What are the chances of having a residence order overturned?

(27 Posts)
sparklefrog Sat 08-May-10 17:49:55

Residence has been issued to myself by the court, with EA XP being granted a high level of access.

Since the court appearance, XP has seen DD very little and only paid £20 per week maintenance for 6 weeks.

He provides her with nothing, and now hasn't seen her for 3 weeks.

His reasons for not seeing her are that he doesn't want an argument. hmm

He has recently met a new g/f and believes what was holding him back was the fact he didn't have his own place. He is now living in his g/f's place.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. smile

mumtotwoboys Sat 08-May-10 17:52:14

What a prick.

Sorry that's all I have to say right now x

sparklefrog Sat 08-May-10 18:00:23

ha ha ha ha That really cheered me up. grin

maristella Sat 08-May-10 19:06:02

sparkle i would speak to your solicitor again. also keep all contact with him to texts, so they can be used against him.
and yes, what a loser. some 'men' do not deserve their children

sparklefrog Sat 08-May-10 19:17:27

I will be making an appt with my solicitor on Monday. My solicitor has advised that the contact is reduced from 3 days a week to 1, since he is obviously finding it difficult to keep up with the 3 days he was assigned.

So it looks like it will be going back to court again.

Last time we went to court, SS recommended DD remain living with me, so goodness knows what XP thinks has changed so much in our circumstances to warrant the residency order being overturned in his favour.

He doesn't even have his own place, no secure income, no friends and scant little family support. He only seems to be interested in the CTC he would receive for having DD, and the prospect of a social housing property. sad

I truely think it is very sad that his current g/f hasn't yet seen him for what he is.

Snorbs Sat 08-May-10 19:41:36

Given the circumstances it sounds very unlikely that the residency order would be changed. It's relatively rare that a court awards sole residency to a father at the best of times. Given his disinterest in fulfilling the contact he's already been awarded then unless he can demonstrate that you are a clear and present risk to your DD he's on a hiding to nothing. The fact that SS believes that you are the best person to be resident parent says a lot, too.

How long ago was the residency order made?

sparklefrog Sat 08-May-10 19:51:05

The residency order was made in February 2009, when DD was 6 months old.

I wonder how effective XP's argument that he 'doesn't want an argument' is?

I also think he stole some letters from my house, addressed to me from a long distance friend, and will try to use these against me, because they are explicit in places. blush

sparklefrog Sat 08-May-10 19:53:33

I just know he is going to drag up as much dirt as he possibly can, and it's all going to possibly get embarrassing, hence the letters. blush

cestlavielife Sat 08-May-10 20:13:02

what do the letters have to do with the way you raise your child?

do they raise questions about your care of your dd in any way shape or form?

if they do - well then you need some legal advice and then you neeed to find a way to prove that it doesnt impact on your care of your child.

if they dont - then really you have nothing to worry about - is your daughter well cared for with you? happy and secure?

if yes then why are you even giving a second thught to what he saying?

let him take you to court.... the most he likely to get is 50/50 so that child gets time with both parents.....and that could be way down the line.

he hasnt seen her for 3 weeks

he sees her very little

given her young age it
would have to be very gradual build up to more contact....let alone residency/shared reisdency

Tanga Sat 08-May-10 20:50:23

So he has been awarded 3 days of contact a week but isn't seeing his daughter on those days? Have there been arguments or other problems at handover time?

If the court order was made over a year ago, has he been having her for the three days until recently or has he never managed to keep to it?

You probably haven't got anything to worry about, but I am a bit surprised that your sol is advising you to go back to court to reduce contact before, say, writing a letter to ask what the problems are with attending contact and how detrimental this is for your daughter.

To apply for a variation you have to show that the original circumstances have changed in a way that will alter what the court have judged to be in the best interests of the child. The fact he isn't doing it doesn't change those circs, I wouldn't have thought, and an immediate request to reduce contact could add weight to his argument if what he is going for is that you are hostile to contact and making handovers difficult.

sparklefrog Sat 08-May-10 21:28:37

My solicitor can't write to him Tanga because he wont tell anyone where he is living.

There have been a few problems from the beginning. XP wont provide the things DD needs, claims he has nowhere to take her and refuses to walk the streets with her.

There have been arguments because he has stolen from me, when I let him use the toilet because he was dancing around on the doorstep desperate for the loo. I wont be falling for that one again.

Generally, he complains he has nowhere to take DD, but he doesn't seem to want to take her anyway. He'd rather sit in my house, playing happy families than spend time with DD alone. I have said I don't want him in my house, s he doesn't turn up. He has also blamed not being able to get to my house because he has no money. Yet when I have offered to drop DD off to him, he still finds a reason why this isn't a good idea.

