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Breach of contact order

(52 Posts)
postmanpatscat Thu 06-Mar-14 22:55:38

Do you know whether you can apply for enforcement when you are aware of the other party's intention to breach the order, but it has not yet happened? DP's ex has refused to let him have DSS for the week specified in the court order as she has booked a holiday hmm Does he have to wait until the week has passed before he can apply for enforcement? If so, that means not seeing DSS for nearly two months as DP has a business trip abroad in the interim, preventing EOW contact.

STIDW Fri 07-Mar-14 00:28:22

What sort of order does your partner have and has he spoken to his ex directly in case there are different interpretations of the order?

The courts enforcement powers are specifically for the enforcement of contact orders, not shared residence. In any case he can't apply for enforcement until the order has been breached. If he doesn't adhere to the order himself and take up contact it can make enforcement more difficult and it's usual to wait until the order has been breached at least three times so a pattern of behaviour can be established.

Your partner could conceivably apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent the mother taking the children on holiday or a Specific Issue Order, particularly if he has already booked a holiday and tickets, to ensure the children and passports (if required) are handed over in good time before the holiday.

However if the mother generally complies with the order, she has already booked and it is found there has been a misunderstanding the courts may decide it's in the interests of the children to enjoy a family holiday this time anyway.

Anonymai Fri 07-Mar-14 02:04:15

If he has EOW and doesn't take it up, isn't he also breaking the contact order?

summermovedon Fri 07-Mar-14 07:14:52

Damn that bitch taking her child on holiday! confused

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Fri 07-Mar-14 07:31:37

Anon - most contact order have (or should have) a clause at the end to say "any other contact agreed by both parties" or similar, allowing for changes in the order.

In any case, the order will usually state the RP makes the child available for contact, not that the NRP turns up.

No court is going to penalise a father for being away for a business trip.

In my experience, mentioning a PSO and making ex aware that (unless she has a residence order) taking the child away without permission from both people with PR is classed as abduction.

summer the court has ordered that she make her child available for contact. She cannot just decide otherwise. If she wants to vary the order she must go to court and ask their permission. If an NRP decided he just wanted to have an extra day out with the child and brought child back a day late would you be making similar comments?

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Fri 07-Mar-14 07:54:18

You might get more help asking on Legal Matters smile

Monetbyhimself Fri 07-Mar-14 08:07:57

I would suggest that he cancels or rearranges his business trip and adheres to the order himself. Then if his Ex consistently breaches the order, his move to enforce it would be taken more seriously.

GreenGoblin0 Fri 07-Mar-14 08:49:28

As mentioned by a previous poster, contact orders are worded in such a way as to require the PWC to make the child available for contact with the NRP. If the NRp is not available for contact on an pccasi

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Fri 07-Mar-14 08:52:34

If the NRP has a job that has always involved international travelling, are you seriously suggesting he quits his job (with a likely significant paycut and therefore loss of CM)?

We don't even know the NRP has breached the order - there could well be provision for his business travels to be accommodated. It's not like he's off on a jolly - he's working!

We DO know the RP has threatened a breach of the order and potential abduction (in legal terms if she doesn't have a residence order). Why are people STILL digging at the NRP?

GreenGoblin0 Fri 07-Mar-14 08:52:57

Sorry posted too soon...

...on an occasion dictated in the order then that doesn't make the NRP in breach. Perhaps it is not possible for the father to rearrange the business trip. Persumably the moher would rather he goes on a business trip than lose hos job and miss out on CM?

It is unacceptable in my view for either parent to deliberately book a holiday on the other parent's set time with the child. At the very least she should offer alternative contact

Monetbyhimself Fri 07-Mar-14 09:19:11

Who mentioned quitting the job ? Presumably the foreign travel and lack of contact during those trips are written into the contact order. And the RP then makes efforts to faciliate extra contact. It's not unreasonable to 'consider' rearranging this particular trip if possible.

3xcookedchips Fri 07-Mar-14 09:32:43

To take it back to court for enforcement there would need to be 3 clear breaches in short order. The court wouldn't be happy you took it back because of this one incident. Has this been the only 'breach'? When was the order made?

Without knowing the details of the order, I would assume there is an allowance for holidays for BOTH parties and she has booked the holiday without reasonable notice?
Has your ex asked to see son immediately before and after holiday and this has been refused?

When your DP knew about the business trip did he then contact the ex to agree some form of make-up time - whether or not you thought the ex was going to say no you would have evidence of your DP being conciliatory and trying to come to some agreement.

How old is his son?
How far away do you live from each other?

Without seeing the order or the specific details on the schedule/holidays/making missed time up...

bibliomania Fri 07-Mar-14 10:14:45

It really depends on the pattern of behaviour. If it's relatively civilized between the two of them, I'd suggest that he appeal to his exW's goodwill to arrange some alternative contact.

I'm not clear from your post whether your DP had made particular arrangements for the week in question. If he just wants contact and it can be done at an alternative time, then I don't think he should try to stop the holiday just to insist on the exact arrangements in the court order.

