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Residence order and pick up from school

(13 Posts)
foolonthehill Fri 14-Feb-14 11:47:32

My husband went 2 years without seeing the children.

Having complied (except he hasn't but that's another thread) with supervised contact for 6 months he is now to have unsupervised day time visits. He is due to pick up from school (4 children 3 schools) one day per week and from me one day at the weekend.

One of the schools have asked me what should they do if he is very late or fails to turn up or sends someone else (neighbour/friend etc) to pick up. (They remember him from before!). They are concerned re safety of the children and to leave a good paper trail for court when we return for further directions in April (despite a very realistic finding of facts the judge seemed to dismiss concerns raised by me and schools and some agencies).

I have a residence order and he has parental responsibility.

thank you for your help and advice

foolonthehill Fri 14-Feb-14 11:48:21

sorry HAS asked me

prh47bridge Fri 14-Feb-14 12:52:07

He has as much right to send someone else to collect the children as you do. If you were late or failed to turn up I would imagine they would ring you. If he is late or fails to turn up they should ring him.

foolonthehill Fri 14-Feb-14 12:57:33

Thank you.

And if they can't get hold of him would they phone social services or me?
(if i were to be unavailable in the past they would have phoned social services as he was absent and not contactable)

prh47bridge Fri 14-Feb-14 12:58:22

I would expect them to call you if they can't get him.

foolonthehill Fri 14-Feb-14 13:01:09

And, not wanting to appear stupid but why does he have as much right to send someone else as I do? He has been absent from the children's lives for more than 2 years, there are safeguarding concerns reflected in non-mol. and residence orders and the gradual reintroduction of contact with Cafcass supervision.

surely there should be some acknowledgement that the children should not go with some random person rather than him? bear in mind they do not currently spend more than 2-3 hours with him at a stretch.

foolonthehill Fri 14-Feb-14 13:04:05

sorry x posted.

The reason for my question re phone is that he failed to turn up to contact that was supervised then told the judge that I was not at the contact venue (I was with 4 children waiting for him on the 4 occasions he failed to turn up)...judge would not let me show evidence and just believed him confused...stating that a parent pursuing contact through the courts at great personal expense had no reason just to fail to show!!!!

If they just phone me again it will be my word against his, which I would like to avoid

prh47bridge Fri 14-Feb-14 13:46:23

why does he have as much right to send someone else as I do

The basic rule for contact is that you have no right to control what he does with the children while they are with him and he has no right to control what you do with the children while they are with you. He now has unsupervised daytime contact so the courts are of the view that he can be trusted with the children. The courts would intervene if he sent someone who was a danger to the children. The school could refuse to release the children if they have child protection concerns. But if he is unable to pick the children up himself and sends someone trustworthy to pick them up instead there is no reason for the school or anyone else to intervene.

If they just phone me again it will be my word against his

Ask them to keep a log. That will give independent evidence as to when they fail to turn up.

foolonthehill Fri 14-Feb-14 17:07:07


Although I had this evidence last time and it was disregarded as "hearsay" and my word against his even though it was written by the supervisors not me.

tricky this stuff.

seems the other party has to demonstrate how bad he is (and be pretty bad...which would obviously be terrible for the DC and I would never want it to happen) even when he has failed to be "good" on so many occasions.

sad the bar is pretty low for parenting if you are suing for contact and pretty high for asking RPs to protect the DC before that

STIDW Fri 14-Feb-14 18:37:49

The courts have to balance any evidence of harm children suffer or risk of harm from the behaviour of a parent against the harm they suffer if they don't have a meaningful relationship with one of their natural parents. Children who are insecure about their relationship with natural parent tend to grow up with low self esteem leading to emotional and behavioural problems later on.

Unless there is professional evidence (teachers, social workers etc) that children aren't surviving satisfactorily in the care of a parent and no measures can be put in place to ensure their parenting is "good enough" it's likely contact will be ordered. Same applies to a parent with the majority of care.

foolonthehill Fri 14-Feb-14 20:35:39

thanks. 2.5 years ago there was plenty of evidence of harm...but apparently this is "historic" and we now have a clean sheet to work with.

I understand this is just how it is and i have to live with it. I am thankful that my DC are now 2 years older and have had 2 years of peace and help for their self harming and disturbed behaviour. I am glad that the agencies that helped us escape never told me how it would end up or I would still be living with DV trying to protect the children from within and we would not have had the last 2 years to heal and help us....

Thanks for all your information and advice prh47bridge and STIDW. Professional dispassionate wisdom is always

RedHelenB Sat 15-Feb-14 13:15:28

Do you work? If not then I would be available to pick them up from school if he fails to show, starting with the youngest. Could the others not come home by themselves - how old are they?

foolonthehill Sat 15-Feb-14 14:14:18

I work ...but as a childminder, i will be at 2 of the schools anyway picking other people's children up (not ideal).

I have no problem with picking them up at any and every opportunity grin. Just that my DC get caught in the middle between a manipulative bully and me...(according to him I am a mad control freak).

none of this is new or unusual is it?

My life is such a cliche of abuse and manipululation

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