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My ex is trying to control me

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Is your ex-husband or ex-wife still trying to control you? When you separate from a partner you often assume that you will be able to achieve freedom but sometimes it can be hard to realise because your ex just won't let go. Sometimes the control is over the children and the contact and custody arrangements or it can be about money or ongoing emotional abuse through texts and contact via social media. However your ex is trying to control you there are things that you can do about it.

Family law solicitors

London based OTS Solicitors have a team of specialist family lawyers to help with all your family law concerns, whether you need assistance with children law, your financial settlement or spousal maintenance or an injunction order.

If you need family law advice call the friendly and approachable team on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. We can explore your best options with you and, if needed, apply for court injunctions. We offer an initial discussion by video conference, Skype, FaceTime or telephone appointment.

Am I being controlled by my ex?

What amounts to control is a tricky topic as, if you were to ask your ex, they would probably deny that they were being controlling and that they are just:

  • Making sure that they get what is due to them
  • Supporting you through texts and communication that you should not find intrusive
  • Ensuring that the children get to see them when the children want to do so.

That may not be your perception, but it can be easy to be swayed by your ex, especially if they were dominating and controlling during your relationship. If you are in any doubt about whether your ex is trying to control you then ask a family member or friend. If you have a family solicitor it is best to raise the question with them. Don’t be embarrassed to do so as they will have the experience to tell you if your ex is controlling you and what you can do about it. A family law solicitor won't have an agenda for or against your ex but will give you an impartial view about the behaviour that is concerning you and the best options to tackle it.

The controlling ex and the children

The controlling behaviour of an ex can take many different forms. When it comes to children the control can range from:

  • Refusing to let you see the children
  • Only being prepared to see the children at times convenient to them so changing the arrangements to suit their social life
  • Not returning the children with their homework completed or with the correct school uniform or returning the children late
  • Refusing to keep you informed about school or medical appointments
  • Booking holidays without consultation with you over choice of dates
  • Giving you lists of rules over what you can do with the children when you do get to see them.

If your ex is controlling your contact with your children or is threatening to apply for custody of the children then their behaviour may not be about what they think is in the best interests of the children and instead they are trying to use the children as a weapon against you. Using the children as a means of control can be down to a range of issues, including:

  • They feel out of control because of the separation and so want to control you through the children
  • They feel that they are being controlled in the financial settlement and so are using the children as their way of gaining control
  • They know the children are the best way to cause you upset and that is their way of trying to maintain the control that they exerted during the relationship.

family solicitor will tell you that there are many ways that your ex’s attempts to control you through the children can be stopped. These include:

  • A solicitors letter – sometimes a letter explaining the impact of the behaviour on you and the children and the action that will be taken if it doesn’t stop is sufficient to solve the problem
  • Family mediation
  • Court application for a child arrangements order.

children law solicitor can talk you through your best options on what is most likely to provide the best solution for you and your family.

 The controlling ex and money

If your ex is trying to control you it may all be about money and the financial settlement. Family law solicitors are alive to the need to stop inappropriate control whilst recognising the benefits of couples reaching financial settlements together provided that there is full financial disclosure and one partner isn’t being dominated or controlled by the other.

Attempts at control, in a financial context, include:

  • Refusing to provide financial disclosure to help you reach a negotiated fair financial settlement
  • Changing the amount paid in spousal maintenance or child support so you don’t know where you stand financially
  • Wanting to turn up at your home with the child support or spousal maintenance in cash rather than making a regular bank transfer
  • Not being willing to discuss a financial settlement
  • Not cooperating with house viewings to try and delay the sale of the family home
  • Refusing to sign the paperwork needed, for example, for the sale of the family home.

All these elements of financial control can be resolved by your family law solicitor. Options include:

  • Applying to court for a financial settlement so the court orders financial disclosure
  • Applying to court for an order requiring regular payment of spousal maintenance
  • Getting a financial settlement order if your ex isn’t prepared to negotiate fairly
  • Asking the court to enforce the order if your ex won't cooperate with the sale or transfer of the family home or the implementation of a pension sharing order.

The controlling ex and emotional abuse

family law solicitor can talk to you about your options to address the ongoing emotional abuse received from an ex, including:

How can OTS Solicitors help?

Whatever the type of control you are experiencing it is easy to become overwhelmed and to think that there isn’t a solution. There is one at hand as family law solicitors and the court are there to help you find the best outcome for you and your family.

Family law solicitors

The specialist family lawyers at OTS Solicitors are friendly and approachable. We are here to answer your questions on how to deal with a controlling ex-partner.  Whether you need legal advice about separation, divorce, maintenance, an injunction, court orders to protect children or any aspect of family law call the team of expert family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. We will set up a video conference, Skype or telephone appointment for you with an experienced family law solicitor.

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