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Solicitors - child arrangements and legal aid


Jimzk5
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So obviously I can't go into detail, but my ex is, after 2 years separated (now divorced) that she can stop me seeing our children on a whim, either by taking them on holiday on the agreed days Im supposed to have them, saying that she's busy and with them

Where's best to go with this, I've never ever wanted to go down this route but it's become ridiculous, any advice is greatly appreciated, the legal aid question I can't get a definitive answer online, and the solicitor I have contacted straight out said it was £199 just to have a consultation

 

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7 minutes ago, Xela said:

Sorry to hear the difficulties you are going through. 

Have you tried the Citizens Advice Bureau? 

Everything online from them says to do what I've already done, make an amicable arrangement on contact etc, if that breaks down to find a solicitor 

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4 minutes ago, Jimzk5 said:

So obviously I can't go into detail, but my ex is, after 2 years separated (now divorced) that she can stop me seeing our children on a whim, either by taking them on holiday on the agreed days Im supposed to have them, saying that she's busy and with them

Where's best to go with this, I've never ever wanted to go down this route but it's become ridiculous, any advice is greatly appreciated, the legal aid question I can't get a definitive answer online, and the solicitor I have contacted straight out said it was £199 just to have a consultation

 

https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

Short answer is though for private law unless there are allegations of domestic abuse/child abuse then you will not be eligible. If there is (don't go into detail now) then you might be subject to finances.

I cannot recall specifically the threshold but more or less unless you are on benefits and/or on pretty much minimum wage you are unlikely to eligible either. 

If you are having difficulties then the ultimate action would be to seek a Child Arrangements Order (spend time with) but in order to make any of those applications then you will need to attempt mediation first (think should be accessible through the same link). 

£199 is a lot to be honest; it depends what they are going to do with that. Honestly call around a few firms and get quotes. This is by far the best place to go https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/. I would suggest someone who is either Family Law Accredited or on the Children Panel. I suspect for an initial appointment you will be looking between £50 + VAT to £200 + VAT. Depends on who you go see. 

Just as a gut reaction, subject to speaking with your ex, it sounds like it may be more a communication issue in which case Mediation might resolve it https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/

Hope that helps :) 

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@cyrusrbeat me to it.  Excellent advice. 

You will find it very hard to get a definitive answer regarding legal advice.  Its means tested but also takes into account what you are trying to achieve, whether there is a reasonable chance of success and if the cost is worth it.  

Try to avoid solicitors if you can.  You might hink that this is something that can be resolved cheaply. Its not. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Mandy Lifeboats said:

@cyrusrbeat me to it.  Excellent advice. 

You will find it very hard to get a definitive answer regarding legal advice.  Its means tested but also takes into account what you are trying to achieve, whether there is a reasonable chance of success and if the cost is worth it.  

Try to avoid solicitors if you can.  You might hink that this is something that can be resolved cheaply. Its not. 

 

 

Legal fees for Court costs are a lot. If it does go to Court you are likely to look at £500 - £1000 just to attend direction hearings. If it does go to a contested final hearing you could easily looking £1000 - £2000 per day. Always negotiable but run the risk of using someone less experienced and/or not as good but it is not always "you get what you pay for either". 

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You can do it yourself where you just have to pay the court fees.

Document everything everytime you have been turned away everytime been refused / had plans cancelled put it in a diary so all easily seen and dated.

Try to keep communication through email or text not verbal again so can be documented. 

Big and obvious one but probably the hardest to do, keep your cool dont lose your temper. When you do go to court there is a safeguarding check every communication from the police is put on there, so if you go and start shouting and she rings police it doesnt look good when you get there.

From my experience I had a solicitor for the 1st hearing but quite honestly could have done without.

It was a room with magistrate myself solicitor and her and here solicitor and it was more a kind of negotiation. What do you want what does she want and then see of can agree to a plan. We couldnt and went to a second hearing that was more formal in a court room 3 magistrates again went through same process but this time they went out the room and then came back with what they thought should happen. 

There is another level to fight it after that but then you are talking barristers etc and it rarely changes the situation.

Be clear in what you want regarding physical contact time other contact (phone calls etc) xmas easter birthdays holidays try to think of all those life events and how you want to be a part or share the time to take with you.

You can also write these in a formal email to her saying what you would like and keep a record of it anyrespomses etc again to prove you have tried everything.

