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court contact orders

(8 Posts)
Debra1981 Wed 08-Jul-09 09:48:38

The one we have was made about 18 months ago, and was meant to be a guide for minimum contact with dd's dad in the future- alternating one week Saturday 10-5.30 one week Friday 2pm- Sunday 2pm. Problem is he keeps calling in sick on this contact and not seeing dd for weeks on end and I am getting really sick of putting my plans on hold cos I never know whether she's going to his or not, while he just takes for granted that I'll take care of her. I want to write him a letter demanding contact arrangements be reduced to say once a month so maybe he can step up to more of them, and I can start keeping to plans that I make! Where do I stand legally on doing this given the order in place?

shelleylou Wed 08-Jul-09 10:01:03

I think you'd have to go back to court to get it changed legally and show why reduced contact would be in your daughters best interest. I understand how annoying your ex cancelling is so you have to put plans on hold/not make them til last minute however the court want grant reduced contact for this reason.

Debra1981 Thu 09-Jul-09 00:21:02

anyone else think it better to try and sort something out outside of court? or AI actually BU and should just get on with it? (Sorry I know there are people with worse dilemmas). Why would I get into trouble trying to change official arrangements while he does it at a whim untouched? For years I have called him Mr. Get-Away-With-Anything and so it goes on. It does affect DD because in the run-up to arranged contact (ie often), I avoid talking about him in case it doesn't happen. Which doesn't help with our connection as her parents. But I usually get her ready to go, and she anticipates his visit (not in a joyful way either) and then I have to distract her when I find out he's not coming or not at home, because she starts looking for him. I don't want to say daddy's poorly because I feel like I'm lying to her, because I feel like he's lying to me, because it's so frequent and never explained further. What about mediation? would I get anywhere that way? I really feel like he's taking the mick, and it needs to change for my sanity, DD's sense of security and routine, and because she is missing out on time with other (my extended) family because I have to keep dragging her back to base to make her available for so often non-existent contact. TBH I don't want to go back to court because it seems to me that he doesn't take any notice of it as it is, so no reason why he will again.

Kazzi79 Thu 09-Jul-09 00:35:44

Go back to court and get it sorted. He's breaking the order so its him in the wrong not you, heopefully you will get a sympathetic judge who shows him up for the shit dad he really is in not keeping to the contact arrangements, if he's genuinely too ill then he should back this up with a doctors note (althought this is not a legal requirement it at least shows that he is genuinely too ill to look after his child), but then my argument to that would be as a single mum I still have to look after my children when I'm ill I don't get the choice to say "I'm too ill to be a mum today"

You're unlikely to get anywhere with mediation if he's not willing to talk because thats all mediation really is.....talking, the mediator can't make a decision for you.

Debra1981 Thu 09-Jul-09 01:41:08

thanks Kazzi, it does bite that I can't turn round to him with the same excuse, I'm always on duty, as it were, (including when she's meant to be with him) and accept that permanent responsibility like any normal parent. I hate him for not accepting responsibility for her. A doctor's note would at least make me feel better, but apparently his 'illness' is 'none of my business'.

At present, it certainly would not reduce DD's actual time with her dad if the arranged frequency was reduced by a half, at least. I said once a month to simplify matters and avoid confusion ie arguments because his recollection/awareness of arrangements seems very limited and inflexible, factoring in any further missed contacts equals relative chaos.

As DD approaches nursery and school I feel that much more messing around with contact will affect her negatively in that respect too, as she inevitably gains more understanding (and therefore emotional damage) from what daddy is sporadically promising but failing to step up to.

shelleylou Thu 09-Jul-09 09:35:46

I didnt mean that you only wanted the order changing because of its affect on you. Sorry if you thought thats what i meant. I know only too well what its like to get a child ready to go to x for him not to arrive. If your DD is anything klike my ds was it was waiting at the window. Its heartbreaking seeing them so upset because they arent going to see ex. Debbie your ex sounds very much like mine re recollectin and felixibility. I hope you manage to sort contact out.

Debra1981 Fri 10-Jul-09 02:02:39

Thanks shelleylou. TBH I am also reluctant to escalate things as it's such a pullaver and feels like you're being dragged back through every painful detail of this miserable relationship, and when we did it last time, I didn't feel like I'd achieved much that we wouldn't have arrived at just on sol's correspondence. Yes, DD demands to be lifted onto kitchen counter so she can watch out window for him. Well I don't even bother any more, just try and distract her. My ex's 'recollection' = I tell him one thing, he remembers as something completely different which suits him better. I am writing a letter to sol now- feel daft to in a 'shouldn't be in this situ to have to' way. Don't know whether to give him ultimatum first? He knows I'm unhappy with all these cancellations.

shelleylou Fri 10-Jul-09 11:55:02

Ye we get that recollection aswell. Latest is he text once a week hmm Ds has no contact with his dad at all now due to him 'not being able to afford it' and repeatedly losing jobs.
I understand the reluctance to escalate things as it can cause a lot of hassle from exp. Although ive never gone down the court route.
I think writing to sol and explaining the situation is a good idea something needs to be sorted that is stuck to for your DD's sake and your peace of mind too. Keep a diary of when he cancels, dates, times and excuses reasons. Aswell as what time he collects and returns dd.

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