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After the Initial Court Order

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 13 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Court Court Order Breaches Child Ex

Our three-part guide to 'Going to Court' covered all the issues you might experience throughout the court process. Many people experience issues after a court order has been made - and this guide "After the Initial Court Order" is aimed at helping you through difficulties following a court ruling.

Breaches of Court Orders

It is always important to keep a record of any breaches of a court order, however minor. Whilst it may not seem important at the time that a payment was a couple of days late or a couple of pounds short, these minor breaches all add up. A series of minor breaches on top of a more major breach of an order (such as a payment missed altogether) may be the evidence that makes a difference between a judge just giving your ex partner 'a telling off' and be told not to breach the order again, and the judge altering the order (to reduce contact or make them pay a month in advance).

You can keep a record however you like really, as long as you keep it safe. Below are a couple of popular choices:

  • Quick typed word document saved in a separate file on your computer
  • A small pocket diary kept just for the purposes of recording breaches
It is also important to keep track of any communication with your partner, even if it is just a 'courtesy call' in which there were no disagreements or agreements made. This will enable you to easily refer to exactly what was said (particularly if in person or over the phone) at a later date.

Your diary entries / notes don't have to be long.

For Example: 21/08/12 - Mark dropped Katy off at 8pm as agreed. He said she had been out with her friends at the shops all afternoon and had not had tea.

It is also worth if anything is agreed (in person or over the phone) to confirm this in writing (email is fine) with your ex partner. They do not have to reply, but they have then had the option to object if this was not their recollection of the situation.

Police Involvement in Court Order Breaches

The police generally won't get involved in breaches of court orders as it is a matter for the court to deal with. Even if your ex partner keeps your children for an extra couple of nights than they are meant to, this is not a matter for the police as the children are safe with someone who has parental responsibility. (Also consider whether you would want to upset your children by having the police come into the house and drag them away from your partner.)

If your ex partner repeatedly or seriously breaches the court order, you can apply to the courts to enforce the order. All contact orders after 2008 contain a warning about what could happen if an order is breached. If your order is breached, you need to ensure that you have an attached warning notice. You can then apply for enforcement of your order. The police will then only become involved if there are repeated serious breaches and the court punishes your ex partner via community service (or, in rare cases, imprisonment).

The police will not immediately get involved in enforcing a court order relating to children if they are with someone with parental responsibility, even if you make allegations of abuse. The correct procedure should you wish to make allegations of abuse is to make an emergency (same day) application to the courts. The police may then be used to enforce that court order, accompanying a Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) officer to remove children from a party's care.

Applying For a Change of Contact Arrangements

Clearly the easiest way to agree contact arrangements is between you and your ex partner, clarifying arrangements in writing. If this is the case and you wish to change your contact arrangements, you can simply ask to have a discussion with them and set new arrangements.

If however you have a court order detailing your contact arrangements, changing them is a little more tricky and you may need to apply to the courts again; a costly and lengthy process. The best way to deal with a change in arrangements, even if you currently have a court order is:

  • Talk to your ex partner and explain what you want to change and why. If it works out better for both of you they might not object.
  • Go your solicitor and draft a letter to your ex partner setting out the arrangements you wish to change in a more official manner on their letterhead.
  • If neither of the above has settled matters, apply to the courts to decide your contact arrangements again.

Going back to court takes time and money, so it is important to consider a) how important it is that you make changes to the current arrangements (especially if they work) and b) how major are your changes. If your changes are purely for convenience, but can still work now, then it is really not cost effective to take your ex partner back to court if they won't agree to them. Equally if your change is to which evening you have the children (e.g. Weds / Thurs) or what time they are returned (1pm / 2pm), there is also little point in taking this matter to court.

Remember the No Order Principle: the courts will not make an order, if the position is no worse if they don't make an order than if they do.

