Hi, some advice on letter content please in an indirect contact order. My children 11,15 and 16 refused to have contact with their father. After many court hearings he was given an indirect contact order. The children never reply to him. We have only finalised the divorce and finance in Dec after 6 years. He was and still is financially abusive. He was always very careful as to what he wrote albeit very little but the children have just received their first letter since the divorce and I feel they are very inappropriate and made the children upset and angry. He has talked about what he pays in child maintenance, told them that they will know the truth soon and if they knew what I was really like they would see him. Told them what a wonderful life he has and if they saw him they would have animals, and a better life in the countryside, flaunting his new car when he knows how we are struggling etc. He never wrote like this befure court ended. He was very manipulative through marriage, court and now. Are there rules on what he is allowed to write. I hate seeing my girls upset? Thank you.
Sorry you are going through this and I completely understand the desire to protect your children.
My situation is slightly different, ex left 4 years ago when mine were 14 and 16 and has shown little desire to be a father since (though of course that is all my fault). He immediately moved 150 miles away to be with his girlfriend and thinks sending a text every few months absolves him of responsibility and makes him a good dad. He hasn't seen the youngest (now 18) since he left and she's really struggled with this and developed MH issues, and only seen the eldest 5 times in 4 years. I used to try so hard to facilitate things between them all, this is never what I would have expected or wanted to happen - but all you can do is be the constant in their lives.
However that doesn't stop him writing similar emails to what you describe, they'll see the 'truth' one day, how would they feel if he died, and right down to how good he is to pay child maintenance still. It's pure emotional manipulation. I only ever said to the kids that he's entitled to his opinions and they should be able to make up their own minds but it causes upset every time another one arrives. And I want to shout from the rooftops what tosspot he is but I don't, I just hug them.
Obviously none of this is court ordered like yours. Hopefully someone here will be able to advise you on the legal aspect. But I just wanted to let you know you weren't alone in dealing with an ex like this.
Could your children decide themselves not to open the letters ? Maybe they could store them in a box until they are older and more able to deal with it ? That way you aren't obstructing the court order but limiting the damage and emotional distress caused at this time. It's hard for them to have to make this decision I know. But it does sound as though your ex is ramping it up now things are finalised.
As for the finances, yep we're the same, money is very tight here, whilst he seems to live the life of Riley. But never let that bother you if you can. I would prefer the love and respect of my two over any amount of 'luxury'. He'll never have that so that makes me the rich one in my book.
It is possible to vet the communications and decline to pass them on if they are inappropriate. However, the father could then apply to enforce the order on the grounds that you are not complying with it's terms.
Alternatively you could make an application to the court for a more defined order which specifies subjects to avoid.
All of this is at a costs of time and money and will do nothing to lessen the friction between you and the your ex.
It would be worthwhile describing the upset that your ex has caused and request that certain subjects are avoided. For instance, child maintenance is not a topic which involves a child. There is no link between contact and child maintenance - it is not pay-per-view (directly or otherwise).
Also, making promises of a better life can only ever cause upset given the court felt that indirect contact was appropriate. The mention of residence, contact, the terms of the order etc. are all taboo when having indirect contact.
You should address these issues with the father in the hope that he will see sense but at the very least you will have evidence in the form of correspondence should you need it at a later date.
Thank you Charles. I will be looking into this. Thank you for taking the time to reply. Unfortunately the father will not talk to me. Only the odd email which are nasty. He has never accepted that his behaviour is why the children refuse to see him. They haven't seen him for 6 years. He dragged me through the courts accusing me of not allowing the girls to see him. Even when the children spoke and wrote to the judge expressing their wishes he wouldn't believe them. He lays all the blame on me and tells others I am the insane one. Talking to him is not feasible. Evan my barrister said its like talking to a brick wall. I'll heed your advice and thank you.