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Is order enforceable please?
#1
Ok.  After 9 years of it, my partner finally went to court last summer when I was accused of abuse and contact was stopped.  As it was stopped just before a holiday we had booked, we applied for a specific issues order for the holiday and a child arrangements order at the same time and asked for the hearing to be an interrim hearing for the child arrangements order.  At the last minute we hired a Solicitor as Child's Mother had one.  The two solicitors thrashed out an agreement, contact was agreed as the same schedule as before.  Went before Judge.  Judge was way better than our Solicitor and said Mother could only have indirect contact on our holiday if my partner had the same on hers.  Of course he didn't get it!  The Judge also wagged his finger at her and told her she must stick to it.  Judge dismissed all allegations having seen the printed out texts which escalated out of nothing.  Judge was really brilliant actually - he agreed the child arrangements there and then as a final hearing.  But the order is a bit minimalist.

Anyway a few months on and masses of abusive emails later.   She made a malicious report to social services accusing my partner of a load of twaddle and hinting at abusive behaviour.  This came about because we took child somewhere nice for the week-end and had fun.  She said he couldn't do that without her permission, which of course he can - so she made the malicious complaint.  Hugely stressful.  No issues found and case was closed.  But it opened a can of worms.  The family worker, trying to act as a go between, just fuelled matters.  Passed on things my partner had said which she then tried to use against us.  Family worker tried to get partner to agree to tell child's mother if he was going somewhere and allow phone calls.  We said no because there was no agreement for that and she tries to disrupt things.  We told family worker phone calls were indirect contact and a legal matter.

The harrassment has been horrendous - every time child comes he is sent with nasty messages (poor child it's awful).  He is told to ring his Mother and given a mobile phone.  We know at some point he will have a mobile phone but there has been no agreement on what age he should have one.  So we keep it safe and return it and have explained we don't agree with it just yet.  Which child accepts.  

Then followed three outrageously nasty Solicitors letters (which seemed to have been written by child's mother by the look of them) accusing more ridiculous behaviour (exercise is dangerous apparently rather than healthy) and she started giving child a phone to bring with him and threatening court.  Partner repeated that there was no order for indirect contact.  Our Solicitor sent a letter back and we thought that had knocked it on the head.

She has now breached the order and taken child away for three weeks just before his contact week-end and taken child out of school (again).  Partner wants to enforce the order and apply for variation to have it further specified.  Our Solicitor now says we can't enforce the order.  We think maybe we can.  Our Solicitor does seem a bit biased towards the Mother and suggested sending another letter and just letting her change the agreed contact.  No way.  Unfortunately the order is noddy and vague.

It just says the Mother will allow reasonable contact as agreed.  But - attached to the order is the Agreement thrashed out in court.  Which is also vague and says contact as before as agreed between the parties.  We then have a letter from our Solicitor setting out what was agreed and specifying the contact.

So we thought that should be enough to enforce the order.  Does anyone know if it is?  Because if he just accepts letting her cancel a week-end and two overnigths with no notice whenever she wants, it will just get worse.  She also emailed a list of all the holidays she has booked for the next two years, all over his contact time.  She is playing nasty games.

Can we enforce the order please?

Just before Father's Day. Nice.
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#2
(06-15-2017, 03:59 PM)Charlie7000 Wrote: Ok.  After 9 years of it, my partner finally went to court last summer when I was accused of abuse and contact was stopped.  As it was stopped just before a holiday we had booked, we applied for a specific issues order for the holiday and a child arrangements order at the same time and asked for the hearing to be an interrim hearing for the child arrangements order.  At the last minute we hired a Solicitor as Child's Mother had one.  The two solicitors thrashed out an agreement, contact was agreed as the same schedule as before.  Went before Judge.  Judge was way better than our Solicitor and said Mother could only have indirect contact on our holiday if my partner had the same on hers.  Of course he didn't get it!  The Judge also wagged his finger at her and told her she must stick to it.  Judge dismissed all allegations having seen the printed out texts which escalated out of nothing.  Judge was really brilliant actually - he agreed the child arrangements there and then as a final hearing.  But the order is a bit minimalist.