You should always aim to work together as parents and be reasonable. If you are on the receiving end of a request to change arrangements, consider if the request is reasonable and what effect it would have on you. If for example it is a change of day when you would be in all week anyway, then why object; objecting just to annoy your ex partner is never advisable as, like it or not, you have a long-standing relationship with them (until your child is 18!)

Parental Alienation

In some cases the child may state that they do not want to have any contact with the non resident parent, this is sometimes due to the fact that the resident parent has alienated the child from the other parent. This is known by some as parental alienation, this is a controversial pathological ailment most commonly claimed during divorce or separation of parents. Symptoms of parental alienation are expressed as unjustified extreme hatred for one parent.

Parental alienation remains a controversial condition in both the legal and medical professions, as similar symptoms can easily be brought on by negative comments by the other parent, or a child blaming one party (particularly if they were unfaithful) for the relationship breaking down.

Proving it in Court

Generally legal advice would always be not to plead parental alienation in court. Judges like evidence based submissions, so if you are claiming a medical (psychological) condition, the judge will want to see a medical report to prove this. This is not the sort of report a regular GP would be able to give, so would be expensive to obtain, and many medical professionals (much like with conditions such as ME) don't recognise it as a "real" medical problem.

The best way to effectively plead parental alienation would be to produce evidence in court of your child's behaviour being unsubstantiated or unreasonable. You essentially want the judge to give the wishes of your child (one item on the welfare checklist) little weight. You are far more likely to achieve this by demonstrating how good a parent you are and your closeness with your child before the separation to show how their sudden hatred is irrational. Often mention of "parental alienation syndrome", a condition proposed by controversial American psychiatrist Richard Gardner, will damage an otherwise valid point.

SUMMARY:

  • Parental Alienation Syndrome is highly controversial
  • Many medics and lawyers do not accept it exists
  • You are more likely to succeed by proving that behaviour is irrational / influenced by the other party using evidence

Applying For a Change of Contact Arrangements

Clearly the easiest way to agree contact arrangements is between you and your ex partner, clarifying arrangements in writing. If this is the case and you wish to change your contact arrangements, you can simply ask to have a discussion with them and set new arrangements.

If however you have a court order detailing your contact arrangements, changing them is a little more tricky and you may need to apply to the courts again; a costly and lengthy process. The best way to deal with a change in arrangements, even if you currently have a court order is:

  • Talk to your ex partner and explain what you want to change and why. If it works out better for both of you they might not object
  • Go your solicitor and draft a letter to your ex partner setting out the arrangements you wish to change in a more official manner on their letterhead
  • If neither of the above has settled matters, apply to the courts to decide your contact arrangements again

Going back to court takes time and money, so it is important to consider a) how important it is that you make changes to the current arrangements (especially if they work) and b) how major are your changes. If your changes are purely for convenience, but can still work now, then it is really not cost effective to take your ex partner back to court if they won't agree to them. Equally if your change is to which evening you have the children (e.g. Weds / Thurs) or what time they are returned (1pm / 2pm), there is also little point in taking this matter to court.

Remember the No Order Principle: the courts will not make an order, if the position is no worse if they don't make an order than if they do.

You should always aim to work together as parents and be reasonable. If you are on the receiving end of a request to change arrangements, consider if the request is reasonable and what effect it would have on you. If for example it is a change of day when you would be in all week anyway, then why object; objecting just to annoy your ex partner is never advisable as, like it or not, you have a long-standing relationship with them (until your child is 18!)

SUMMARY:

  • Only resort to changes through the courts if you have to
  • If changes are opposed consider carefully whether they are strictly necessary before applying to the courts

Sample Letters

We've produced 10 sample letters to help you communicate with your ex and with the various authorities to help you achieve a positive outcome with any issues relating to your children. You find them here:

After court letters part one.

