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13 yr wants to reduce contact but bound by court order advice plz

(23 Posts)
ROZ12 Mon 04-Apr-16 22:21:36


My dd is 13 , a court order was set when she was 6 half hols , every other weekend and Thursday nights.

Due to issues such as not having bed, having to share a bed , no privacy and puberty approaching , dd is refusing to go to dads but is forced to due to court order. She also finds the periods of stay too long generally . Being a teen she is just comfortable with being home with me with her privacy and mod cons . Also dad is often away at work - Saturday's , weekdays she is plain bored and prays for the days to pass .

She is scared of dad, to confront him he is emotionally abisuve abd scary person , I been there.

He also tells her what to wear and can never be herself , she often tells me she cries on bathroom . She is quiet there not her loud self like with me . She sees her half siblings with their mum sd feels lonely.

One incident she came home from her dance show and really tired and told to hug her grandad as she didn't and got shouted at .

She has had enough and she feels very uncomfortable there and misses home .

Also she has sleep less nights esp on Sunday's and effects her school week .

She also wants to get rid of Thursday contact as disrupts homework etc she goes to very acedemic school . Also dad often complains as too many Thursday events have been occurring and everytime she misses contact dad says to owe him back days - is that fair? I have no control of school events and dd has to attend so educational purposes .

Anyways hoe do I change a court order? No money for solicitor , have tons to quickly , dd is getting depressed.

Dad will not take this well and not sure what to do but it's her wishes.

Advise please .

Familylawsolicitor Tue 05-Apr-16 20:00:27

At 13 assuming average level of maturity and understanding for her age, a very good chance. Her views are likely to carry very considerable weight or be determinative. Try writing to him first off to suggest the changes or try mediation (it's now compulsory to consider mediation before a court application unless certain exceptions apply such as DV or urgency). The mediator should be one qualified to carry out direct child consultation to bring your DD into the process.

FlicFlop Tue 05-Apr-16 20:02:25

At 13 surely it's up to her. Could you speak to him for her?

snorepatrol Tue 05-Apr-16 20:13:16

I'm pretty sure her wants will be taken into consideration at this stage if you went through court or even a mediation service? I'm sure I've heard that schools can help with mediation too unless I'm making that up?

If she's sharing a bed with her step/half siblings every time she goes I can't see any court upholding that to be honest. She's a teenager about to go through puberty I'd be stunned if any mediator or judge wanted to enforce that arrangement to continue against her wishes.

ROZ12 Tue 05-Apr-16 20:47:37

He is not willing to change anything I'm afraid . So what should I do if it's compulsory to mediate ? Do I not fill out a court form yet then? How do I organise mediation we don't get on or speak to each other and I'm so scared to see him brings back all the abisuve memories. I can do court but talk and sit with him I just can't . Please let me know the next steps?

Familylawsolicitor Tue 05-Apr-16 21:16:59

Contact a local mediation service as a first step. It's compulsory for you to have an appointment by yourself with a mediator (called a MIAM - Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting). Actual mediation with him is not compulsory. Have a look at a C100 form on the HMCTS website - it also sets out the exemptions so you can see if any apply - the mediator will sign the mediation part of that form and you fill in the rest. If he WILL mediate though you never know he might give it a go and it might help.

ROZ12 Tue 05-Apr-16 21:49:08

Thanks so much . He will never reduce contact as it will increase child support and he would hate that.

Lightbulbon Tue 05-Apr-16 21:51:05

At that age the court should respect her wishes.

ROZ12 Tue 05-Apr-16 22:33:19

Family law solicitor- does legal aid cover family matters anymore? Also
How low does income have to be?

omri Tue 05-Apr-16 22:42:08

No advice but sorry your daughter is going through this. The mediation service should help you with the next steps.

PenguinSalute Tue 05-Apr-16 23:06:59

If it does get to court (pending mediation etc), the court may request something called a s7 report. This report will be written usually by a children's guardian from Cafcass, but sometimes by a Local Authority social worker if there is already children's services involvement. This report is designed to provide the court with your DD'S 'Wishes and Feelings'. Whilst it's no guarantee they will be adhered to completely, and the guardian will make their own recommendation about what may be in your DD's best interests, her views will certainly hold considerable weight at her age.

