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What can I do to stop misinterpretation of contact order?

(83 Posts)
nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 11:33:56

Ex took me to court last year over child contact. It didn't exactly achieve anything different than what he already had so was pretty unsuccessful in my eyes. He however boasts constantly about how it 'sorted me out'. Whatever. He is very manipulative however and both him and his wife are bullies. They are constantly misinterpreting the wording of the order and trying to force whatever new interpretation they've decided on me. Their latest move is to try and enforce something that means I lose a weekend as well as disrupting the rotation of future weekends that I had planned on my calendar.

I feel really worn down by them. Every time a longer holiday or half term comes around I get super lengthy emails composed by his wife (I can tell) that tie me up in knots and basically leave me so confused. I don't know what to do. This order has brought me no peace because he seeks any and every angle in the wording of that will allow him something extra. My sol said we need to try and sort it out because the judge will not want to see us back in court this soon, however he does not know what it's like to co-parent with an emotionally abusive person.

Please help:/

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 14:33:57


YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 03-Feb-14 14:36:20

What is the order exactly?

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 14:41:21

EOW and one midweek overnight plus half holidays. Standard.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 03-Feb-14 14:43:12

So how are they continuing to misinterpret that? Seems pretty self explanatory with the exception of holidays which can vary.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 14:47:03

There's a little ambiguity in the wording of various parts of the order, one example being that it says dd would be returned to me the night before school starts again after a long holiday. He is now arguing that this Sunday night therefore signifies the end of the holiday period and would mean that this Sunday would constitute my 'weekend'. This means my weekend with dd starts on a Sunday evening at bedtime?
The things he suggests make no sense and hurt my brain.

He also manipulates things like half terms where each parent is allowed 7 days non stop. He then says that as the order has not specified what those 7 days need to be, he is allowed to choose them- therefore I have to wait to see if he decides to have the 7 days from a fri to fri, or a sun to sun, whatever.

He basically takes every single angle of the order and twists it or makes it as confusing as possible. I am desperate to stop getting contact from him but he turns every school holiday into a stressful nightmare.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 14:49:25

And when I say ambiguity - to a normal non EA person it's a clear as day. He is very badly exploiting parts of the order which doesn't spell it out in capital letters.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 03-Feb-14 14:51:13

Oh hes being a twat! Of course its not your weekend if shes only coming home on sunday night and he knows it! What an asshole! Does that mean when it's his weekend you can drop her off on sunday night? Bollocks.

I think you need to go back to solicitors and get a fixed arrangement for the holidays which state that all holidays need to be agreed on by 30th september (as you will have her school calender by then) and no ambiguity right down to pick up and drop off times.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 15:01:25

Like the idea of yearly holidays being agreed by a set date. I cannot tell you how stressful I find it. This dominates my life and when I get one of his well-worded legally framed emails my heart sinks and I cannot eat or sleep. I've long since thought that it's ridiculous that he has such an effect on me that I need to see someone.

Does anyone know if what my solicitor says is true about the judge being furious to see us again this soon?

My ex said that we agreed on the Sunday night thing months ago ( we didn't - I merely mentioned that the order said she needed to be brought back to me on Sundays but that I hadn't made a fuss about that or enforced as it made no sense to bring her back for such a short period of time). He is insisting that this is what I wanted and that he would be collecting dd from school on the following weekend after the holidays as that's his weekend. It is not his weekend - it's mine. I am terrified of us ending up on the playground causing a scene for my beautiful dd.

If he takes her from me could I call the police?

isthereanynameavailable Mon 03-Feb-14 15:03:17

As SillyBilly says, be proactive. Draw up the schedule as per the CO, going through sols obviously.

Present this as "this is how it will be" do not deviate from it by even a second, do not discuss it with him or his DW (what has it to do with her). All and any correspondence should be acknowledged with "see schedule as per DATE".

Let him try and take you back to court.

