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what age do they get to decide on contact?

8 replies

cestlavielife · 15/03/2010 11:32

with ref to my other thread - "9 year old left in charge of disabled brother by dad... " -
9 yrd old dd - nearly ten year old - resists seeing dad. i am constantly having to encourage her.
she is upset at broken promises, stuff he has promised to get her and hasnt;
(eg alst eyar sent photos of the abby rabbits from a breeder that he was going to get her when they were old enough, down to asking her what she was going to call rabbit a and rabbit b, etc. - they never materialsied)

trips out which dont materialise. "come here ealry we going to goto xxxx" -then they dont manage to get out the door and stay home.... etc.

she does not want to see him on her birthday - is happy to see him two days alter at regular scheduled contact.

he i know will scream andshout to see her on her birthdy and blame me...

i have persuaded her that we all go out to nandos and he can come meeet us there to give her her present from him. (if he manages to get one organised...)

she says "but i dont want to see him on my birthday". "i will see him on the wednesday two days later that is fine"

she is having a party with her friends on the saturday - he wont be at that and she pleased he wont be... she doesnt want him around ...she goes very reluctantly to see him...

i cant build their relationship - he has to make the effort? but he cant even see it...

how much do i lsiten to her and potentially give her bad birthdya memories of disappointment from dad - versus giving dad a chance to prove himself? when he has time and time again disappointed

(part of reason i left this was person who sent his dad to pick me up from airport when i flew to his home country to visit him and hadnt seen him for a week during early days of our relationship..because he was "having lunch with a friend"!) history repeats...

OP posts:
bratnav · 15/03/2010 11:36

I think the courts start to listen to DCs at around 10 when it comes to contact/residency. Maybe use that as a guide?

Well done you for trying to maintain contact so far, but TBH at this age I might be thinking about letting her make her own decisions about it. Maybe then her Dad will start to realis that he needs to make some effort with her?

ilovesprouts · 15/03/2010 11:38

think its 10 year old ,as said by poster above

aseriouslyblondemoment · 15/03/2010 11:41

have looked into this recently(as ds1 was refusing to go to his dad's)and it's 10

Niceguy2 · 15/03/2010 12:35

There's no set age but it is around 10-12. The most important thing is how mature DD is and has she made a rational choice of her own free will?

From what you have said above, I would say that she has made a reasonable choice and is actually being pretty mature about it by saying she will see him another day.

As for his reaction, well yes he will of course lay the blame at your door and you may well end up fighting on your daughter's behalf. But sometimes we must fight, even if we didn't go looking for one.

Tanga · 15/03/2010 22:38

Cafcass Officers listen to children's views and feelings froma very young age (my Cafcass Officer talked about age 5) and those views may be taken into account but that is not the same as being able to make what are, in effect, adult choices. For this, a child would have to be judged 'Gillick Competent' and that is pretty rare prior to 14.

GypsyMoth · 15/03/2010 22:41

my ds was listened to at age 7....he didnt want to go without his siblings,he was youngest,and cafcass said making him go and not the others would be detrimental. other dc were 14,12 and 10.

cestlavielife · 16/03/2010 13:15


i would really like to get it back into cafcass/court - but he refused to attend cafcass family conference in october - and refused to attend final court hearing.

cafcass family conf would have been ideal time to get him and dd to talk to each other and agree certain issues.

i do not know if he has it in himself to take it back to court.

if she refusese to go; i dont make her go - but he doesnt take it back to court then what? nothing?

i can stick to terms of court order - thy only go to see him if supervised by an appropriate adult. this then makes sure that the dcs are listened to as another adult is there.
i think dd would go if another adult is there. if another adult is there, tehn unlikely dad goes off to sleep...(tho has done this to at least one friend ie took them to her place then fell asleep on sofa!)

basically i can say to him - she doesnt go unless is supervised as per court order.

if he cannto arrange supervision, she doesnt go if she does not want to. if he were to got o court, then nothing he can argue with..

i really wish it wasnt like this, would be so much easier if he kept promises, made it a nice time so dd was eager and willing to go... but it aint like that.

and leaving her in charge of 13 yr old disabled ibling is way outof order. if i employ carer they have to be over 16. if that carer slept on the job i would sack them.

not sure about sleeping while in charge of 9 and 7 yr old? is that ok?

OP posts:
gypsyme · 16/03/2010 17:33

If he is refusing to attend court hearings then it is up to you as her mother to decide what you think is best for her. I think. I was back in court yesterday as contact is breaking down between my dd's and my ex. he has dreadful anger issues and they are reluctant to see him. They will only see him if his partner is present and I have had that wtitten into undertakings. my eldest is 11 and has refused to attend contact for the last 3 fortnights due to an erruption from him. I asked my barrister yesterday at what point children's wishes are followed and whether there is a certain age. there is not as they all mature at different paces. we are seeing cafcass again for an addendum but this is largely because their dad wants to see them and does not believe that they are reluctant, only that I am intervening. I really think that unless your ex is willing to follow the correct channels then you have every right to guide and decide with your kids what they would like to do. Keep talking, stay open.

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