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What can I do about him breaking the contact order?(9 Posts)
My daughters biological father has been out of her life more than he's been in it, spending the last 6 years dipping in and out as he pleases leaving a trail of hurt and disappointment behind him. Classic story really.
I've never denied him contact and am in regular contact with many of his family who dd and I really get along with and have a good relationship with.
He had not been in contact since Xmas day last year and hadn't paid maintenance since March this year when, inexplicably, he took me to court citing that I'd made no effort to contact him and that his relationship with dd had broken down because of me.
Luckily the court saw through this and put an order in place where by he had to go through several weeks of weekly letters and phone calls before he was allowed to visit her. I was simply asked to facilitate contact which of course I agreed to. Now I'm very used to being let down by him but I thought that after going to the effort of going to court he'd ad least see the first part of the agreement though and send her some letters before getting bored however we are nearly 4 weeks into the order and we have only received one letter. He knows we've received it and said that he would send the second one the next day and text me when he had done so so I would know to expect it. Almost 14 days later I am yet to receive either.
Dd is not particularly upset at the moment however I think she will soon realise that there is a delay in the letter coming.
How do I tackle this? Do I text him to prompt him? Do I apply to court for an enforcement on the order? If I do that then what can I expect?
I'm at a loss really, poor dd will have to face yet another disappointment and she's getting to an age now where she's really beginning to understand what's happening. Sending one letter and stiring all those old feelings up again before disappearing again is just plain cruel and why go to the bother of going to court when a)you were never denied contact and b) you don't follow the order?? I'm so frustrated and just want him to go away and leave her alone to be happy without him!
Hi there. I feel for your daughter completely. I am on the opposite end of the scale where I went through years of court appearances trying to see my children.
I think enforcement can only be applied for if the order is breached from your side. As in he applied for the court order so if you breach it he applies for enforcement, however if he was caring for your daughter and refused to return her, then you can apply for it.
The court cannot force him to see her unfortunately. It makes me so angry, this type of father who can't be bothered to make any effort to see his child/ren
Hi, thanks for replying.
Sorry to hear you've had such a battle, hope it's all sorted now, I can't imagine how hard that was.
It's so frustrating to know that there are so many people out there like you who are deparate to see their children while he has every opportunity and treats her like a toy that can be dropped when he's bored.
I think I will ring a solicitor in the morning and see what I can do. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop him seeing her as there's no threat of abuse or anything however I can't just stand back and watch her do this to her forever
You can't do anything to make him "do" his side I fear.
All you can do is, eventually, persuade the court to stop ordering any kind of contact.
It's awful for your daughter, but she will have to learn not to rely on him.
Is that possible? To eventually persuade them I mean. He doesn't pose any threat physically to her or to me but he's torturing her and it's heart breaking to watch.
She's only 5 but he's not been consistantly in her life for more than a year at a time. I was more than happy with him not being involved at all for now but knowing that he was contactable if I/she wanted to for any reason. To send a letter after a year of no contact is just cruel but I can't see a judge stopping him seeing her, can they? He's on the birth certificate so he has his 'rights'.
Unfortunately it's stil on going with me but I just have to bear with it.
Although you say there's no risk of physical harm your daughters emotional well being could be affected by his actions. Emotional harm is now a criminal offense
Is there another hearing scheduled or was that a final order?
Yes, a judge can stop your ex from seeing your daughter but that will only happen if you can convince the court that it is in your daughter's best interests for contact to stop. The assumption is that it is usually best for the child to have a relationship with both parents so it is rare for the courts to ban contact completely but it does happen.
Emotional harm is now a criminal offense
I suspect you are referring to recent publicity about emotional abuse being criminalised. The crime is controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship. A parent cannot be convicted of this offence with respect to behaviour towards their child. They can be convicted of child cruelty but a conviction for failing to take up contact is extremely unlikely.
Thanks for your replies. eazy I'm sorry to hear that, i hope that it's not that way for much longer and you are able to see your children.
Things changed yesterday as the second letter finally arrived. I read it as I normally do before giving it to dd and decided not to give it to her as it was completely unacceptable and was just a long guilt trip about how she hadn't replied and he wished she had. She'd be devastated if she thought she'd upset him like that.
I rang a few advice lines and gathered my thoughts and I have contacted him to say that I will not be showing her the letter however I am willing to disregard it and asked him to send another letter in its place that was more suitable. I also said that as we are behind schedule we won't be attending the meeting however if he could give me a date in the new year I will try and accommodate it.
He has read the text but not replied.
I've calmed down a lot since yesterday, I was so angry that we'd waited 2 weeks only for that to arrive. I hate how much he is affecting out lives at the moment and how much head space he's taking up. Dd was up in the night crying about him because he'd 'lied about writing to her and loving her.' Its so unfair.
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