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Court order and ex from hell help me pls for my sons sake

(8 Posts)
Mumstheword67 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:05:42

Hello can anyone help me and my husband we are in a catch 22 my son has a court order in place so that him and his sister can visit their dad on the last weekend of the month (thats all he wanted) we went to court agreed etc but problem is the kids have things that they really want to attend such as this month my son had a party with his football team and the end of this month he has his club presentation night as league winners and the following weekend the leagues presentation as league winners but their dad wont budge and is threatening court again we cant afford to pay 1000's again as we are just above legal aid fresh hold he hates going anyway but we have tried as much as poss to stick to agreement my son is 11 in august and always says he doesnt want to go he is going to be devastated if he cant and I cant do that to him anyone with family legal advice or experience could possibly help would be so grateful. This man is such a * hole and wouldnt even try mediation last time took it straight to court so much so the mediator did not charge us for the hour and a half but problem is he is a recovering alcholholic and so doesnt work and gets legal aid.

somanymiles Mon 29-Apr-13 01:09:51

Stupid question, but can't their Dad take them to these things?

betterthanever Mon 29-Apr-13 12:53:36

A laypersons view:

The legal and moral positions are always different and if you put in the overiding consideration in all Children's Act cases that the `welfare of the child is paramount' it makes it all the more complicated and confusing as there is NO single correct answer and there can't be one really.

Legally you have been court ordered to make your DC available for contact with the NRP as per the order. Flexibility is IMO always a good thing, especially if it benefits DS. Your ex would struggle to get a case taken back to court for `enforcement' if the order had only not been complied with once but if it ment he was not seeing the DC very often on his court ordered dates he could take it back and there would be penalties against you.

Could your ex not take your DS to something he wants to go to? Morally IMO only, if your DS is missing lots of things and starts to feel resentment for his dad this really isn't helpful for anyone but your DS will soon enough be able to deicde for himself, 12 he will have a good say and 16 total say (in almost all cases). He will probably live for a long, long time after that, so really if your ex wants to ruin a long lasting relationship for the sake of only meeting in own needs in terms of contact now, then I think the relationship will suffer which is very sad.

How do you communicate with your ex? as your DS gets older he will want to spend time away from you both more and why should he not. Children are not the property of either parent - that said courts seem to have the view that time with parents is more beneficial than time at activities but I always say, it depends what the parent and child are doing with that time.

Balancing the legal written rules and orders against the `best interests of the child' is so difficult. Contact arangements are naturally going to change over time as children's need change. If you can pen something to your ex to explain the situation, swap a couple of dates in advance now so your ex still has contact time and then if he doesn't agree you could take it back to court (self rep?) and seek advice from CAFCASS - legal aid is gone for family cases now anyway but if your ex takes you back for enforcement his old cert. would probably still be valid.

Your DS can also raise things with his dad, he should feel able to do so and that would be how thier relationship could become stronger and better IMO.

Betrayedbutsurvived Mon 29-Apr-13 13:02:14

I thought they'd stopped legal aid for family matters now.

Spero Mon 29-Apr-13 13:11:22

Betterthanever puts it well.

He will probably still keep his legal aid as this case started before the change in rules.

From a lawyers perspective, if he won't talk to you or agree to be flexible all you can do I am afraid is apply to court to vary the existing order.

As your son is 11 he is definitely approaching the age when his wishes and feelings become more determinative of the issues and things like sports, hanging out with friends etc do become more important to him than rigidly enforced time with a parent.

Your ex is being really silly of he can't see what damage he is potentially doing to his relationship with his children by not being more flexible. It should be perfectly possible for them t see their dad AND do activities they enjoy.

You can go to court without lawyers - I know it sounds daunting but after the legal aid changes there is going to be a flood of litigants in person so the judges won't be taken by surprise. The forms you need are pretty self explanatory and easy to fill out.

I would try one last time to explain to him how flexibility is what your children need right now. If he insists on sticking with the order then I think your only options are to apply yourself to vary it, stick with the order and your children miss stuff OR breach the order and wait for him to apply to enforce.

I wouldn't recommend the last one however as you might lose a lot of the moral high ground and possibly end up with angry judge if he/she not sympathetic with why order breached.

Fleecyslippers Mon 29-Apr-13 18:12:14

Betrayed legal aid is still available when there is proof of domestic violence. Someone posted a really useful guidelines on another thread as to what is considered proof/evidence but I cannot for the life of me find it!

Spero Mon 29-Apr-13 19:36:28

If you google the Resolution site (solicitors site) I found a good synopsis there - as I recall you need a criminal conviction, an injunction, referral to a refuge, a MARAC meeting (multi agency something) and some others - so it will be very difficult if you claim violence but have never reported it.

Spero Mon 29-Apr-13 20:02:35

Just remembered - the resolution site was just a link to Ministry of Justice site so just go straight there,it is pretty clear.

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