Anyway a few months on and masses of abusive emails later.   She made a malicious report to social services accusing my partner of a load of twaddle and hinting at abusive behaviour.  This came about because we took child somewhere nice for the week-end and had fun.  She said he couldn't do that without her permission, which of course he can - so she made the malicious complaint.  Hugely stressful.  No issues found and case was closed.  But it opened a can of worms.  The family worker, trying to act as a go between, just fuelled matters.  Passed on things my partner had said which she then tried to use against us.  Family worker tried to get partner to agree to tell child's mother if he was going somewhere and allow phone calls.  We said no because there was no agreement for that and she tries to disrupt things.  We told family worker phone calls were indirect contact and a legal matter.

The harrassment has been horrendous - every time child comes he is sent with nasty messages (poor child it's awful).  He is told to ring his Mother and given a mobile phone.  We know at some point he will have a mobile phone but there has been no agreement on what age he should have one.  So we keep it safe and return it and have explained we don't agree with it just yet.  Which child accepts.  

Then followed three outrageously nasty Solicitors letters (which seemed to have been written by child's mother by the look of them) accusing more ridiculous behaviour (exercise is dangerous apparently rather than healthy) and she started giving child a phone to bring with him and threatening court.  Partner repeated that there was no order for indirect contact.  Our Solicitor sent a letter back and we thought that had knocked it on the head.

She has now breached the order and taken child away for three weeks just before his contact week-end and taken child out of school (again).  Partner wants to enforce the order and apply for variation to have it further specified.  Our Solicitor now says we can't enforce the order.  We think maybe we can.  Our Solicitor does seem a bit biased towards the Mother and suggested sending another letter and just letting her change the agreed contact.  No way.  Unfortunately the order is noddy and vague.

It just says the Mother will allow reasonable contact as agreed.  But - attached to the order is the Agreement thrashed out in court.  Which is also vague and says contact as before as agreed between the parties.  We then have a letter from our Solicitor setting out what was agreed and specifying the contact.

So we thought that should be enough to enforce the order.  Does anyone know if it is?  Because if he just accepts letting her cancel a week-end and two overnigths with no notice whenever she wants, it will just get worse.  She also emailed a list of all the holidays she has booked for the next two years, all over his contact time.  She is playing nasty games.

Can we enforce the order please?

Just before Father's Day.  Nice.
Your solicitor is correct on this one, but you do have a way forward.

On a C100, apply to Vary the Existing Order.

State the current issues with contact, and in light of this you now want defined contact.

My suggestion with regard to school holidays are

1 week holidays, normal weekend, but contact to start or end on the Wednesday

Easter and Christmas, 1 x 8 day, or 2 x 4 day blocks, to include the normal weekend. Note that significant dates need to be shared or turns each.

Summer, a 2 week window to book a holiday in, and either another weekend as close to the normal one as possible or another full week, about the time a normal weekend would be.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#3
Thank you that is really helpful. So annoyed that the order is so woolly and vague. It's of more benefit to child's Mum than it is to us! And it was our Solicitor who drafted it and sent it to the court. So just apply to vary the order then. We would really like to enforce the current one as well and get the same Judge who had said to her "You will stick to this". The school holiday suggestion is great. We keep swinging between wanting to do nothing and hope things get back to normal, and wanting to apply for residency. As the she is so hostile at the moment that we're half expecting to hear she's moving away next. In fact she would just do it and not tell us till afterwards. Do you think there's much chance of "residency" if we applied for it? I thought that had gone out the window and both parents were supposed to be equal now with both having PR and that where the child lived was just a formality. But it seems "residency" still exists if child's Mother can just take him out of school and leave the country for three weeks whereas it would be abduction if Partner did it.

We are not spring chickens. It's a strain. Partner works hard and I try and get info.

