My friends ex left her and their children for someone else 5 years ago. He has since married this woman and had 2 children with her and moved a long way away from his older children who have lived with their mum, my friend since dad left.
Contact for the 1st 2 years was every other weekend and half school holidays. This was not arranged in court but between my friend and her ex.
After 2 years there were altercations between the wife and the older children resulting in the older children refusing to visit dad. There were allegations of abuse by the wife (smacking and name calling when dad wasnt around) from the 2 older children. Dad did not believe the allegations and so did not have contact with the older children for 15 months or so (mum would send emails and pictures monthly though).
Dad then started saying he wanted to see the older children, mum talked them into seeing him. The 1st visit went well but the wife was present on 2nd visit and the children wouldnt speak to her. Dad got angry and emailed mum to say that the children were not welcome at their house until they would speak to wife and the other children. Older children said fine, that they wouldnt go.
More time passed with no physical contact then Christmas arrived. Dad wanted to see kids, mum, again talked them into it. Dad came to take older children out (on his own) and all had a lovely day. Dad emailed mum a few days before the next due visit (a fortnight later) to say he was thinking of bringing wife along on next visit. Mum said it was not a good idea as the children just needed to get to know Dad again. So then the email back said Dad would not be visiting for some time as he had "family committments" (it was another baby being born).
So, it was 6 months before more contact was arranged which happened 2 weeks ago (a good time was had I''m led to believe and my friend had an afternoon off shopping with me!).
Dad was meant to have the older children again this weekend for a day but emailed Mum to say that as weather forecast was bad he was cancelling. Mum angry of course and sent email saying "take them somewhere indoors then" but Dad said no, that he wasnt paying for anything like that and that he couldnt see them if the weather is bad as he doesnt have a base (by this we think he means house as he moved so far away (3 hour drive).
Mum got rotten email back calling her allsorts, belittling her relationship with her partner of 3 years etc.
My friend has now (after loads of us telling her) has blocked her ex''s email addresses and he doesnt have her mobile number (she had to change that as he was texting her awful things constnatly).
Her ex is a bully. It has always been his way or no way and he will not like that the only way he can contact her is through proper post, royal mail.
She thinks he will now go for residence and would like to know whats likely to happen.
The kids have lived with her since he left for the woman he was seeing behind her back.
He moved away, my friend stayed put.
He has a nil CSA assessment as he''s self employed (my friend tried to get CSA to look into his accounts but they said there was nothing untoward).
If the status quo is that the children have been living with mum with minimal contact then he is very unlikely to get residence. He may well get a contact order, though, depending on how old the children are. The court would probably expect contact to be built up gradually, given how little there has been in the last couple of years - though it would be good if your friend could dig out the correspondence around this so she can show she has not been blocking contact.
A key thing is the age of the children. If they are under twelve or so they will be expected to visit dad whether they want to or not. If they are teenagers then it is less likely that a court will insist on contact for the simple reason that it''s hard to force them and frequently does more harm than good.
Even if her ex is abusive it''s probably not a good idea to block his emails completely. If he has parental responsibility he needs to be able to contact her. Although he could use the post I suspect she would be seen as unreasonable for refusing email contact. On the other hand, she doesn''t have to read them immediately. She could set up an email address just for him and look at it every few days or get a friend to screen emails and only show her ones that need a response.
I am surprised that he had a nil CSA assessment - most people have to pay something, even if it''s only £5 a month. It would be worth going for a re-assessment, in any case, if she''s not done so before.
Thank you for your reply.
Her ex is supposed to pay just £5 a week but she doesn''t very often get it. My mistake.
Regarding channels for her ex to contact her he has their land line number and also her partners mobile number. This was given as an emergency contact for when the children were with him.
Having seen her in utter distress about these awful emails I know that blocking him was the best thing for her to do. He writes such horrible things about her that she begins to believe them. For example when he sent the email cancelling contact as the weather was going to be bad he wrote back and swore black was white he hadn''t cancelled just warned that he might.
She started to question herself and so I read the email and it clearly says he was cancelling contact because of the weather.
There is a lot more to the story that I dont want to tell on here but lets just say I''ve seen lots of friends separate and divorce but never have I seen a person treated like my friends ex and his partner did to my friend.
They are bullys and will stop at nothing.
THanks for your help.