Legal advice from a family solicitor please

33
Posted 16th Jun
I need a family solicitor to help me. My wife moved out after sending my kids to her mum without my consent just before the lockdown. Now she’s just told me that she has changed their school to where she’s currently living and that the kids will be visiting weekends. I feel really lost at the moment. I want to get my kids back and have a full custody but urgently need help with legal advice from a solicitor or anyone who’s ever experienced this. Thanks
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Try a solicitors?
You really shouldn’t be here seeking legal advice. I know this site attracts some thrifty people but this is just something else!
None of us on this forum is your solicitor. Please find one who specialises in family matters and get their advice. The only advice I can offer you is no matter what happens, please don't say anything negative about your wife in front of your children even if she is negative about you or provokes you to do something stupid. Your wife is still their mother and your children's relationship with her should not be mixed up with the breakdown of your relationship with her.

All the best.
Edited by: "bozo007" 16th Jun
Sorry if this sounds like a harsh term, but your relationship with your wife has broken down. I suggest your first port of call should be Citizens Advice. Ultimately, should all other avenues fail, you may indeed need a solicitor and Citizens Advice can point you in the right area of where you can find one,
In the meantime, you can read these 3 links.
citizensadvice.org.uk/fam…ts/
helpwithchildarrangements.service.justice.gov.uk/
citizensadvice.org.uk/fam…te/
33 Comments
Try a solicitors?
Fill in and file form C101, the form is pretty straight forward, and it’s cheaper than getting a solicitor to do it, but if you can afford a solicitor, get one. Their knowledge can be invaluable.

Could you not arrange to visit them, then just take them home? If you are in disagreement with which school they attend, you can ask the school board to step in, but again, this is advice your solicitor should be giving you, most have a free half hour consultation.

Good luck.

gov.uk/gov…rge
Edited by: "BadMF" 16th Jun
You really shouldn’t be here seeking legal advice. I know this site attracts some thrifty people but this is just something else!
Google solicitors in your area, and the sooner the better. It can take a long time being dragged through courts.
I feel your pain, I really do! The hassle I've had since the back end of last year with my girls mum playing "games" has really tested my patience.

My experience for what it's worth is the family courts generally want parents to mediate before bringing anything before them. So in the first instance get a mediation session booked. If the ex refuses or no shows then you can make your C100 court application. If you're unfortunate enough to be out of work you'll at least get help with the court fee's.

It's a thoroughly miserable process to go through but the end result is obviously worth it.

Good luck!
Sorry if this sounds like a harsh term, but your relationship with your wife has broken down. I suggest your first port of call should be Citizens Advice. Ultimately, should all other avenues fail, you may indeed need a solicitor and Citizens Advice can point you in the right area of where you can find one,
In the meantime, you can read these 3 links.
citizensadvice.org.uk/fam…ts/
helpwithchildarrangements.service.justice.gov.uk/
citizensadvice.org.uk/fam…te/
What arrangements have you got with the Mother at the moment.

Children under 18 have been allowed to go between the households of both parents.

When did you last see them? Why were they at her Mother's instead of with you if she couldn't look after them.

Ideally it would be best to come to a suitable arrangements between yourselves if possible.

Oblivious that is of course not as well possible.

Then turn to the solicitors and the courts if you cannot agree.
BadMF16/06/2020 14:16

Fill in and file form C101, the form is pretty straight forward, and it’s c …Fill in and file form C101, the form is pretty straight forward, and it’s cheaper than getting a solicitor to do it, but if you can afford a solicitor, get one. Their knowledge can be invaluable. Could you not arrange to visit them, then just take them home? If you are in disagreement with which school they attend, you can ask the school board to step in, but again, this is advice your solicitor should be giving you, most have a free half hour consultation.Good luck.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-c100-application-under-the-children-act-1989-for-a-child-arrangements-prohibited-steps-specific-issue-section-8-order-or-to-vary-or-discharge


My mother inlaw says she’s shielding and currently not entertaining visitors at her address including myself. Thanks
tardytortoise16/06/2020 14:43

Sorry if this sounds like a harsh term, but your relationship with your …Sorry if this sounds like a harsh term, but your relationship with your wife has broken down. I suggest your first port of call should be Citizens Advice. Ultimately, should all other avenues fail, you may indeed need a solicitor and Citizens Advice can point you in the right area of where you can find one,In the meantime, you can read these 3 links.https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/ending-a-relationship/making-agreements-about-your-children/making-child-arrangements/https://helpwithchildarrangements.service.justice.gov.uk/https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/ending-a-relationship/how-to-separate/mediation-to-help-you-separate/


