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Anyone with family law experience? Courts and contact orders? Help needed

(11 Posts)
YesIKnowIHaveGlitterOnMyFace Thu 04-Oct-12 21:37:43

I'd be very grateful for some legal advice here if there are any family lawyers around. I am a regular, but name change for this type of thread.

I don't want to drip feed, but there's quite a bit of history so I'm going to summarise if that's OK.

Been divorced 7 years, 2 dc who reside with me.
Contact for the dc with abusive exh has been problematic over the years, dc have not wanted to see him after he has been abusive.
He has taken me to court twice now for contact orders that he doesn't stick to, but likes to take me to court or threaten me with it all the time.

The courts have always seemed to be on his side, ignoring any abuse and just trying to get contact re-established. The last time CAFCASS were involved who interviewed the dc and agreed they were frightened of him and contact was supervised for several months moving very slowly to unsupervised contact. He did get a contact order which took into account his 'work' even though he is unemployed as he told them he is a musician and plays every Friday and Saturday night. They actually based the order around this, despite me working full time.

Last year contact stopped completely as exh hit eldest dc and I reported to the school and SS were involved. Dc didn't want to see him at all until March this year and contact has been sporadic and adhoc. I have repeatedly tried to get regular contact set up, he hasn't wanted this because I think he fits the dc in around his social life so calls to say he's free the next day.

He's threatening me with court (again) saying he wants full custody, based on the fact I'm clearly mentally ill. The fact is the dc don't want to see him or stay. He fabricates stories about my family and my parents divorce and sends emails almost daily. I've tried my hardest to ignore the crap in the emails and focus on the contact issues.

So my question!

The dc say they don't want to have overnight contact with him. He is adamant they do and that I've turned them against him and that I'm lying. If I don't set up some kind of contact he's going to take me back to court. I can prove that he has avoided having them etc. I have records of emails/texts.

If I set up contact and the dc refuse to go, what can he do then? Am I then involving the children? I'm so fed up of this abusive narcissistic fuckwit of a man. I know it's all about him wanting control but I'm so fed up of this all the time

olgaga Thu 04-Oct-12 22:25:33

Poor you and the children. How old are they? Personally I wouldn't worry too much.

Do you think he is organised enough to actually follow through with his threat to make an application. I would simply agree to regular supervised contact in view of his past treatment of the children, with the possibility that unsupervised contact might be considered if that goes well.

YesIKnowIHaveGlitterOnMyFace Thu 04-Oct-12 22:55:39

It's exhausting. I do try to not let it bother me but even after 7 years of it I can't

I'm thinking that I need to apply for a variation of the order. That way I'm in control and will end this cycle of him dictating events

He's allowed unsupervised contact at the moment and I don't think I could get supervised ordered again. Maybe the Ss report would help?

olgaga Thu 04-Oct-12 23:18:46

Seeking a variation would be a logical way of trying to formalise this mess. Have you had a solicitor in the past? What about word-of-mouth recommendations in your area? Or would you be doing it yourself?

To be honest, queries over contact on here tend to attract some very anti-resident parent comments. You are welcome to PM me if you like with a bit more information, it might be easier to communicate that way. I have to go to bed now but will check for anything from you in the tomorrow morning.

Don't give up hope, there is help out there.

Collaborate Thu 04-Oct-12 23:22:14

You omit to answer the most important question here - how old are your children?

YesIKnowIHaveGlitterOnMyFace Thu 04-Oct-12 23:27:07

Thanks olgaga I know what mind if responses I might get, which is why I name change for this subject.

I have represented myself on the last few occasions as I simply couldn't afford my solicitor any more. He's on legal aid.

I'll pm you over the weekend if that's ok, got such a lot on at the moment with kids and work.

Dc are saying they will refuse to go. I think it might be the only thing that has to happen. I'm just wary he will try to say I've turned them against him. The fact he's been abusive to them seems to have been struck from his memory.

They are 8 and 11

YesIKnowIHaveGlitterOnMyFace Thu 04-Oct-12 23:28:35

X posts collaborate

STIDW Fri 05-Oct-12 01:29:17

You turning the children against their father isn't going to hold water if there is evidence children are resistant to contact because of real past events and they can reasonably describe witnessing or experiencing violence or out bursts of temper.

The problem with representing yourself is you have no experience of presentation and cross-examination. In cases like this you really do need a solicitor who is in possession of all the details rather than opinions from an internet forum which may be ill-informed or from someone with their own agenda.

olgaga Fri 05-Oct-12 07:24:59

Fine Glitter look forward to hearing from you.

Collaborate Fri 05-Oct-12 09:11:51

I agree with STIDW. The obvious reason for the children's views over contact are plain for all to see. Consider getting ad hoc representation - perhaps instruct a barrister directly for court hearings if it's the advocacy you need help with.

You can't stop him applying to the court though. I don't fancy his chances much at all.

YesIKnowIHaveGlitterOnMyFace Fri 05-Oct-12 11:09:27

Thanks for the advice. I agree I need some representation, it's hard to say what I want in court without knowing the procedures and without showing emotion.

I might need to start a thread just to shout about this though!

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