ex taking me to court AGAIN

(27 Posts)
mrsmcv Wed 24-Oct-12 07:38:16

I've been in court with my ex husband for six years now, as a result of three court applications he's made for contact. All contact orders have been kept but he always manages to persuade the court there is an irreconcilable dispute which can only be resolved by a Judge. This is true because if I offer a different view, however moderate, to what he wants to do, he simply refuses to co-operate or compromise and back we go again.

I've been out of court for less than three months, new court order, totally complied with it again. Now he's arguing about Christmas because he wants to see dd aged 6 for three days at a time throughout the two week holiday, meaning she is never in one place for long, always on the motorway (His family live 100 miles away and although he has a base in our town, he doesn't actually live there) My suggestion is that he sees her one longer visit, to avoid disruption. He doesn't want that (because it means he will have to take holiday from work. Not an excuse, btw. His employer allows employees to buy additional leave throughout the year, in addition to the five weeks' and eight bank holidays he has already)

Of course, I know he wants to please himself, see his daughter when it suits him and also to ensure that I have to juggle my - substantially less flexibile - work around him

NicknameTaken Thu 25-Oct-12 10:16:23

If he is constantly taking you to court for frivolous or malicious reasons, you can ask the court to make an order that says he can't take you to court any more unless he first gets the court's permission. It might be worth asking your solicitor (if you have one) about this. I don't know if three court applications would be considered bad enough - maybe post in legal and ask there?

Anyway, you have my sympathy. I've only been to court twice so far, but it's wearying and cripplingly expensive. I think you're entirely reasonable in not wanting your daughter to be on the move every 3 days during the Christmas holidays. The poor child, she'll never get the chance to settle into any arrangement. I'm sure the court will see that too.

It can take a while to exhaust the patience of the judge, but each time he behaves like this, he shows himself up more and more as the selfish bastard he is. So patience, and courage!

Sassybeast Thu 25-Oct-12 15:08:22

I feel your pain. I was in court on three consecutive weeks over the summer as he was fighting to take the children away for 2 weeks (despite not being allowed overnight contact by SS hmm ) Was so pissed off that he was allowed to do that - every time his demands were refused.

Contact order was granted 2 weeks ago. He wants me back in court tomorrow to have it changed. I am exhausted sad

zippey Thu 25-Oct-12 15:23:01

To be honest though, he has a right to see your daughter as well.

He wants things on his terms (he does have certain commitments and preferences). You wants things on your terms (you also have commitments and preferences). I hate all this court mongering, it doesnt help anyone. Are you not able to come to a comprimise?

If you cant both be reasonable then what can you do? You did pick him as a husband and father of your child.

Good luck.

sobloominscared Thu 25-Oct-12 19:51:28

Wow Zippey, really helpful??

NatashaBee Thu 25-Oct-12 20:02:28

Actually zippey, I think the OP's suggestion that he has the child for a longer visit rather than 3 short ones to minimise the travelling, is a good compromise.

Sassybeast Thu 25-Oct-12 20:06:31

I think Zippey should publish a guide to relationships and how to stay married whatever the cost. Glad your Ex and you are on such fantastic terms Zippey - us mere mortals are in awe of your break up and perfect arrangements for child contact....

NatashaBee Thu 25-Oct-12 20:26:06

Zippey sounds suspiciously like Jeremy Kyle.

crackcrackcrak Thu 25-Oct-12 21:22:53

Ugh I sympathise. I foresee my exp doing this as he's just stated he wants contact reviewed every 6 months until dc are at school - which is 5 years from now in total!

I'd look in to a section 91 order too because court is supposed to be a last resort when contact is withheld. Since contact is not withheld its just a disagreement over details, your ex is wasting their bloody time and I think you need to state this v strongly.

NicknameTaken Fri 26-Oct-12 09:28:36

zippey, if you've never been in a situation of trying to negotiate with someone who is angry and vengeful towards you and determined to "win" rather than put the dcs first, then you really don't know what you are talking about.

crack, that's the name I was groping for - a section 91 order. Thanks. And boo hiss to your exp wanting 6 month reviews. What a pain in the backside.

zippey Fri 26-Oct-12 09:33:39

Its not a proper comprimise if one party says "lets do this" and it doesnt work for the other party though. If he gives her another comprimise option but it doesnt work for the OP, then its not really a fair comprimise. He doesnt want the longer holiday with DD because of work commitments as was said in the original post.

OP is giving her point of view but of course there are two sides to the story. 100 miles is a 2 hour car journey, which isnt that bad really.

Im not sure where sassybeast gets the idea that Im saying OP and ex should get back together. Working hard to stick with a marriage and staying at all costs are two completely different things.

