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Thread: Children's rights ???

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  1. #1
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    Default Children's rights ???

    Could anyone advise at what age a child can say they don't want to go to see their father. He hasn't bothered with them for 4 years and has now got a new girlfriend who he's trying to push on them. He's only been seeing her 6 weeks. Neither want to visit with him as he's not bothered with them at all. And he has now threatened court action to take them from me. Thank you so much for your help advice in advance.

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Hi Allbee,
    How old are your children?
    Did their father used to see them until the 4 year absence?
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    They are 8 and 15. They saw him previously as we were married.

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    The 15 year old has the right to not see their father to be honest due to their age and maturity.
    @Peridot how would the courts view an 8 year old's perspective?
    "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
    (quote from David Ogden Stiers)

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Might be a good idea to ask him if he thinks ‘forcing’ his children to spend time with him and his girlfriend will help them like him more. Nothing like dragging a mother and children through the courts to kick start a loving bond.
    Perhaps tell him to ask the children himself. If they say no then he would be obliged to drag them out, kicking and screaming to have ‘fun’ with Daddy and aunty floozie.
    Sorry to be so blunt but these parents who wave legal threats around thinking they can be ‘awarded’ a child’s love really make my blood boil.
    A child’s life is not something he can dip in and out of depending on moods or circumstance and a child’s love, trust and respect cannot be decreed -it has to be earned the hard way.

    An optimist is someone who falls off the Empire State Building, and after 50 floors says, 'So far so good'!
    ~ Anonymous

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Hi Allbee1
    In short, your ex could apply to the Courts for contact and residence. However, no court would order a 15 yr old child to see a parent if they don't want to. Teenagers have a tendency to vote with their feet!
    With regard to your 8 yr old the rights of the child to know their parent and the child's welfare being paramount, the courts would in all likelihood order contact.

    It is a really hard situation, no doubt you're feeling aggrieved and irritated that your ex feels he can just come waltzing back after nothing for 4 years, but unless there are cogent reasons to prevent contact, such as previous violence etc, a Court would expect the child to have contact.

    Maybe an option would be to suggest contact for a few hours initially, working up to longer contact over some months, bearing in mind the length of time it is since he has seen them?

    If he applied for residence, again unless there is a strong reason to move the children it is unlikely a Court would order they live with him. Any family lawyer would confirm that to him if he asked.

    Although galling you would be expected to support contact with their dad, which is really tough particularly when it appears he has done nothing for some time and now wants to play at happy families.
    It's also tough on the children, but if you can find it in you to support a gradual introduction, it would hopefully enable them to have a relationship with him that you can also deal with.

    Lay some ground rules, although be careful not to dictate too much what they can and can't do. He does have parental responsibility and prior to the break up I assume was a reasonable dad?

    Unfortunately in these situations it is easy to get blinded with the animosity and lose the bigger picture.
    Hopefully they can have a good relationship with both of you. It won't be long before they will make their own decisions and there won't be anyone who can make them do anything they don't want to, but at least it would be their decision and you couldn't be criticised for not trying to enable their relationship with their dad.

    It is a horrible experience for all concerned and doesn't do anything for familial relations on either side particularly if court proceedings become necessary.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    As much as it grieves me I do talk to the girls and I'm always asking them if they would like contact either by phone or just out for a meal for an hour or two. There's many things he's done that personally I think make him an unfit parent. However would the courts see it the same as me. That's the question. For instance he "accidentally" put a video of himself having relations in our family car on myvthen 4/5 year olds Ipad. That she watched !! He's an imbecile and doesn't even think that is bad. Many more stupid things also. ��

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Hi Allbee1
    It's so difficult, well done for trying to keep the lines open between them. It is so difficult, I think most of us have imbecile ex's out there but as you rightly suggest, being an imbecile doesn't necessarily make you a bad parent in the Court's eyes, so generally contact would be ordered and could be on more unfavourable terms than you would like at this early stage.
    Would your eldest daughter be willing to maybe have the meal with your younger daughter and dad? I suspect if your eldest daughter refuses to go then your younger daughter may follow her lead. Can you get your eldest on side to help out with the immediate situation?
    If he's such an imbecile then maybe the new relationship won't last long and he'll be back to his old ways!?
    Maybe a couple of meals out or trip to the cinema will be sufficient but probably best if you can get your eldest on side to help encourage your youngest.
    It would be sensible to keep a diary of events if you manage to get some contact going, just so you can refer to it if needs be, in the future.
    Sorry I can't tell you the Courts wouldn't allow contact with an imbecile. I would not wish things to deteriorate to such a level that your ex makes a court application. It is so upsetting for everyone, if you can find a way forward without the Courts it would be best all round.
    We're always here if you need any pointers or support. All the best
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Thank you for your advice. I'm not sure if they would go alone so assuming I can convince them both I would have to go also. However if he really wants to see them I doubt he would cause a fuss as long as the children felt comfortable. Thanks again. All advice is very much appreciated.

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    I'm not in a position to add anything 'legal' to this conversation but I have been married to an imbecile

    I'm known for saying 'my divorce lasted longer than my marriage' because it did. It went on and on because of child access issues. I became piggy-in-the-middle.

    I was dragged into court on a regular basis by my daughter's father who could afford to pay lawyers to dance to his tune.

    Court orders were written and disobeyed on a regular basis.

