Can I apply for a Contact Order through Magistrates(13 Posts)
I have a 9 year old daughter.
I give her father access and am flexible, probably have been too generous. Unfortunately he is abusing my kindness and desire to do things the easy way.
Yesterday was the last straw, he returned my daughter 2 hours later, it was premedidated on his part.
I am fed up with this unreasonable behaviour and want things done officially now, at minimum cost to me.
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Exhaust ALL other avenues first and try to avoid the courts at all costs. Its a slippery slope and once you are on that track can become expensive and emotionally draining. I'm sure its frustrating but try not to rise to it (he's probably testing you) and try to work things out amicably. Perhaps you can make your expectations clear in writing?
Court can not make him attend contact and are unlikely to enforcing returning a few hours late. What is more likely is that you end up tied to a rigid schedule that constrains you more than him.
OP, please do not take this the wrong way, I really don't mean it as a criticism but you obviously have absolutely no understanding of the court process !!!. If you are the parent with whom the children live, then you cannot apply for a contra order. (Now called a child arrangement order).. The only thing you can do is to refuse to let your children go to the other parent. It is then up to him to apply to the court (£212 court cost plus solicitor if he chooses to have one ) he then has to agree to mediation (150-300 per session each) although if you have been abused in any way - either way, him to you or you to him, then the mediator will sign a certificate saying mediation not appropriate. He then goes to court and asks a judge to award him regular court ordered contact with his children . The judge will set the times you must comply with. If you don't then it is possible after many many many court hearings, that you could go to prison, (the order contains this as the ultimate sanction).. So, the long and the short of it is this. Does he add anything good to your dcs life ? Do your children enjoy his company. Would he lay down his life for his kids. ? Does he put them before himself ? If yes, then forget the stupid game playing of being late dropping off as he brings more to their life. If no, then make him jump through the bloody hoops. By jumping through them he will prove his worth. If he can't be arsed then you know.
What ever you do, do not apply to Court.
I am speaking from experience and have just spent the last 2 years going through the Court process. Everyone says it is a last resort and it is. If the only thing your ex is doing is bringing your DC back late, having a Court Order in place will not change that.
I have a Court Order in place and a couple of months ago my ex did not return my dc, he kept him an extra night and day which was not discussed or agreed. I was worried sick and called 101 for the advice of the police. I learned the Court Order is not enforceable.
You will hear other stories... and the worst that seems to happen when taking the matter back to Court (which costs £215 each time plus legal expenses if represented) is they'll get a slap on the wrist.
It just becomes a game and like Lonecat said you can end could end up being more constrained than him. Please don't go to Court, rise above it all for the sake of your child.
Keep notes on contact. If he doesn't turn up, or takes her to inappropriate places etc.
Returning children late is very annoying, butit happens, and if the positions were reversed you would probably find that you were late sometimes. Keep your perspective.
What does your daughter want ?
What are the other issues?
Keep a very detailed diary and communicate through email or text so there's a written record of everything. Like someone else suggested... write down your expectations of him from your child's point of view and also write how it makes you feel when he's late.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Take a deep breath and get used to it. This is your life now. Speaking from experience. The worst part is that you can't go anywhere whilst waiting. It has helped me to negotiate along the lines of, Please let me know if you'll be late so I can get all my errands done, and I'll do the same for you. Try not to let it get to you; i.e., look on the bright side, your child is happy and has a loving father, and that's a huge relief.
Thank you for the advice .... and those speaking from experience is very helpful.
I've had nine years of being messed around and one occassion had to take him to court for basic maintenance entitlement, the alternative was that he wanted me to write down a list of what my daughter needed and give him the list to go and get.
He will never change I know that now in my heart.
But boundaries are always required and so is the happiness of my daughter.
Hope you all had a good christmas.
Well done Loveandsound for asking for advice and taking it.
Wishing you all the best for the new year. Mummytippy.
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