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apply for variation of court order?

(15 Posts)
bibliomania Mon 16-May-16 17:03:08

Long history of court cases between exH and me over child arrangements. Dd (8) now lives with me and sees exH for 5 hours every fortnight.

I've honoured every contact and will continue to do so. However, I would like to change one day this August, as it clashes with a holiday date. I've offered alternatives, but exH won't accept. It's literally the only date for the whole of 2016.

For the sake of one date, should I apply to court to vary the order? ExH is very litigious and I can certainly see him applying to court for breach of the order.

My preference would have been to avoid it by going on holiday during the 12 days between contacts, but it doesn't work for the fixed-date holiday we're going on.

If I need to go to court, I'll be self-representing (have done it before) so if anyone has a good link to the procedure, I'd be grateful. It seems like a waste of court time, in all honesty, but I want to do things right.

MrsBertBibby Mon 16-May-16 17:32:51

Yes, it is a total waste of Court time, but yes, you will have to do it. Mediation first, and sharpish as time is ticking!

Sundance01 Mon 16-May-16 17:54:12

Can I be blunt - if there has been a long history of court cases I would tend to assume that there is a lot of bad feeling between you.

You are simply pouring oil on the fire to book a holiday which clashes with one of his dates. You have not said why you need to go on this particular holiday so badly but unless there is a damn good reason I would question your motivation. There is a massively large world with infinite number of holidays you could choose as an alternative.

By all means try mediation and if necessary go to court

Obviously it would be better for your dd if your ex does not make a stand over something so fleeting and superficial as a holiday but likewise if you had not chosen to aggravate the situation over something so fleeting and superficial as a holiday.

MrsBertBibby Mon 16-May-16 18:20:40

There's nothing superficial about a holiday. I think most of my strongest childhood memories are of holidays.

And I think you'll find most package details are 14 night jobs.

OP, if your ex doesn't back down, I suggest you ask the Judge to give you a variation to enable you to change contact a limited number of times per year, on the basis that you give proper defined notice and offer replacement contact, so you don't have to keep coming back every time your ex forgets to be an adult.

bibliomania Tue 17-May-16 15:17:42

Thanks for the responses. After MrsBert's sensible observations, I checked the wording of the order - I don't have the discretion to change dates as it stands, plus I need the court's permission to apply for a variation. Not sure - should I change the holiday? It's a cruise, so would mean missing 2 days of a 7-day cruise & paying for another flight to catch up at the next port.

Fourormore Tue 17-May-16 16:05:51

Would you need a variation? Or is it just a one off? In which case you'd be applying for a Specific Issue Order. You will need to attend a MIAM first.

MrsBertBibby Tue 17-May-16 17:10:24

Not sure it's a SIO just because it's a one off!

I assume you have a residence order/FAO specifying residence, OP, otherwise you may also need the court's permission to take them out of the country if he doesn't give it.

bibliomania Wed 18-May-16 09:22:27

Sorry for slow responses - was travelling and my phone doesn't like me mn'ing. Yes, the order states dd lives with me, although it doesn't explicitly mention travel. Will that be enough?

MIAM - we've had three separate attempts at mediation - twice the mediation service told us we were not suitable candidates, and the other time it led to some voluntary undertakings but wasn't enough for us to avoid court. I presume that's no excuse and we'd still have to try again? There's no way exH will ever agree - he's unhappy with the order and would cheerfully do anything to spite me, regardless of impact on dd.

Sun, I wish now I had tried harder to avoid a clashing date. I did have the dates in mind when I was looking for holidays and ensured I didn't cross over two of his contacts, but I thought there would be a bit more leeway to change one. The last thing I want is more conflict - I don't care what exH says or does to or about me, but it means he's pretty awful to dd during contact - this is why the court reduced his contact time so drastically.

I'll find out how much it would cost to join the cruise later. ExH doesn't gain anything by it - I'd be open to any reasonable agreement about how to make up any lost contact time - but it's one of his last little bits of control and he's not going to let that go unless forced to. I feel like I've been fighting a long time - not over holidays, but child protection issues - and I don't have the appetite for more if it can be avoided.

MrsBertBibby Wed 18-May-16 10:23:11

Yes, that sounds fine for foreign travel under 4 weeks.

The MIAM point depends on the time frame. Get a C100 online and go through the pages of questions about mediation. See if any apply, if not, get another MIAM appointment pdq.

It isn't unreasonable to have an expectation of a 2 week holiday slot each year. If he can't agree it, the Court should come up with a formula that allows you to do that without trailing back every year.

bibliomania Wed 18-May-16 10:34:59

Thanks MrsBert, will do.

bibliomania Wed 18-May-16 13:25:35

I'm just waiting for the cruise company to get back to me, but if they say it's okay, I think I'm going to go with the late joining option. It'll cost me a few hundred pounds extra to change the flights, but we only got our most recent order in February and I don't have an appetite for further conflict. I like the certainty of our current order, so it feels better to stick to the letter of the law rather than enter in any further negotiations/attempts to change.

bibliomania Fri 20-May-16 11:20:09

In case anyone needs closure on this, I'm switched to a different cruise. I no longer get to see the places I wanted to (sob) but it won't make any real difference to dd. I'm a bit out of pocket for the flights, but I want to sidestep any conflict wherever humanly possible.

Afriyie Sat 21-May-16 08:52:51

i received a phone call from the police. he said they were called by a member of staff in waitrose that my son is part of a gang who came to waitrose to shoplift. the police took details search CCTV and concluded he is not part of the gangs. my son went to Sainsbury to look for something to buy for his physics project and came to Waitrose after that.. the manager in Waitrose thinks that he is part of a gang who came to the shop to shoplift because my son left Sainsburys to waitrose soon after they had left to waitros. after searching for the sketch board and couldnt find it, my son went to the manager on duty to ask for a sketch book and the manager said there is none. on his way the manager stopped him because a customer has alert him of the gangs. the manager interrogated my son who is 14yrs with one other staff because he thought that my son was distracting him the manager so that the gangs can run off. after checking the cctv and found nothing but because the manager rang sainsbury and realised they have all been seen there but not togerther the manager then called the police on him.. the police found no connection with the gangs. pls advice...is this not defamation? pl what is my childs right here.

Collaborate Sat 21-May-16 10:15:01

Afriyie It's not the done thing to hijack another thread, let alone to do it to more than one thread with the same message.

Afriyie Sun 22-May-16 23:43:59

Sorry...I did not know...but I know now

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