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ADVICE WITH COURT

(23 Posts)
JustMe1993 Mon 07-Oct-13 19:28:50

Last time i went to court my 'ex' was ordered to complete 4 hour long contact sessions and a parenting course, he completed the course and is still the same so it was useless, he completed one of the court ordered sessions and now he is no longer paying for the sessions so the contact has now stopped.

He is saying he can't afford it any more and that it is my fault (of course). Because they had notes on the last session they have been sent to both of us and my barrister for this Thursday and it is basically one big note of how my son whimpered and backed away whenever he went near him, they had to prompt him to say goodbye to my DS and hello and otherwise he just "stood there" and "watched" the care workers play with him. My son never whimpers from anybody and I'm surprised that he did this and they didn't tell me on the day of contact

We have court Thursday but he doesn't even reply to emails any more and it's getting silly and I don't know what to do. We're all waiting around and guessing what he's going to do next like is he going to turn up to court and if so what is he going to do?

He has said we're now at a "stalemate" due to him no longer paying and me insisting he has to be in the contact centres when their is "no need" However is quite apparent to myself, my family, my solicitor and the contact workers that DS is Nowhere near ready to be alone with him when the notes detailed he was in the room a total of 6 minutes before they removed him due to him being so distressed and upset

FamilyMag Mon 07-Oct-13 22:04:15

If a non-resident parent turned up in my court having failed to adhere to the court-ordered contact as you describe, I would be pretty unimpressed. It's very difficult to say without the background, seeing the report from the contact centre or any CAFCASS reports, but I would personally be very reluctant to order further contact. It would depend what he had to say for himself, but if your son became this distressed in a mere 6 minutes of contact, I'd be removing direct contact. Indirect might work, but only if it looks like he'd actually do it. Poor contact is as bad as none.

Good luck on Thursday.

JustMe1993 Tue 08-Oct-13 14:05:52

I've only spoke to CAFCASS briefly they were suppose to do a full report with me however that never happened for some reason or another.

However all he keeps saying is he can no longer afford to pay for contact due to having to pay for the past court fee's, DNA test etc that has arisen from him taking me to court and he's close to "bankruptcies". I however hope the judge won't let that be an excuse he even refused to by my LO a pair of £3 jeans because he "couldn't afford it" and I struggle to see how he is going to cope in later as LO isn't going to get any cheaper if anything more expensive.

What does indirect contact mean? and what is involved? LO is only 18 months old so he can't text/phone etc

Thank you

FamilyMag Tue 08-Oct-13 14:29:17

Indirect contact would be letters, presents and possibly phone calls but obviously not relevant at your DS's age (didn't realise he was so young!).

If the court specifically ordered 4 supervised sessions I would imagine that that was with the intention of getting feedback on how he was with DS. And, frankly, he has failed spectacularly with that. If they requested a CAFCASS report they're not going to be very happy if that hasn't been done. If that's due to your ex's failure to comply, it will also reflect very poorly on him. I would be astounded if he was given unsupervised contact in these circumstances. The court may decide they require CAFCASS's input in which case they will adjourn again. However, IME father's who make this little effort to see their children don't bother to attend court. And even if he does, if he hasn't got some very good reasons for his poor attendance at the contact centre, they'll probably order the barest indirect contact (birthday and Christmas cards/presents) and tell him to come back when DS is older and he's prepared to step up to his responsibilities.

I'm sure your solicitor will make sure your case is put thoroughly: the court will have the report from the centre, and make sure you have evidence of where you've tried to make contact with him.

I don't think you'll have to do much, tbh, your ex is the one creating the problems. If the court ordered the supervised sessions then they clearly think that there is a 'need'. His talk of 'stalemate' is nonsense, he doesn't get his way by refusing to do what is ordered. I'm sure the contact warning was read at the hearing: failure to comply with an order can results in penalties including prison!

(I should put in the proviso that I can only speak from my experience of my court; I know things differ across the country, though they shouldn't.)

Good luck on Thursday, come back and tell me how it goes.

JustMe1993 Tue 08-Oct-13 14:36:20

Thank you very much FamilyMag He's only been ordered contact since May of this year so since LO was 11 months and has seen him for 105 minutes in total, He's brought him two gifts (I understand it's not about that) in that time too and no cards re; birthday and Christmas.

