I have had a contact order for my 7-year-old son for the past 3 years which determined fornightly weekends with me and my wife.
Recently, my ex-wife moved 170 miles away without my consent, making it more difficult for me to have regular contact (work commitments, new family, cost and time). However, I have maintained three weekly visits.
Recently my ex has refused to let my son visit the family home unless we get rid of the family dog, as she sees it as a threat to my son's safety (there are four other children who live with us safely). This is effectively making it impossible for me to have my son with me.
Is this in breach of the contact order and what rights or recourse do I have?
(R.G, 22 September 2008)
The first thing you should do is seek professional legal advice, but on the face of it, this sounds like a breach of the contact order. You’re really raising two separate issues here, which are your ex moving and also her refusing you let your son visit you in your home.
As to the first, as long as she remains in England or Wales, then it would appear she’s perfectly within her rights – people move for work or for other reasons. If she moved outside that jurisdiction, such as for instance, you could obtain a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent her going with the children. But this is not the case unless she’s moved to Scotland, where a slightly different legal system applies and you could raise objections to her taking your son there.
Not Violating The Contact Order
It’s unfortunate that she moved, since it obviously affects your contact with your son, but it doesn’t appear to violate the contact order, unless there were specific provisions in it. The other issue is more immediate and important. You don’t mention whether the dog is a new addition to your household. If not, it means that no circumstances have changed, so unless the dog has exhibited aggressive behaviour, there’s no just cause for her to change the conditions of the contact order.
Going to Court
Although a lawyer can advise you fully, it would seem as if you’ll need to go to court to have the contact order enforced. You will probably want to detail the changed circumstances (your ex’s move) and that you’ve done everything in your power to maintain regular contact with your son, as well as evidence that the family dog has proved to be no threat to the children already in the house.
Because of the move, if the court is willing to make sure the contact order is enforced, it might be possible to mediate a change in it so your son can perhaps spend some holidays, such as half-terms and so on, with you. To an extent this depends on your ex and her willingness to allow this, of course.
Again, though, the emphasis is on seeking proper legal advice as soon as possible.
The Separated Dads Forum is a place where you can discuss relevant issues and concerns including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or just have a general chat with other dads.
Please help us launch it and make it a great resource for dads going through difficult times. We hope to see you on the Forum soon....
(Continued from previous posting/2).The police officer advised me that this woman had taken my email to the police station and asked them to put a restraining order on me. I was advised that I should not go anywhere near her, our children or her parents. This was averbal warning, and were I to disobey, I would be issued with a formal warning and possible arrest. Since then, I have not been anywhere near them. I contacted the parents by email to advise them of what had occurred. I asked them to intervene, but the best they could offer was an adhoc email with 'news about the kids'. I did advise them that if I am still unable to contact our children at Xmas, I would have to take the matter to court. Do I have any chance of seeing our kids again? Are the police allowed to interfere in a personal relationship matter (where there has never been any violence)? Are they allowed to warn me off in this manner? The only threat I ever made to her was that if her gypsy boyfriend were to come anywhere near our kids, I would document our entire relationship (including his involvement) and send it to her parents and his wife. Perhaps a moment's anger, but never a moment's violence. Surely she cannot prevent me from seeing the children. She receives a king's ransom in CSA stipulated monthly payments, but I am not allowed to see how she brings them up or whether they are safe, sound and enjoying their lives. Sorry for the ramblings, but what advice can you give me? Not a day/night goes by where I don't see them in my mind.
I'm afraid the only advice I can give is to apply for access through the courts. Please see link: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access, link here. You would have to go through the procedures laid out in the article. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 5-Oct-15 @ 12:57 PM
(Continued from previous posting/2)....The police officer advised me that this woman had taken my email to the police station and asked them to put a restraining order on me. I was advised that I should not go anywhere near her, our children or her parents. This was averbal warning, and were I to disobey, I would be issued with a formal warning and possible arrest. Since then, I have not been anywhere near them. I contacted the parents by email to advise them of what had occurred. I asked them to intervene, but the best they could offer was an adhoc email with 'news about the kids'. I did advise them that if I am still unable to contact our children at Xmas, I would have to take the matter to court. Do I have any chance of seeing our kids again? Are the police allowed to interfere in a personal relationship matter (where there has never been any violence)? Are they allowed to warn me off in this manner? The only threat I ever made to her was that if her gypsy boyfriend were to come anywhere near our kids, I would document our entire relationship (including his involvement) and send it to her parents and his wife. Perhaps a moment's anger, but never a moment's violence. Surely she cannot prevent me from seeing the children. She receives a king's ransom in CSA stipulated monthly payments, but I am not allowed to see how she brings them up or whether they are safe, sound and enjoying their lives. Sorry for the ramblings, but what advice can you give me? Not a day/night goes by where I don't see them in my mind.