Everytimeref Tue 05-Apr-16 23:13:45

Would dad agree to changes if you guarantee not to insist on extra maintenance?

zipzap Wed 06-Apr-16 00:04:37

Does she have to share a single or double bed?

I'm hoping that she doesn't have to share a single bed on the one hand as that would be horrible, it's one thing when you're a toddler but at 13 you need a single bed to sleep in (or half a double) - but on the other hand - if that is the case, then is there anybody that you and she could talk to (school, SS, ??) to use this as an example of your exH not providing a suitable environment for your dd as a means to cutting overnight contact? Likewise the not supporting her with school stuff isn't good.

Also if there are school events on a Thursday then it should be up to your exh to ensure your dd gets to the events and is picked up afterwards - it's not like you've arranged an out of school activity like guides or swimming lessons on his nights. Would he be prepared to give you back nights on which your dd is at school for events when you are missing out on time with her? Thought not... (sorry have no idea as to the legalities of this though).

good luck - it sounds miserable for your dd.

zipzap Wed 06-Apr-16 00:08:24

oh and what would be the consequences of her just not going? Particularly if she can make complaints beforehand and he ignores her (assuming he is going to do this anyway as he sounds horrible) - such as it's reasonable to expect support for school work, her own bed, inadequate supervision/support on saturdays when her dad is at work, etc

Do you have legal cover on your house insurance - would that provide advice even if it won't cover family court costs?

ROZ12 Wed 06-Apr-16 08:15:12

Sorry more thing dd is terrified or retaliation from dad and being interrogated do I have to give him a copy of c100? I don't want him to see statement . Even sending him an email about all this is risky as contact continues .

Collaborate Wed 06-Apr-16 08:51:05

Legal Aid covers family mediation, but not applying to court (unless there has been a domestic violence "incident" in the last 2 years).

Look at para 20 of this for the DV exemptions in mediation.

Fourormore Wed 06-Apr-16 09:03:39

Yes, the father will need a copy of the C100. How can he answer the allegations you're making about his care of DD without seeing what the allegations are? The court can't just take your word for it.

CodyKing Wed 06-Apr-16 09:07:55

I found this - there's loads of other information - and being well informed does give you a sense of confidence

AnotherEmma Wed 06-Apr-16 09:26:33

Child Law Advice have lots of information on their website - see this page on child contact - and a helpline you can call.

From what I've read on the page about contact, you would have to write to her father to request the changes your DD wants, then go to mediation if he ignores the letter or refuses to change anything, then go to court if he doesn't attend mediation or attends but you can't reach an agreement.

I suggest you and DD think about the things she would like to change as a priority, and which of those are negotiable v non-negotiable, for example:
- DD has her own bed when she visits (non-negotiable)
- DD no longer visits on Thursday evenings, or only visits on alternate Thursdays, to reduce disruption to her education (negotiable?)
- DD spends less time with him during the school holidays, maybe 1/3 of her holiday time (negotiable?)

AnotherEmma Wed 06-Apr-16 09:32:39

OP this information about mediation might reassure you?

"If you’re not comfortable with being in the same room as your ex-partner, the mediator can arrange shuttle mediation. This is where the mediator speaks with you alone and then speaks to your ex-partner with your proposals separately."


AnotherEmma Wed 06-Apr-16 09:40:56

"Would dad agree to changes if you guarantee not to insist on extra maintenance?"

No way José! Money might be a factor for him but it absolutely shouldn't be part of the negotiations. They need a contact arrangement that's in the best interests of DD and if that means she spends less time with him and he pays more, so be it. If he can't even look after her properly the least he can do is pay maintenance! And thankfully that is the law.

ROZ12 Wed 06-Apr-16 18:00:18

Cody King please let me know where you found that info as the scan is quite small and would like to read it. Thanks so much all posters

CodyKing Wed 06-Apr-16 18:06:40

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