I can understand the reluctance to attend court. Another option would be for your partner to speak to his daughter''s school to see if they can shine any light on the problem. If your partner could approach his ex in a non blaming way and she would agree family therapy might be worth considering. He could say there is a problem and suggest they try to work together to resolve it for the benefit of their daughter.
Things have changed and now most parents are expected to attend at least a mediation Information & Assessment Meeting before the courts will hear a case. Perhaps that''s why the solicitor recommended mediation. Sometimes a parent refuses to go to mediation but then changes their mind if the other parent meets with the mediator and the mediator invites them along.
Courts can also make Directions for parents to attend Separated Parenting Information Programmes where parents are encouraged to put the needs of children first.
His daughter wouldn''t come on the Sunday either, he sent a text to the ex to let him know what time he was to pick her up and it was ignored. He rang the house but she''s now taken off the answer machine so he can''t even leave a message or the kids don''t realise he''s ringing them when it goes through call screening also the kids have let slip that their mum has said that they are not to pick up the phone, even if they hear dad''s voice...
Appointment made next week to see Solicitor, this is the same solicitor who sent a letter requesting mediation back in January, he''s going to request another crack at mediation or family therapy and/or ask if he can go on one of the parenting courses, in the hope that it may prick his ex''s conscience.
I might be shot for what I am about to say but I wouldn''t waste time in asking for mediation at this stage.
The ex''s way of handling what is ahppening is very disturbing and when a parent disconnects phone, doesn''t asnwer them or instructs children to not answer their home phone ''even if it is daddy'', then you understand that things are becoming very serious.
As I said before, I do understand the reluctance and fear of going back to court with this but if you do not act fast the more time the child stays away from her father, the more difficult it becomes to re-establish normal contact. Also, when it eventually reaches the court it might be used against your partner.
My partner''s ex stopped overnight stays herself and when they both appeared in court she started claiming that now it will be soooo difficult for the children to go with their father as they haven''t seen him in four months. Thanfully the Judge was totally intolerant and told her that this is exactly what she is taking care of right now. The children I am referring to though are younger.