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Question
Posted by: Zola | 2008/07/11

Ex-husband driving me crazy

Just venting...

I have been divorced for 6 years. I have 2 kids from the marriage, a boy and a girl. Since the divorce my ex has been fighting for the boy to live with him, he doesn't care about the girl. He does not pay maintenance and he hardly visits or phones the kids but he wants the custody of the boy. Everytime they visit him he pulls some stunt. At one point I had to pay him money to return them. Last X-mas I had to fetch the kids accompanied by the police when he refused to return them.

Today they were supposed to come back from visiting him coz schools open on Monday. This afternoon I get a call from his local Child Wellfare office saying they have the kids. He took them there saying the boy is refusing to come back to me coz I abuse him. They say I am only abusing the boy, the girl is OK to come back.

I have called my lawyer and she has sent him a letter saying that if he does not return the kids we will file through the High Court to vary his visitation rights.

I am just so tired of these childish stunts. Even if he does eventually return the kids, going through all this crap everytime they visit is so exhausting. And what about the kids? Aren't they getting traumatised? Eish.....

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Our expert says:
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Visitation or access rights ought to be decided in regard to the best interests of the child(ren) and not in relation to whether maintenance is paid or the preferences of the parents alone. Generally, i is wisest to have this decided by the court, who can fix maintenance and require him to pay it ( and create problems for him if he doesn't do so ) and can even talk with the children and decide what would be best for them.
With his history of demanding money ( that would probably have counted as kidnap, a crime ) and of refusing to return them, he may have difficulty in convincing a court that he ought to have access. The Child Welfare is NOT entitled to assume that you are abusing the boy simply on the say so of your ex-husband, and must investigate the case more fully. Your lawyer sounds to be acting correctly, and should indeed ask the court to stop him having any rights to see the children, to consider this and his previous actions to be abusive, and to consider sanctioning him for making false claism to Child Welfare and defamation of your character. It sounds very much as though he is abusing the system out of spite against you, rather than in any way to benefit the children.
DO let us know what happens

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