Give him and her no more head space. Draw up the schedule and draw a big, bold, line under it.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 15:10:32

The trouble is we haven't worked our the summer holidays yet so I can't draw up a schedule until we've discussed those. In saying that though, I have definitely worked out the holidays up until then, including all the weekends and I could email him those on a colour coded chart or something so that at least I have peace until then.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 15:14:00

Does anyone know what I should do about the threat to take her anyway? That is the thing that terrifies me the most- bringing shame to my child like that outside her classroom.
Not to mention the fact that if he ups the ante to actually taking her at his leisure, we will have reached a whole other level of hostility.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 16:21:56

Sorry to push for this answer about the school collection/police. It's causing me such stressconfused

tiredoutgran Mon 03-Feb-14 16:22:40

What I did, with regards to EOW and holidays, is run the holiday dates from the we ones, so if the holidays began immediately following his weekend he had the first week, they were returned to me for 4.30 on the Friday for my weekend and then my holiday time. I worked out the summer holidays as soon as the dates were released by the EA and then told him what his were. I had to be very specific with times etc, and I will just point out (as I had to fight it) school training days are not holidays or weekends, they are your time!

If he takes her outside the order then it could be classed as parental abduction I think, he has no right to take her at any time other than his time according to the order. If he did this then I think I would be tempted to call the police and have them collect her and bring her back. You have the order to back you up and he will be in contempt, it may be worth speaking to your local police prior to it happening to say it is what he is threatening to do and make them aware of the order.

Trying to co parent with a control freak is awful, mine are DGCs that I have residence of and father was pretty pissed off that I got the order above him, he saw it as I beat him rather than what was best for the children he had ignored for their whole lives and he hated it. Stick to your guns, write everything out in black and white and keep a diary of contact/difficulties. At least if you have to go back to Court the judge will see you have done everything you can to make things easy.

tiredoutgran Mon 03-Feb-14 16:27:11

The next time you get one of his legally framed emails post on here for help with a suitable reply, I am sure that once he gets a few back he will either put up or shut up! I have become rather good at those type of emails myself, to the point that his solicitors warned him to stop harassing me and stopped just writing letters for him when he demanded. I suspect they got so pissed of with him (he really is an awful man to deal with even for them) they told him that should I go through with my threat of having his Court awarded PR removed I would likely get it!

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 16:37:58

Thanks tired and thanks everyone else too.

I will take your advice about contacting the police beforehand - good idea. He just simply cannot find enough ways to manipulate a court order that HE sought. We now have a situation that means there is no trust and no flexibility and he caused it. My ex sends me emails during these disagreements about contact telling me to stop harassing him and that he feels I'm obsessed by him. It is beyond weird and almost like he's trying to lay some kind of trap for me.

tiredoutgran Mon 03-Feb-14 16:54:36

You don't need trust and may have to do without flexibility for a while. Just write the contact dates clearly as far ahead as you can and issue him with a copy, perhaps get your solicitor to send it. You are the resident parent, you make the rules and tell him how it is. Personally I would have no contact with him directly if you can get away with it, ask your solicitor to tell him to deal through them in future and never email him other than in response to his if you can't avoid it completely. Keep all emails! If it is all fairly new then hopefully it will settle down as you all get used to it, it took about 3 years for ours to settle though.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 17:05:10

Tired - we've been split for 6 years. It has gone from being fairly civil to hostile in the extreme. It's getting progressively worse.

I'm happy to do without flexibility to be honest (although my sister is getting married in a year and if it falls on his weekend then I don't care- I will be taking her regardless, other than situations like this I abide by the order religiously.

I agreed to a shared parenting order at the final hearing. Ex sees this order as a joint custody and that therefore that he can tell me what to do. It has given him the most incredible confidence to give me orders and now feels entitled to makes demands on me. To give you an example, he took the order straight to the school and provided staff with a copy of it and said if they failed to send him duplicate letters regarding dd he could hold them in breach of the order. Psycho.

nickymanchester Mon 03-Feb-14 18:54:58

You are the resident parent, you make the rules and tell him how it is.

It really does make me annoyed when I see comments like this.

Yes, there are some resident parents that abuse their children by using them as pawns in a dispute with the NRP but, generally speaking, you are wrong - the resident parent does not get to ''tell him how it is''

From what you have a written, this guy does appear to be a bit of an idiot but I sense that there is more to this than you are telling us.

Ex took me to court last year over child contact. It didn't exactly achieve anything different than what he already had so was pretty unsuccessful in my eyes. He however boasts constantly about how it 'sorted me out'

This sounds very much as though his view of the contact arrangements prior to the contact order is rather different to yours. Perhaps he was aggrieved by things that either he did not tell you about or you perhaps dismissed as being unimportant.

now feels entitled to makes demands on me. To give you an example, he took the order straight to the school and provided staff with a copy of it and said if they failed to send him duplicate letters regarding dd he could hold them in breach of the order

I would suggest that this isn't him being a psycho or making demands on you - this is an example where he is making demands on the school to include him in decision making regarding your dd. Actually, they are legally required to do this but it may be that the school were either failing or refusing to do so in the past. If he has got this far, it sounds like someone who has reached the end of their tether and has nowhere else to go.

