In 2004 I took matters to Family Court as I knew my former partner would not be conciliatory even though our children said ” they loved their Mum and they loved their Dad so would like to see as much of each as possible even though we would be living apart!”
From March to October 2004 I fought for and achieved;
Joint residency order
Parental responsibility (A given to those on the birth certificate today)
This cost me £35,000 and I believed it would serve my children till they were of an age that they could make their own decisions on contact probably as they reached secondary education, and although the mother sought to disrupt contact it worked OK until Sept 2007 since when the mother has withheld both my children now 12 and 15.
Although a truck driver I offered a second family home equal distance to the schools allowing easy access by our children to both homes and I worked through agencies to enable my work patten to to fit all the prescribed contact times, but the toll was in time I could not sustain in effect 2 homes restrictive work and trying to have a life and in the end went bankrupt to the tune of £75,000.
At that time I learned that my former partner and the new man in her life ( who has daily contact with my sons yet has not spent 30 seconds in family court) could acquire my interest in the former family home for a peppercorn rate , this summer they sold it to their benefit of £240,000. At the time they acquired my home I was told I could have my second home repossessed, it was only early access to my private pension as I turned 50 in 2008 that prevented that, but rendered my 30 year old pension worth just £110 per month.
I am still trying to recover financially, but the CSA have put unreasonable demands on me in spite of my shared care agreement http://www.childmaintenance.org/en/news/article29.html and took half my salary as a dustman,put a lean on my home which once again could be repossessed early in the new year, they want a portion of my £110 per month pension and will be returning me to court next week yet the hardest part in all this is that I have not had contact with my 2 sons since 19th September 2007!
The CSA act on the mother’s say so and take none of my circumstances into account, how can that be fair and reasonable or in the children’s best interest as I tried to achieve? She could win millions on the lottery and I could be on a park bench yet still they would purse me!
Today having paid and paid rendered bankrupt and having had my ex with hold the children for 5 years so as to claim maximum CSA when as a shared caring parent should have never been the case today due to ill heath I would not be able to earn enough to satisfy all that is required of me if I drove a truck 24/7 ( Illegal and impossible!) I now have seen my children 6 times this year and having missed their crucial childhood years am trying to rekindle some kind of relationship with 2 teenagers that seem like strangers!