I think best thing to do is talk to your ex and come to a reasonable comprimise which works for both of you.

dietstartstmoz Fri 26-Oct-12 09:42:12

Zippey-i think its worth remembering that some people (my lovely sisters exh) are emotionally unstable, dangerous even and would rather chop their own bollocks off than compromise. My sis has no contact at all with her ex as he is threatening towards her and even though they have a child they have no communication, its just not possible as exh's position is always to make my sis feel vulnerable. What is best for their child has never been a consideration for him

zippey Fri 26-Oct-12 15:08:08

Hi Diet, you're right that some people are not going to be able to be reasoned with. They are too hurt and self absorbed to be thinking about the best interests of the child. In which case its like talking to a brick wall.

Not sure if OP's ex falls into the category of dangerous and unstable. Its a shame that two people who once loved each other could behave so nastily towards one another.

crackcrackcrak Fri 26-Oct-12 18:47:19

Sadly in my case, having a fight is more important than dd. I write out thoughtful, reasoned and v fair contact proposals to exp and he dismisses them because it doesn't meet his desire for something to fight about right this minute.

ddrmum Sun 04-Nov-12 09:10:54

I have the same isseues with my ExH - controlling, violent, uncompromising! It got to the stage where the courts have completely suspended contact for 7 months - it's been fantastic for me and most importantly the children smile(our peace is likely to be shattered very soonangry) They are happy, relaxed and completely free of any silly pressures. He didn't even bother with their birthdays which tells me all i need to know................. Yes, Zippey it is a shame that everyone can't reach compromise especially for the best interests of the children, but the person you may have or thought you loved can change and not always in a good way. Mrsmcv - hang on in there and just be consistent and it will be OK. Yes it is wearing and at times soul destroying being constantly dragged to court but remember why you are doing it & good luck xxx

lostdad Fri 09-Nov-12 12:27:17

You know the stupid thing here? MOST court orders are the ones hammered out in the meeting room before you even get near a judge and when you do he/she usually just rubber stamps it. MOST court orders are by consent.

If it turns out that you can agree something with your ex in a meeting room in the court building without a judge deciding...why can't you do without the threat of one?

It's crazy! Court is a last resort and anyone who ends up in one when they have another choice needs their head examining.

My ex and me spent 5 years in court - 15 hearings. Stupid, stupid, stupid. She refused every offer to go to mediation (which were made repeatedly) to avoid the court fight and even went as far as getting her solicitor not to offer it...

...but when it came to each and every court order it was done by consent. In other words - she agreed to it!

To this day I cannot understand why she felt the need to go through court, to spend in excess in £10,000 which could have been used for something, anything other than paying a damn solicitor.

To the OP: Offer mediation. If you hate your ex, fine. If you never want to see him, fine. Believe me - the moment you go to court you have effectively handed control of YOUR child to total strangers who don't care. Go for a solution that is in your child's best interests...something that you may not necessarily like but something you can live with.

Your daughter has a right to a meaningful relationship with BOTH her parents and she deserves you working together.

Sorry if I come across a bit harsh here. But if your ex was posting the same thing on the FNF forum (of which I am a member) I would be giving him exactly the same advice.

Believe me - almost anything is better than court!

mrsmcv Sun 09-Dec-12 03:23:40

I do believe you, totally. My ex won't go to mediation and asks the court for a contested hearing, every time. I've had 49 court appearances. He will not agree to anything, nothing at all. the minute we get close to an agreement, he changes his mind. His aim is to bankrupt me through court and to make sure that whoever makes the decision, I have as little input as possible. This is because he is not difficult, but abusive. For my ex, court is the point and he does his damnedest to make sure the argument has no end. He doesn't care how our daughter is affected, because he tells her that she is upset because I left him. That is the measure of this individual. Believe it or not, there are parents who do not, will not and never will put their children first and we all suffer as a result. Sadly, it isn't possible to take the 'upper hand' to protect children by refusing to participate in court action and to simply arrange and maintain an ordinary, working level of contact if the other party is determined this should be heard by a court. My daughter's childhood has been devastated by my ex's actions and as much as he, as a caring father, shouldn't have done this, the court should never have allowed this to go on in the way that it does. If my ex was on your forum, no doubt he would present an argument whereby this action was unavoidable, and all that, but he does it for himself. So I urge you to be sceptical about those non-resident parents who say they have no choice. They do. My six year old daughter has no choice, and neither do I. You cannot work with someone who will not work with you. That is the nature of abuse.

mrsmcv Sun 09-Dec-12 03:55:34

Ugh, sorry, jumped the gun with so many considered responses. Yes, it would help to know that I left exh because he was violent throughout pregnancy etc. Of course, I consented to marriage and sex with this person, I didn't consent to have a child with a violent man though, which is what he became once I was pregnant. Statistically, this is the case for one in four women.