    My daughter didn't want to stay with her father for practical reasons. She had ballet lessons and birthday parties on Saturdays. They mattered more to her than either me or her dad.

    The court sent in psychiatric social workers and all sorts of busybodies to assess the situation which was quite straightforward. My daughter wanted to make up her own mind as to who she wanted to spend her time with, and unsurprisingly it wasn't either boring Mum or Dad. However she chose to stay with me purely for geographical reasons - our house was nearer to her friends and her social life.

    So she dug her heels in and so did her Dad. The more he demanded his legal right to see her, the more she felt 'controlled' by him. His use of the court system to force contact didn't impress her.

    I used to try to persuade her to play ball (with court orders) because I felt I should encourage contact with her father. Then I realised that it was entirely her decision so I took a step back and let her make up her own mind.

    I was also conscious that she may have felt that I may have been upset if she went to stay with him (loyalty issues) so I made it plain that time to myself when she was away was bliss. I still say that to her (she's now 31 )

    I really wish you well with this.

    Di x
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Allbee1 View Post
    and has now got a new girlfriend who he's trying to push on them.
    I wonder whether the new girlfriend could be a useful dynamic in this situation, depending on what she's like of course. You have two girls who may enjoy her company more than his, so would you object to her being around in the background on visits?

    I've been 'the other woman' and it's tricky when children are involved because competition can set in. All hell broke loose when his kids told his ex wife that I made better Shepherds Pie than her. I didn't make that mistake twice

    Then after a while his kids would call me for girlie chats about things they wouldn't dream of discussing with their Mum or Dad. Slowly but surely I became the manager of 'contact'. They even came to stay when their Dad wasn't there.

    Ultimately they were both bridesmaids at my wedding when I married their father.

    If your ex does settle down in a stable relationship with someone (not necessarily this girlfriend) he may become less of an imbecile.

    Di x
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    I can see your point however he's only been with the new partner 6 weeks and only sees her on a once weekly basis. My youngest (8 year old ) is already in counselling due to all that's gone on with the ex so I'm not happy about introducing new people. Even my own new partner who I've been with for 6 months hasn't met or spije with the girls. They come first and always will. X

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Hi Allbee,

    It's so hard trying to balance it all. Is your 8 year old refusing to see dad or has she said what she would like to do in the alternative?
    I think Diana M has made some really good points, maybe the new girlfriend will be a steadying influence, in time.

    If your daughter has been experiencing significant problems that have required counselling to assist her and she is refusing contact, it may be worth waiting to see if he does make an application to the Court and then deal with it. The counselling would be relevant if pushing contact could make matters worse.

    In the meantime I would recommend keeping a note of all the opportunities you give to the girls to speak/meet their dad and their responses.
    Unfortunately from the Court's point of view you need to be seen to be the one supporting and encouraging contact with dad. Would the girls write to him explaining why they don't want to see him at the moment, obviously in their own words?

    Is there someone else either friend or other family member who could be available for contact as support for your daughter(s) rather than you?
    It is so difficult, just trying to think of some alternatives that would demonstrate you have tried everything to encourage them should he issue Court proceedings. What is the likelihood of him doing this? Is he working, can he afford to issue Court proceedings? Would he issue proceedings himself or instruct a Solicitor? Do you think these may be idle threats, trying to impress the new girlfriend with what a great dad he is, it's all you type scenario?

    It is so difficult to second guess what will happen, you can only try your best. Make sure the option is there and that you try all you can to facilitate contact, should they want to see dad. You seem to be trying your best to keep your issues with their dad out of the picture, which is often the hardest part. Thinking completely outside the box would it be an option for the 4 adults to chat and maybe arrange a meet with the girls together. Full on for everyone but it does seem from your previous comments that it may be possible (obviously depending on whether you wish the girls to meet your partner?).

    Others may have some ideas on alternative options that could get everyone over the hurdles that are currently there. Keep trying your best, which it seems you are. We're here if you need any help or guidance.
    I am a fully qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to assist you with a wide range of legal questions. I would be happy to try and assist informally where needed. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. I do not represent clients off forum. If in doubt seek professional face to face legal advice.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Allbee1 View Post
    IMy youngest (8 year old ) is already in counselling due to all that's gone on with the ex so I'm not happy about introducing new people. Even my own new partner who I've been with for 6 months hasn't met or spije with the girls. They come first and always will. X
    If your youngest daughter is receiving counselling due to matters associated with your ex, then hopefully that will be something to be discussed if the court system ever comes into play.

    I agree that kids always come first and hopefully the court will do too (if they become involved).

    Your thread reminds me of the expression "Mother Knows Best"

    Di x
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    So, tomorrow is the day I can finally lodge the papers with the court. Just so I know I've got the right forms, can someone please clarify or put a link to the forms I need?

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Quote Originally Posted by RJH View Post
    So, tomorrow is the day I can finally lodge the papers with the court. Just so I know I've got the right forms, can someone please clarify or put a link to the forms I need?
    Did you mean to post this on your ownthread where the history of your own issue can be seen?

    http://legalbeagles.info/forums/show...875#post697875

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit. Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

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    Default Re: Children's rights ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana M View Post
    Did you mean to post this on your ownthread where the history of your own issue can be seen?

    http://legalbeagles.info/forums/show...875#post697875

    Di
    Yes! Sorry, had both open on seperate tabs and obviously used the wrong one. D'oh!

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