I am convinced he is going to tell his solicitor that the reason he doesn't see DD is because he doesn't want an argument at handover. How is that going to look?

I can't remember the last time we argued at handover, although he rarely sees her anyway. It is much more common for us to argue on the phone or via text.

Spero Sat 08-May-10 22:15:16

If he can't stick with the contact, I don't see how he can get a residence order. What does he mean 'argument' ??? If it is that bad, why isn't he pushing for handovers at a contact centre, using friend or relative etc, etc?

I'll tell you why, although you already know. This is because it is not about her, if he really wanted a relationship with her, he would walk over broken glass to be with her. This is about pissing you off.

Is he paying for lawyers privately? If not, I cannot see he could possibly get public funding to pursue a residence order application in the circs as you describe them.

sparklefrog Sat 08-May-10 22:26:26

Spero My XP's description of an argument is when I say anything he doesn't agree with, or doesn't want to hear.

XP wants yes/no answers to his questions, then hangs up. If I try to explain or elaborate about anything, I am apparently arguing.

He has never suggested a 3rd party to handle the handovers, and would never agree to any 3rd party I arranged. On one occasion, he had taken DD, and arrived back earlier than expected. I didn't hear him knocking, since I was in the shower, so he started to kick my back door in. I heard that alright. shock

I became afraid to answer the door, since I was alone in the house, but could hear DD crying. He had left her in the car out the front, so I rang my sister, and asked her to come and handle the handover. My sister could hear the banging, where he was kicking in my back door and called the police.

My sister arrived after a few minutes, but XP refused to hand over DD, instead insisting I came out of the house to take DD.
When the police turned up, XP bombarded them with questions about me, why I hadn't come out of the house, why was I leaving our DD to cry, what had I been doing.

He is a control freak, and he is trying to use DD to punish me for ending the relationship, and to gain what he can out of the situation.
He has threatened me a few times now with a solicitor, but I still have yet to hear from his solicitor.

cestlavielife Sat 08-May-10 22:44:32

the contact order can state a third aprty to do handovers. you can take initiative here and ask for this to be included.

let him bring a solicitor into it -then you will ahve no need to communicate with him at all.

his arguments for not turning up are going to sound daft in front of judge....

he will ahve to tell a solicitor/court where he lives...so stay calm and cool and dont get into arguemtns with him; arange handovers through a third party and let him take you to court...

Niceguy2 Sun 09-May-10 10:07:37

I think you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture here.

Firstly, what do you really seek to achieve?

Secondly what your actions will actually achieve?

I say this because at the moment you say that court has granted him 3 days access but he's not sticking to it.

So the first question is, lets say court did say "ok miss Sparkle. Its now 1 day." What then? What do you REALLY get? Nothing really. He still doesn't see DD. All you get is perhaps the emotional satisfaction of "winning".

On the other hand, you start court proceedings and its another big fight. He fights, you fight. The only winners are the solicitors and the real loser is ofc DD.

You mentioned he hasn't seen her for three weeks. I suspect you are hurt by this and perhaps in a perverse way you hope threatening court to reduce his contact will give him a "kick" to resume contact. If I am right then doesn't that then go against your aim of reducing the contact on the order?

It actually sounds like you'd like him to have contact but he isn't really showing commitment. Sorry but the harsh reality is no court order in the land will make him show up when he can't be bothered.

sparklefrog Sun 09-May-10 11:18:37

cestlavielife That is good advice. It is not always easy to stay cool and calm, but I am determined to do this.

Niceguy2 I totally see where you're coming from. I haven't told XP that I intend to see my solicitor wrt reducing contact.
Tbh, What I would like for my DD is for her to have a good solid loving relationship with her father, where we both do what is best for DD.
This is difficult but achievable, even in acrimonious splits such as ours.

What my DD does have is a father who rarely shows up, doesn't provide for DD, uses DD for his own gain (eg: XP abducted DD when she was 6mnths old to blackmail me into resuming our relationship, stole all her money, parades her around to convince people he's the good guy then ignores her for months, forgets her birthday, xmas, and wont even look after her when I am ill, which incidentally he has been asked to do once this year.) That is a small snapshot of what he is like as a father. He has never ever looked after DD for more than 1 hour on his own since she was born, and relys heavily on whoever is present where he is taking her to look after her/watch her, whether that be his mum, his g/f, his nan etc etc. He definitely struggles to look after her alone.

Does DD really need such a negative influence in her life 3x a week?? Maybe if contact was cut to once a week, she wouldn't be let down so often, and he might make more effort on that one occasion?

It would also mean that XP wasn't breaching a court order repeatedly.