I failed in my application for a section 91 order as CAFCASS and the children's solicitor appointed (at my request) ruled it was 'premature'. 49 court appearances doesn't feel premature. CAFCASS, the guardian and the solicitor decided that the sustained 90 minute disgusting abusive rant against me in court was the result of his 'frustration.'

Despite being homeless, facing eviction, unemployment, poor health and bringing up a child by myself, I have never been so 'frustrated' that I would rail against her dad, nor stop her seeing him. I provide her for contact, encourage her to go, tell him about parents' evening, send school reports and school photos etc. I am too busy doing all that to spend Certainly any energy to pursuing anything other than what is absolutely necessary to bring up my daughter. Which is more than can be said for him.

Does he pay maintenance? Yes, through the CSA. He has just spent more on a new tv than he gives me to look after her for a month. But, because he meets the letter of the law, this is fine. He spends 15% of his income looking after her, I spend about 85% of mine. Equal? that will be the day.

It has cost me £70, 000 to continually indulge this abuse and I have NO CHOICE but to respond to a court application once it is made. My daughter has seen her father every two weeks, or every week, since I left him when she was four months old. The system does not acknowledge abuse and fails to deal with it on a routine basis. The court, CAFCASS and the children's solicitor continue to insist that we should 'sort it out ourselves' How? when the other party has said in court, as a matter of record, that he will never believe anything I say? to the point that even when she was hospitalised on an emergency call that he called her doctor and insisted she be made available for contact? Anyone out there want to tell me what to do in that situation? You might as well, my decisions are also a matter of public record.

There is a scale of unreasonable behaviour that thankfully most people have no understanding of, but that doesn't mean children don't experience it, and doesn't believe that somewhere, someone, isn't trying to bring up a child in as normal and ordinary and stable a situation as possible, despite it. That person is me.

What suits me is substantially different to what suits a six year old who has never lived with a father, a man who is totally incapable of providing her with the stability she needs to enjoy contact with her dad, despite being given every chance to do so. Despite her protests, I take her to every single visit. Now do I look like a good mum because I take her, or a bad one because I ignore the fact that this lovely, intelligent child has to be dragged to see her dad and left sobbing with him? Are you still convinced he has the 'right' to a substantial relationship with his daughter? How, just tell me, how do I balance her rights in this?

If I don't take her, I can be sent to prison for contempt of court for defying a court order. And where would she go and live? With a man she can hardly bear to spend a weekend with. Still, good mum or not?

I have 'won' this last argument, and now my six year old daughter, instead of looking forward to Christmas, is frightened to death that she will now have to spend more time with her dad afterwards. Now, can anyone tell me where my daughter's needs are being met? With a full-time job and massive cuts in benefits, my needs are more than met by the order, which gives me one night midweek off, and every other weekend? But what about her? And what would you do? As her mum? As her dad?

I know I have a lot of support here, and I am grateful for it, and I know that I speak for many parents with care of their children. What the family court says it will do - put the needs of the child first - and what it does - placate the loudest voice in protest - are two very different things.

Rant over. Thanks for your support everyone, I know I'm not the only parent who is pilloried for trying to do the best for their child, even when it doesn't tick politically correct boxes.

mathanxiety Sun 09-Dec-12 04:16:05

Can you petition the court to order him to productive mediation?

Otherwise, would you consider a contempt of court order against him? Has he wanted to change court agreed schedules unreasonably?

Can you get a court ordered friend of the child to plead for her best interests? Or have a psychological assessment done on her and file a motion alleging alienation of affection?

I know this kind of abuser well. My exH happens to be a lawyer and it is no skin off his nose to haul me in front of the court, free to him. I have represented myself and was very lucky to get a judge who could see what was going on (helped greatly that exH made a fool of himself and lost his temper in the courtroom). We have an agreement with every single minute of every day in the DCs' lives accounted for as to where they will be and who they will be with and he still picked holes in it. It was cobbled together with a mediator and the two of us and every single item in it was discussed at length and revised and re-discussed, and okayed by his lawyer and mine when we were divorcing, before being given the imprimatur of the court. Not only that but one item in the agreement called for a named mediator to be the first port of call in case of any dispute. Did he bother with any of that? Take a guess.

It is most frustrating to see the court deal with this as if it were small claims or something of that sort and give someone like this the time of day. I found that while I was prepared with facts and papers, most of the business of the court was done very loosely and very informally. Once I found my voice and learned to repeat my point ad nauseum and bring the subject around to where I wanted it no matter what we all started out talking about, things went more smoothly in my direction. I had been under the impression that you merely stood there meekly and answered only what was asked and then shut up and did not press your point, but advocacy is verbal and means going on the offensive, verbally, taking your chances where you can in open court and not relying on the good nature of the judge to see what is right. You may have to hit him over the head with your point but persistence and a level voice and ability to brush off questions your ex wants discussed will get you places.

