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Can Someone Please Advise? What Should We Do Now?

  • PapasLove
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07 Mar 10 #190677 by PapasLove
Topic started by PapasLove
My partner went to his 1st court hearing last week to gain more contact with his 9 year old son. CAFCASS are involved and will now start preparing reports.

Before court his ex was feeding his son with tangible nastiness and negativity, since court she has really stepped up her game.

His son has been saying that he doesn't want to spend holidays with his dad and no longer wants me or my daughter (who he once adored) around. This really hurts but she dropped the real bombshell tonight.

My partner has been seeing his son for weekends every 4 - 6 weeks at her discretion but she has just said that it will now stop and he can only see his son for a couple of hours on some Sundays.

Our next court date isn't until May and if the poisoning of his son's mind continues at this rate, and he is kept from his dad I can imagine that there will be too much sadness to mention.

Can someone please advise? This is gut wrenchingly horrid :(

  • zonked
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07 Mar 10 #190685 by zonked
Reply from zonked
My own theory with such ex’s is that they don’t lie in a rational sense, instead they
‘believe’ in a complicated narrative which absolves them of all blame, locates the problem with the other side and allows them to act without conscience in the firm belief they are right. Self delusion can be comforting. In the face of that no child can act autonomously. What he has said is not a rejection of your ptr or his family; its simply a child’s coping mechanism for what is a god awful situation.

In terms of what to do; here are my suggestions, where I am mistaken or miss something I hope others correct me.

1.Remind yourselves why you went to court. Your application offers the only prospect of that child having a normal father figure in his life. The ex can say whatever rubbish she wants; if you had not made the application your ptr would have been complicit in the damage the ex is inflicting. You are not responsible for the ex’s actions, only your own, you have followed the only ethical option available.

2.Keep yourselves distant from the ex. This is a very volatile time. Do not give her any excuse or pretext to escalate things. There will be times when you or your ptr will want to send text’s or respond to provocation on the doorstep, don’t. Instead maintain a permanent placid face to her…calm, reasonable, polite…give her no other feedback, give her nothing to fight back against.

3.Never try and put your side in any detail to the child. Never speak negatively of the ex. Instead paint the court case as argument between grown ups. Try and describe your application as just wanting to spend more time with him….don’t get bogged down discussing holidays or weekends schedules. The court ordered contact is brief, but important to your son. He may have a funny way of showing it, but without it his life would be that more empty. So stick with it, take each visit as it comes, be prepared for set backs.

4.An option might be to contact CAFCASS and advise them that your son appears distressed and ask if they would be prepared to host some form of meeting between the parents to resolve some of the evident hostility and anger. The problem with this approach is that the ex presently remains in a position of power and will feel no pressure from the court to make contact work. Whereas she might do in the future. Also, giving the ex feedback on how her son is being alienated and the distress that causes might be taken as an encouragement for more of the same. You will need to take your own view, my feeling is to wait to see how things settle down.

As ever these are just my own layman’s thoughts. It’s a hellish time for you both, but I sincerely believe there are better days ahead.

  • PapasLove
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07 Mar 10 #190695 by PapasLove
Reply from PapasLove
Thank you zonked, as ever a very balanced and reassuring response.

We were going to write a letter to her in an attempt to appeal to her better nature. We also thought the letter would be evidence to show the court how unreasonable she is being.

That poor little boy is going to be ruined by the time the court process rolls on, it's so sad.

We will consider contacting CAFCASS too. Maybe the McKenzie friend will advise.

Thank you. :)

  • Forseti
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08 Mar 10 #190714 by Forseti
Reply from Forseti
Further to Zonked's excellent advice:

What arrangements are there for interim contact pending the CAFCASS report (you'll be lucky to get it by May)?

If there are none make an ex parte application for intermim contact. Talk to the McKenzie.

Appealing to the mother's 'better nature' is unlikely to work and will probably entrench her further. There's plenty of speculation about why resident parents behave like this, and Zonked's is a good as any, but the bottom line is the only solution - and it's a poor one - is the legal approach.

Just be aware that it can take a very long time, but you'll get there in the end.

  • PapasLove
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08 Mar 10 #190725 by PapasLove
Reply from PapasLove
Thank you Forsetti. There was an attempt at interim contact whilst in court but his ex dodged it by saying she didn't have her diary and she would need to be called. He called and she gleefully withdrew all weekend contact.

Thank you for your advice regarding the ex parte contact order, I'll contact our McKenzie friend today.

My partner appears so strong and positive but I know this is killing him inside. I pray that this doesn't go on for years as some cases have.

Thanks again. :)

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