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Ex not kept to contact agreement- now what?

(40 Posts)
Achange Sun 24-Jul-11 19:24:32

My dd dad didn't see for her ages, no contact at all, no money etc. Two years went by.

Then about a year ago, we got contacted out of the blue by a solicitor from him demanding contact.

He wanted every 2 weeks which both solicitors agreed was unrelaistic so it was agreed once a month.

He should have visited about 13 times now but only visited 3- the last time was in January. Now suddenly, nearly 8 months later he demands to see dd.

So technically the contact he fought for and was agreed to he didnt stick to at all (not turning up 10 times).

I think this disruption to dd is very unfair.

Where do we stand now? Do we have to meet his demands to see her in 2 weeks? What if we refused?

MeMySonAndI Sun 24-Jul-11 19:30:26

For the sake of your DD, I would manage the things in the following way.

-Don't tell her when she is supposed to see him, if he arrives that may be a nice surprise, if he doesn't... she doesn't get disappointed.

- If she is not having overnight contact... to be honest, is far easier and kinder on DD to let him see her for a few hours, even if it's only to prevent the nastiness and possible legal battle that may ensue if you block contact.

Achange Sun 24-Jul-11 19:35:21

The thing is dd doesn't enjoy seeing him on the three times she has seen him. She has genuinley has no interest in him at all.

I dont think it fair he can behave so erractically and demand we meet his needs when he pleases and chooses.

Also when my dad asked him yesterday if he would kindly pay the arreas off he owes me (as he hasnt paid a penny since last September) he told my dad he would sue him for blackmail.

Im sick of being bullied and held ransom now.

MeMySonAndI Sun 24-Jul-11 20:21:09

I hear what you say, but after being bullied, threatened, and generally kicked on the teeth regularly for years on end by my son's dad, and after having spend 10,000s in solicitors to deal with BROADLY unreasonable requests from my ex (and I was not blocking contact just asking for the status quo to be maintained due to his inability to keep to the then present pattern), I can tell you that what you have at the moment is not good, but it is perhaps, the lesser of two evils.

Please bear in mind that unless he is blatantly a danger to your DD, you are going to find it impossible to convince a court that contact should be stopped. I would be inclined to think that if he shouts loud enough and insists that the current arrangement he has is not good enough to develop a good parent-child relationship, he would easily manage to get the contact increased, even if your DD is not interested in seeing him.

Achange Sun 24-Jul-11 20:29:57

"insists that the current arrangement he has is not good enough to develop a good parent-child relationship "

I would be surprised how he could possibly take this view.

He persued contact, it was agreed to- he got his wishes.

Yet, He turned up only 3 out of 13 times!

It is completly his fault he has no realtionship with dd. Utterly his fault. He blew his chance. How could he get it increased if he cant even be bothered with once a month for 2 hours?!

Would a judge really see it as he has been made to suffer and yet again he is the victim!

Sorry Im not angry at you I dont mean it read like that. Im just sick of the way I get treated like a criminal and he gets treated like a victim. Tbh Im feeling very depressed like he has control when he feels like it Im so worn out from it.

MeMySonAndI Sun 24-Jul-11 22:12:17

" Im just sick of the way I get treated like a criminal and he gets treated like a victim."

I know exactly what you mean, mine buggered off DS's life years ago, after putting my son through a lot of abuse, yet, according to him, someway it is all my fault...hmm

I am tired to fight for justice, actually, I don't believe there is much, it goes down to who gets the best solicitor. I have found that the best way to keep the peace (and the psycho out of our lives) is to keep a low profile.

May I ask you what do you want to happen? if it is for him to leave you alone, he is already in the right track. It may be only a matter of time.

GypsyMoth Sun 24-Jul-11 22:15:10

the agreement was through solicitors and not by court order?

cestlavielife Sun 24-Jul-11 23:50:16

how old is your dd?

what is the contact between your dad and your ex? is this a regular thing? is there a connection with your dad or was this during contact time ? just asking as it may be making matters more complex?

if agreement was between solicitors (not a court order) then there is nothing to hold you legally.

why would a judge get involved - has he said will take you to court?
if yes then jsut present your evidence that he has been unreliable with contact so you dont want to increase it. do you ahve evidence, eg text mesages, emails where he says "i am not coming"?

