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Can a mother be made to comply with court order??

(26 Posts)
smiler01 Mon 03-Sep-12 13:14:24

I just wondered really what the reality of a mother not complying with the courts contact order being forced or punished is??

My partners ex has so far not complied at all, not handing children over not attending contact sessions, not even responding to her solicitor. we have written to the judge and got an earlier court date but what is likely to happen.

It seems all very well that we write to the court and get earlier hearings but once that hearing is finished she's likely to continue as she has done the last 2 times.

Is there anything moving forward that we can do about it?? Someone mentioned at weekend that the judge can order she hands over the children and arrange thru the courts that someone official goes to go the children to make sure she is there but that sounds a bit far fetch to me.

I just can't believe my partner pays for his kids paid for court (and solicitors previously) and would get in to trouble if didn't carry out his maintenance payments whilst working yet she can break the order continuously surely there must come a time when she is punished otherwise what's the point in carrying on??


Collaborate Mon 03-Sep-12 14:04:03

Any order for contact should have a penal notice attached. It should be phrased in such a way as it compels the mother to actually do something, such as bring the child to a certain place at a certain time and hand the child over to your DP. The penal notice will warn her that if she breaches the order she will be in contempt of court and may be sent to prison.

In reality the court has other tools available to it - she could be fined or made to undertake community service. Ultimately the court could try changing residence, but this doesn't often occur.

smiler01 Mon 03-Sep-12 14:09:20

So from your experience would you say mothers who are determined to not comply usually get away with it??

I hate seeing my dp so happy and excited to walk out of court winning thinking he's going to start seeing them and then she doesn't comply and thinks she can just do it the courts should be stricter in these situations I think!

STIDW Mon 03-Sep-12 14:29:39

The enforcement of contact orders is for the benefit of children, not to punish parents.

Initially courts will try to persuade parents to comply with orders. If that doesn't work conditions/directions can be attached to orders for parents to attend mediation or Parenting Information Programmes. PIPs encourage parents to put the needs of their children first. When the carrot approach doesn't work the next stage is the stick with stern lectures and threats of orders for unpaid work, financial compensation, penal notices, fines or change of residence. When contact has been ordered in a contact centre CAFCASS might work with the family and collect the children so that contact can be established.

If the contact parent doesn't give up the next line would be to order unpaid work etc but the court has to ensure there was no reasonable excuse for breaking the order and enforcing contact is in the best interests of the child's welfare. That's were it becomes difficult. Children of separated families often do badly because there isn't enough money so fines and financial compensation may not be in the interests of children. Children may resent and reject a parent who in their eyes is responsible for sending the other parent to do unpaid work or prison. A change of residence isn't always possible because the child may not know the contact parent that well or the contact parent may not be in a position to care for the child most of the time.

When contact is established and children are at school it's possible for children to collected and dropped off there which makes non compliance with the order more difficult.

smiler01 Mon 03-Sep-12 14:39:06

Thank you for that info smile it's interesting to read.

I guess maybe punish is the wrong word but imo when a mother has no justified reason to stop contact courts agree contact should be taking place in the childrens best interest to just not bother turning up to hand the children over and then not respond at all it's been 2 weeks now even her solicitor can't get hold of her (despite ive seen her driving about in town and on fb etc so its not like theres been some real reason shes missed 4 contact sessions) they should be made to realise what they are doing is harming the children and shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. The children are only 2&3 so very young can't ask to see daddy etc but when with him are so happy, it's sad she will probably manage to continue doing it.
Thanks again

Collaborate Mon 03-Sep-12 15:20:17

Ring your local cafcass office to see what facilities there are for supported contact. Where I practice there is an organisation (won't name them as it might out me geographically) that, for a fee (paid either by the parent or by cafcass if they advise it), will properly support and report on contact. They would also act as a go between during contact sessions so that the parents never meet, and can confirm to the court what distress if any the child appeared to show.

smiler01 Mon 03-Sep-12 16:44:46

Thanks again
It's not so much that contact needs to be supported and reported back to court though as courts have already said it will be unsupervised contact from next hearing it was only meant to be at supported contact centre until hair strand tests were done as his ex made false allegations. There all back now and all negative.