The only reason XP got such a high level of contact was because he classed himself as DD's main carer. hmm

gillybean2 Sun 09-May-10 13:25:02

You don't have to go to court to vary the agreement if you agree it between you. Perhaps ask him to agree one fixed day a week when he will definitely come and see her as he can't manage the agree three days of contact right now. Point out that dd needs stability and that she needs to be able to rely on him to keep his promises to her.

I think you're on to a loser going to court to get contact reduced, it will cost you all not only financially but emotionally. Keep a record of all the contact, of he comes or misses it. How much warning (if any) he gave before not coming etc. Plus he will simply tell your daughter that it was you who stopped him seeing her.

If he refuses to have a third party do the hand overs then that would be a reason to go back to court. Again keep a record of all instances when you feel threatened or intimidated. Get your sol to write and say that in view of the issues that have occured at handover you feel it is in teh children's best interest that handovers be handled by a third party to avoid conflict. He can't really argue with that. Well he can, but a judge won't stand for it if you are still allowing the agreed contact to happen and handovers are still at the same place or very close to it.

sparklefrog Sun 09-May-10 16:35:11

gillybean2 My XP refuses to communicate with me, except through a solicitor, or occasional text messages.

He wants full residency, and wont be happy until he has got what he wants. In the meantime, he refuses to discuss anything with me, or a 3rd party.

Why do you think it would be such a bad idea to have the contact reduced through a court (since XP is refusing to speak to me unless through a solicitor)?

XP gives no warning to say he wont be coming for DD. He just doesn't turn up. He doesn't phone, or text, or even email me. He just doesn't show up.

XP has refused to have a 3rd party deal with the handover previously.

XP wants residency, and nothing short of that.

gillybean2 Mon 10-May-10 09:14:39

How long has it been since he last turned up for contact?

He won't get residency if he can't even turn up for the contact he has been given. And if he isn't flexible on the third party arrangement then he will be shown to be unreasonable.

Make sure you keep a diary of everything, no matter how small or insignificant it appears now.

Have someone at home with you for handover. So what if he protests, it's not up to him who you have at your house. And if he does kick up a fuss then document it all. Record the handovers (discretely) if they continue to be abusive and harmful to the children emotionally or you feel unsafe.

If he's choosing to reduce the contact he's already been given, then get your sol to write to his with a list of missed dates, the fact that no warning was given and asking for assurance that he will resume contact for the emotional wellbeing of the children who are left confused and upset by his no show.

To answer your question to me...
I think it's a bad idea to go to court for a reduction because:

1) It won't make any difference to whether he turns up or not. In fact if he's given less he might just use it as an excuse to 'give up' altogether as he'll never win against you. That may seem like a good option to you but is it in the best interests of your dc?

2) He can use it against you with the children. 'I tried but your mum made it so hard, she even tried to get contact reduced, look here's the proof...'. And he can also use it in court to show what he's up against and to justify (in his mind and possibly the courts) not turning up because you are hostile to contact and making it impossible when he does try. Believe me things can get severly twisted in court and your version of events and his will be poles apart.

3) It will make you look like the confrontational one in court who is trying to stop the contact. He will simply say you are making it impossibly hard and that he will facilitate contact with you and should therefore be given full residency and that way the children will see both parents, unlike now...
My neighbour lost her oldest two kids to their dad this way, though I have to say she was pretty unreasonable about them seeing him (albeit she had good reasons because of his violence to her, but he had a better solicitor and a new partner. That's a whole other story though.)

4) Why put yourself and the children through the stress of another time consuming court battle? What are you actually hoping to achieve by reducing the contact?
I think that if you leave well alone you may find he vanishes off in time anyhow. If that's what you're hoping for then why give him a fight that he will most likely feel he then has to win to prove he is a good dad (to himself, his children and anyone else who needs to be impressed)
If what you're hoping to achieve is actual contact for the children, reducing the days so he's more likely to turn up when he's supposed too, then I'm afraid I don't think it will meake the least amount of difference. If he's not turning up now when he's got lots of days to choose from, why would another court order which limits the days he can come change that?

If he's not turning up for contact, you can't get in touch with him, and he's refusing to be reasonable, and most importantly is not putting the children's welfare first then you simply have to document it all. Get your sol to write to him and say that as he is not turning up for contact you can only assume he no longer wants it and that it may be better to reduce the days to make it more manageable for him. Show yourself to be the reasonable one at all times. Offering to reduce the days to help him achieve contact rather than forcably taking them away because you're angry he's not turning up. It's all about how it will come accross in court if/when you end up back there.

Also document the fact that the police were called, that his behaviour was aggressive and unreasonable, plus that he turned up early without warning, and that in future you will have someone with you at handovers. Also make it clear that if any such behaviour occurs again you will be looking for handovers at a contact centre only. Explain that you think this is reasonable given the last incident and that the aim is to make handovers easier for you all, especially the children.