After court letters, part two.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
danny - Your Question:
After the final order was made ,in the order it says that my ex must encourage the children to call ,,for the 1st month it was great and when I was dropping the children of they seemed really happy ,,But then all of a sudden all contact stopped between the time I dropped them off and collect them (12 days later) I asked the children why and they said that there mum had either hidden the i-pads and phones or just simple said no to the children contacting me ,,For the last 2 drop offs after my weekend my daughter has been in tears as she knows it will be another 12 days until we speak again ,,,i have e-mailed my ex but she just ignores my e-mail`s !!!I have contacted Caffcass but as the order has been made they no longer can help It cost me over 20k to get access to my children due to the mother just stopping access for no reason ,,,What can I do ???

Our Response:
The link here should help answer your question. A solicitor's letter reminding your ex of the terms of the contact order may help get contact back on course. However, it is also important to diarise each breach of the order and each effort you have made to get the order back on track (i.e solicitor's letter, suggesting mediation etc) will help if you need to take the matter back to court. If you can show the court you have done all you can to get contact back on track without having to resort to court, then this will work in your favour if you have to take the matter back to court.
SeparatedDads - 14-Jun-18 @ 10:54 AM
After the final order was made ,in the order it says that my ex must encourage the children to call ,,for the 1st month it was great and when i was dropping the children of they seemed really happy ,, But then all of a sudden all contact stopped between the time i dropped them off and collect them (12 days later) I asked the children why and they said that there mum had either hidden the i-pads and phones or just simple said no to the children contacting me ,,For the last 2 drop offs after my weekend my daughter has been in tears as she knows it will be another 12 days until we speak again ,,,i have e-mailed my ex but she just ignores my e-mail`s !!! I have contacted Caffcass but as the order has been made they no longer can help It cost me over 20k to get access to my children due to the mother just stopping access for no reason ,,, What can i do ???
danny - 13-Jun-18 @ 10:33 AM
Rebecca Alchin - Your Question:
Numerous court hearings final was last october contact center always having to encourage her to go she was so upset nothing for xmas then refused to go as she was meant to be going to paternal aunts for contact but was affraid to be alone with her father away from center contact center ended as she refused to go I have since made contact with the sister who she is comfortable with the judge said it shoukd go at daughters pace c center were very co ersive now been called to attend enfircement hearing the father has stated she should be dragged kicki g and screami g aunt has stated all out of spit only littke interest in the sweetest girl in the world much more to this story but so affraid she will be hurt and damaged if forced surely this is wrong?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, we cannot predict what a court may decide.
SeparatedDads - 8-Jun-18 @ 2:32 PM
Glen - Your Question:
Nothin related to anyone else but I was wandering if someone else has a case like mine. There was a contact order in place but then we got back together as that contact order still valid???

Our Response:
Any changes to a contact order must be agreed by both parties. One party cannot unilaterally decide to change the order or apply additional terms. If they wish to do so, they will need to refer the matter back to the courts. If you both agree to change the order, then you can and do not have to get permission fromt he courts.
SeparatedDads - 8-Jun-18 @ 12:53 PM
@Rebecca .if my daughter was scared to be alone with me and had to dragged kicking and screaming just to see me and though a contact centre .I think I would let the little girl stay with the mother or who ever makes her happy .now I don't see my daughter but if it was under those conditions or she was kicking and screaming and scared of me I would let her go .give pat on the head and say darling I can see you don't want to be here and give her a couple of pounds to put in her pocket And say Buy something for your self to calm her downthat gods truth .
c.laurie - 7-Jun-18 @ 11:09 PM
Numerous court hearings final was last october contact center always having to encourage her to go she was so upset nothing for xmas then refused to go as she was meant to be going to paternal aunts for contact but was affraid to be alone with her father away from center contact center ended as she refused to go I have since made contact with the sister who she is comfortable with the judge said it shoukd go at daughters pace c center were very co ersive now been called to attend enfircement hearing the father has stated she should be dragged kicki g and screami g aunt has stated all out of spit only littke interest in the sweetest girl in the world much more to this story but so affraid she will be hurt and damaged if forced surely this is wrong?
Rebecca - 7-Jun-18 @ 7:59 PM
Nothin related to anyone else but i was wandering if someone else has a case like mine. There was a contact order in place but then we got back together as that contact order still valid???
Glen - 7-Jun-18 @ 8:49 AM
sparkles - Your Question:
Hi my partners ex stopped him seeing there child once they'd broke up after her numerous affairs. he took her to court. they had a court order agreed when he'd have the children she breached this 2 days after court!! every single week she sends abuse and pure nasty texts for no apparent reason. every week she says he's not having his daughter. then changes her mind last minute. he's honestly done nothing to deserve any of this she acts like she has bi polar 1 second she's overly nice then the next she's discusting towards him and makes out he's a really bad dad when he's a great dad his daughter loves him she gets upset every week because they don't want to go home. she's since made her self purposely homeless. she says the courts cant tell her what to do. how do we get her to stop and take her back to court? and stop this unfair abuse?

