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contact broken down

  • jonran
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13 Oct 12 #360718 by jonran
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Hi all, I would appreciate any advice on the following;

At the moment, I have a court order for contact that gives me contact;

#Week1 day contact; pickup at 10.00 and return at 18.30, taking place on a Sunday.

#Week2 overnight contact; pickup at 10.00 on Saturday, and return at 10.00 on sunday.

In addition there is an order giving holiday contact;

3-4 days at Christmas, 4 days during the summer, easter tuesday, and a 1 bank holiday.

The holiday contact has to be agreed upon for each period, and this is were the problems began.

To try and make these negotiations easier, I suggested a rota for the week at the begining of this year, they refused to discuss this saying it was to early in the year to make plans, to me missing the point of agreeing to a rota, and therefore only having to choose a week for contact to take place instead of fighting over individual days. I clarified this point with the ex and asked for her input.

She later made a proposal for summer contact totally ignoring the rota idea.

I contacted her about her proposal and give some input, suggesting a change to some of the dates in her proposal, this was refused as she had made plans, I then suggested a change to the timing of these contacts, to follow the routine which is established on day contacts, (simply because on previous holiday contacts when the visits have been shortened from the norm, my daughter asks why I''m I going home early)this too was refused, the conversation (argument) continued but no resolution made. With the ex refusing to speak about it to me, and directing me to her solicitor.
Two weeks later, she contacts me, telling me she is changing the dates and letting me know when I can have contact, (the dates that couldn''t be changed at my request, as plans were made) I replied that we had not made an agreement as she refused to compromise or allow any input from me, to which I was informed I had agreed, this again went round in circles with her ending it direacting me to speak to her solicitor.

At this point here was also correspondance between our solicitors but again going round in circles, so it was decided to bring it back to court. A court appointment was made for August 21st this year.

On the 29th 0f july at pickup, the ex was fairly hostile and verbally abusive, I believe she was trying to provoke an argument as I was taken her to court over summer contact. I asked her not to speak like that and left. For the following thrree weeks no contact took place.

The ex made an allegation of assult to police, and contacted social services with various welfare issues, her version of the 29th July. The police did not investigate, social services, reassured her that there were no welfare issues, and closed the file. but the ex still refused contact.

So at the court date instead of discussing summer contact we discussed thiese events. It resulted in contact being temperorily being restricted to day contacts to take place on Saturday''s, with a nominated person doing the pickups and drop ofs as I was no longer allowed to do so. We were both requested to make statments to the Judge and it was to be reviewed on the 18th Sptember.

On the 18th the ex did not come to court, she did not make her statement, the judge reinstated normal contact, and directed the ex to make a statement and attend court on the 16th October.

The ex has appealed this decision, given various reasons, which basically amount to the court made these without her authority as she was not there. the appeal is to be heard on the 15th October.

Since the Judge reinstated contact, the ex through her solicitor has asked that I agree to not having overnight contact until this appeal is heard, which I refused, and today she has sent a letter stating she will not be going to either court date as she is Pregnant, so for me they sought an agreement knowing full well they intended to delay the outcome.

At the moment I''m getting legal aid, however I have had to reapply for this appeal and looks like it won''t come through on time, so I could be at the appeal self repping.

I''d like any advice on dealing with this problem.

I also question how her solicitor conducts himself, he regularly misinterpets questions asked or suggestions made by myself or my solicitor, he often sends correspondance on a Thursday evening concerning contact on the following weekend, which is forwarded to me if I''m lucky by the following Tuesday, although I now get e-mail which is a little quicker it still leaves no chance to respond or resolve there issues, and it seems he is happy to delay the process and justifie his clients behaviour, and I know if I made the same demands of my solicitors they would tell to go and come back when I''ve sensible thoughts. So can I take issue with his behaviour?

Also the Judge, to be told that this was once again a mistake and to go of now and sort things out yourselves, only to return to court when once again the mistakes happen isn''t good enough anymore, how do you get the court to assert its authority?

sorry for the waffle hope it makes sense, and thanks for any advice.

  • GETTING STRONGER NOW
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13 Oct 12 #360719 by GETTING STRONGER NOW
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know this is not much help but it sounds like you''re having a nightmare!!
I am only at the first stage ie, first hearing next week. I was hoping that the court would make this easier as in what they say happens but from yours and others posts on here it seems it is not that clear!!
what is the point of court in the first place if the order does not have to be adhered to??

on the brighter side if your ex is now pregnant she MAY want you to have more responsibility for your child.

