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Q. hi i was hoping u could help me please as i feel totally let down by my solicitor. my ex partner left me and my 2 children a year ago. it was all amicable and he would see them regularly and phone to speak to them most days but then he got a girlfriend who has basically made my life hell. he would go for long periods without seeing the children, i have NEVER stopped him seeing them, always encouraged it as my children need their daddy. but last month he took me to court for a contact order, reason being that i keep stopping access when i feel like it, hes admitted to me this isnt true and that he simply did this to prove to his new girlfriend he is where he says he is. ive had numerous nasty phoncalls from her. things are now terrible between me and my ex me and my children are not allowed to ring him to sort out arrangments etc. and this has affected our children as their mummy and daddy do not get on. anyway this court process which was totally unecessary has caused me so much stress, i feel ill, i havnt done anything wrong and hes done this, we are back at court in may for a review. i really dont want his new partner being introduced she is vile, shown me no respect and he hasnt known her very long, ive read somewhere about a prohibited steps order could i apply for one of these to prevent him from introducing her? my children are only 5 and 3 i feel this would be very unsettling for them. also i realise i cannot change their surname to mine but ive heard that there is something you can arrange with your solicitor “known as” so that i could inform schools and doctors that they are known as my surname, is this true? thank u very much for your time .
If you do not wish to go to court you can suggest an adjournment to mediate and go to see a mediator.
Contact order – this may work well for you. You can specify contact dates, times and who is to collect and return
New girlfriend – I’m not sure how long he has been in a relationship with his girlfriend but you need to trust him to manage the relationship and messages that she sends to the children. If you feel that he is unable or unwilling to do this to benefit the children, you should raise it when you are next at court and allow him to reassure you. You may include a recital in the contact order about negative messages etc but the difficulty comes in proving things. At least the recital will set out your intentions.
Changing surname – not without his consent or a court order. If you do, he can apply to the court for you to change it back and ensure that they are known as the correct surname.