ahn2908 - 4-Oct-15 @ 10:45 PM
)Continued from previous posting)....she had never had any intentions of meeting any of these sugar daddies! Well, she also told me that when we split up the second time she had met with an old friend and had a brief relationship (3 weeks!) with him. I believed her and suggested to her that we ought to decide finally whether we are to live together or go our separate ways. She said she loved me and wanted us to be together, but I needed to be convinced. In all our years, I had never let anyone (other than my wife) come between us. Maybe I should have closed the loop and walked away. At Xmas last year, we had a great time. Her behaviours were exemplary, and I felt that we were moving to a better place. Our kids were having a great time with their parents and all looked good. Early 2015, things started to unravel again. I started to feel like there were three in the mix. When I asked her if we were good, she would say all was OK, but there was always a hint of something about her. By mid February, I was certain of the fluctuation in the force! So, I asked her directly whether the relationship had run its course. She eventually blurted out that all she wanted was a platonic relationship. She felt that she did not need a boyfriend/husband or significant male in her life anymore. She would never allow another man into her life, or that of her kids. Rather that try to persuade her, I decided to walk. We agreed that I could have the kids at weekends and once during the week. Whatever she had said did not quite ring true. So, on one occasion at the weekend whilst working with my daughter on her homework, I opened her facebook page and soon enough found conversations between herself and a friend. It transpired that she was in a relationship with the man she knew since her childhood days for over 6 years... She must have started that relationship soon after my son was born. I may have been an awful person, and I probably deserved every punishment. I cogitated over this information for a few weeks, then emailed her. I vented my spleen at her lack of morals,. that she could lie so blatantly. She had told me so many lies over the 14 years, this one should have come as no surprise. She immediately refused to allow me anywhere near her or the children. She contacted the CSA and advised them that I had never helped her financially. Despite the fact that over the years, I had spent many thousands of pounds on her and our kids (more than what the CSA actually calculated as being my contribution). On our son's 6th birthday, I tried to contact her to ask if I could bring him his birthday present. She refused to take my calls, and eventually, her father responded. He told me that it would be best all round were I to stay away for a while until the dust had settled. I agreed, and later that night I dropped a parcel containing my son's presents on their doorstep. The following day, I received a call from the local police. The police officer advised me that this woman
ahn2908 - 4-Oct-15 @ 10:42 PM
14 years back, whilst going through a rocky period in my marriage, I met a call girl. At the end of the evening, she took my details. We met a few more times, and she told me that she was doing this because her violent and druggy husband had bled her dry. I felt awful and helped her out financially. We grew close and a few months later she dumped hi. We continued to meet and soon enough she fell pregnant. After all that she'd been through, I agreed that we'd bring her up together, despite the fact that I was pretty much broke. She lived in a dump of a caravan. We could not afford for our upcoming addition to live in this hovel. So, I borrowed what I could and bought her a new mobile home (she lived on her parents' land). I had commitments at home (two kids with my wife) and had planned to leave her when the kids had finished their GCSE and A levels respectively (18 months). After 3 years of splitting time between the wife and the 'girlfriend', I decided that I had to move in with the 'girlfriend'. But, I found out by accident that on a short vacation with her parents (and our daughter) in Cyprus, she had met someone and started a relationship. At this point, I called it a day and walked away. After a few days, she started to call me, in tears and hysterics. She had made a dreadful mistake and wanted me back. Being the fool. I agreed to make a fresh start. I told my wife that I had to break away. She was distraught, and struggled to accept it. I moved in with my 'girlfriend' and within 3 months she fell pregnant again. We had a lovely bouncy boy. However, I had this uncomfortable feeling about her fidelity, and