Child maintenance issue

Dairylea

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Is your (ex) partner engaging with the solicitor? Can you back up everything you're saying about him? How was maintenance being paid? He may very well say that he has no idea what you're talking about and that you suddenly want him out of his property. After all, he is staying there, sleeping there, etc, might have friends that can back up his story, we only have your version of things. Don't get me wrong, i'm not castigating you, just being the devils advocate so to speak. It's a crazy old country out
The problem @Leo is that settlement orders will likely take another 18-24 months & in the meantime the OP & the children need to be safe.

I don't believe taking action now to secure that safety will impinge on the final settlement orders.

I do believe, if the OP does not take action, the impact of the emotional and financial abuse will be huge. If that needs an injunction, then so be it.
Thank you Thirsty. I have sent off an email to my solicitor to raise these questions re locks etc. I have a safety plan in place and have support of a counsellor.
While there has never been any physical violence it has been a controlling one. And it still continues to be. For instance, I have been going out in the anoon while he is here but he has reacted with anger at this and asks where I’m going, who I’m meeting. This is why he will not let me know in advance his plans on seeing his child. Anything not on his terms is met with a consequence. He can be intimidating. It took me a long time to return paperwork to the solicitor out of fear of what I’m about to face. Solicitor in the process of issuing court proceedings re cohabitant redress to keep us in the family home. He has not yet been notified. Ex is in a position to buy a further property and has no mortgage or rent to pay. He is in a very good financial position compared to most but would rather myself and child find a HAP rental. I gave up career so that he could pursue work opportunities around the world.
 

Dairylea

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@noproblem yes I think I can back it up. All bills were changed from his name to mine after he left. His bank statements etc go to his new address and there would be text conversations between us about him not living here now.
 

Thirsty

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@Pinoy adventure - based on the posts from the OP (and as always that is all we have to go on); there is clear evidence of emotional, psychological and financial abuse.

All abuse gives rise to safety concerns.
 

Thirsty

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@Dairylea - bit of tough love coming up.

You're a year into this process, it's time to start making your own choices.

Don't give him any more headspace; get him out of the house, no more overnights. It's summer, things are opening up again. He can take the child out for trips / walks / days out.

If it was me, I'd change the locks & devil take the hindmost.

You need to get back to work; I know that won't be easy when you've been out for a number of years, but you are smart and educated and you'll succeed.

OPF is still available, at a reduced rate, so part-time hours are quite achieveable.

No one else is going to get you and your children out of this; laws and courts are all fine and well but he can act the maggot for years and you can't be sitting around waiting.
 

noproblem

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@noproblem yes I think I can back it up. All bills were changed from his name to mine after he left. His bank statements etc go to his new address and there would be text conversations between us about him not living here now.
That's good, are you getting maintenance from the other father as well as i'm sure that's also relevant, if not why not?
 

LS400

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697
If it was me, I'd change the locks & devil take the hindmost.

I think your advice is wrong.. What your proposing could inflame a situation which is totally unacceptable.

I think you need to realise that, this being a public forum, you are not having a one to one conversation with your mate down the boozer. You don’t know the circumstances and what you might encourage.

The devil may care attitude is always a safe bet when you don’t have to take responsibility for someone else’s actions. Relationships are delicate, and good advice should be as balanced as can be.
Also, when your in a difficult situation, sometimes you only want to hear noise that’s comforting to your needs. Doesn’t mean it’s the right advice.

The fact it’s a public forum, means others in a similar situation who may for one reason or another not ask the question proposed, may think it’s ok to do something as daft as changing locks and-meet trouble head on.

My advice would be, in this situation, talk to a solicitor. End of.
 

Thirsty

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@LS400

1. OP has already instructed a solicitor.

2. Re-read my post.

3. Possible issues have already been pointed out (and with which I agreed).

4. Based on the OPs posts, and on posts from last year; I believe this is an abusive situation and the OPs safety is of concern.

5. OP has been in this position for the last year.

6. At best, getting settlement orders can take 18 months to 2 years; COVID delays are adding anything up to a year to that time frame.
 

Leo

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13,221
I don't believe taking action now to secure that safety will impinge on the final settlement orders.

I do believe, if the OP does not take action, the impact of the emotional and financial abuse will be huge. If that needs an injunction, then so be it.
Absolutely, and an injunction is perhaps for the best, the solicitor will advise there.