It may well be the case that he - rightly or wrongly - partly blamed you for the school's attitude towards him.

You say that things started off quite civilly initially but have declined over the years. You portray him as being very irrational, and I'm sure that you are probably correct. However, I would suggest that this may well be driven by his perceptions of how you have treated him.

I have no idea if these perceptions are accurate or a total crock of sh** but, I would suggest, that this is what is driving him to act like this at the moment.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 19:30:35

Nicky I'll go with your latter suggestion that what you're saying is a total crock of shit. Quite how you've made such assumptions based on how little I've posted I'd go as far as saying you're projecting your own feelings onto my thread. I made a request for legal advice regarding my ex collecting our dd on a weekend that is not his. If you're able to provide support for that question I'd be grateful to hear it, otherwise, keep your aggression to yourself.

Mishmashfamily Mon 03-Feb-14 19:49:58

nocontact if you feel your solicitor isn't supporting you, go find another. It sounds as this is more about controlling you than anything else. My friend is going through something very similar.

She was completely brow beaten by her ex, he insisted on shared custody at the detriment of his dc, the nights he has the dc through the week he didn't even have them as he now works nights, his parents have them!

Some good advice about stapling the holiday dates down and having all contact through the solicitor.

Ignore nicky they clearly have their own agenda.

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Mon 03-Feb-14 20:03:04

How does requesting information from the school make him a psycho? Court order or not, if he has PR the school are legally obliged to keep him informed.

Sadly if your court order is badly written, there is little you can do about it. I would get your solicitor to clarify. EOW is EOW and then holidays fit around that, they don't reset after a holiday.

tiredoutgran Mon 03-Feb-14 20:08:47

Nickymanchester, it may make you annoyed but it is how it is! I have been going through this for 6 years and in that time have learned exactly how the situation is on a legal footing. OP is not trying to use the child as a pawn, she is trying to put routine into her own and her DC's life. How the hell can you expect her to be able to plan anything when the NRP keeps changing the rules. It would be good if it could all be done in a civil manner but in this case that is not possible. By pinning it all down in order to meet the contact order everyone concerned knows where they are at. As a parent the NRP has a say in important things in the child's life, they do NOT have a say in the day to day life of the child and should not be interfering in the RP's plans.

In my own case it was the DF of my DGC who was trying to control me and the plans I was allowed to make, it was a pure power trip because he had issues with me 'beating' him in court (how he saw it, not me). He had no interest whatsoever in the needs of the children, just what he saw as his entitlement. I will point out here that a contact order is given for the benefit of the child and not the parent!

OP, according to our advice a contact order means that the NRP should have contact with the DC at that time. We were told that we do not have to send the children to contact if their DF was working and not there to spend time with them.

tiredoutgran Mon 03-Feb-14 20:10:36

Sorry OP, that last bit was for mishmashfamily and the comment about her friend.

nocontactforevermore Mon 03-Feb-14 22:36:53

My ex insisted that I was getting more correspondence from the school than he was. He occasionally missed out on a letter or two about non issues such as fundraising or some other useless info and decided that I was deliberately binning his copies. Him and his wife constantly give the staff shit, demand interim reports, separate parents evenings, and lodge complaints about dd's progress being directly related to my inadequate parenting. So yes, he's a psycho. It's beyond embarrassing that we are viewed as a troublesome family by the school because he's a psycho who has let his own insecurities about being an NRP drive him crazy. Frankly Nicky your post is bizarre and quite what you're doing on the legal board chipping in with shitty unhelpful posts is beyond me.

My ex is a controlling arse, who to date has tried to control my childminding arrangements, my travel arrangements, my sleeping arrangements (yes, oh yes) and even where I live, so forgive me if you think I care whether there's 'more to this story than I'm revealing' . This is the legal board, not relationships.

As it stands, my ex insists he will be collecting dd on a weekend that is not his. So once again I will have to back down because I will not allow my child to be shamed on the playground by her father. But hey, he's just a poor dad trying to see his kid, right?

To the rest of you who've chipped in, thanks.

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