soon enough started to suspect that all was not well. We ended up arguing, and I left her. She called my wife and advised her that the rogue husband was free if she wanted him back! After much persuation and discussion, I agreed to go home. I felt awful about where I was, but felt that a new start was the only option. I should have closed the loop there, but after a few more calls and hysterics from the 'girlfriend' I agreed to being with her without moving in. I continued to see her, pay for her and the kids (every penny of my income after bills and mortgage). We continued in this manner until I accidentally tripped up on an email from a stranger in her inbox, to meet for sex for cash. I traced it to a sugar daddy website. Soon enough the whole thing unravelled. She had an account and a profile, which described her as a single mum who had three failed relationships. Her boyfriend had left her with two kids, and was disappeared! She had only ever loved one person whom she had known since she was a child, but he was married and whilst happy enough to have sex with her, was not going to leave his wife for her. I wondered who this was, as I thought I was her 'partner' and father ofour children.... I confronted her with my findings and she said that in a mad moment she had enrolled on this site, but that she had never had any int
ahn2908 - 4-Oct-15 @ 10:33 PM
my wife forcefully kick me out of the house alleging rape and domestic violence. but police founded baseless and quashed me without charges. i have a 5 year old boy. since that occasion i am living separate last January. i would like to apply for the contact order for my child, just to see my boy once a week. i am working 24 hours a weeks and didn't apply for the divorce yet. anyone please help me on the following issues:
1) how do i apply for the contact order?
2) do i need to go through the mediation or can escape the route?
3) am i eligible for the free legal advice with the 24 hours pay £130p/w ?
PAUL - 13-Apr-15 @ 5:47 PM
@Sad parent- I'm sorry to hear this. There are several things you can still do, firstly if you struggle with paying court fees a lot of parents are getting successful results through self-litigation, see article Legal Aid Withdrawal: How to Represent Yourself, link here. The courts are less amenable to mothers who go breach court orders, so it really is worth trying again. You may also find our Separated Dads Facebook page helpful, as there are lots of fathers who have been through the same thing that can offer constructive advice. Don't give up the fight - I suggest you try again. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 6-Mar-15 @ 9:55 AM
After 5 years with lots of heartache lots of money and contact orders than aren't enforceable we realise thecourt system for dads just doesn't work if the ex wife is determined to stop contact
My stepson wasn't allowed to give his dad his mobile number. Any letterswe write don't get to him etc and no one can help
Do sadly we haven't gad any contract for over a year. He is now 13 and we are just waiting for him to be brave enough to make his own contact.
Even his elderly grandparents have been excluded
Sad parent - 3-Mar-15 @ 10:08 AM
@Molliebelle - thank you for your comments and we wish you luck with your petition.
SeparatedDads - 18-Feb-15 @ 12:02 PM
I am appalled by what I see here. Being female and the new partner of a man with two young chdren, I am in total shock, how the courts treat fathers. Caffcas is biased towards a male, and so is social services. It seems women can make up stories/lies etc to their advantage. Why is equality banged on about but does not seem to work in courts, cafcass & social services. No wonder 40% of children are experiencing mental health issues. It is disgusting. I am in the process of setting up a petition to petition the government to change these discriminating organisations before something terrible happens to a child!!
Molliebelle - 16-Feb-15 @ 4:18 PM
@starrlight, if the father is not on the birth certificate then he does not have any parental rights.
SeparatedDads - 17-Sep-14 @ 12:19 PM
My g'daughter has lived with us her grandparents along with her mother since she was born and her dad has never been in her life. He is not on her birth certificate and doesn't have his last name. Can we get him to sign over his parental rights and what do we need to do? He recently met her for the first time because we gave him a chance but he never called her since May or nothing so we want him to sign over his rights. He has been in prison and has had a drug problem. My g'daughter has and never will go with him , we don't trust him. What can we do ?
