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Do you have a contact order?

(27 Posts)
peppapigpants Fri 05-Oct-12 00:14:41

If so, does it say that the NRP has to tell the RP where he/she is during periods that the DC are with the NRP? Would you mind if it didn't?

brightwell Fri 05-Oct-12 07:05:56

I do and no it doesn't, equally it doesn't say that I as the RP has to inform NRP of DC whereabouts when they are with me. I do let him know when we're going on holiday & where to ie France, Wales, Scotland. I get to find out through DC where their dad is taking them ie France, Cornwall.

cestlavielife Fri 05-Oct-12 10:20:13

yes
and no it doesnt.

STIDW Fri 05-Oct-12 11:19:07

As far as the law is concerned if both parents have Parental Responsibility they have equal responsibility and rights to carry out those responsibilities. That means in most circumstances each parent can act unilaterally without informing or consulting with the other parent. The exceptions to this are changing a child's name, taking a child abroad (apart from a parent with a residence order in their favour taking a child on holiday) and important medical and educational decisions such as which school a child should attend or consenting to non emergency medical treatment.

However it isn't unreasonable for a parent to know where their child is staying overnight and a court might be persuaded to include a condition in a contact order that parents inform each other when they are taking children away overnight. IF a parent is likely to harass the other and interfere with contact it's unlikely the court would attach such a condition.

peppapigpants Fri 05-Oct-12 12:19:42

This is the situation...DP has a 3yo. Her mum has a residence order. At the final contact hearing two weeks ago, DP was granted every other weekend and half of school holidays, dates of which were included in the order. Mum asked for her to be notified of the child's location when with DP, the court said no, it is not required and she has a residence order.

Mum now says DP cannot have the child in school holidays at all, or take her anywhere except the area near her home (we live over 200 miles away), unless she knows where they are. Mum accepts that this breaches the court order.

It has cost us over £8000 to reach this stage. We simply cannot afford for DP to keep taking her back to court. There are no welfare issues regarding DP spending time with his child, in fact mum agrees to contact providing she knows where the child is. DP has parental responsibility and of course the child is safe with either dad or mum.

DP doesn't know where the child is when not with him. He didn't get any say in the choice of school (didn't know it had been arranged until the child said they were now going there), and knows nothing about the child's life when with the mother.

STIDW Fri 05-Oct-12 13:15:25

Courts can't sort everything out and sometimes you just need to be pragmatic. What children need is for at least one parent to forgo the determination of "who is right and who is wrong" and put the interests of children first. If informing the mother means the child can enjoy the holiday with your partner I would just do it unless the mother is going to harass or interfere.

In any event when the holiday is abroad a parent with a sole residence order may take the children abroad on holiday for up to one month, but if a parent doesn't have a residence order in their favour it's advisable they have consent from all those with Parental Responsibility or permission from the courts to take children abroad.

If the holiday is booked and there are receipts for accommodation and tickets for travel it's possible the courts might hear an application for a Specific Issue Order without notice and your partner could represent himself. If he has been through residence proceedings he will have had some experience and with children cases the issues are more to do with common sense and parenting than law. Alternatively if the contact order isn't complied with he could apply for enforcement and financial compensation for out of pocket expenses related to contact.

OptimisticPessimist Fri 05-Oct-12 13:45:34

Is there a reason why your DP won't give her the information she's asking for? Just because the court didn't order it doesn't mean he can't give it iyswim. Unless you have real concerns about harassment I think it would be best practice to give her the details tbh.

cestlavielife Fri 05-Oct-12 13:46:44

if "unless she knows where they are" then just play along - easy enough for dad to just email the mum with an addess and location. is she going to go there and check??

(and if child goes out for the day from that location then she hardly going to know is she? unless has tracker devices? )

PostBellumBugsy Fri 05-Oct-12 13:56:20

peppa, my cousin has the exact same problem with his DS. RP insists on knowing everything & insists my cousin fill out a time sheet of all his DS's movements for the entire duration of the visit & also has to know the whereabouts of DS, otherwise she will refuse contact, even though it is breaching the court order.
My cousin has been battling her for nearly 3 years now, as initially she woudn't allow access at all.
FWIW, I think you have to pick your battles & I would just go along with this request. As others have said, unless she installs a tracking device, she won't actually know. So if your DP gives it his best guess & gives her the address he thinks that his DS will be at, then hopefully that will keep her happy.

alfiethetortoise Fri 05-Oct-12 20:42:18

It is hard but when the ex takes DD, he takes her where he likes, without telling me. He has PR and therefore equal rights as me. I always said to him it's different he pointed out I take DD on holiday abroad and all i tell him is 'we are going away'. DD lives with me 100% of the time. I think it's different for the NRP and he should be more clear, but I'm done with fighting about nothing. He isn't going to take her anywhere dangerous. I'll just have to swallow it....

alfiethetortoise Fri 05-Oct-12 20:44:49

Oh and we don't have a contact order. He has PR. The reality is he doesn't want DD full time, or even half time. I've never withheld contact and I'm the RP, I don't feel like i need one

crackcrackcrak Sat 06-Oct-12 23:39:25

I initially misunderstood I think. Is the mum not being told the address where the child is staying? I'm thi king from the op she means she wants to know where the kid is all the time in addition to where she is staying - out and about etc. is that right?

peppapigpants Sun 07-Oct-12 17:54:22

All contact is overnight, sometimes for over a week at a time. Mum asked in court for it to be written in the order that she must be told where the child is but the magistrate refused to include it, saying it was unnecessary. She now wants to be told where the child is staying, including proof if not at our home or her paternal grandparents.