Our Response:
You can see more via the link here, which will tell you what your partner can do if his ex breaches the court order. The court application form is a C79.
SeparatedDads - 31-May-18 @ 11:02 AM
hi my partners ex stopped him seeing there child once they'd broke up after her numerous affairs. he took her to court. they had a court order agreed when he'd have the children she breached this 2 days after court!! every single week she sends abuse and pure nasty texts for no apparent reason. every week she says he's not having his daughter. then changes her mind last minute. he's honestly done nothing to deserve any of this she acts like she has bi polar 1 second she's overly nice then the next she's discusting towards him and makes out he's a really bad dad when he's a great dad his daughter loves him she gets upset every week because they don't want to go home. she's since made her self purposely homeless. she says the courts cant tell her what to do. how do we get her to stop and take her back to court? and stop this unfair abuse?
sparkles - 30-May-18 @ 8:12 PM
Recently been to court for access to my children after me and my wife separated. There is a contact order in place. Since court my wife and I have been getting on a lot better and have realised that we still love each other and want to try and make the marriage work, where do we stand with the court order? Many Thanks
D - 25-May-18 @ 4:12 PM
Eltommo - Your Question:
I have a court that states the children live with their mother, the children are 7 and nearly 10. The children are now desperate to stay with me and made me promise to get them back to where they consider home. I do not want to get into trouble with the courts but it has become harder and harder to return them back. My ex will not enter into any communication with me and refuses my parental rights. Eg will not give me the details of their current Doctor etc. What can I do to help my children

Our Response:
If you go against the court order, the police will be able to return your children to the resident parent. Therefore, it is not advisable to keep your children without the other parent's consent, as this can backfire and give your ex legal ammunition to stop contact. Your only recourse would be to refer the matter back to court. However, it is rare the court will hand the children from one parent to another unless absolutely necessary. You may wish to seek legal advice.
SeparatedDads - 24-May-18 @ 12:19 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi Im father and In march 2015 I got a court order for contact with my son, the order also has the warning attached. I assisted his mother on several occasions by having him extra nights, now she is asking for extra money which I have not got and she would not tell me what its for hence I refused. She has now stopped all contact with my son and blocked my phone calls. I have now in May 2018 applied for an enforcement of the order via Form C79. The courts are asking me to apply via form c100 which is a fresh application for a new order and stating they cant enforce the order because its old. Is this correct. I have been blocked access for 4 weeks now.

Our Response:
I cannot advise whether the court is right or wrong in this instance. However, you can still request via the C100 and in court that the original order is enforced because access has been stopped.
SeparatedDads - 24-May-18 @ 10:23 AM
I have a court that states the children live with their mother, the children are 7 and nearly 10. The children are now desperate to stay with me and made me promise to get them back to where they consider home. I do not want to get into trouble with the courts but it has become harder and harder to return them back. My ex will not enter into any communication with me and refuses my parental rights. Eg will not give me the details of their current Doctor etc. What can I do to help my children
Eltommo - 23-May-18 @ 6:38 PM
Hi Im father and In march 2015 I got a court order for contact with my son, the order also has the warning attached. I assisted his mother on several occasions by having him extra nights, now she is asking for extra money which I have not got and she would not tell me what its for hence I refused. She has now stopped all contact with my son and blocked my phone calls. I have now in May 2018 applied for an enforcement of the order via Form C79. The courts are asking me to apply via form c100 which is a fresh application for a new order and stating they cant enforce the order because its old. Is this correct. I have been blocked access for 4 weeks now.
Sam - 23-May-18 @ 12:42 PM
Shelley - Your Question:
Hi had a final hearing February/March 2017, where they gave us a family assistance order,know my ex as stopped contact again do I need another mediation meeting to reapply for contact.