@Dairylea, don't do anything like changing locks before speaking with your solicitor. Also, ensure you have a good support network around you, you will need friends you can trust and to vent to from time to time. You need to be prepared that the controlling behaviour will continue, so think about ways that you can manage all interactions regarding the children to limit their opportunities to attempt to control you. Discuss this with your solicitor and seek their advice.
 

Dairylea

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32
An update and question!
The ex has returned to live in the property. He returned the same day that papers were served from my solicitor. He refuses to pay towards bills, stating that he will increase child maintenance to the original agreement we had in place and thinks this will take care of any additional cost of him living here.

However, he has since cancelled the child maintenance in retaliation because I went out one evening. This may change. I don’t know.
In the mean time I am waiting on a date for a court ordered child maintenance hearing.


Now the question, I am in receipt of One Parent Family Payment. I feel I should notify them of him now living here but I’m fearful of how that will affect me financially. Are they likely to believe that I am actually in a worse position with him living here than before! Am i opening up a can of worms? My worry is that they stop payments. It sounds so unbelievable that he’d move back and refuse to contribute I think! I guess I’m worried about honesty backfiring on me! Now that I write this down I do think it’s my only option really and hope for the best. Any advice/input appreciated!
 

Thirsty

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It is not unheard of for separated couples to share the same address due to the costs of alternative accommodation.

You should advise SW of your position - however make sure you have some savings / overdraft /credit card so you can cover yourself in the event that payments are stopped temporarily.

I'll be honest, if I were in your position, I would move out completely; let him pay for bills and childcare. In my view you are being abused.

Get a job, arrange to see the children as often as you can in the evenings and at weekends and holidays until you get the settlement issues resolved.
 

Dairylea

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32
I understand your thinking there Thirsty but I am their constant and what they know. It would go against every fibre of me. I wouldn’t do it. It would devastate the children. I’m also their only legal guardian.
Ive contemplated moving back to my home country with the children due to lack of support here and the high cost of child care/rent etc but it’s a last resort. The children deserve a relationship with their father so it really would be worst case scenario.

I do plan on getting a part time position when the schools return in September and I’m logging everything that is happening.
 

Purple

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@Dairylea do not, under any circumstances, move out.
AT this stage you need better advice and a more proactive role from your solicitor.
Talk to them about seeking a protection order and getting him out of the house. It is not good for you or the children to live in such a stressful environment.
The person in any relationship with the most power is the person who cares least. He seems to be willing to cause emotional harm to the children in order to get his way. You are allowing that to happen because you don't want the confrontation and the resulting fallout and the impact that will have on you and the children. You need to act and act now. As a woman the law and how it is interpreted is on your side.
Don't change locks or do anything else like that. Go to court and follow the advice of your solicitor. If you don't have confidence in your solicitor then get a new one. You should also call women's aid on 1800 341 900 for advice.
 

Thirsty

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The person in any relationship with the most power is the person who cares least. He seems to be willing to cause emotional harm to the children in order to get his way. You are allowing that to happen because you don't want the confrontation and the resulting fallout and the impact that will have on you and the children. You need to act and act now. As a woman the law and how it is interpreted is on your side.
Don't change locks or do anything else like that. Go to court and follow the advice of your solicitor. If you don't have confidence in your solicitor then get a new one. You should also call women's aid on 1800 341 900 for advice.
As always - IANAL

The difficulties here as I see are many

a. @Dairylea and her former partner did not marry and therefore the home in which she lives is not the family home under the meaning of the act.

b. There is likely to be some element of financial settlement due from the support provided by her during the time she lived at the property; that financial settlement will accrue for the time she lived there. The legal entitlement will not change for OP moving out. I'm not sure the OP will succeed in getting an order allowing her to continue to reside in the property until the youngest child is 18 (23).

c. The property is not jointly owned, so I believe OP needs to get a court order to prevent sale pending financial settlement.

d. I don't believe it is good advice to anyone to continue to endure abuse.

e. From previous posts, I understand that the OP is using Legal Aid; they will not be the most proactive or swift to action. OP has not yet even got a court date for child maintenance, which is the most basic of court orders.

f. Whilst I clearly see abuse here, I'm not sure the OP does. Getting out of the situation will allow for much greater clarity.

g. A protection order is temporary and does not ensure the other party leaves the property, you need a barring order for that; in the absence of medical or gardai evidence, I'm not sure the OP will get one.