We are prepared to tell her where the child is this half term, in order for the child to get the contact with dad that she is entitled to, but the issue here is not the child's safety, but the mother retaining control.

Sassybeast Mon 08-Oct-12 17:21:51

I don't understand why your partner doesn't just give her the information she wants. What have you got to hide? Yes, it may be about 'control' but unless it's detrimental to the childs wellbeing, then you really need to chose your battles. Your partner doesn't want to go back to court - perhaps now is the time for him to start choosing his battles.

BTW, my ex has no say about what school the kids will go to because he was completely disinterested when we were together.

peppapigpants Mon 08-Oct-12 18:43:15

He has already told her, we are waiting to hear whether that will suffice.

I just wondered whether their court order was exceptional in NOT including this requirement, or whether it was common.

crackcrackcrak Mon 08-Oct-12 18:52:35

I dint understand either - what is there to with hold?

peppapigpants Mon 08-Oct-12 19:50:23

It's not a big deal to tell her, but it is not a legal requirement and yet she is prepared to refuse contact over it, so the child and father lose out on seeing each other and she runs the risk of imprisonment for breaching the order.

It would be fairer, of course, if DP knew where his daughter was when she was not with him, and could speak to her on the phone, or write to her knowing that she would receive the letter. At present none of those things happen. However, her mother calls her every day when she is with her father, and he facilitates this.

peppapigpants Mon 08-Oct-12 19:56:58

Also, on re-reading the messages, I note the word 'harassment' has been used several times. DP's ex has been officially warned by the police for harassment of DP, me, my children and others connected to us. She already has a police caution for harassment of her exH and his new partner. This is not a reasonable person we are dealing with.

Sassybeast Mon 08-Oct-12 20:22:09

'in fact mum agrees to contact providing she knows where the child is'

Doesn't sound unreasonable, or 'harrassing' or anything of the sort. DP has his contact sorted - why are you determined to make things difficult ? It sounds as if the desire to be the one in control works both ways.

peppapigpants Mon 08-Oct-12 21:59:20

sassy, I won't go into the details of the harassment here as they are not directly relevant to the child contact case. However, you wouldn't want to have been on the receiving end of what she has done to DP, to me and to my own children.

ChocHobNob Tue 09-Oct-12 10:32:37

It's not unreasonable for a parent to want to know what area their child is in overnight. If it was daily visits out, I would say it is unnecessary as long as the parent with care at the time has a mobile on them.

But for longer periods, ie holidays and being away from home overnight, I believe you would look unreasonable OP for refusing this information. It isn't court ordered, no. But it is common decency really. Unfortunately it isn't always reciprocated, which is frustrating but at times you just have to be the bigger person.

I would give details of the area (ie. county if away from home overnight) and a telephone number and email address for contact. That is satisfactory in my eyes.

3xcookedchips Tue 09-Oct-12 12:58:55

No it may not be unreasonable for a parent to want to know where the child is overnight. It is unreasonable to demand or expect to know. It is a fact of life of seperated parenting unless the childs welfare is at risk . This is purely about control and most likely the thin end of the wedge. Unless you're taking the child out of the country at weekends then she has no right to know where you're going, staying or who you are with. The child is not in danger. Her psycological needs don't come in to it. People need to understand and respect what PR is all about and respect parents for who they are - two parents equal in their ability to parent their children without interference from the other on a day to day basis.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 09-Oct-12 13:58:50

I will always do everything I can to improve life for my DD.

Telling her Dad where she is going to spend every night while she is with me is in no way beneficial to DD - it makes no difference to her what-so-ever.

But, what I have learned is that when her Dad is being unreasonable, I can either adapt my own behaviour to minimise the impact his unreasonableness has on DD, or I can stand my ground and refuse to be bullied into a particular course of action.

I mix and match. Sometimes I just sigh, do what he wants and rant in private on MN and other times I stick to my guns and if DD misses out I explain why in an age appropriate way.

bluebell8782 Tue 09-Oct-12 14:17:36

The mum doesn't need to know where the child is Peppa she just wants to. She wants to imply that she doesn't think the child is safe enough when not in her presence ie: you and the child's father. If things were on good terms it might not be so unreasonable (but still unnecessary), but they are obviously not and it seems she just wants to be as difficult as possible.

It's annoying but if she insists everytime just tell her something that might be true. If she complains when she finds out you weren't where you said you'll be tell her plans changed. I don't understand it when parents split there is often one that will automatically assume the other has lost the ability to parent. Understandable if one parent has been abusive or irresponsible - but not through just the relationship breakdown. Just screams controlling behaviour.

lostdad Thu 11-Oct-12 12:24:03

I have a court order. My son is with me 40% of the time. His mum demanded to know where he was at all times but gave up after I made it clear I wasn't going to acquiesce to her controlling behaviour.

When a child is with one parent the other parent doesn't need to know where he/she is at any point.

If you really feel it's reasonable ask for it while an order is being hammered out and see what your solicitor/the judge says. In all likelihood you'll be told that this is not appropriate and you will at best be ignored, at worst considered a control freak.

It's always a good thing to ask yourself `Why is this in my child's best interests?' and to think what a judge is liable to think of it...just wanting something means nothing.

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