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Amendments to court order

(8 Posts)
MsColouring Thu 30-Oct-14 09:30:39

Background: Me and ex split nearly 4 years ago. We have two children who are now aged 5 and 8. The divorce has been very acrimonious. We spent hours in mediation trying to thrash out both contact and money issues. Unfortunately there is no reasoning with my ex and he has made massive sweeping statements about me e.g. all I care about is the money, all he cares about is the kids and seems unable to empathise with anyone else's point of view. Mediation was incredibly stressful.

So two years ago he took me to court to try and get 50:50 joint residence. He had no case as he had used his statement to try and assassinate my character rather than put forward any case for them living with him half the time so he lost but a contact order was written up.

Unfortunately, this contact order is rather flimsy and my ex takes advantage of this. Since the court order was drawn up my ex seems to think this gives him the right to dictate holiday dates (order is for half the holidays at Christmas and Summer) and whenever I try and negotiate he threatens me with either his solicitor or taking me back to courts.

Our current battle is over Christmas. The court order states that the last few days of the holidays should be spent with me - he is trying to claim that this only applies to the summer holidays. We also clashed over an INSET day next week - he was given first refusal as per court order - he didn't reply, I said I'd made alternative arrangements, cue the threats of court.

This sort of thing seems to be happening more and more regularly and is causing me a lot of stress and is becoming hard to keep from the children.

I am starting to feel the only way round this is to take things back to court to get the court order fairly watertight so that misunderstandings/taking advantage of the flimsy wording can't happen.

If I do take it back to court, I will be looking to do it without a solicitor (though I may try and get some legal advice) due to costs. Anybody had any similar experience. Where do I start? And is it worth doing?

inthename Thu 30-Oct-14 18:59:06

if there is a court order in existence then to vary it you will need to go to mediation first as per instructions which are attached to form C100. The form needs to be signed by a mediator that mediation has been attempted before any application to court can be made.

CheeseandGherkins Thu 30-Oct-14 19:07:25

Is he likely to take you back to court or is he just using it to scare you into submission? I would avoid going back to court if at all possible as it's stressful, time consuming and costly.

lostdad Mon 03-Nov-14 13:06:05

As of April this year it is now obligatory to attempt mediation before any matter will be heard by the court. You say it was stressful before but it is something that will happen before you end up in court again.

I appreciate it's hard - but it's probably easier than an actual court case. But with this knowledge you can relax a little knowing you will not get court papers without mediation be offered by your ex (as Inthename says).

This said (and assuming mediation isn't successful) a better and tighter order may be helpful in the final analysis. I hear from many parents who have court orders that are ambiguous and cause the sort of problems you have (I am a McKenzie Friend). Drafting a good order can take a little time but can make a big difference.

Hope that helps.

MsColouring Mon 03-Nov-14 15:25:47

Thank you for the responses. I'm just wondering, with mediation, does it actually have to happen. Or could it be a case of meeting the mediator, the mediator making a judgement that mediation isn't appropriate and signing the papers off. Bearing in mind we had around 12 mediation sessions and any agreements made were not upheld in the long run.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 03-Nov-14 15:32:01

How about just not talking to him, interpreting things your way and then letting assmunch take you to court.

And by not talking to him I mean by email at your convenience only - short sentences.

Don't refute any of his crap, it's very easy to feel you have to respond.

nickymanchester Mon 03-Nov-14 20:46:21

Or could it be a case of meeting the mediator, the mediator making a judgement that mediation isn't appropriate and signing the papers off.

This is exactly what happened to my brother in law. He went to the mediator, explained the background and that he had no interest in mediation and the mediator just signed the form.

Unfortunately, this is just another compulsory step - and another payment that you have to make - as part of any court process these days

lostdad Tue 04-Nov-14 09:32:34

Nickymanchester - yes. I assist with many cases where judges say at the first hearing `You clearly haven't attempted mediation seriously - go back and try again'.

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