Gud luck

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13 Oct 12 #360720 by jonran
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I don''t want to depress you but this is just the latest nightmare, I''m nerly 5 years going to court.

It seems to me plan A in court is to set an example they take you both to one side ask what you want what you will give, take it to the other side and reach a compromise the judge says good come back for a review in X number of weeks and you do it again.

I wish you luck and hope all goes well for you, but if you can find some middle ground, bite your tongue and sort it out yourselves its the only real solution.

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13 Oct 12 #360721 by GETTING STRONGER NOW
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5 years!!!! OMG it must have drained you emotionally and financially. I admire your staying power an dedication to your daughter.

The real issue is I don''t have a problem and actually want my ex to have the kids every weds evening and every other weekend fri to Mon. The problem comes with the kids they want No contact with him at all(one is 14 the other is 12). When I have forced it I always end up dealing with tears n tantrums!!
How can i make the kids do something which is clearly not good for them..
What can the court do..I can agree to anything but putting it into practice is a very different matter.

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13 Oct 12 #360723 by jonran
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thats a difficult situation, I''m guessing that the ex and you get on ok and he wants contact.
Its something I think about for the future of my own contact, when my daughter gets older(teenager) and has her own life friends agenda etc, i''d hope to still be part of it.
But if you get on ok with the ex perhaps you could team up on them and try to work something out taking on the kids views as well, at 12 and 14 they should be able to say what they want and also appreciate to get what you want you have to respaect other peoples wants.
But I can''t talk, my ones five and has me wrapped round her little finger.

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13 Oct 12 #360754 by Forseti
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It is important to get this thread back on track without hijacking it further. Jonran is in court on Monday and needs some advice; if you need help on your own case, Getting Stronger, you need to start your own thread.

My feeling is that your ex, Jonran, will have an uphill battle appealing a decision made in her absence because she refused to attend court. Especially if she doesn''t attend!

It sounds as if the appeal is simply a tactic to delay matters and reduce contact further. If she fails to attend her own appeal she risks being seen as a vexatious litigant. The court should be looking at her motives for making the application.

The level of contact you have is minimal. I think you need to be applying for an increase in contact at the very least; if she continues to obstruct contact you should be looking seriously at a transfer of residence.

You can do this as a litigant in person, though ideally you need to take a McKenzie with you. I wouldn''t worry about the behaviour of the solicitor - that''s just a distraction and you need to concentrate on one issue, which is the welfare of your child.

If the authority of the court continues to be flouted, the court will - albeit slowly - respond.

We could really do with some more detail about the grounds for her appeal, and why contact is currently so minimal.

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13 Oct 12 #360764 by jonran
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Hi forseti thanks for the input, I don''t have the detail of her appeal to hand, its with my solicitor, and she feels it has no subatance.

Basically she made 5 points, 3 of which were based on the fact that a decision was made while she was not present at court. the other tw0 concerned her fears for the childs welfare, and the alleged hostility I have towards her.

Contact is stuck at its current level because she refuses any suggestion of additional contact.

The week one and two contact has been established now since 2009, as part of that order was that any and all additional contact that could be agreed. However every suggestion made to her was refused, so in 2010 we established the holiday contact and that was made an order by the court.
Regarding the holiday contact; easter tuesday and summer contact for that year were agreed at mediation, since then it has been a battle to agree dates for this contact and we have returned to court on two occassions to address these problems. On both times as part of the courts ruling the judge put a restriction from coming back to court, firstly for one year and then for 18 months. The bank holiday part of the holiday contact has never taken place, as the opportunity has passed while negoiations were ongoing. Her proposal for xmass contact 2011 was accepted under the threat of no contact at all. The week 2 contact didn''t take place as it fell on xmass eve, and it was her opinion that the child should spend time with her family, and she wasn''t at the house to facilitate contact. I brought this up with my solicitor who felt the judge would not act on this as it was only one time, it was also within the 18month ban for going to court. And we now have the summer contact which has not taken place and instead of dealing with this we are dealing with the problems she has created since.

Contact is stuck at this level, as the only way to further it is by cooperation and flexibility, both of which the ex is uninterested in. And it has been a battle to keep the contact that exists, as I believe it is the ex''s agenda to end contact and at every opportunity to minimise contact.

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