Achange Mon 25-Jul-11 10:05:57

In all honesty I would like him out of our lives. I want nothing from him at all. He only brings a darkness with him that causes upset, fear and stress for us.

Dd has no affection for him at all.

Its not fair he just roll up whenever he feels like it with no consquence. Yet as the RP I could even face prison if I behaved like him.

Luckily though its only through solicitors.

Dd is 4. Ex is only allowed to contact my dad due to DV-he has no contact details for me. My father cannot stand the guy (for very, very good reasons) and only allows the contact to not but through dd through contact centres etc, though he wishes he didnt have to have any contact any more.

There is no texts saying he is not coming- he just doesnt bother. We have kept a diary of his visits or lack off.

He said he will take us to court as my dad asked why he hadnt paid any money for dd and when would he- so ex said he wouldnt pay and threatened to take us to court for blackmailing him.

Can he take us there for blackmail for asking why he hasnt paid?

I feel like we are bullied.

GypsyMoth Mon 25-Jul-11 10:50:35

Yes let him, should be a good laugh that one!! Blackmail? Lol

Word of caution thi, if it DOES get to court, judges really dint like access and maintenance discussed together. Keep them entirely separate. Have you been to csa?

GypsyMoth Mon 25-Jul-11 10:52:11

And a judge won't rule on what's fair on you or him, they will look at your dd right to a relationship with her father. He's likely to be given a second chance if he gets it together enough to go to court.

cestlavielife Mon 25-Jul-11 10:57:39

you father does not have to have contact with him any more - and may be better anyway to stop these discussions. if you using contact centre then no need for your dad to be involved at all - use the contact centre.
or start using the contact centre for all contact.

could you have email address set up for him to email about contact times etc?
and/or separate PAYG mobile he can text on?

the finance issue should not be discussed thru your dad - just go via CSA.

look, if he never turns up then dont worry about it - let him take you to court for contact - but make sure you can show you were making dd availabel at the times agreeed and that he didnt turn up.

if it goes to court - offer contact centre only.

the centre woudl then keep good recrods of him coming/not coming.

Achange Mon 25-Jul-11 11:36:54

So worrying about blackmail is a waste of time? The problem is he gets legal aid so I worry he just turn up to the solicitor whenever he feels like it and keep putting us through hell sad The solicitor gets paid whatever don't they so perhaps they will take any case on?

"He's likely to be given a second chance if he gets it together enough to go to court."

So they wont take into account he failed to show up 10 times over a space of year? How many more chances will he get? It feels like infinite.

I tried CSA but after a year of trying the came back with £5. He then sent my (now) DH a message threatining to kill him as "he should be paying". We decided £5 was not worth death threats so cancelled it.

I dont want a penny of his money at all.

The only reason dad really mentioned it was hoping to scare him off.

The only reason dad 'lets' him contact him is to avoid dd having to go to contact centres at all but perhaps we should review this.

I just hate the thought of court and worse and contact order. The thought of being threatened of going to prison if I dont turn up makes me feel horrific. I might as well be in prison already with being trapped to him.

GypsyMoth Mon 25-Jul-11 11:50:28

Well there's little to indicate any blackmail, I mean, what could he use as evidence?

Take the £5 , you really can't moan about maintenance if you refuse it. I get £5 a week to share between 4 dc. It happens

Of course court will give him a chance. They won't strip him of parental responsibility if thats what you are hoping? It won't happen. But if he's as bad as you say then he will be acting all this crappy behaviour out in the court arena so will come unstuck at some point.

cestlavielife Mon 25-Jul-11 12:17:04

iof there is a message saying "i will kill you" then report it to police. so it is on record. dont know what your dad said to him tho - they may be inflaming each other? your dad wants to "scare him off"??? your dad needs to be very careful what he is saying - as it could backfire if he does go to court.... sounds like your dad is angry adn protecting you - but it wont help if you end up in court if your family members are engaging in altercations/arguments with your ex....cut contact totally. via contact centre or solicitor only...

and if he is saying those things - then your dad should not be in contact with him at all.

contact centre is best place for your dd to see him, really -
safe place
avoids any contact between you adn ex or ex and your dad
records kept of when he turns up or not
dd is safe there and you know she is safe

as ILt said-as her dad - he CAN go to corut to ask for contact.
you can point out then that he ahs been offerd and not turned up
you can mention death threats (but he might say "well her dad threatened me"
judge will probably say well contact centre for eight sessions then we review.

you cant get rid if he pursues contact - but you can make contact safe for dd by going down contact centre route

if he has offered £5 take it - i get nothing.