Our Response:
Any changes to a contact order must be agreed by both parties. One party cannot unilaterally decide to change the order or apply additional terms. If they wish to do so, they will need to refer the matter back to the courts. The link here should tell you all you need to know. However, before you apply to court, a solicitor's letter reminding your ex of the terms of the court order may work, as your ex is clearly in contempt of court.
SeparatedDads - 21-May-18 @ 10:58 AM
Hi had a final hearing February/March 2017, where they gave us a family assistance order,know my ex as stopped contact again do I need another mediation meeting to reapply for contact.
Shelley - 20-May-18 @ 12:47 PM
Maz - Your Question:
Hi,My husband and I had a 2 year battle for him to have more access to his daughter an also to prohibit his ex from moving to Poland permanently with his daughter. The Judge was in favour of my husband and so on the 5th April, he was awarded much more time and half of all the holidays. He has waited two years for this and his first half term is May coming. The court ordered he will have this May with his daughter. His ex now wants to go to a holy communion in Poland that day and a wedding on his daughter’s birthday in August (our time again). We agreed August because we don’t need to be difficult and can have the birthday any time here but May we have my brothers wedding which his daughter will be a bridesmaid and this day clashes with the communion. We explained why we can’t swap and that on the day she did want to swap we already had a hotel booked for a weekend away anyway (we have evidence). We apologised and said we simply cannot swap and she is going to the wedding. Also, it’s been 2 years and this will be the first stretch he will have had with his daughter. She has now applied to court and we have to go back next week for one day to let her argue her case! The court ordered this time with us and we have a family event which was booked and dealt with well before the court order (simply because it was always going to be our weekend).Can she do this every time she doesn’t get her own way???? Will she likely win? Thanks Marie

Our Response:
There is no guarantee that your husband's ex will win. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. However, the order specifies certain times and if you made arrangements prior to your husband's ex making arrangements and in his alotted time, then your husband has a good case. The court will not allow frequent requests to a change of court order unless it is deemed important.
SeparatedDads - 11-May-18 @ 11:06 AM
Hi, My husband and I had a 2 year battle for him to have more access to his daughter an also to prohibit his ex from moving to Poland permanently with his daughter. The Judge was in favour of my husband and so on the 5th April, he was awarded much more time and half of all the holidays. He has waited two years for this and his first half term is May coming. The court ordered he will have this May with his daughter. His ex now wants to go to a holy communion in Poland that day and a wedding on his daughter’s birthday in August (our time again). We agreed August because we don’t need to be difficult and can have the birthday any time here but May we have my brothers wedding which his daughter will be a bridesmaid and this day clashes with the communion. We explained why we can’t swap and that on the day she did want to swap we already had a hotel booked for a weekend away anyway (we have evidence). We apologised and said we simply cannot swap and she is going to the wedding. Also, it’s been 2 years and this will be the first stretch he will have had with his daughter. She has now applied to court and we have to go back next week for one day to let her argue her case! The court ordered this time with us and we have a family event which was booked and dealt with well before the court order (simply because it was always going to be our weekend). Can she do this every time she doesn’t get her own way???? Will she likely win? Thanks Marie
Maz - 10-May-18 @ 11:18 AM
S - Your Question:
Hello, there is currently a Residence Order and Contact Order for my daughter in place that will expire next month.My question is: What happens after the expiration? I assume at that point my daughter will be in charge of deciding where and how much time she spends with either parent. Also, I am curious what the options are for her mother to contest this - or try to extend the Orders (as I am fairly certain she will not be pleased they are expiring).