Many men do find it really hard to cope with it all and a fairly high percentage do loose contact with the children. That's not an excuse for his behaviour, just pointing out that he is probably finding all this tough going too.

It's a really difficult situation for you I know. But you have to look at what the children need, not what you need/want or think they want. I'm sure you will base your decision on going back to court or not on the children's best interests.

Keep your diary, hold your kids and let them know you are there for them no matter what, don't rise to his threats and immature behaviour. Stay strong through this tough time for you all.

Best wishes

cestlavielife Mon 10-May-10 09:41:12

i had contact reduced for the final court order as he ahd not been turning up leaving the children "confused and upset by his no show" as was said.

he was on two evenings a week - i had record showing all times he didnt make it, plus i had to pay for them to eat out as he could not cook for them etc. judge said it was soemtimes better to have less ie one evening a week to focus on.

having less has focused him and he is asking for more - and he has had more days eg holidays. complicated by fact when he wasnt turning up he was depressed - now is in non-deressed phase (but for how long?)

anyway - i do think you need ot eb wary of point 2) above and how he might twst things -tho going from not turning up to being main reisdent parent seems stretch too far...

keep good reocrds, keep your texts/emails totally polite and reasonable.

Niceguy2 Mon 10-May-10 10:12:52

>>>He wants full residency, and wont be happy until he has got what he wants. In the meantime, he refuses to discuss anything with me, or a 3rd party.

Why do you think it would be such a bad idea to have the contact reduced through a court (since XP is refusing to speak to me unless through a solicitor)?<<<

The key really really is status quo. He may want full residence in the same way I'd like a Ferrari. Neither are likely to happen. Especially if he cannot even turn up to contact. The trick is never to be aggressive with him. Short & polite are the watchwords. Scream, rant afterwards if you must but in front of him....polite and to the point.

If I were you, I'd let things lie and see if/when he turns up. Keep records so that if one day HE decides to take you to court, you can prove that he was the one who didn't show up. And given his lack of commitment, no judge will grant him residence. In fact you'd probably get a reduced contact.

The point we're trying to make is that fighting at this stage is a bad move. You have to learn to fight the long game.

sparklefrog Mon 10-May-10 14:07:26

Thanks for yur advice Niceguy2

I will take that advice, and hope XP shows up soon to see DD.

Apparently, he is taking me to court for full residency anyway, so I shall wait for him to do so.

I suppose I am also dreading the day when DD asks after him, wonders why he is not showing up, and waits by the window in the vain hope he is going to show up.

Sometimes, he will say he is going to show up, then just doesn't bother. sad

I make sure DD is ready on those days, rare as they are, and he doesn't show. angry

cestlavielife Mon 10-May-10 14:27:35

secret then is not to raise expectations until he actually arriving - frustrating as it is for you.

sonny7 Sat 09-Jun-12 18:39:00

hi i am a 27 y o women i have 2 children 10 and 4 who currently live with there father he has a redience order and i have a contact order over the past load weeks he is not turnning up with my children for me to have my contact i was annoyed with this so i brought it back to court and he was ordered to take it to a contact centre so i can pick them up it was more for my benfit this happened as he was telling the court i was not turnning up so i ask could i have it there so i have people that can comfirm that i am showing up for my contact. From he has been ordered to go to the contact centre to stop this tit for tat thing from it went to the contact centre he has still not showen up and now i dont know what to do

bochead Sun 10-Jun-12 11:05:18

In the 18 years it takes to raise a child 3 weeks is nothing & he can easily come up with some cock & bull story involving the dog eating his homework for the court to cover that short period.

I'm a firm believer in only fighting those battles that justify the effort, and not sweating the small stuff. (Point scoring turns into a slow war of attrition that eventually exhausts you just as the point when shtf.)I have a rough time at certain points in my life and have learnt that this approach leaves me with the energy to come out all guns blazin and WIN when it really matters.

In your shoes OP I'd lie loww, say nothing and wait till 6 months has past. Without you to remind him he'll be too busy honeymooning with his new GF to interrupt your life. Then go back to the court - 6 months is long enough that any nonsensical excuses won't wash with the judge and you'll get what you want at the first attempt best case scenario & worst will be a contact centre as sonny7 describeswink If they can't be arsed to show up in front of a contact centre then they don't have a leg to stand on in court.

Raising a child is about the long game. Never forget that. Give em the rope and sit back with the popcorn while they hang themselves wink

You don't have time for his petty games - you've a life to live and a kid to raise!

Never forget contact and maintenance are kept totally seperate. If he isn't paying his way the sooner you start looking for alternative sources of more reliable income independent of any contribution he chooses to donate, the more secure your child's life will be long term.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now