Trust me can be invaluable when your sat in front of a magistrate and a completely different person to the ex you know turns up talking as if they would never do such a thing. 

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22 hours ago, phily85 said:

You can do it yourself where you just have to pay the court fees.

Document everything everytime you have been turned away everytime been refused / had plans cancelled put it in a diary so all easily seen and dated.

Try to keep communication through email or text not verbal again so can be documented. 

Big and obvious one but probably the hardest to do, keep your cool dont lose your temper. When you do go to court there is a safeguarding check every communication from the police is put on there, so if you go and start shouting and she rings police it doesnt look good when you get there.

From my experience I had a solicitor for the 1st hearing but quite honestly could have done without.

It was a room with magistrate myself solicitor and her and here solicitor and it was more a kind of negotiation. What do you want what does she want and then see of can agree to a plan. We couldnt and went to a second hearing that was more formal in a court room 3 magistrates again went through same process but this time they went out the room and then came back with what they thought should happen. 

There is another level to fight it after that but then you are talking barristers etc and it rarely changes the situation.

Be clear in what you want regarding physical contact time other contact (phone calls etc) xmas easter birthdays holidays try to think of all those life events and how you want to be a part or share the time to take with you.

You can also write these in a formal email to her saying what you would like and keep a record of it anyrespomses etc again to prove you have tried everything.

Trust me can be invaluable when your sat in front of a magistrate and a completely different person to the ex you know turns up talking as if they would never do such a thing. 

I have everything i need to show I've tried all reasonable requests, at one point she told me she wouldn't send the children to school so I couldn't pick them up

I've spent the last 2 days contacting solicitors, and I've decided to set up a gofundme page to hopefully raise enough for an initial consultation

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Jimzk5 said:

I have everything i need to show I've tried all reasonable requests, at one point she told me she wouldn't send the children to school so I couldn't pick them up

I've spent the last 2 days contacting solicitors, and I've decided to set up a gofundme page to hopefully raise enough for an initial consultation

 

 

 

The exact same thing happened to me reguarding the school.

It was not looked on favourably by the magistrate. 

It's so hard but you will get there

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On 01/08/2022 at 17:31, Jimzk5 said:

So obviously I can't go into detail, but my ex is, after 2 years separated (now divorced) that she can stop me seeing our children on a whim, either by taking them on holiday on the agreed days Im supposed to have them, saying that she's busy and with them

Where's best to go with this, I've never ever wanted to go down this route but it's become ridiculous, any advice is greatly appreciated, the legal aid question I can't get a definitive answer online, and the solicitor I have contacted straight out said it was £199 just to have a consultation

 

I've been through the exact thing with my kids. My ex even started saying I'd been physically abusive to her and she was scared for the kids.

I ended up having to get a contact order in place which meant numerous visits to court, eventually arranging meets in a contact centre at my cost, then eventually visits to my house, overnight stays and regular contact.

I think as soon as you start legal proceedings it shocks the other party because it shows you are serious. Once a contact order is in place if it's broken there are legal consequences. BTW you don't need a solicitor for this, I represented myself without issue.

Good luck mate and if you need any help speak out. 

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On 02/08/2022 at 17:58, Jimzk5 said:

I have everything i need to show I've tried all reasonable requests, at one point she told me she wouldn't send the children to school so I couldn't pick them up

I've spent the last 2 days contacting solicitors, and I've decided to set up a gofundme page to hopefully raise enough for an initial consultation

Sorry you're going through this, mate.

Feel free to lob the gofundme link into this thread.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, NurembergVillan said:

Sorry you're going through this, mate.

Feel free to lob the gofundme link into this thread.

If that's ok that would be great, I've not had any donations yet, im also selling some guitars and some of my LPs to raise some money

https://gofund.me/8e253515

Edited by Jimzk5
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1 hour ago, Jimzk5 said:

If that's ok that would be great, I've not had any donations yet, im also selling some guitars and some of my LPs to raise some money

https://gofund.me/8e253515

Sent a small donation, what Lps are you selling?

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23 hours ago, dubbs said:

 

I think as soon as you start legal proceedings it shocks the other party because it shows you are serious. Once a contact order is in place if it's broken there are legal consequences. BTW you don't need a solicitor for this, I represented myself without issue.

 

Yep, i think it's useful for the other side to see a solicitor is involved or some sort of legal proceedings have been started. 

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