TheHoneyBadger Mon 25-Jul-11 12:26:18

it is horrible. there is so much talk of the right to contact but never the responsibility to stick to contact. given how much court time and money is wasted by these kind of vindictive court actions i think they should say, ok, you are claiming you want access, if you get that and then don't bother to turn up you'll be charged the court costs and a fine for wasting court time. some incentive to only take these actions if you mean it and are going to stick to it would be good and would get rid of the time wasters who just want to continue a war rather than actually see their children.

Achange Mon 25-Jul-11 12:43:16

Luckily the death threat is recorded. Though the policeman who visted me was so agressive saying it was a waste of police time. I was a wreck. Can you tell my confidence in a fair and just legal system is about zero?

My dad simply said "when will be paying the arreas for your daughter"

Ex said that my dh could pay for his daughter and he would 'do' my dad for black mail. What I mean is if the thought of having to meet his debts might make him run off. The death threat was made about 2 years ago now (just before his disappeared off) so there is no connection.

I honestly, honestly do not want a penny from him. Its dirty money to me.

honeybadger you are 1000000% right.

Ex is not intrested in dd- he is spiteful and evil and is absuing legal aid.

What is wrong with this country where the NRP who does all the hard work (that is of course a pleasure) and puts a roof over their head and food on the table can go to PRISON if they break a contact order.

Yet the parent who dissappears when they like, is abusive and frankly, if it wa down to them their children would be dead, gets no punsihment for breaking an order and abuses the honest tax payers money.

swallowedAfly Mon 25-Jul-11 13:35:46

Message withdrawn

Achange Mon 25-Jul-11 13:42:01

I never thought about it like that.
Im just so worn out and tierd from it.

I dont want to wish dd's life away, but the day she turns 16....

cestlavielife Mon 25-Jul-11 14:10:22

you more likely to get community service than prison and right now it isnt on the table is it?

you arent breaking any contact order. so please dont fret about going to prison - you can give the court "reaosnable excuse" for breaking a contact order anyway - and saying "i didnt take her on xx day because on the rpevious six occasions i took her and he didnt turn up" sounds like a good excuse to me..... but you need records of those times.

any contact order will likely be for contact centre so yes you will have to go thru motions for a while but he may well give up.

cestlavielife Mon 25-Jul-11 14:10:52

or is there a contact order?

Achange Mon 25-Jul-11 14:20:33

There is no contact order just an agreement made by solicitors.

Does anyone know the rules on legal aid now? I heard they have changed?

cestlavielife Mon 25-Jul-11 15:11:59

if ther e is no contact order then you are not breaking any legal arrangement so no you wont be going to prison any time soon.

if he takes you to court and if there is a court order and if you break that - then yes there may be consequnces - eg community service unless you ahve reasonable excuse.

but that is some way down the line....

if he is taking trouble to go to court then maybe he really wants to stick to arrangements - and if he doesnt then it will soon become clear he is just messing everyone around....

if he gets legal aid you may both be required to go to mediaiton to discuss things with mediator first . if that fails because of his attitude then that should be recorded....

GypsyMoth Mon 25-Jul-11 15:17:49

Let him show his true colours in court. My ex did. He got zero acess

Achange Mon 25-Jul-11 17:02:42

He has not threatened court for acess though.

He want threatened court for blackmail.

I cannot see he wants to stick to arrangments. He dissappeared for a long time with zero interest, then demanded access a year ago and only bothered showing up 3 times out of 13. 8 months go by, he doesnt appear once then suddenly he shows up again.

He did try to ask for mediation last time but I refused as being around him is too stressful and makes my physically ill, especially with the dv. It is not even a possibilty I consider I refuse point blank.

In all honestly I get the disticnt impression he is not bothered when he is happy (i.e gets a girlfriend) but when that ends he is back to make hell for us. I have no proof of this but is seems so erratic so a likely explanation.

ilovetiffany how did you manage that?! The solicitor said its so rare to get zero contact. Was it due to his behaviour in court?

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