Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

child access and court

(11 Posts)
redpyjamas Sat 02-Aug-08 11:30:33

I am just wondering if anyone has any experience or knowledge that they could possibly encourage me with?

I left DV husband 5 years ago. For the first 3 years, he did not see the children (his decision to live abroad and not come to GB to see them, although he still managed to blame me - he basically dishes out blame to anyone but himself for all his problems).

Since then, he has seen them for a total of 4 times. I made sure that the contact took place in a contact centre and supervised because the children would be at great risk on many levels if he were to take them unsupervised.

He seems to live his life in fits and starts. I hear nothing for ages, and then a spurt of activity and threatened court action.

Now again it seems that the issue fo unsupervised contact might go to court. I know that he only wants it because he hates being told what do do. It is purely a control thing for him. When we were together, he never bothered with the children, and lived totally selfishly and abusively.

Anyway, does anyone know if he stands a chance, taking the following into account:

1) He's only seen them four times in 5 years, and at least 2 of those times were cut short by his choice. The last visit was disastrous, where he said a lot of inappropriate things to the children and made foolish promises, and generally made it loudly clear to all in the contact centre that it was an INSULT to be there.

2) He lives abroad, so how easy would it be to go through tbe court process not being in the country?

3) He lives in a country where it would be very difficult to rescue the children from if he were to abduct them (and he has made such threats in the past). And he has close connections to fraudsters and no morals whatever about damaging the children to get back at me.

In short, what chance would I have of convincing a judge that he is a danger to the children, and risk of abduction is too high to risk?

He is so convincing and charming, and makes himself out to be so reasonable if he wants. He has a new wife, who is possibly spurning him on.

Any thoughts?

Thank you in advance.

beanieb Sat 02-Aug-08 11:33:48

why is he having supervised contact in the first place? Was this a legal agreement/enforcement?

redpyjamas Sat 02-Aug-08 11:45:43

well, nothing has ever been legally enforced. I don't really understand how the whole thing works. Just that when he asked to see them after 3 years of silence, my solicitor wrote to his to organise the contact centre. Seemed the obvious thing to do really.

Roboshua Sun 03-Aug-08 14:11:51

You need a solicitor but I would suggest he would have very little chance. You say has said things at the contact centre which are inappropriate so they would have a record.

I wouldn't worry too much I also can't imagine new wife would be overly keen to end up with two extra kids who she's never met to look after. As you say it's more about control than a true wish to see the kids. he may be making efforts purely to look good in front of new wife (I'd be a bit concerned to be with a man who had made no attempts to keep in contact with his kids). So it may be a bit of show for her.

yerblurt Sun 03-Aug-08 14:33:34

As you were married the father automatically has Parental Responsibility for the children which means he has certain rights and responsibilities for the children.

How old are the children and what country does your ex live in?

My thoughts are that as contact has been very infrequent and inconsistent then if any approach for contact was made then it would start off probably in a contact centre again. He can't really complain about this due to his contact history in the past and you probably are correct in that there is something about 'impressing' his current partner.

If you fear that there is a real fear of abduction of the children then you could always apply to court for a Prohibitive Steps Order which would prevent the children being removed from jurisdiction.

Do the children have passports? It may be an idea to make an application for passports and keep hold of them to prevent any application by dad.

redpyjamas Sun 03-Aug-08 22:23:00

Thanks for the replies. Yes they have passports, which are safely with me. But I don't think it would be beyond him to fake some, or manage that particular hurdle in an illegal manner.

Presumably, a prohibited steps order only works if the other person does not breach it...

Is there anyone else with experience in this? It is also really hard to know what to tell the children. Not wanting to unneccessarily speak badly of their father (who they love based on the four times they've seen him), but also wanting to protect them and prevent them from believing him/trusting him without scaring or upsetting them.

The children are under 8, and he lives in a country with no agreement with GB that would allow me to get them safely back. It would be an utter nightmare for them. I know what he is like, and as soon as he has a person in his control, he changes and makes their life a living nightmare. Some of the things he was 'threatening' regarding the futures of his children (when we were still together), don't bear thinking about.

Thanks for the replies. Any more thoughts or experience would be massively appreciated.

chocchild Mon 04-Aug-08 20:01:15

Sorry I can't offer any advice but I do have experience of exactly this kind of 'man' and so do the authorities so hopefully they'll see straight through him.

yerblurt Tue 05-Aug-08 19:52:51

If you have a real fear of abduction then you can only really pursue it through the courts by making an application for a PSO.

If you think false passports may be used then write to the passport office stating so and hopefully they will be able to flag the children's names and dad's name to prevent passage.

redpyjamas Wed 06-Aug-08 23:31:04

Sorry, not been on mumsnet for a bit. Thanks for all the messages. I will do all I can. Really, I just wish he would go away. The current interest is clearly a phase, and causing me stress. Got another letter today from his solicitor, saying much ther same as they always write. They seem to think that if they ask me oftn enough, I'll just agree to unsupervised contact.

Does anyone know generally speaking if it is actually feasable to take a matter to court while not living in the country?

Thanks again. Really appreciate messages.

AvenaLife Wed 06-Aug-08 23:38:38

Ask you solicitor to apply for a Prohibtion order, in this case it would prohibit your ex from taking them out of the country should he ever get the opportunity. Don't agree to unsupervised contact. If he comes back and takes you to court for access then the courts should look at whether the contact would distress the children, given that he has little/no contact then this would be the case. Do you have anything in writing about his behaviour in the contact centre? If so then you should keep hold of this. The judge will not look to favourably on his lack of contact with the children IMO. Every case is different though. Do you have a new partner who they consider a dad?

redpyjamas Wed 06-Aug-08 23:58:31

No, they have no father figure.
The children have always been pleased to see him on the four occasions that they have. They really have no idea of what he is actually like when the novelty wears off and familiarity kicks in.
I just hope that his past behaviour is taken heavily into account if it ever does go to court.
Every time I ask solicitor about prohib orders, I get informed that as he is usually not in the UK, it is not applicable.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: