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Using solicitors for contact with ex

(29 Posts)
wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 18:44:55

Does anyone use a solicitor so they can have as little contact with ex as possible?

We were never married but since June 2014, he has bounced in and out of DS's life. Things came to a head last August and we attended mediation and had a contact arrangement set up....which he managed to stick to for 2 months. Since mid November, he has seen DS 2/3 times in total and has not requested regular contact.

Today, I get an email asking to see him Tuesday evenings. And here the merry go starts again. I'll agree to it, it will last a short period of time, then it will drop off.

I'm fed up of it, wondering when the other shoe will drop, when he decides he has time for his son again before dropping him. I'm fed up of sticking to everything we agree and him not. And most of all, I'm fed up with wondering how this irregular contact will impact DS in the future. Ex was also emotionally abusive and I've come to realise that him refusing to commit to regular contact is his way of still having a tiny bit of power over me.

TBH, I just want to tell him that any other contact arrangements need to be sent via a solicitor. I feel that he messes DS around to get to me and the third person may stop this as he will be dealing with them, not directly with me. I also feel he'll toe the line better with regards to arrangements if a solicitor is involved as he cares what people think of him (amazingly!)

Has anyone else used a solicitor to avoid contact with ex? Unfortunately there is no family on either side available to act as a mediator.

SoThatHappened Thu 11-Feb-16 18:47:24

That will cost you.

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 18:52:14

Yes, I am aware of the cost. But TBH, I'd pay to never have to speak/contact him again.

If he was in anyway reasonable, there'd be a glimmer of hope, but this is about power and him. I spent the past year and a half trying to sit down and sort stuff out, and it just won't ever happen, he won't change.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 11-Feb-16 18:52:52

How old is your ds and what form does the contact take? Does his df take him out and does he stay with him overnight?

Iamdobby63 Thu 11-Feb-16 18:56:30

If it were me I would tell him this is his last chance to be in his child's life, if he were to break off contact again this time then he will need to take you to court for a contact order.

If you haven't done so already tell him it's important for any child to have consistency and as he gets older this flip flopping will be emotionally damaging for the child.

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 18:58:38

DS is 6

He's had one overnight visit since we split in June 2014.

Contact was adhoc, as he refused to commit, and I thought it was better than nothing. Then he disappeared for 2 months, we did mediation, arrangement was 3 times a week for 2 months. This lasted for Sept - min Nov then he claimed he couldn't stick to arrangement anymore. Saw him once in Nov, once in Dec. Not seen him since Dec 25th.

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:00:37

Iamdobby63 think this is what I'm going to do. I have contacted the mediation service used and she has said one more session might be worth a go, with it being concentrated on consistent, regular contact that lasts longer than 8 weeks.

If that fails, I think my message will be as above.

Iamdobby63 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:02:43

That is not acceptable, your poor son must not know what's going on.

Just decide whether you will give him another chance if he agree to certain terms, if not let him be the one who takes action.

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:03:43

Oh, and I have told him about it effecting DS, several times!! As did the mediator!!

Iamdobby63 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:07:14

Good for you Wonderstuff, you have to protect your son.

Iamdobby63 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:10:19

Sorry my wifi is slow and posts being delayed.

At this rate he will end up with having to meet him at a contact centre.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 11-Feb-16 19:11:33

What contact is he proposing to have on Tuesday evenings given that ds will most probably be tired after school and will need to be in bed at a reasonable hour?

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:16:55

Ha goddessofsmallthings you presume so much of my ex! He didn't state of course, never does. The message was
Can I see DS tomorrow evening. Then every Tuesday evening after that.

DS also has drumming lessons at 4.30 - 5.30 on Tuesday so the only possibility would be me dropping him off at ex's for dinner then picking him up about 7/7.30ish.

Which would feasibly work, but why should I go out of my way AGAIN when ex will most likely pull the plug/change the goalposts again after a couple of weeks. If DS was actually asking for ex, it would be a different matter, but he never mentions him.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 11-Feb-16 19:26:12

Tell him it's not convenient for him to see ds on any school night except Fridays.

Also tell him that he won't be having contact with ds unless he attends a further session of mediation at which time you should state that if he breaks any more voluntary agreements he will need to apply to the courts for a childcare arrangements order.

If he should apply to the courts he'll be required to attend mediation smile before a hearing is considered, but my guess is that you ex won't be willing to put his money where his mouth is shell out for court fees to regularlise contact.

SoThatHappened Thu 11-Feb-16 19:27:36

What you dont want is for him to flip flop around with a solicitor the way he is with you and be charged £250 an hour for him messing around. He has already messed around enough.