He has always attended court however he's now only interested in 'free' contact not in a centre and he's clinging onto the words of the judge that "if the contact went well you MAY be out of the centre" however it didn't but he's still going to pursue the issue i believe despite not replying to emails.

Thank you I will keep you updated

FamilyMag Wed 09-Oct-13 09:32:29

I would think the hope he is clinging onto is delusional! With contact having failed in this way, and in particular the report from the centre, he really shouldn't be getting unsupervised contact.

The presents thing isn't about getting material objects, it's a demonstration of commitment.

Is he representing himself? I can't believe his solicitor wouldn't be telling him all this, if he had one. If he turns up and puts on a good show he might get a second chance at the supervised contact, but I would have thought that's his best possible outcome.

Unfortunately though, practice does vary and I've read enough threads here and news stories to know that bizarre decisions DO get made.

JustMe1993 Wed 09-Oct-13 20:13:38

Well I got a message today from him saying he will be turning up without his girlfriend (she turns up with her every week, I assume he's doing this as I have a partner however he's not coming) as he now thinks it's "our thing" he still saying he won't pay for contact in the centre because "it's not his fault he can't afford to"

however he is now blaming ME for my son whimpering and backing away from him in fear saying I have done something to him or said something to him!

He is 18 months old and he's not even mentioned in my home or around my son he's trying to pressure for contact with just me and him and no centre but I'm not comfortable with this what so ever! The contact centre said and included in the notes that LO may not settle due to the 3 month gap in contact and he didn't pay for Mondays session making the gap once again longer than it should!

He's saying he's interacting wi LO yet the notes from the centre clearly state dad stood In the kitchen area and watched workers play with LO, they prompted him to say hello, goodbye & wave, nowhere in the notes does it say he played with LO!!

I've been in hospital today having lumbar punctures due to neurological condition that I have which his time was believed to be caused by the stress of all this and I can't carry on like this!

Is there anything at all I can say tomorrow to try to get indirect contact or supervised still?? I'm at my wits end! And worries for my LO he has human rights to see his dad I understand however he has human rights to not be caused this much distress and upset in such a short amount of time

JustMe1993 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:22:47

FamilyMag I would just like to say thank you! We left court today with no contact to take place and no indirect contact court ordered only done if and when I want to. They saw straight through him and it's finally over!

FamilyMag Thu 10-Oct-13 15:06:11

YAY!!! So sorry I didn't see your post last night, but as it turns out you didn't need me! I'm so pleased you got such a great result. And it's absolutely the right one for your DS. The family courts have such a bad reputation but they do get it right sometimes smile.

You must be so relieved. Now you can enjoy your time with DS without this hanging over you. Well done for hanging on in there, I know how stressful it is. Bravo!

JustMe1993 Thu 10-Oct-13 17:40:59

He went in blaming me stating it was all my fault, the centres fault, and the contact workers everyone but his. He refused to pay anymore fees and there aren't any mutual people to supervise sessions so they weren't impressed with him!

He even had the cheek to say to my barrister "so you've won then"

I'm just so glad it's over and me and DS can move on and be happy!

FamilyMag Thu 10-Oct-13 23:36:25

Oh dear, I don't suppose they were impressed with him at all! Ha ha! (Oh dear, that was mean and unprofessional - ahem!)

He forgot the basic rule of family court: the primary consideration is the welfare of the child, and it doesn't sound as though that figured in your ex's argument. It's not about him vs you or winning or losing, it's about what is best for your son. All the evidence clearly showed that contact with the father was about him not your son, and was doing your son no good.

Your ex did you, and your son, a favour by showing his true colours so clearly. And now the two of you can move on smile. Hurrah!

JustMe1993 Fri 11-Oct-13 10:48:59

I'm glad with the way it went, he constantly mouthed off to my barrister, he parents got banned from attending court due to their poor behaviour (the first court hearing he brought his mum, dad, sister, friend, girlfriend and two other mates, I brought my mum as she drove.)

However he started messaging me last night asking "what we do now?" LO is missing out and it's my fault, I got what I want etc..

I didn't take an undertaking at the court but my barrister had to write a line saying he can send photos, cards, presents etc but I was told I wasn't obligated to or court ordered too.

He turned round yesterday and said he won't be sending any of that and that and that he'll be taking me back to court (the ended it as he refused to pay centre fees and they saw thats what DS needed) is their anything I can do or can I now just ignore him without getting in trouble?

