Question posted in the Family Law category relating to Gauteng
Question value: R 300.00
My autistic son is turning 16. My daughter is 12. A few years back the father of my children and I split. We were never married but lived together for 18 years. My ex withdrew from mediation and we ended up at the Family Advocate after the magistrate ordered a one weekon/off arrangement for our children with each parent which has been in place for over 2 years now. My ex did not pay school fees for my son last year, the school threatened to hand us both over for debt collection so I sought help from court to have our maintenence order enforced as it states he is responsible for 100% of school fees. Not long after this matter was brought to court my ex brought me a letter written by my son (3 March) saying he did not wish to come home to me that week and refused to engage further as to why. My son has now been with his father for a month. I have seen him a few times and speak to him most nights while my daughter continues to follow the parenting plan agreements. I am concerned there is parental alienation and retaliation for having taken him to court. My ex went to court on 4 March to request changes to our parenting plan, but no one has contacted me from court. What should I do with my concerns as I do not believe the children should be with their father more than they already are. He is a recovering alcoholic and the children have indicated he might be bulimic and he continues to undermine me in subtle ways as mother of our children. My son almost failed last year after missing 30 days of school mostly while in his father's care and I want to know if and how what my son is requesting (to live more with his father) can be investigated given his age and psychological profile as I do not believe it is in his best interests and I know my daughter is likely to ask for the same arrangement as the children have become very close and I certainly don't want her predominantly in his care. My ex has and continues to use his financial status to try to control our lives and I am currently studying full time with my family's assistence so that I will not be reliant on his maintenance in next year.