Decide what exactly it is that you want here and press for it no matter what the matter is that brings you to court. Section 91 order sounds like the ticket.

Lostdad -- take what you read on angry men forums with a large grain of salt.

cestlavielife Sun 09-Dec-12 08:54:48

Lost dad generally has good advice and he was making a valid point.
However, op.s last post gives more background. And really op I don't think offer of a longer visit is reasonable for your dd. surely shorter the better of there are issues over contact.
Also get you and her into family therapy /play therapy to get out what the issues are why she sobs.mam doing this with dd who is confused about contact and it is helpful (and show to put if needed that issues at being addressed).

I have asked for feedback and they don't tell you what to do but have been useful in feeding back what works usually and saying "but I dont think this will work on this case..."

That have also met ex and have some measure of him (severe mh issues, aggressive when on a low, controlling etc)

I think if your dd is distressed after visits then now that she is old enough to express her feelings to a therapist you should go down that route and get professional support to decide what
Level of contact would be in her best interests.

Forthe I mediate problem agree to one three day visit . Will it be fun for dd will she see cousins grandparents ?
And in new year pursue family therapist with gp as you cannot continue with an arrangement which is distressing dd. going down this route will give you some means of getting to bottom of why dd is distressed and possibly some means to change the contact so it is not so stressful,for dd. and if they recommend less then you will have that for court. Or longer term gave her the tools to deal with her dad.

cestlavielife Sun 09-Dec-12 08:56:00

Sorry iPad typos. Hope is clear.

cestlavielife Sun 09-Dec-12 09:05:57

And exp also can be very persuasive and manipulative when on a high, it puts you always on defensive . This needs to change as mathamxiety suggests. Take back control.

This is hard when you struggling with day to day .

But you can listen to dd record her distress with gp ask for therapist referral and seek professional advice about the contact .

GinSoakedMu1berryLush Sun 09-Dec-12 09:18:22

Once of the hardest things about dealing with this stuff is when people have zippey's mentality.

I know I left my x because he's not a man you can reason with, his way or no way. And after I left him he became even worse. He was resolutely determined to pay no maintenance for over five years and I allowed him to see the kids. Well the kids to see him really. If Zippey thinks you can make a man like this 'compromise' she is extremely lucky never to have had a relationship with this type of character. MOST people will concede that compromise is inevitable. MOST people can be reasoned with. This is not the case here. OP has complied with the court order.

I sympathise OP. My own x called the police on me when he could no longer control me. I didn't think he would have the nerve to show up dressed so well in court. He was there bespoke shoes, well-cut suit, expensive glasses frames, looking like a man who had NOTHING to be ashamed of.

GinSoakedMu1berryLush Sun 09-Dec-12 09:21:00

ps, my own x would post on those fora giving out about me. I left him because he was financially, emotionally, verbally and eventually physically aggressive "on a whim" because I'm so lazy and selfish and wanted an easy life. confused

NicknameTaken Mon 10-Dec-12 09:53:13

Wow, OP, I'm speechless that after 49 court appearances you still can't get a s91 order. Surely this is the exact scenario that a s91 order was designed to tackle. Sorry I don't have any constructive advice, but all I can say is that I'm so sorry you're going through this.

I used to think stubbornness and tenacity were positive character traits <hollow laugh>. I have now seen the dark side.

MrsjREwing Mon 10-Dec-12 10:01:00

Can cafcass check for a personality disorder in your ex, npd or (sociopath/psychopath) antisocial personality disorder?

cestlavielife Mon 10-Dec-12 12:37:45

cafcass cannot check - if medical reports are available they can be presented but these disorders are difficult. you cant say he has this disorder therefore this or that court order should be applied. a psychiatrist saying so - well would have to be a forensic psychiatrist i would guess... many £££££££

this is a man who persuades the court and judges...he clearly presents well.

ex stating he has this or that disorder will not go down well.

even with medical reports, you getting into diffiuclt territory with personality disorders in trying to link them with particular behaviours in a court context - you would need a forensic psychiatrist and that is going to cost thousands ..... unless court orders it - which let's face it; they unlikely to do, not when there has been no criminal incidents or recent attempts on someone's life...

op willingly (apparently to others - on paper she happily sends dd off to stay with daddy so there are no problems - not saying she is happy but she does) send dd off to stay with him so there are no clear cut welfare issues - she hasnt felt it dangerous enough to cut contact completely.

BUT as i suggested above she needs to bring up poss emotional impact on dd and these issues with GP and get gp to refer to family therapist.

one would hope the facts speak for themselves - 49 court hearings. regardless of disorder or not.

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