Contact Order Problems(1 Post)
For the past 2 years (since the very day I asked to be paid child support), my exP has dragged me through the courts to obtain a Parental Responsibility order and a formal Contact Order. We have still not reached agreement on the Contact Order, however, I was happy to sign the PR as I thought it might encourage him to take some parental responsibility. It didn't.
He left to live overseas, through choice, in 2008 and everything was rosy between us (and he had regular contact with dd) until I had to force his hand to pay child support as I could no longer afford to meet my financial commitments without it. Since then, it's been one long round of solicitors letters and court appearances to try and turn our working, informal agreement into a written agreement which goes far beyond the contact dd has enjoyed with her dad over the past 5 years.
Every time we think we will reach agreement, he goes and changes the goal-posts, requesting more or different contact arrangements. His character is such that I know he is doing it purely out of spite and control over me but the courts see this loving father, desperate for contact with his child which I appear to be denying. It's a joke really but I've been able to keep them at bay for 2 year because dd simply doesn't want to be removed from her home for long periods of the year and would prefer to see her dad in her own country. CAFCASS conducted a wishes and feelings report but exP claims I put the words in her mouth, something CAFCASS deny.
As dd is almost a teenager, I asked for a preliminary comment on any court order to state that contact would be subject to dd's wishes and feelings. This has now been agreed but the new draft order received today from his solicitor asks for her to travel to his country every Xmas and for 6 weeks out of the 8 weeks of her summer holidays. He absolutely refuses to see her in the UK. We recently spent 2 weeks on holiday in his country and he made no attempts whatsoever to see her over the Easter Weekend as his latest girlfriend was visiting him.
His solicitor has advised me to take legal advice but I simply can't afford it and don't see why I should as am only representing my dd's views which I think are reasonable; that she'll go to visit him for 4 weeks of her summer holidays and will spend half of all her other school holidays with him in the UK.
At the end of the day, it's not her fault he left to live overseas. She's sick of it and I've spent the whole of this evening persuading her to maintain any contact at all due to the affect this may have on her in the future. She's currently adamant she's not going at all and would rather spend time with her friends and family in the holidays rather than be bored to death with her father.
I'm at my whits end that he'll bully and force her to do something she doesn't want to do. Or, am I expecting too much from a 12 year old to know what she wants versus what's best for her.
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