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ex not complying with contact order!

  • Muffin75
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22 Aug 12 #351040 by Muffin75
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Can anyone advise on what to do next...?
My ex stopped me seeing our kids after we split and has made various allegations, of which in each case she has been proven to be a liar.
We recently went back to court and contact was moved from a contact centre to me being able to have them for a day every 2 weeks. My ex agreed with this during the hearing but then never turned up on the first date that was arranged and set out by the judge!
I contacted court and they sent out a form to get the court order reinforced... (of which is also confusing as if an order is in place surely this stands for something?)...
I assumed that she would, once receiving the order in writing, turn up 2 weeks later but she didnt. I sent another email to court although as yet I have had no reply. I heard from mutual friend that when they asked why she was not keeping in touch she replyed "the police have advised her not to say anything". I know she is just playing childish games, and as yet I have not had anyone knocking at my door, but my worry is that the court wont do anything and she will continue to get away with not only making me suffer, but also my children will be affected!
Can the court do anything before the next hearing which isn''t until November? Can I involve the police in anyway? I just really need to know if something can be done so as I have the contact I am entitled to!

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22 Aug 12 #351053 by Forseti
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Enforcement of a contact order is extremely difficult, particularly once a resident parent learns that they can ignore an order with near impunity. This is despite the range of new sanctions introduced because lawyers will argue - usually successfully - that most of these sanctions are not in the best interests of the child.

You should, in the first instance, write to your ex or her lawyers pointing out that the order has been breached and that you will progress to court if necessary. Send a copy of the letter to the court. This shows that you have explored non adversarial options.

If that fails, and it probably will, you will have to return to court. You need to complete a C79 form to make the application. You will have to prove that the respondent failed to comply with the order without any reasonable excuse. The court will send a copy of the application to CAFCASS.

This can be the start of a very long and protracted process, so you need to be prepared for that, and there may be further unpleasant false allegations made, etc. It might be worth mentioning in the initial letter that you want to avoid entering a confrontational process and would much rather resolve this by avoiding court. It sounds, however, if obstruction of contact has already led you to court, that this won''t be possible.

  • disneybunny
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22 Aug 12 #351090 by disneybunny
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How old are the children, could they have their own phone to keep in touch.
TBH I find NPR who impose sanctions on the rp do more harm than good but can''t offer a solution. All I can advise is to try to be as non confrontational as possible and pray you can both be grown up enough to put the children first.

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22 Aug 12 #351153 by DrDaddy
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disneybunny wrote:

How old are the children, could they have their own phone to keep in touch.
TBH I find NPR who impose sanctions on the rp do more harm than good but can''t offer a solution. All I can advise is to try to be as non confrontational as possible and pray you can both be grown up enough to put the children first.


More harm than good?
In what way?

  • khan72
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22 Aug 12 #351246 by khan72
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You should put in an application for enforcement as well as ensure that you ask for costs. Judges are now losing patience with RPs who think they are above the law.

Burgess v Stokes [2009] EWCA Civ 548

"The days are long gone when mothers can assume that their role as carers of children protects them from being sentenced to immediate terms of imprisonment for clear, repeated and deliberate breaches of contact orders." - Ward LJ.


You need to ask for a Suspended Residence Order. ;)All these shenanigans will stop dead in their tracks.

I see it differently to disneybunny, its not a matter of what a RP wants, its a matter of what is best for the child. The judge already ordered what is best for the child.

Just read some of the comment by Judge Coleridge in the press. I pray for the day we get Judges like him promoted to LJ. "Three strikes and you are out" and the inventor of the suspended residence order. Google his Keynote speech and read it.

"..As if they were disobedient children, parents need to be given the clearest understanding of the consequences of their flouting court orders especially in the field of contact. A clear process or system of enforcement, generally appreciated and understood by all parties, is essential for the reaffirmation of the court’s authority, the efficient disposal of cases and the saving of huge amounts of public time and money. If I were to call it “three strikes and you are out” it sounds antediluvian and insensitive but something like it, perhaps should be the norm in the interests of clarity for all separated parents. In other words if an order is disobeyed, say, three times the residence of the child should normally be transferred to the other parent. The three breaches might take the following route e.g.
1. A simple contact order followed, if that was breached, by
2. A detailed and closely defined contact order with a very clear warning (possibly in writing and signed by the judge) followed if that was further breached by
3. A suspended residence order with conditions of contact attached which if breached again would lead to immediate change of residence with almost no further recourse to the court. In other words three broken orders."

  • disneybunny
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22 Aug 12 #351259 by disneybunny
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Destroying the rp will benefit children how?

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22 Aug 12 #351260 by khan72
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Disneybunny,
I think the point is that the RP is going against a court order. The RP is destroying themself. The real victims here are the kids and the NRP. Society is changing and the old stereotypes are shattering... Is a father incapable of being a RP?

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