeep and did they both treat you a as their natural father. What has precipitated this?

are you still in contact with the 18-year-old?

can I have as much background detail as possible please? Thank you

 

Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you.
Whether or not the 15 year old wishes to see you is entirely up to him or her.
You should write back to the solicitor and remind them that the eight years that you were living together means that you could, if you wished apply to the court for permission to apply for contact and it would be granted.
You should also point out atXXXXXwould allow then child to decide what contact there should be.
Say that you would prefer not to take such action but will do so if need be
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Hi Clare,


 


but can my ex partner legally stop me contacting her ie on Facebook or through texts, because this is what she has requested in the solicitors letter....that I should have no further contact

Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
Hi
When will this young lady turn 16?
Clare
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

She is 15 on the 26th November so will be 16 on 26th November 2014


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
Hi
The mother could potentially report the matter to the police as harassment - but unless her daughter supports her then it is unlikely to be successful
However it would be sensible to always reply to a contact rather than initiate one
If you do wish to apply for a contact order and the child does want contact then it will be successful.
You could consider offering to attend Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk) using a mediator also trained to work with young people
Clare
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Hi Clare,


 


thankyou for your help. Her solicitor has stated that the only correspondence that I can use is through a solicitor that I appoint and through them.


 


Do I need to do this or is it acceptable that I reply to the solicitors letter myself ie I personally write to her solicitor?


 


Thankyou

Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
HI
They cannot force you to appoint a solicitor - so yes you can respond to them directly
Clare
Customer: replied 12 months ago.

Hi Clare,


 


so to clarify, I can write directly to the solicitor and say


 



  • if you wished apply to the court for permission to apply for contact and it would be granted

  • the court would completely take into account the wishes of the child at 15

  • That I would rather not go down this route if possible

  • That I would would consider attending a Family Mediation Centre


 


Is there anything else I should put in the letter? We were together 8 years as a couple but only lived together for 6. Does this have a bearing on the courts?


 


Thankyou

Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
Hi
I would suggest a slightly less confrontational approach.
Simply say that you are surprised by the letter since given the age of the child is it up to her what contact she has with someone she regards XXXXX XXXXX step father
You are aware that you could apply for permission to apply for a contact order but you would prefer not to do so
You are willing to attend Mediation if your ex wishes to discuss it further
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28661
Experience: 25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Clare and 3 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thankyou Clare.


 


You have been very helpful at an extremely difficult time.


 


Do I contact you on this thread if I need further advice?


 


Robin

Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
Hi
You can - or you can simply ask for me in the titled or your question
Clare
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Clare,


 


would it be useful at this point to send copies of recent messages I have had from my partners youngest daughter that explain how much she wants to see me, how much she has enjoyed seeing me and plans for future outings?


 


Thanks


 


Robin

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Clare,


 


would it be useful at this point to send copies of recent messages I have had from my partners youngest daughter that explain how much she wants to see me, how much she has enjoyed seeing me and plans for future outings?


 


Thanks


 


Robin


 


ps


 


Draft of letter as it stands......


 


Dear Mrs ,


 


may I first say that I was shocked and saddened by your letter. As you may know, I have brought both Jane’s children up, with her, for eight years. I have been a father figure to Lily, bringing her up as my own, for over half her life. I have attending school parents evenings, performances, sports days, meetings about Lilys educational needs, I receive fathers day cards and presents and have generally been there in a way her real father never was. This is all extremely sad. I love both children, but particularly Lily as we have a father/daughter relationship.



I am aware that I could apply for a contact order through the courts but I would prefer not to do so at this point as this would be an awful thing for us all to go through, particularly Lily.


 


I am willing to fund and attend a Family Mediation Centre to try and find a compromise that Jane is happy with, so that I may go on seeing Lily if she wishes. Only recently Lily has expressed her feelings for seeing me on a regular basis. I enclose copies of the messages she has sent for yours and Janes reference.


 


I will not be contacting Jane again, as are her wishes, but I would appreciate if she would consider the option I am proposing. I believe I have been a positive influence in Lily’s life and would like to remain in it in some capacity.


 


Yours faithfully,


 

Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Clare,


 


It is 10 days since I wrote to my ex's solicitor and I still havent had a reply. Is there a specific time period that they should reply in or could she choose to ignore the letter as she stipulated that I should reply through a solicitor?


 


I have also noticed that I have been barred from my step daughters Facebook page. I have not tried to contact my stop daughter since I received the letter from my ex's solicitor.


 


Also I have read on the internet that, as an unmarried step father I have to apply for a contact order within 3 months of me not living with the child. Is this true because this time has passed.


 


I look forward to your advice,


 


Robin

Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
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Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Clare,


 


could you outline the process please. I see no other way no.


 


She has clearly decided to ignore the letter I sent to her solicitor.


 


Thankyou


 


Robin

Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
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