Thanks very much
myusernamehasgone23416/06/2020 14:47

What arrangements have you got with the Mother at the moment. Children …What arrangements have you got with the Mother at the moment. Children under 18 have been allowed to go between the households of both parents.When did you last see them? Why were they at her Mother's instead of with you if she couldn't look after them.Ideally it would be best to come to a suitable arrangements between yourselves if possible.Oblivious that is of course not as well possible.Then turn to the solicitors and the courts if you cannot agree.


I haven’t seen them since 20th March when she took them away to her mum’s without my consent. She then moved out of the her matrimonial home afterwards stating she wants a separation. I struggle to even interact virtually with them and they seem to never stop asking why I’m not visiting them. It’s so disheartening. We rarely speak to each other but she rang last night to only tell me what she’s arranged including change of school and her decision to have full custody over them. But their default home is the matrimonial home where I still live. she wants to move the kids to her new home and has even changed their school to her area unilaterally.....I want the kids to live with me and their Sch unchanged. Both kids are under 10 and don’t deserve these at all....thanks
cabendu716/06/2020 17:06

I haven’t seen them since 20th March when she took them away to her mum’s w …I haven’t seen them since 20th March when she took them away to her mum’s without my consent. She then moved out of the her matrimonial home afterwards stating she wants a separation. I struggle to even interact virtually with them and they seem to never stop asking why I’m not visiting them. It’s so disheartening. We rarely speak to each other but she rang last night to only tell me what she’s arranged including change of school and her decision to have full custody over them. But their default home is the matrimonial home where I still live. she wants to move the kids to her new home and has even changed their school to her area unilaterally.....I want the kids to live with me and their Sch unchanged. Both kids are under 10 and don’t deserve these at all....thanks



That's such a long time to be with out them I'm sorry to hear that.


If both kids are under 10 and you have joint parently responsibility you can take the kids back to your house if you wish. You'd be well with in your rights.

You can also inform the school of your objections and say this was all done without your consent. Flag this issue. She is been incredibly unreasonable and sadly many ex partners are.

You need to speak directly too her and tell her it's time to make some arrangements about the kids. Tell her it's in her best interest to be reasonable as it will look bad on her if you take her to court, which you will be prepared to do.
Edited by: "myusernamehasgone234" 16th Jun
It may not be necessary to take legal action, you can instead use a family mediation service. It's not free but will be a lot cheaper than using solicitors.

familymediationcouncil.org.uk/

Don't worry, I had similar issues when with wonder womann so know how you feel.
From what I know with a family member
Going through the the same, it’s a very long process. The courts will want you both to have joint custody.

You both have to do what’s best for the children. Ideally you’d want to share them between you, unless something really bad has happened I would say sorting it between you is much better. You have every right to see and have your children now, the sheilding situation I don’t think is effecting children seeing separated parents, I could be wrong.

The changing school situation , you both have to do what is best for the children, is now really a time for them to be attending a new school?, 2M distancing etc, trying to make new friends.
Talk to your ex about that, it
Should always be what’s best for them.

I really hope you can sort it between you. It’s a lengthy process otherwise and expensive I’ve seen a family member go through this the past 6 years, and it’s still not been resolved.
cabendu716/06/2020 17:06

I haven’t seen them since 20th March when she took them away to her mum’s w …I haven’t seen them since 20th March when she took them away to her mum’s without my consent. She then moved out of the her matrimonial home afterwards stating she wants a separation. I struggle to even interact virtually with them and they seem to never stop asking why I’m not visiting them. It’s so disheartening. We rarely speak to each other but she rang last night to only tell me what she’s arranged including change of school and her decision to have full custody over them. But their default home is the matrimonial home where I still live. she wants to move the kids to her new home and has even changed their school to her area unilaterally.....I want the kids to live with me and their Sch unchanged. Both kids are under 10 and don’t deserve these at all....thanks