Our Response:
The situation is likely to continue as usual unless either parent wishes to challenge the arrangement or extend the order. With regards to your daughter making any decision, it depends upon how old she is. If she is an older teenager, her opinion will count more. If she is a younger child, then the primary carer will have more of a say. It's a bit of a vague question, as much depends upon the current situation and the response each parent has to the order coming to an end.
SeparatedDads - 24-Apr-18 @ 11:13 AM
Hello, there is currently a Residence Order and Contact Order for my daughter in place that will expire next month. My question is: What happens after the expiration? I assume at that point my daughter will be in charge of deciding where and how much time she spends with either parent. Also, I am curious what the options are for her mother to contest this - or try to extend the Orders (as I am fairly certain she will not be pleased they are expiring).
S - 23-Apr-18 @ 7:37 AM
Urgent - Your Question:
I was removed from UK in February 2017 and need legal advice / opinion.The latest situation is that I have been denied Direct Contact and allowed Indirect contact with my daughters by the District Judge in family court.In one of the court hearings the Judge had given remarks that she would like to wait and see the outcome of indirect contact for 12 months for allowing direct contact, but nothing has been mentioned about this in the final order.I need to appeal or should I wait and submit fresh case for Direct Contact and since I cannot afford heavy Solicitors / Barrister charges I need some legal advice as to how to proceed in my case since even the CAFCASS report has even been not considered.If need to appeal then in which court and which forms to fill and submit.Best regards and hope someone could help me out urgently.

Our Response:
If you have been deported from the UK, much will depend upon how long your re-entry ban will last before you can apply to return to the UK (assuming your daughters are still in the UK). People who breach UK immigration laws and leave the UK voluntarily at the expense (directly or indirectly) of the Secretary of State are subject to two year or five year re-entry ban. You would not be allowed back into the country until the ban is lifted, making any application for direct contact to your children more difficult.
SeparatedDads - 17-Apr-18 @ 11:28 AM
I was removed from UK in February 2017 and need legal advice / opinion. The latest situation is that I have been denied Direct Contact and allowed Indirect contact with my daughters by the District Judge in family court. In one of the court hearings the Judge had given remarks that she would like to wait and see the outcome of indirect contact for 12 months for allowing direct contact, but nothing has been mentioned about this in the final order. I need to appeal or should I wait and submit fresh case for Direct Contact and since I cannot afford heavy Solicitors / Barrister charges I need some legal advice as to how to proceed in my case since even the CAFCASS report has even been not considered. If need to appeal then in which court and which forms to fill and submit. Best regards and hope someone could help me out urgently.
Urgent - 16-Apr-18 @ 11:11 AM
Dove - Your Question:
My son is 12 child arrangements order Is with father. Child left on his own accord to live with mother. Father is not contesting. How long does child arrangements order stay in this situation ?

Our Response:
The child arrangement order will remain in place on a permanent basis unless either parent wishes to refer the matter back to court (if circumstaces change or there a breach of the order).
SeparatedDads - 9-Apr-18 @ 2:42 PM
My son is 12 child arrangements order Is with father . Child left on his own accord to live with mother ... Father is not contesting... How long does child arrangements order stay in this situation ?
Dove - 8-Apr-18 @ 9:10 PM
A question, can I access legally my daughters facebook/messanger account? she is 14 and has, after separated alleged abuse since she was 3.I feel I need to protect myself against these allegations and know there is evidence on there to disprove these allegations.
dave - 1-Apr-18 @ 11:08 AM
Does any one know the procedure timeline between activation of a court hearing form to see my child and an actual court date. I’m wondering this because I don’t want to much inpact on my child in terms of time scale Thanks
Mike - 30-Mar-18 @ 7:02 PM
Puppy - Your Question:
I was served with divorce papers 3 years ago. I was in a bad place in that time. I had just left my abusive ex husband and unfortunetly got into another one. I left my 2 younger sons with their dad because I was not able to care for them until I was able to safely get away from other man.I have since gotten rid of that boyfriend and have tried to rebuild my relationship with my sons. It has been good so far but now my ex-husband is not letting my sons spend time with me? They are not in danger, they are well looked after and we love spending time together.I need to know my options? I am currently documenting everything? Tried to talk with him and implement a calendar system? I know I should get in contact with legal aid but looking for some feedback and any advice. Thanks

