You and the Law – 24th November 2009

Ex’s revenge

I split up with my partner a year ago.  We have two young daughters, whom I’ve been seeing at weekends and also during the week.  But now I’ve got a new girlfriend my ex-partner won’t let me see them at all.  Where do I stand?  HM

I’m sorry to say that this turn of events isn’t that uncommon.  Your best bet in the short term is to ask family members or friends to persuade your former partner that it’s not in the best interests of the girls for them to be suddenly cut off from their father.  Hopefully, she will see sense. 

A solicitor can also arrange mediation so you can discuss the issue.  Assuming you have parental responsibility for your daughters (this is automatic if you signed their birth certificate after December, 2003) you should see a solicitor about applying for a contact order, which will set out when you can see your daughters.

Care home fees

If my father had to move into an old folk’s home, what’s the maximum amount he’s allowed to have in savings for him not to have to pay any of the home costs? 

If he were to sign his house over to a family member, how many years need to pass for the property not to be taken into account?  LJ

If your father has more than £23,000 in property, savings or investments, he will not qualify for help with most residential home costs.  If he has less than £14,000 he will not be expected to contribute from his capital.

The second part of your question is more difficult to answer.  It’s not about time so much as timing, and motive.  If the local authority thinks someone has given away his property or cash in order to avoid care home fees it can treat him as having ‘notional capital’ and send him the bills. 

You and your father should take detailed advice from a solicitor on this.  It’s not necessarily a great idea for elderly people to give their homes away in any case.

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