If he suggests alternative contact and his exW doesn't show any willingness to agree to that, your DP would presumably be in a stronger position if it does end up in court. It starts to look more like contact-blocking than just having a nice holiday.

Anonymai Fri 07-Mar-14 12:17:05

Contact orders sound nice and fair then hmm

I can't get my head around working in a job that requires such time away when you have a child.

postmanpatscat Fri 07-Mar-14 12:58:46

Thanks for your advice so far.

DP and I live over 200 miles away from DSS and his mum. The contact order is EOW plus specified periods of each school holiday. It has been in place for 18m. So far it has been followed to the letter, apart from at Christmas when DP agreed to mum's request for a slight adjustment to the dates. DP's trip is for only two weeks, but unfortunately he leaves tomorrow morning (a contact weekend) and comes back two weeks later, thereby missing another contact weekend. He is travelling to the far east so Monday morning or even Sunday departures are out of the question. He should have DSS for the first week of the Easter holiday every year. He thinks that mum has arranged a trip in the UK based on info given by the child.

Had his ex asked him to consider swapping the weeks, he would have considered it. When there is a court order in place, she has no right to book a holiday during his contact time.

anonymai perhaps you were unaware that many armed forces personnel, pilots etc are also parents?

Petal02 Fri 07-Mar-14 12:58:58

If he has EOW and doesn’t take it up, isn’t he also breaking the contact order

I looked into this a while ago: apparently an EOW arrangement is made in the NRP’s favour, meaning that whilst the RP is legally obliged to ‘release’ the child as per the order if the NRP wishes, the NRP doesn’t have a legal obligation to fulfil the access. Although obviously there are CSA implications if a NRP repeatedly doesn’t fulfil his access.

postmanpatscat Fri 07-Mar-14 13:01:07

Also, his ex has suggested three nights instead of the seven he should have. One of those nights would have been his anyway as it falls on his weekend! He is only missing two nights of contact due to his trip.

bibliomania Fri 07-Mar-14 13:17:44

Honestly, the way to approach it is not to go in heavy-handed insisting on his rights. Much better to have a reasonable conversation and aim for an agreement to have DSS for the second week of the Easter holiday instead. I don't think he should agree to have DSS for 3 nights rather than 7, but if he's prepared to be some way flexible as to whether it's the first week or second week of holidays, there's more likely to be a positive outcome.

For your own sake, I'd suggest letting this be worked out between the two parents, and staying well out of it. It doesn't have to be your problem.

bibliomania Fri 07-Mar-14 13:21:39

Also, given that the contact order has been followed to the letter, I'd avoid speculating that exW did this out of spite. Maybe she happened to get a good deal for that particular week, or is meeting friends/family who are only available then.

Honestly, it's far better to avoid a situation where suspicions and allegations are thrown around. They need to settle it like adults, and you need to keep out of it.

Anonymai Fri 07-Mar-14 13:24:00

No, I'm quite aware of that postman.

Monetbyhimself Fri 07-Mar-14 13:31:01

Have you already made plans for the week in question ?

And has the info about the changed plans come from the Ex or just the child ?

summermovedon Fri 07-Mar-14 17:45:43

Sorry, whatever the rules are it is utterly ridiculous to fuss that the RP is not behaving herself, whereas the NRP is allowed to run off and avoid two contact weekends (leaving RP in the lurch?). Flights could have been booked to avoid this, communication could have been smoother. Here seems to be a situation where both parties normally adhere to an agreement, this hostility from OP is just not helpful. RP should be allowed flexibility as much as the NRP, and to rush straight to court to get the NRP to behave herself in this situation - assuming there are not normally problems - is madness. OP should not be involved if she is not one of the parents.

summermovedon Fri 07-Mar-14 17:51:21

If an NRP decided he just wanted to have an extra day out with the child and brought child back a day late would you be making similar comments? but everyone involved knows about the holiday, it is a bit different? She hasn't just flown out of the country without telling anyone.

GreenGoblin0 Fri 07-Mar-14 19:57:16

"This hostility from the OP is not helpful" I don't see how the OP is being hostile? And "Op should not be involved if she is not one of the parents" so she can't even post on a forum to ask for advice for her partner?! Sorry summermovedon but you seem to be the hostile one in this tread.

Why are you assuming that the NRP hasn't communicated the fact he has a business trip with his exP? He is hardly 'running off' if he is on an unavoidable business trip. It is simply not acceptable for one parent to arrange to take the child on holiday and book this holiday when an order specifies the child should be with the other parent whichever way round it is.

To suggest the father is in breach for not being around for contact is nonsensical, just as the mother wouldn't be in breach if she had a business trip which require d the father to have the child when she would ordinarily have him/her

OP I can only suggest that your DP tries to reason with the RP that she should either cancel the holiday, rearrange or offer alternative contact, if she doesn't then seek advice on Specific issues order or PSO.

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Fri 07-Mar-14 21:26:18

Does the RP have a residence order OP, or is it just a contact order for your DP?

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