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Court orders

(21 Posts)
theredhen Mon 17-Dec-12 19:25:04

Only took us a few months but she did completely back down and agree to pretty much everything we asked despite being very difficult before we got solicitors involved. We had cafcass visits several times too.

Probably takes longer if the ex doesn't play ball, I suspect.

PoppyPrincess Sat 08-Dec-12 00:17:56

Omg 2 years?!!! I can't see that she'll keep this fight up for 2 years, it's going to be costing her a fortune in babysitters! Lol

timeforachangebaby Fri 07-Dec-12 20:22:13

Oh and even a completely reason contact application can take 2 years to get through court!

timeforachangebaby Fri 07-Dec-12 20:21:15

Court orders aren't worth the paper they are written on - every breach requires an additional heating - last time I looked £80 (for the NRP) so the RP can get a slap on the wrist.

RPs can basically do what they like - even when court ordered differently.

Xalla Fri 07-Dec-12 20:13:10

If Mum refuses mediation, Dad has no option but to submit a C100 application to the court. There is a section within the application that asks whether you have tried mediation or not. Dad fills it out saying Mum refused. Dad looks like he tried and Mum has to explain herself. My DH was advised by his sol that he'd look good for trying. But we've heard of other situations where Mum claimed she was intimated by Dad (basically implying domestic violence) and giving that as a reason for not attending mediation.

Cafcass get involved when a contact order is contested - so if Dad is asking for additonal contact, Mum is refusing and an agreement can't be reached via mediation.

Cafcass assess the parents and then submit recommendations to the court. Courts almost always will follow the Cafcass officer's reccomendations.

My DH never actually got as far as court - Mum backed down after a solicitor's letter and he now has 50:50 contact.

HKnight Fri 07-Dec-12 17:48:03

Poppy my DH has today informed his solicitor to begin the mediation process, his ex has previously advised she doesn't want mediation but the solicitor says DH has to try it because it won't look good with the courts. DH hopes mediation will happen as he doesn't want his son seeing mum and dad in court again (divorce was not amicable).

I'm not sure what happens when only one party agrees to mediation and the other doesn't and I am not sure where CAFCASS fit into the picture but I think they too get involved.

PoppyPrincess Fri 07-Dec-12 10:32:18

Well we saw solicitor yesterday and she's writing to her suggesting the contact which DP wants which is basically how it was before all this trouble started. She was putting in the letter that if the ex doesn't agree with the suggestions then mediation is recommended to reach a compromise.
So we'll just wait and see what her response is. She won't agree to it and in the past when DP has suggested mediation she didn't see why she should have to. She doesn't like the thought because she'll know it'll involve compromise and she wants it her way or nothing at all.

Bikelock Fri 07-Dec-12 10:21:39

i'm in broadly the same position as your partner - new family, and no court order setting out contact with my non-resident daughter. my solicitor made it crystal clear to me that going against the residents parents wishes (whether thats eating in McDonalds or having the child visit the new family home) would be veiwed very dimly when it finally gets to court, and i'd be lucky to get supervised contact in a contact centre.

sadly, you just have to suck it up, regardless of how inconvenient/pathetic/expensive it all is, until you get the court order - however, once you've got it you're away.

sadly the courts are all booked until the new year, so this Christmas/new year is something of a write-off...

PoppyPrincess Wed 05-Dec-12 15:19:10

Yes he has parental responsibility. We were discussing last night that he could just agree that the kids won't come to our house or see me to say 'look you can't tell me that to do' but it would only result in one thing - her stopping him from seeing the kids for even longer. Plus if it does end up in court I'm sure that type of thing would be frowned upon.

I read that without a court order a non resident parent doesn't have a legal right to see their child but the child has a right to see both parents...if that makes sense?

And yes I agree that no parent should be able to tell the other parent what to do in their time with the child, the problem is if DP goes against her wishes then she just stops contact, which legally she can do because there's no court order.
It's a tricky situation.

glasscompletelybroken Wed 05-Dec-12 15:04:06

As far as I understand it if your DP has parental responsibility then his ex cannot have any say in what he does with their children when they are with him, and vice-versa. I think a court order for contact is a good idea i but I don't think you need specific rules within it if your DP has parental responsibility.

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Wed 05-Dec-12 14:27:35

p.s. Good luck.

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Wed 05-Dec-12 14:26:54

I did just quickly read your other thread. You say that she left your DP, but it does sound like there's an awful lot of unresolved business, as well as an awful lot of superfluous communication, between the two of them. Like another poster said, your DP's job is to parent his children, not get into long involved conversations with his Ex about all sorts of things e.g. about you. (And vice versa!)

Here's hoping you get that Sunday agreement and everyone gets a bit of routine and stability.

But just to say - the family court wouldn't allow an agreement like that to supercede the DC's having a normal social life and/or taking part in out-of-school activities, such as joining a football team or going to a birthday party. Your DP would be expected to either take the DC(s) to the activity, or change the day of contact by mutual agreement. (Children truly have more complicated timetables than most adults!)