Our Response:
The article: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access, here will help answer the question regarding the process you would have to go through. You would not be allowed to apply to court, unless your ex refuses to attend mediation. Legal Aid no longer exists, except in cases of domestic violence or abuse. You would have to self-litigate, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 8-Feb-18 @ 3:33 PM
I was served with divorce papers 3 years ago. I was in a bad place in that time. I had just left my abusive ex husband and unfortunetly got into another one. I left my 2 younger sons with their dad because I was not able to care for them until I was able to safely get away from other man.I have since gotten rid of that boyfriend and have tried to rebuild my relationship with my sons. It has been good so far but now my ex-husband is not letting my sons spend time with me? They are not in danger, they are well looked after and we love spending time together.I need to know my options? I am currently documenting everything? Tried to talk with him and implement a calendar system? I know I should get in contact with legal aid but looking for some feedback and any advice. Thanks
Puppy - 8-Feb-18 @ 2:05 AM
Nash - Your Question:
Hi, I wonder if anyone can help as my ex recently ‘won’ costs at an enforcement hearing which it seems is very unusual and a rare occurrence? The judge awarded costs of £215 against me (being the enforcement application fee she paid) citing 2 breaches of an Order that gave me custody (out of an alleged 11 breaches over a 12 month period). Whilst these 2 ‘breaches’ (missed alternate weekend contact) were no different to a couple of other missed weekends when my son (aged 15) simply didn’t want to make the long journey to visit her (which the judge did accept was a valid reason to have not visited) and indeed when for 1 of the 2 breaches when he visited the weekend after instead (with her agreement at the time), I thought the test for an award of costs had to be for the applicant to prove a financial loss as a DIRECT result of the breach? She didn’t present any ‘direct’ evidence as there was none to present about the missed 2 weekends in question as she didn’t suffer any direct financial loss. The judge then refused permission to appeal, but are there any appeal rights I can actually exercise? Or do I wait for my ex to make an application against non-payment of the costs award and appeal that way if possible?

Our Response:
We cannot comment upon a judge's final decision. If the judge has decided to award costs and refused an appeal, then you will be in contempt of court if you refuse to pay those costs. I advise that you accept the decision and pay the fine.
SeparatedDads - 25-Jan-18 @ 3:22 PM
Hi, I wonder if anyone can help as my ex recently ‘won’ costs at an enforcement hearing which it seems is very unusual and a rare occurrence? The judge awarded costs of £215 against me (being the enforcement application fee she paid) citing 2 breaches of an Order that gave me custody (out of an alleged 11 breaches over a 12 month period). Whilst these 2 ‘breaches’ (missed alternate weekend contact) were no different to a couple of other missed weekends when my son (aged 15) simply didn’t want to make the long journey to visit her (which the judge did accept was a valid reason to have not visited) and indeed when for 1 of the 2 breaches when he visited the weekend after instead (with her agreement at the time), I thought the test for an award of costs had to be for the applicant to prove a financial loss as a DIRECT result of the breach? She didn’t present any ‘direct’ evidence as there was none to present about the missed 2 weekends in question as she didn’t suffer any direct financial loss. The judge then refused permission to appeal, but are there any appeal rights I can actually exercise? Or do I wait for my ex to make an application against non-payment of the costs award and appeal that way if possible?
Nash - 23-Jan-18 @ 6:00 PM
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