It’s not HER decision to have sole custody! She doesn’t get to decide that, and your children have a legal right to see you unless the court has decided that you are unfit... and even then you’d go through supervised visits where possible. You may have more luck asking for shared custody of X percent of nights per year, which will also affect the amount of maintenance that you pay as courts tend to be biased towards the mother (rightly or wrongly!). My ex sister in law completely re-wrote history in an attempt to smear my brother and get full custody without access, she lied in court and pretended to the kids school that my brother was violent so that he couldn’t even collect the kids from school without a chaperone.
Keep notes of all contact, things that are said/agreed between you and any times where she hasn’t stuck to anything that you have agreed.
You have rights, so don’t let her destroy you!
tardytortoise16/06/2020 14:43

Sorry if this sounds like a harsh term, but your relationship with your …Sorry if this sounds like a harsh term, but your relationship with your wife has broken down. I suggest your first port of call should be Citizens Advice. Ultimately, should all other avenues fail, you may indeed need a solicitor and Citizens Advice can point you in the right area of where you can find one,In the meantime, you can read these 3 links.https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/ending-a-relationship/making-agreements-about-your-children/making-child-arrangements/https://helpwithchildarrangements.service.justice.gov.uk/https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/ending-a-relationship/how-to-separate/mediation-to-help-you-separate/


Don't prat about with CAB. This isn't a broken washing machine; it's your kids. Get a (female) matrimonial lawyer on the case and also make a will.asap.
shelliebish16/06/2020 19:30

It’s not HER decision to have sole custody! She doesn’t get to decide tha …It’s not HER decision to have sole custody! She doesn’t get to decide that, and your children have a legal right to see you unless the court has decided that you are unfit... and even then you’d go through supervised visits where possible. You may have more luck asking for shared custody of X percent of nights per year, which will also affect the amount of maintenance that you pay as courts tend to be biased towards the mother (rightly or wrongly!). My ex sister in law completely re-wrote history in an attempt to smear my brother and get full custody without access, she lied in court and pretended to the kids school that my brother was violent so that he couldn’t even collect the kids from school without a chaperone. Keep notes of all contact, things that are said/agreed between you and any times where she hasn’t stuck to anything that you have agreed. You have rights, so don’t let her destroy you!


Assuming this isn't the misconceived 'common law wife' scenario
Sorry to hear this, It's really sad, I can feel your pain, I'm sure you if you wanted you could fight for them to be with you but that's not always easy and the system nearly always favours the mother, however should she have removed them from the matrimonial home? That was very selfish of her and clearly that wasn't in your children's interests etc.. It would certainly be better if you could have some amicable arrangement. Weekends and holidays might be fair if you think of how much time you each would get with your children etc.. It's very difficult not to let emotions get in the way. When children become weapons that's when it can become messy. Sometimes it's better to be as reasonable and civil as possible for the sake of your children. We all usually want what is best for our children. I hope you can come to some amicable arrangement.
mikeonuk16/06/2020 19:38

Don't prat about with CAB. This isn't a broken washing machine; it's your …Don't prat about with CAB. This isn't a broken washing machine; it's your kids. Get a (female) matrimonial lawyer on the case and also make a will.asap.



You did read the links I provided? You do know how to find a solicitor? The links I provided if followed through will lead to solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ where you type in your postcode and area of law you need and it will list those in proximity order specialised in that kind of law.
You are way out of touch if you think Citizens Advice mostly deal with broken washing machines. I could point you to top 10 types of things they help with, but I guess you would still be dismissive.
EDIT
On second thoughts, others read this so you will find in this link the number of cases per month they dealt with child residential issues. public.tableau.com/pro…ice
END EDIT
A well trained adviser can often gain many insights from a client in order to guide the client as necessary. There is no substitute for a face-to-face interview.
Edited by: "tardytortoise" 16th Jun
mikeonuk16/06/2020 19:40

Assuming this isn't the misconceived 'common law wife' scenario


:/ she’s my legally married wife pal but understand what u mean
tardytortoise16/06/2020 19:56

You did read the links I provided? You do know how to find a solicitor? …You did read the links I provided? You do know how to find a solicitor? The links I provided if followed through will lead to https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ where you type in your postcode and area of law you need and it will list those in proximity order specialised in that kind of law.You are way out of touch if you think Citizens Advice mostly deal with broken washing machines. I could point you to top 10 types of things they help with, but I guess you would still be dismissive.EDITOn second thoughts, others read this so you will find in this link the number of cases per month they dealt with child residential issues. https://public.tableau.com/profile/citizensadvice#!/vizhome/AdviceTrendsApril2020/IssuesSubjectsEND EDITA well trained adviser can often gain many insights from a client in order to guide the client as necessary. There is no substitute for a face-to-face interview.