As a woman the law and how it is interpreted is on your side.
This sort of statement irritates me; if the law truly was on the OPs 'side' she wouldn't still be without child maintenance after more than a year.
 

Purple

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As always - IANAL

The difficulties here as I see are many

a. @Dairylea and her former partner did not marry and therefore the home in which she lives is not the family home under the meaning of the act.
It's the home their child lived in and it is the home of the OP. Given the fact that they are not married the last thing they should do is move out.
b. There is likely to be some element of financial settlement due from the support provided by her during the time she lived at the property; that financial settlement will accrue for the time she lived there. The legal entitlement will not change for OP moving out. I'm not sure the OP will succeed in getting an order allowing her to continue to reside in the property until the youngest child is 18 (23).
I'm not sure either but they certainly won't if they don't ask.
c. The property is not jointly owned, so I believe OP needs to get a court order to prevent sale pending financial settlement.
I agree.
d. I don't believe it is good advice to anyone to continue to endure abuse.
Nor do I. Moving out won't stop the abuse.
e. From previous posts, I understand that the OP is using Legal Aid; they will not be the most proactive or swift to action. OP has not yet even got a court date for child maintenance, which is the most basic of court orders.
They need to push their solicitor. If there is abuse, which does seem to be the case, then that will be dealt with more swiftly.
f. Whilst I clearly see abuse here, I'm not sure the OP does. Getting out of the situation will allow for much greater clarity.
Agreed.
g. A protection order is temporary and does not ensure the other party leaves the property, you need a barring order for that; in the absence of medical or gardai evidence, I'm not sure the OP will get one.
It's a temporary measure to give space and time for a longer term solution.
This sort of statement irritates me; if the law truly was on the OPs 'side' she wouldn't still be without child maintenance after more than a year.
For the law to work it needs you to engage with it. That didn't happen at first.

The statement might irritate you but it's the truth. As a man who left an abusive relationship I find myself living in a small rental property with my two older children full time and the youngest half the time, while my ex lives in the large family home with the youngest (the other half of the time). I pay for the schools, holidays, grinds etc. I buy the clothes, do the washing, I've talked to my daughter about puberty, I've taught them to cook, blow-dried the hair, learned to use a sewing machine to do arts and crafts with them, the whole nine yards. She gets the children's allowance for all of them, pays no maintenance, earns as much as I do and I pay rent plus a big chunk of the mortgage. When we finally divorce she'll get a double personal tax allowance (the one both parents who divorced used to get until it was removed for the fathers).

Tell me that would happen if I was the woman. Go on, a dare you.
 

Thirsty

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It 'happens' to women every day of the week.

Is our family law system rubbish? Yes, absolutely.

But going down that rat hole is of no help to the OP at this time.
 

kinnjohn

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341
The statement might irritate you but it's the truth. She gets the children's allowance for all of them, pays no maintenance, earns as much as I do and I pay rent plus a big chunk of the mortgage. When we finally divorce she'll get a double personal tax allowance (the one both parents who divorced used to get until it was removed for the fathers).

Tell me that would happen if I was the woman. Go on, a dare you.
You need to read up on Alice in Wonderland.;)
 
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Purple

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It 'happens' to women every day of the week.

Is our family law system rubbish? Yes, absolutely.

But going down that rat hole is of no help to the OP at this time.
You started it by commenting on my post. I outlined my circumstances and pointed out some factual issues.
That doesn't change the fact that women are usually, literally, left holding the baby.
 
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Dairylea

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32
I do recognise the abuse although I struggle to say it. It is not lost on me and I am dealing with that in the background with regards to a possible safety order. It may not look like it to an outsider but to be engaging with a Solicitor is a huge step. Thank you for the Woman's Aid number Purple, I have already spoken with them too.

The Child Maintenance has been paid every week but it has been used as a way to try and assert control in the last couple of months. But I did procrastinate on sending the draft proceedings back signed because I was scared of his (ex) reaction and consequences.
The Solicitor has put a Les Pendens in place to block any sale of the property.

I don’t even want any money from him, no pension, personal maintenance, property adjustments etc. Not even the money I’ve put into the mortgage when I was working. All I want is the right to remain in the home until children are grown. I want stability and continuity for them through childhood. To be left alone to live my life. To be able to afford to get back to work and give them holidays and all the good things they deserve. To not be on the whim of a landlord and possibly be moving house and schools every few years.
But ex is adamant to let it go to court and let a judge decide what is fair.
 
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