Do you have a court order for contact?

(18 Posts)
SarahH12 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:05:15

Just wondering really. DP and his ex have a "family based arrangement" - aka she switches it or tries to switch it to suit her and most times DP says fine but then bitches to me that he's pissed off with it. Somebody on here suggested a court order and I thought may be it would help. Do most people here have them?

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ohreallyohreallyoh Wed 18-Oct-17 13:31:26

You should avoid going to court if you can. It is an adversarial process. Your DP can say no if he doesn't like changing arrangements but do be aware that a refusal to see your child could be used against you in court. And if you're my ex you go to court for full time care when on a 50/50 arrangement and end up with every other weekend because you are a twat

Most people don't have them, no.

SarahH12 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:38:14

Used against you how?

We're just fed up of her saying oh can you have her xyz times
DP - Yes sure no problem
Ex a few days later - Oh wait actually no I don't want you to have her then any more

hmm and then constantly trying to change days. We don't know where we are, she doesn't know where she is and poor DSD who's 5 is stuck in the middle not having a clue what's going on!

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SarahH12 Wed 18-Oct-17 13:39:33

He only wants to stick to every other weekend and every other bank holiday (their current arrangement when she's not pissing around)

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PatriciaHolm Wed 18-Oct-17 14:05:01

Problem is, in reality, it’s unlikely to change much unless he’s prepared to get quite adversarial about it. A court order should mean something is set, but in reality even if she doesn’t keep to it there is a limited amount that can be done if he wants to keep things amicable.

ohreallyohreallyoh Wed 18-Oct-17 14:15:19

Used against you in the sense of Mr Judge I want X time with my child, please. And mum says but Mr Judge, here is a log of all the times I have asked him to have the children and he's said no. Makes you look unreliable, flakey. On the other hand, keep a log of all the changes she makes and take it to court and say Mr Judge, I just want it set in stone cos no one has a clue where they're at. Here's the log of all the messing about that I have accommodated but just can't bear my poor children not o owing if they are coming or going.

If you are going to court you absolutely need to adopt a whiter than white approach cos it's a hellish process and you have no idea what you might actually end up fighting for. My ex thought he could use his professional status against me. He ended up fighting to see his children at all.

SarahH12 Wed 18-Oct-17 14:20:32

So in reality is there actually any point in doing it?

He rarely says no to her. More often than not he says yes that's fine and then she turns around and says oh no you can't have her then. Last year he saved lots of his annual leave as she wanted him to have her lots throughout December. Then just before the time he was supposed to have her she said no and refuses contact! Goodness knows if he's still got those texts though!

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Ilovevegas Wed 18-Oct-17 14:30:31

I think it's awful that people have to go to court to get what's deemed fair.

unfortunately there are people that will be unfair/bully/be a general pain (both men & women obviously!) so court is then needed.

It is best of it can all be kept amicable, but no continually swapping & changing provides no continuity to the DC & that's not fair.

Me & exDP have 50/50 care (family based arrangement) & this works because we both put our DD first. We have a 'set' rota bit there is room for manoeuvre IF it benefits DD & not because one of us wants a night out etc confused

Mine & DDs life is worked around my days with her & it works for us.

ohreallyohreallyoh Wed 18-Oct-17 14:30:48

Sounds like game playing. A court order can help but it depends how far she's prepared to push it.

SarahH12 Wed 18-Oct-17 14:57:53

Don't mean to be dense but what do you mean by depends how far she'll push it?

ilovevegas it's awful isn't it! I think in an ideal world DP would love 50:50 but ex doesn't work and DP works ridiculous hours so it would never work and really wouldn't be in the best interests of DSD. I'm glad you're able to put your DD first smile

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dietstartsmonday Wed 18-Oct-17 15:08:23

A court order can help, but its a hard process to go through and if things aren't that bad it should be avoided.
I have to ask though, why does he only want every other weekend? Is he local enough to see her in the week too?
If so why try for 50/50. I think if done properly it works well for the child.
2 days in 14 is not really parenting is it?

dietstartsmonday Wed 18-Oct-17 15:08:50

sorry OP cross posted, ref the 50 /50

AcrossthePond55 Wed 18-Oct-17 15:22:10

I'd suggest first seeing if you can get her offers/refusals 'in writing' by starting to communicate via text or email. The problem with verbal communication is that your DH can write all the diaries he wants saying she's moving the goalposts, but she can just say "no, he's the one keeps cancelling" and she can have that 'written down' in a diary, too.

I'm in the US and here custody/visitation (US terms) orders are enforceable by law. Meaning that with a court order the police will come and 'watch' as you pick up your child and arrest the obstructive parent if needed. BFF had to have this done when her ex refused to return their son. My understanding is that in the UK there are no enforcement powers attached to such orders and that if the obstructive parent refuses all you can do is go back to court.

I'd think it would be worth your DH's time to consult with a family solicitor about getting an order and the enforceability of such an order.

SarahH12 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:04:03

You're right AcrossthePond, there is very little in the way of actually enforcing a court order here.

Getting things in writing would be a good idea. At least the most recent one is in writing, I don't know about the others.

One evening a week got cancelled by his ex as "DSD was too tired" as she insisted on him dropping DSD off at 8 pm and God forbid he try and drop her back earlier due to her being exhausted - dropping her back early was obviously DP saying he didn't want to see DSD hmm We live too far away to drop off to school - she moved away a while back and due to both of our jobs and the shitty area she lives in it's not an option to move closer

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heidiwine Wed 18-Oct-17 17:25:49

Your situation sounds a lot like ours. We have had near constant changes for nearly a decade now. It's improved though by putting everything in writing and not giving any wriggle room.
I honestly think a court order wouldn't have helped and would have raised the conflict level far too high for the children.
We still get last minute changes that are all based around DPs ex's holiday plans and childcare needs. This year Christmas was sorted in September and then changed 6 weeks later because 'the children want to visit their step dads family rather than spend time with you and heidi...' step dad's family are far away and the children will be gone the whole school holidays....

Jenzen80 Wed 18-Oct-17 22:33:22

Hi new to this website. Just wondering what people's arrangements are for their children's birthdays and their own birthday when their children live in two homes.

IndieTara Wed 18-Oct-17 23:12:48

If my daughters birthday falls on a weekday ( so at school ) she stays with the parent she is due to be with that night. If it falls on the weekend, she stays with the parent she is due to be with that day but the other parent can have the other weekend day with her if wanted.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Wed 18-Oct-17 23:20:30

DH and his ex had a court order. He had full custody and she had contact for two hours once a fortnight. She either didn't turn up, or on one occasion she kidnapped the kids and refused to return them. After that, the court ordered supervised contact only and she didn't bother.

Obviously it's the other way round in that DH was the lone parent, but without the court order in the first place she wouldn't have been reliable in seeing them, as she put her new boyfriend before her kids. DH pressed for the contact to be formalised and she still let them down sad

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