Ace! I just visited the sites and realised loads of them and really close as well. Thanks very much everyone!!
tardytortoise16/06/2020 19:56

You did read the links I provided? You do know how to find a solicitor? …You did read the links I provided? You do know how to find a solicitor? The links I provided if followed through will lead to https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ where you type in your postcode and area of law you need and it will list those in proximity order specialised in that kind of law.You are way out of touch if you think Citizens Advice mostly deal with broken washing machines. I could point you to top 10 types of things they help with, but I guess you would still be dismissive.EDITOn second thoughts, others read this so you will find in this link the number of cases per month they dealt with child residential issues. https://public.tableau.com/profile/citizensadvice#!/vizhome/AdviceTrendsApril2020/IssuesSubjectsEND EDITA well trained adviser can often gain many insights from a client in order to guide the client as necessary. There is no substitute for a face-to-face interview.


Like I said,; go straight to a solicitor who has experience of this area. Time is a factor. The best advice the CAB could give is....go and see a solicitor. Why waste a few weeks trying to get a CAB appointment? It is easy enough to browse Google reviews from.former clients who have used the firms in your area. And pick a mature.lady lawyer.

Forget the Law Society site; it is bland. Look for the experience of real clients.
Edited by: "mikeonuk" 17th Jun
tardytortoise16/06/2020 19:56

You did read the links I provided? You do know how to find a solicitor? …You did read the links I provided? You do know how to find a solicitor? The links I provided if followed through will lead to https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ where you type in your postcode and area of law you need and it will list those in proximity order specialised in that kind of law.You are way out of touch if you think Citizens Advice mostly deal with broken washing machines. I could point you to top 10 types of things they help with, but I guess you would still be dismissive.EDITOn second thoughts, others read this so you will find in this link the number of cases per month they dealt with child residential issues. https://public.tableau.com/profile/citizensadvice#!/vizhome/AdviceTrendsApril2020/IssuesSubjectsEND EDITA well trained adviser can often gain many insights from a client in order to guide the client as necessary. There is no substitute for a face-to-face interview.


You won't get a face to face interview for several weeks plus there will be a heck of backlog for a CAB to get through after lockdown.
If you have any money/assets, move them elsewhere, quietly.
None of us on this forum is your solicitor. Please find one who specialises in family matters and get their advice. The only advice I can offer you is no matter what happens, please don't say anything negative about your wife in front of your children even if she is negative about you or provokes you to do something stupid. Your wife is still their mother and your children's relationship with her should not be mixed up with the breakdown of your relationship with her.

All the best.
Edited by: "bozo007" 16th Jun
Your relationship has broken down, sorry to hear that but your planning on wanting full custody? Unless the kids are in any danger no court in the land will grant you full custody.
‘Please don’t say anything negative about your wife in front of your children......’

That bit I think is the most important thing anyone has ever said to do with children and breakups, we must have all heard children of all of ages repeating stuff from somewhere/someone that you never even thought that they had heard, they may not understand what they are saying but you can bet your eye tooth that someone else will, and it’ll get back to blame you!

I was always told children have big ears and big mouths, but I was brought up children should be seen and not heard, so beware.
This is terrible news, it demonstrates that this action was likely premeditated. She choose to bring forward leaving the house and distancing the children with the lockdown.

Agree with the aforementioned comment not to say anything negative about their mother in front of them.

The best defence is a good offence so play hard ball.

I would avoid any attempt to meet without a witness and any phone conversations. Conversations should be via email and or messaging applications for objectivity.

Find a very good family solicitor... there are many that are incompetent, giving poor advice. The other option is a direct access barrister but you will have todo the paper work aide.

Depending on whether she has her name on the house deeds, if she doesn't she will put a HR1 form, notice matrimonial rights. She may then even petition that she should be allowed full rights to the house and children, meaning you are out yet paying the bills and mortgage.

This is a public forum so as another poster commented... assets from the tangible and non-tangible... be smart.

You may want to understand why she left and their maybe merit in understanding this, another lover, financial etc. This is where a private investigators role comes in. Expensive but depending in personal circumstances, for me, this evidence was priceless in court.

I can recommend a few depending on your location, pm me.
Edited by: "Sammy86" 17th Jun
Do you have a legal advice line through work? Some employers offer free services, at least initially by phone.

Are the kids actually with your wife at her mums or is she in her new gaffe and the kids at the mums?