I would stop contact and let him apply for it. Tell him so.

NorfolkEnchantsToday Thu 11-Feb-16 19:38:21

I've done it and got a court order (I served him)

Does he stick to it? Does he heck! Hasn't seen DD for six months and demands contact next weekend. Erm no!
Then I'm accused of breaking a court order.

The problem is they cannot be forced to see their children- regular or otherwise
Yet we can be reprimanded if we are seen to obstruct this- ie preventing them turning up when they feel like it

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:48:38

NorfolkEnchantsToday I do worry about that. He's clued up enough the know that a court order can't enforce him to see DS.

And then I worry if he does eventually go for a court order, he'll be awarded 3 days a week contact, disappear for a period of time, then come back and demand those 3 days because they're in the court order.

It feels like no matter which way I turn, I'm screwed

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 19:52:07

There were also two occasions in the past after the mediation arrangement that DS refused to go with him and was near hysterical. I said I wasn't going to physically force him but I know if there's a contact order, I will have to physically force him, I've heard others say that's what the court will expect. Hence why as much as I agree that I should just let him take me to court for contact, I worry about the outcome of that too.

And again,he will make me force him because it upsets me, not because it's the right thing for DS.

NorfolkEnchantsToday Thu 11-Feb-16 19:55:37

I have and do felt exactly the same as you. I had a solicitors letter yesterday but I've got the fire back in my belly to try to get it back to court to call a spade a spade to the judge.
I really thought the judge had got through to him- he seems to forget this after a set amount of time.

My only advice is to be strong, and I know this is hard. At least our children have us.
It's especially hard as the feeling of control being taken away from me in regards to ex led me down a very hard time in which depression has hit hard, it still does.

My piece of advice in regards to this is to focus on what is in your control and limitations. Ie being the best we can be for our children and accept times are hard.

There's a very wise poster on here, who I have turned to many times in regards to contact. She is called skyeskyeskye, she's a great source if she pops up thanks

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:01:34

NorfolkEnchantsToday Thanks, your words and advice mean a lot

NorfolkEnchantsToday Thu 11-Feb-16 20:06:31

Not a problem, I know what it's like!
Just remember to look after yourself

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:08:12

I do try.

Good luck in your case too, feel free to get in touch and let me know how it goes.

rumbleinthrjungle Thu 11-Feb-16 20:33:04

What would happen if your reply is "yep, great, you'll need to pick him up from drumming from school at 5.30 and have him home by 7.30. See you then." ?

I'm not sure why delivering his son to him and picking him up afterwards is your problem unless you do this to keep him away from the house? The mediation sounds a good way forward, but tbh if he's this unbothered about contact I'd be tempted to always agree, never facilitate so he needs to do the work involved which will hopefully put him off, never ask or encourage, and just let it fizzle out asap for ds's sake. He's clearly not interested in any serious attempt at being a parent.

If his main interest in ds is in keeping some control over you then unfortunately a court order will very likely work in his interests. He sounds likely to waltz in and out of ds's life whatever you do, but a court order will compel you to formally facilitate his waltzing on his terms and compel ds to go, however long he wants to leave it between visits, and he gets that power kick reward. If you can keep it informal then if ds says no at any point you and ds have a lot more control.

inlectorecumbit Thu 11-Feb-16 20:34:40

Next time he breaks contact, get yourself a new email address and close down your current one. Then he wont be easily able to contact you- he really will have to work for it.

Or is there something in the court order that doesn't allow this?

wonderstuff100 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:40:47

rumbleinthrjungle Good point. See, I have one person on one shoulder saying, wtf should he get to waltz in and out of son's life when he pleases?! What damage could it be doing? No, sod that, get it formalised

Then on the other should going, if he gets it formalised, he'll have a lot MORE control, he still won't stick to it, wont do ANY good. Stick to adhoc, then if DS does want to see him, great, and if not, not a lot ex can do. Let DS see him a casual visitor in his life, as that's what he is.

Only problem is this DS would 9/10 say no if I said, dad's asked if you're free tomorrow cos he's just not that bothered. Plus, we are always quite busy in the week and usually have plans at the weekend. So the answe again to, can I see him tomorrow is invariably no, because it's such short notice!

The reason I would suggest dropping and collecting him is because ex doesn't have a car and lives 20 min walk for me (longer for a 6 year old who has been up since 7.30am) and would not shell out for a bus trip from drumming and then to my house. So I offer that for DS, not the ex

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