It's the problem that his ex partner isnt making the children available for the contact to take place and there seems to be no real way of enforcing this. On the first and only 2 occasions she hasnt turned up to the contact centre or handed kids over to 3rd party twice now (3rd party was helping with contact until place ready at contact centre)

3xcookedchips Mon 03-Sep-12 16:55:58

Hope you insisted she pay for the tests should they come back negative.

Rule of thumb - 3 clear breaches without good reason which demonstrates a pattern take it back to court for enforcement - just another hoop you will need to jump through.

I know of at least 2 cases where residence was transferred to the father where the mother was implaccably hostile to contact...although it did take a lot of time and many court appearances and a lot of nonsense to get to that stage - this is the extreme and unusual.

smiler01 Mon 03-Sep-12 18:17:37

Hi, thank you for replying too

Yes the judge already seemed to be wise to her games and insisted on her legal funding paying for it the judge also insisted at the 2nd hearing as they failed to comply that he had supervised contact till contact centre place ready and tests back, even made a comment to her saying to his ex what do you think he's going to do turn up to see his kids drunk!! so I think the judge is clued up just getting something done about it is the hard thing.
Shes had social services involvement too with the children due to her getting arrested and fighting etc, ss considered putting the children on the at risk register because of it so it may be a good thing if residence was changed!!!!

Corz2000 Sun 10-Sep-17 08:31:36

iv suffered domestic abuse for the last 5 years but have been spike two years now trouble is my ex uses the court to abuse and trap us further final order had been made shared and has him Xmas Iv got to older children from my marriage he abused them to in court al medical was put before them along with his records and they came up with this he also has a Clare's law on him this means nothing and was hard to listen to how bad it is he new partner is now 17 am really ill now and so is my family is there nothing I can do please can anyone help me the order has been enforced and my ex and the judge both took full advantage I was alone at court there's also been 11 marrac referrals but still he's a saint this will have a massive impact on my son and my family we moved over 100 miles away to still hv all this I don't drive so it's a 2 hour train trip very expensive and scary knowing he's there he use to tell my older kids my mum had died I know he will do the same to max he takes drugs and drinks the judge agin didn't wanna no he constantly put images on social media about wanting sex with young boys and how he likes to finger young girls again caffcass didn't want to no please there has to be away to stop our pain

Corz2000 Sun 10-Sep-17 08:34:25

The judge also said if I don't stick to the order he will remove my children from my care by taking the door off himself my ex sat and clapped help me someone plz before my family is broken for the last time why do t anyone listen

FedUpOfThisNonsense Sun 10-Sep-17 09:06:32

It sounds like you should be eligible for legal aid - why were you there alone?

Notreallyarsed Sun 10-Sep-17 09:08:31

I was told by the sheriff (Scotland) that I could be jailed for 28 days for each breach and also compromise my custody of DS1. It is literally the sole reason I hand my boy to that piece of shit that has the cheek to call himself a dad. Never paid, never been there, never given a shit but he lords his rights over me constantly.

RedHelenB Sun 10-Sep-17 09:16:43

A judge really said that!?

Corz2000 Sun 10-Sep-17 10:05:50

The judge said tht yes aswell as run away little girl when things don't go your way I do t ever think I can face court again

Corz2000 Sun 10-Sep-17 10:07:19

The judge was horrible made me really ill nobody can help me can they I just no this is bad for my little one and my family

Corz2000 Sun 10-Sep-17 10:12:34

I couldn't get legal aid Iv got it now but am sure it's to late

Corz2000 Sun 10-Sep-17 10:15:13

So sad but true iv never had a say the case has been about my ex never really my son I also should mention he's recently started to have seizures he's only 3 and the judge just ignored tht stress causes them he was fair to say wicked