Make a note and diary of everything. Even keep an email diary to yourself, so you can date and time all interactions.

Sorry to here what is going on. Just keep focused and get the legal help you need. What ever you do, seek emotional help for yourself too. No matter what, don’t let this drag you down to the detriment of you and the kids or seek solace in a bottle. Easily said but it rarely is.
No one on here knows the wife side of this, so really should not take sides.
I’ve unfortunately been involved in a similar incidence, with my husband and his ex wife. We went to pick up his 7yr old daughter from school at 3pm only to to be told by the teacher that she no longer attended the school. Ex wife had organised changing schools over the 6 weeks school holidays. As the divorce was not amicable we engaged a family solicitor straight away, we were advised to build a case whereby we made up a folder of pros and cons supplying ofsted reports and local demographic data etc to give to the Judge. It took many months to get to court and despite engaging a barrister on 3 occasions the Judge decided that at that age the child would be too traumatised to return back to a school she hadn’t attended for nearly a year by then and therefore she should remain at the new school.
I think all in all, the solicitors and barristers fees were around 6-7K
OP, just think clearly about making any knee jerk decisions, but time is of the essence.
Maybe concentrate your efforts in getting divorce proceedings underway (if the marriage really is over) and a Contact Order in place, rather than worrying about schools.
Good Luck
Edited by: "Toptrumpet" 17th Jun
Has she got any medical problems, any history of psychiatric health issues? Any medical history or notes or medications? Does she drink excessively or use drugs? Has she been violent and or aggressive including nasty messages? Any skeletons in her closet?

She may have lost her job if she had one, you are the cash cow now.

There is no point in appealing to rational nor emotionally side as her action reads as impulsive and callous especially to deprive you of your children. And if you did reconcile could you trust her again?

If I recall she will be legible for legal aid in the civil courts if she makes accusations of domestic abuse and meets the financial criteria. It is common to see many use this to obtain free legal representation, reflected in data after changes made to legal aid.

It is not unheard of using this trope to add criminal aspect, see legislation on coercive and controlling behaviour and might even add a marital rape. If it goes down this dark road prepare to have your life cracked open. I would suggest you think about what electronic devices you carry and retain, may worth thinking of alternative storage locations.

Be vigilant. Seek help and support for yourself now, lots of access to mindfulness applications and a counsellor too. This shows insight. You are allowed to be stressed, anxious and upset however do not seek solace in the vices that often ruin man/women.
Sammy8617/06/2020 09:07

This is terrible news, it demonstrates that this action was likely …This is terrible news, it demonstrates that this action was likely premeditated. She choose to bring forward leaving the house and distancing the children with the lockdown.Agree with the aforementioned comment not to say anything negative about their mother in front of them.The best defence is a good offence so play hard ball.I would avoid any attempt to meet without a witness and any phone conversations. Conversations should be via email and or messaging applications for objectivity.Find a very good family solicitor... there are many that are incompetent, giving poor advice. The other option is a direct access barrister but you will have todo the paper work aide.Depending on whether she has her name on the house deeds, if she doesn't she will put a HR1 form, notice matrimonial rights. She may then even petition that she should be allowed full rights to the house and children, meaning you are out yet paying the bills and mortgage.This is a public forum so as another poster commented... assets from the tangible and non-tangible... be smart.You may want to understand why she left and their maybe merit in understanding this, another lover, financial etc. This is where a private investigators role comes in. Expensive but depending in personal circumstances, for me, this evidence was priceless in court.I can recommend a few depending on your location, pm me.


Definitely will thanks
Oneday7717/06/2020 09:21

Do you have a legal advice line through work? Some employers offer free …Do you have a legal advice line through work? Some employers offer free services, at least initially by phone. Are the kids actually with your wife at her mums or is she in her new gaffe and the kids at the mums?Make a note and diary of everything. Even keep an email diary to yourself, so you can date and time all interactions.Sorry to here what is going on. Just keep focused and get the legal help you need. What ever you do, seek emotional help for yourself too. No matter what, don’t let this drag you down to the detriment of you and the kids or seek solace in a bottle. Easily said but it rarely is.



I have a legal advice through a trade union. Kids at her mums and she’s at her new place. She had been to visit for about 2wks and returned last week Saturday.

I’m really grateful to the wonderful response this has received. I never thought you guys will be so so helpful. But in my desperation I called for help and it’s been amazing. Thank you everyone for the ace advice, admonitions and signposts.
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