I left my violent and abusive dh is 1998. We were divorced in 1999 and spent 18 months in litigation over contact (visitation) which ended with him saying he couldn't face seeing his kids only twice a week so he would prefer not to see them at all.
So, instead he stalked us at the school, followed us around town and made no child support payments at all.
The Child Support Agency have been unable to trace him on any public records for 7 years (He is Mexican living in the UK, selling jewellery and doing henna tatoos and stuff at street markets) He pays no taxe etc etc and has no bills in his own name. Last year I contacted them and told them to stop wasting their resources on this man as he is never going to pay or appear in the real economy.
We moved house in 2002 and felt safe until someone at my old workplace (a further education college)disclosed our address. So stalked again, scared to let my boys out and then I get a court summons that he has started contact proceedings.
The judge was not happy (same guy from all those years back) I could not afford legal representation so had to represent myself. He was abusive in court, accused me of being a drunk! Drug addict! No good! I found research linking renewed contact proceedings with continuing abuse of the ex partner which is iexactly what this was. Then he comes to the house after being warned not to by the judge so I applied for an injunction. Well it ended up the same. I went to court for the final hearing and he had gone to Mexico 'the stress was just too much'.
The boys have had no birthday presents or cards via my mum's address, no Christmas gifts for years then this birthday (2 days late) Ds1 gets £40. And this morning I got a cheque from someone I don't know for £80 in an envelope written in handwriting I don't recognise and a note from him which makes me feel physically ill just looking at it.
He's sorry blah blah and 'if I can accept this money from him then he'll do it on a monthly basis'.
Am I way off base thinking this is just another controlling thing? I can't help thinking he wants something and I just know this will make DH start talking again about wanting to move house. I don't want to leave the community which supports me, my friends, my work, the boys' friends and a truly lovely place just to get away from this bastard. Even if we do he will find us again. I hate this.
I'm just ranting. Thanks for getting this far.
If you don't need the money, I wouldn't take it. If he really wants to "do well" by his children, he would send the money without any strings attached.
Ordinarily, I'm all for child support being the right of the child, regardless of the relationship between the parents.
In this case, I wouldn't touch the money. I think you're right about it being all about control, and you accepting what he has to offer when he wants to offer it, on his terms. He also knows very well based on your previous history that you're afraid of him, and that sending anonymous envelopes through the mail is going to be perceived at your end as threatening and disturbing. If he really wants to pay child support, he can do so through the child support agency. Clearly the court route was not working out for him, and he wants instead to initiate contact with you that is unmediated by any of the safeguards offered by the court system or the child support collection system. I wouldn't respond at all, wouldn't cash the cheques (I think the stamp on the back if you did so would at least give him a lead as to the city and maybe the branch where you did so) or anything.
If you haven't already, I would get a non-molestation order with warrant attached- any breach of the order would get him immediately arrested. If you don't qualify for legal aid and you're not a union member, ring your local refuge (I know the Oxford one used to be very good) and ask them to help you with the paperwork. You don't need a solicitor to do it.
I, personally, would be inclined to open a bank account with your own bank, but one of the London branches (anonymous, but you could switch the money between accounts instantly) cash the cheque and use it to take your kids to Legoland or somewhere spendy. I'm also having bad thoughts about all the fun things you can do with a fraudulent ex's bank details- for instance, CSA- Inland Revenue- Benefits Agency fraud line- and so on. It could make his life interesting for a time.
Oh- I am not in any way advocating allowing him anywhere near your life. I'm just saying, take the money. Kids are work, money makes the job easier, and whilst 80 per month is laughable, it's better than nowt. It doesn't HAVE to be on his terms.
Thank you for your replies. I have contacted the CSA and made a new claim. If he wants to give them money he can do it through the proper channels.
I am reluctant to go back to court again. My previous injunction application was never heard as he did not acknowlege receipt and did not appear at court. Apparently an injunction cannot be issued in a person's absence; if they don't know it had been made they do not know how not to break it. I couldn't believe that when I arrived at court to find no-one there. Not even his slimy solicitor.
If I were to make another application (£60) I doubt he would appear. There were no consequences for his non-appearance in January.
The cheque was not in his name. He has no bank account precisely so he cannot be traced. The CSA did what they call tertiary searches which are from Inland Revenue/Benefits to banking, council tax and right down to parking tickets. He is the invisible man. But he can claim Legal aid. Where is the justice in that?
I did seek advice for my previous contact proceedings and had a good model from the first time round when I was eligible for aid. I am a teacher so I know how to put things together and present them to scary people! I would do it all again if I thought it was going to be worth it but it isn't.
I'm going to hold on to the cheque and see what happens. But I hate feeling so foolish for ending up in this situation.