starrlight - 16-Sep-14 @ 9:07 PM
My ex & I have been separated for just over 6 years, I moved out because she cheated on me,and her new bf moved inI moved back to my parents, we had an arrangement in place that I have my son on tues evenings & thurs evenings & overnight Saturday to Sunday, Last year I moved in with my girlfriend who ive been seeing now for nearly two years she has two children of her own, the arrangement was in place before my gf & I were together & it has continued without any problems, just towards end last year I announced to my ex my gf is pregnant unfortunately she miscarried, but fell pregnant again we now have a 4 month old baby, we were told by my ex my son won't stay overnight, I wrote her a letter saying please maintain the arrangement she sent text saying its up to my son, but don't question him about it, I asked my son why he didnt want to stay & his reply was I don't know, he has no problems with my gf or children & gets on fine, my ex said he's getting older & needs to see his friends, he can do this from my house, also my problem is I have to drop him at my exes parents as she's never in & I pay csa & always make my weekends for him I didn't have a problem with him staying before and want him to keep to arrangement he's still my child. Also I want to try mediation but before & after my baby son with my new gf was born my ex said what's that got to do with anything and called my gf names on a text which is childish. I don't know what to do I feel she's pushing my son away from me & his wee brother.
Stu - 24-Oct-13 @ 10:19 AM
My exwife has taken my 8 year old son out of school and moved. I do not know how to locate them. I have spoken to childrens services but they stated i needed to find them myself.
woodwizard - 13-Jun-13 @ 4:41 PM
my x wife to be has run away with my kids not been to court yet whats my rights
sean - 7-May-13 @ 2:27 PM
My ex girlfriend has taken my daugjter of. 2 to another town with her new bloke to run a pub. He has been managing a pub in my home town and she met him by workin there. He has now been moved n she has gone with him without my knowledge. I have no idea where. We have not been together now for about a year but have tried numerous reconciliations. She always maintained she didn't want child support as she was working and also getting certain benefits. At the minute I am not working and not claiming benefits as I work for agencies and always in short term tempory positions. I am in a very difficult position as I have no money for solicitors and court actions ect. I always suspected she was up to something when she didn't want the CSA involved. Now I have found out I haven't got a leg stand on cos I haven't been paying I don't know what to do can anyone please help me. My name is on the birth certificate even tho she told me she has taken it off but I contacted registrar and this not the case she just lied to frighten me. It's all making me ill
Pob - 17-Feb-13 @ 7:05 PM
Been there, Cafcass are one sided, but women make these false allegations, get away with it, my ex has lied and lied incourt but no one does anything about it.
Ling - 22-Oct-12 @ 9:30 AM
AFTER MY EX PERUVIAN WIFE MOVED AWAY FROM ME FALSELY CLAIMING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE I HAD TO WIN CONTACT VIA THE COURT SYSTEM.
SHE HAS AGGRAVATED CONTACT DURING THE PAST TWO YEARS AND MADE UP FALSE ALLEGATIONS TO STOP CONTACT.
A WEEK AGO SHE ALLEGED I BEAT HER..ASSAULT? THE TRUTH WAS THAT SHE PUSHED ME TO ONE SIDE, SNATCHED THE PUSHCHAIR FROM ME AND STORMED OFF TO CALL THE POLICE. OBVIOUSLY CAFCASS BELIEVED HER AND ADVISED HER TO SUSPEND CONTACT. I HAVE SINCE RETURNED TO THE POLICE STATION TO BE TOLD THAT THERE IS NO FURTHER ACTION. THE OFFICER ON DUTY ARGUED WITH THE RESPONDENT MOTHER VIA THE TELEPHONE CLEARLY STATING SHE WAS IN BREACH OF THE COURT ORDER BY NOT BRINGING OUR 2 YEAR OLD SON TO THE CONTACT VENUE, HAVING CHECKED NO ORDER HAD BEEN ISSUED TO SUSPEND CONTACT. WILL CAFCASS NOW RECOMMEND SHE BE PUT IN PRISON OR FOR RESIDENCY OF OUR SON TO BE HANDED TO THE FATHER? I HAVE ASKED FOR THE OFFICER FROM CAFCASS TO NO LONGER DEAL WITH MATTERS. WHAT NEXT..ENFORCEMENT ORDER?? PERHAPS LIKE THE CONTACT ORDER THEY'RE NOT WORTH THE PAPER THEY ARE WRITTEN ON...