PoppyPrincess Wed 05-Dec-12 14:14:54

There's no way they would or could refuse it, the kids are happy here and very well cared for.
I 100% think that this is about control more than anything else, it always is. DP has always gone along with whatever she says/wants but now he has changed, he's got a new life and she doesn't like it. As much as she puts on this hard front I think inside she's probably devastated.
She isn't totally on her own, she has a boyfriend but he also has a wife, surely she can't be very happy when she's lying in bed on her own and he's in bed with his wife?

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Wed 05-Dec-12 13:55:36

It sounds like this might the only control she thinks she has left. Maybe she worries that she's going to be written out of everybody's lives. It is quite scary being a lone mum; I found that out myself.

Anyway, if you and your DP write the basis of a reasonable order - contact at his/your home on Sundays from x till y, with him being present and caring for the DCs, and the DCs able to form a bond with their half-sister, I can't really see why a family court would refuse it.

PoppyPrincess Wed 05-Dec-12 13:48:34

Other plans, see my family and friends so he can see his kids but its just really the matter that she has no right to dictate what he can and can't do and to rule his life the way she does.
Me and her will never see eye to eye as we're polar opposites but the issues are between me and her, not the kids. She's punishing the kids and DP and his parents (they're also not allowed to see them) because she doesn't like me.

PoppyPrincess Wed 05-Dec-12 13:43:54

Well her main issue is with me (details are on another thread), but basically we have fallen out so she doesn't want her kids seeing me.
However, when DP lives with me and we have a new baby together it just isn't reasonable. He's happy to see the kids at his mums but she won't let him have them for just a few hours, it's all day or not at all.
DP just doesn't want her forcing him apart from his family, he only gets a Sunday off work so why should she force him to spend his one day off out of his own home and away from his fiancé and his baby?
I'm quite happy to make other

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Wed 05-Dec-12 13:31:55

PoppyPrincess, I think it may depend on the tone. Obviously I don't know your circumstances but let's suppose that your DP's ExP is feeling maybe hurt and angry? The arrival of a letter from a solicitor which is pompous in tone will just not help, in my experience.

Can you try to ensure that the letter is friendly and conciliatory? And offering a reasonable compromise?

Try to think of things that the ExP might be worried will happen, and assure her that they won't happen. For example, it used to really piss me off when I found out that my ExH was leaving the DCs with his girlfriend all day while he went off to do other things, on the rare weekends that he actually had them to stay.

PoppyPrincess Wed 05-Dec-12 13:22:10

Thanks, so basically it is pretty impossible to enforce it.
Well DP is seeing the solicitor on Thursday and she's going to send a letter with some suggestions for contact, maybe just a letter from a solicitor and the threat of court action may make her realise that this time he's not roll over and give in to her demands....or maybe she'll just dig her heals in more? We will soon find out

Xalla Wed 05-Dec-12 12:56:29

They are enforceable but I think you have to have an additonal 'enforcement order' attached to your original court order?? If that makes any sense!

So in theory, they should be enforceable but in reality, I'm yet to hear of a case where a parent was arrested / jailed for going a against a court order.

There are cases, whereby if the resident parent repeatedly thwarts contact arrangements with no good reason, residency has been transferred to the nrp. They are few and far between though and the result of quite literally, years of court appearances. There's a good case law section on the FNF website.

LineRunnerWithBellsOn Wed 05-Dec-12 12:48:27

In general, each parent is meant to comply with whatever is in the court order. The family court won't make an order unless the court feels the contents are (a) in the best interests of the children, and (b) reasonable. Each parent can put their case to the court (usually a written case, backed up with an oral argument at the hearing if necessary), with or without a lawyer.

My ExH (absent parent) has never stuck the the terms of the court order, ever; and no-one is in the least bit interested in enforcing it. He still just does what suits him when it suits him.

Other posters have found it is the resident parent who apparently ignores the order. Trying to have an order enforced means another court appearance, endless stress and worry, and possibly more expense.

So it is always better to try to agree things amicably, even if that means big compromises.

It's not a great system, basically.

PoppyPrincess Wed 05-Dec-12 12:37:32

Just a quickie... DP has decided he should get a court order for access to his kids as even if him and ex manage to make an arrangement/come to a compromise I think she's always going to carry on dictating what he can and can't do and threaten to stop contact again if she can't get what she wants.
I've read online somewhere that once a court order is in place then each parent is solely responsible for where they go, who they're with etc. This isn't to say that we're going to do anything unreasonable but at the mo she's saying he can't have the children at our house, only at his Mum's, they can't see me, my DS or our baby (the DSC's sister).

Anyway, my question is...what happens to the ex if she doesn't comply with the court order? I remember a friend telling me a few years ago that her DH got a court order but there was nothing in place to enforce it. Is this right?

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