Movienight15 Sun 10-Sep-17 22:47:18

Hi , can I ask (if you don't mind ) what false accusations were made ? My DH ex has made false accusations towards me and him and has stopped contact . He has applied to the court for a contact order .
What should we expect to happen ? Her accusations are pretty trivial . Usually when she has done this in the past he has done as she says and gone round there or had his child at his mums ( she always says it's about me ) .
This always happens after he confronts her about something that she has done like keeping the child off school for no reason etc .
She has psychologically messed with dc and twisted against me . Even though when with us we have fun and the child never want to leave ! I'm hurt and angry that someone can do this to me and I feel I have no control over it .
What is likely to happen in court ? Also I have kept a diary of all dates we have had dc and every concern we have ever had for their welfare . Will this help ? Sorry to pick your brains but i have no experience of this .

Corz2000 Tue 26-Sep-17 08:23:45

Still stuck with court I cry everyday support is very little we're all just banging our head into a brick wall nobody cares what this is doing to my family and after to hour sees ion his dad has him a week and the all over Christmas after no contact my other children are as broken as me cause they suffered the abuse from him as did I sick and so sad nobody can help us my family will never be the same again and social services haven't helped they could hv stepped up ages ago instead I feel there standing bk and watching it push us all over the edge

HeebieJeebies456 Fri 29-Sep-17 09:01:53

Why doesn't your partner apply for full residency then?

worridmum Sat 30-Sep-17 02:23:17

Because judges rarely use that power mothers or (residenant parents are very very rarely punished) for defying a court order and so a lot of vidictive RP force the NRP through the court numerous times simply because they can and because it hurts the NRP finically I have yet to see a judge award costs for a RP repeatly refusing contact the worst i have seen is after the 12th trip to court all the judge said was that if she sees her again in court she would consider switching residecny (and no awarding of costs of course)

So the NRP had paid around 4k a court appearnce where as she self repserents so costs her nothing and she rarely defended herself so just nodded along to the judge but as soon as they left court with new court order would simply ignore

leah8 Wed 14-Feb-18 02:58:28

My partner went to court to set up access with his 2 children as his ex had blocked him from all contact. She is very bitter about him moving on with his life and therefore hates me. The court set up a call once a week as she had blocked him for so long he had to build the contact back up with the kids and after 6 months he could see them in a contact centre. Crazy if you ask me but the court advised he just takes it as better than nothing. The other non negotiable was me not being allowed to meet them for 6 months sad . She did 3 calls and since December 2017 my partner has not been able to get through. He has applied to go back to court to enforce the order. I was just wondering what do the courts see as a valid excuse from her side? she is saying that I have harassed her which is completely untrue and this is why she has blocked my partner again. I have received numerous threats since my partner and i have been together including death threats so by her saying this about me is just crazy. She comes from a very bad family. I have only ever expressed that I want whats best for the children and that my partner has every right to have a relationship with his kids. Any advice on how this enforcement hearing plays out and what the court see as valid excuses would be helpful. Would it be worth me preparing at statement?

gta Thu 15-Feb-18 10:52:13

My partners going through the same sad it's fucking ridiculous that he's paying so much money to see HIS OWN CHILDREN!!!
no advice but you have my sympathy x

Lou0203 Tue 12-Jun-18 16:13:42

My partner and I are going through the same thing the ex is bitter and stopped him seeing the kids all together so we went to court because she refused mediation and everything else u could think of in court she tried her hardest to make me out to be a terrible person even though she doesnt know me but the judge put her in her place and told her it was about the kids thats it !! Love that judge, they couldn't be I introduced to me for six months but that was fine the court order was in place and my partner got to see his kids until now, she wants to change it all and have them more because she wants more money !! Who does that !! And guess what without falking out thousands of more pounds to take her back to court there's nothing my partner can do so all she has to do now is phone the csa and she'll get her money but the kids won't see their dad as much any advice would be great because we're dealing with some who doesn't care about what makes her kids happy and we can't afford to pay her more or go back to court

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