Many thanks smile

FamilyMag Sat 12-Oct-13 16:11:05

There's nothing to stop him taking it back to court, but I can't think why he'd think he'll get a different outcome. It's only going to be worth his while if he's demonstrated some commitment to his child and willingness to do what the court has already stated he needs to do. If he goes straight back and nothing has changed they're going to view him as a time-waster.

It looks to me, and it would look to them, I think, that he's only doing all this to yank your chain. You know him better than most: do you think he genuinely wants to build a positive relationship with his child? Or is he not really interested but keen to wind you up? Your son has a right to have a relationship with his father, but he also has a right to be protected from a father who's going to let him down in the long run.

It doesn't sound like he's ready to let it drop just yet, but nor is he ready to knuckle down and put in the work necessary to build a good relationship with DS and show the court that he's ready for contact. You haven't been ordered to do anything, so I can't see how you can get in to trouble. If he gets demanding just tell him to bring it back to court. The court have decided that direct contact is not appropriate right now, so it's down to him to persuade them to change their minds.

JustMe1993 Sat 12-Oct-13 16:45:59

He's very keen to wind me up! Almost at ever turn he's waiting. He even asked for mediation at £150 per person per hour which he would pay for, and then stopped Contact due. To LO being I distressed I wan this to to away now sad

JustMe1993 Sat 12-Oct-13 16:46:57

Sorry one of the factors they ended contact on was because he said he couldn't afford £75.50 a fortnight for contact

tinyturtletim Sun 13-Oct-13 17:54:16

Change your number, and tell him if he wants to communicate with you to go through your solicitor..

Unfortunately you cannot argue with stupid, your healthis being tested because of this excuse for a man.

FamilyMag Sun 13-Oct-13 18:06:27

It sounds to me as though the court was completely unimpressed with him. If they'd thought he genuinely wanted contact I would have expected them to try and find a way around the cost of the contact. Did they ask whether there was a trusted friend/family member who could supervise contact? He's just made so little effort to comply even with the initial assessments.

I think you need to tread a bit carefully: he is still your DS's father, and it would be wise to think about how you will look if he does bring it back to court. That said, I think you can ignore requests for contact and the emotional blackmail of your DS missing out. (Missing out on what? A father who doesn't interact and whose presence distresses him?!) Tell him he has to go back to court if he wants contact - you'll probably have to repeat!

MooseBeTimeForSnow Sun 13-Oct-13 18:14:46

If he makes repeated applications to the Court, ask your legal team to apply for a Section 91(14) order. This would prevent him making further applications without the permission of the Court.

JustMe1993 Sun 13-Oct-13 23:24:05

Sorry for the lack of reply I'm in hospital once again

He hasn't emailed in 2 days as of yet

familymag we were asked about contact I stated when Ds was 3 days old he was offered a family based agreement half hour a week supervised by a family membe or me and he stated it wasn't worth the paper it was written on. I obviously had to say family now work around the contry, others can't even get to us as their partner is the driver not them. When they asked him he simply said "ive only got my parents and they're now retired and spend all their time together at home so they canthelp?!" He basically admitted they do nothing all day :s

moosebetimeforsnow thank you I'll keep that in mind

FamilyMag Tue 15-Oct-13 09:07:08

Good suggestion from MooseBeTimeForSnow, though your ex will probably have to have made several applications that went nowhere before they grant it. The court would need to see that he's just making applications, not doing anything that might bring a different outcome to make it 'frivolous or vexatious'. I'm afraid you'll need the patience of a saint, but you've done ALL the right things so far. Just keep hanging on in there.

Sorry to hear you're in hospital - hope you feel better soon.

JustMe1993 Tue 15-Oct-13 09:47:43

Thank you FamilyMag for all your support

FamilyMag Thu 17-Oct-13 00:08:22

You're welcome smile!

JustMe1993 Tue 05-Nov-13 10:28:36

Today I received my court over and it states in black and whit:

^The court orders;

There be no Order upon the father's application for contact to DS^

It's over with and I'm so glad, I've had no contact with DS's dad in nearly two weeks after I finally put a stop to emails after he kept trying to blackmail me with DS saying I had to do what he said.

I'm so glad it's finished now and I can solely focus on my DS and being happy

Thanks for everyones help

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