A question. If we apply to vary the order does this mean full hearings, Cafcass for child etc, or is it a more minor thing as there is already a Child Arrangements order?
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#4
(06-15-2017, 07:32 PM)Charlie7000 Wrote: Thank you that is really helpful.  So annoyed that the order is so woolly and vague.  It's of more benefit to child's Mum than it is to us!  And it was our Solicitor who drafted it and sent it to the court.  So just apply to vary the order then.  We would really like to enforce the current one as well and get the same Judge who had said to her "You will stick to this".  The school holiday suggestion is great.  We keep swinging between wanting to do nothing and hope things get back to normal, and wanting to apply for residency.  As the she is so hostile at the moment that we're half expecting to hear she's moving away next.  In fact she would just do it and not tell us till afterwards.  Do you think there's much chance of "residency" if we applied for it?  I thought that had gone out the window and both parents were supposed to be equal now with both having PR and that where the child lived was just a formality. But it seems "residency" still exists if child's Mother can just take him out of school and leave the country for three weeks whereas it would be abduction if Partner did it.

We are not spring chickens.  It's a strain.  Partner works hard and I try and get info.

A question.  If we apply to vary the order does this mean full hearings, Cafcass for child etc, or is it a more minor thing as there is already a Child Arrangements order?

There will be a First Hearing, where the Judge will ask a few questions. Depending on what your ex is saying, will depend on what needs to happen.

However, on an application to vary, you can only use things not known at the time the last order was made.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#5
Thank you. So the kind of things since the last hearing then? So does it mean you can't refer to anything you referred to in the previous application. It cost us £1,000 last time, just to be able to go on holiday and get a child arrangements order that seems to be worth nothing and isn't enforceable. It sounds like it's a bit more complicated than the initial application for a Child Arrangements order. Is it something we'd need a Solicitor for this time. Not using the last one again.
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#6
(06-15-2017, 09:03 PM)Charlie7000 Wrote: Thank you.  So the kind of things since the last hearing then?  So does it mean you can't refer to anything you referred to in the previous application.  It cost us £1,000 last time, just to be able to go on holiday and get a child arrangements order that seems to be worth nothing and isn't enforceable.  It sounds like it's a bit more complicated than the initial application for a Child Arrangements order.  Is it something we'd need a Solicitor for this time.  Not using the last one again.

You can do this by Self Representing. Your only cost that way is Court fee, £215, reduced if on low income, free if on some beneifts.

On this type of application, everything known at the time of your last hearing in law has been considered, so you can not revisit past aspects of the case.

You need to show why you need it looking again, in your case you want defined dates on the order.

If your wanting to change the existing arrangements, you need to show good reason for this.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#7
Thank you. Partner is now thinking of applying for residency. Since order made last summer, there has been all the harrassment and currently a lot of pressure for child (and being told not to speak to us about various things or to pass on negative messages). Plus schedule not being kept to and extreme hostility. So in terms of evidence, if we can't revisit past aspects of the case, can we still include a "timeline" showing the history of Partner's involvement with child (even if not referring to previous instances of contact being stopped many times). And can we show evidence of things that happened before last hearing, if they were not brought up at last hearing? Also what happens if they decide not to change the residence - would there then be the option to have the order defined instead? Sorry for asking so many questions!
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#8
(06-17-2017, 11:08 AM)Charlie7000 Wrote: Thank you.  Partner is now thinking of applying for residency.  Since order made last summer, there has been all the harrassment and currently a lot of pressure for child (and being told not to speak to us about various things or to pass on negative messages).  Plus schedule not being kept to and extreme hostility.  So in terms of evidence, if we can't revisit past aspects of the case, can we still include a "timeline" showing the history of Partner's involvement with child (even if not referring to previous instances of contact being stopped many times).  And can we show evidence of things that happened before last hearing, if they were not brought up at last hearing?  Also what happens if they decide not to change the residence - would there then be the option to have the order defined instead?  Sorry for asking so many questions!

Its the same application, and all you do is apply for Residance and state that if it fails, you want defined contact.

Part of your case for Residance will be showing that your partner has a good relatinship with your child, so that pre dating the last order is fine as its never been a part of the case. However, nothing negative about your ex can be put the court, if it happend before the last order.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#9
Thanks.  Has anyone on here applied for residence?  We were going through things last night and thinking it might be a much bigger case to prepare for.
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#10
(06-17-2017, 11:17 PM)Charlie7000 Wrote: Thanks.  Has anyone on here applied for residence?  We were going through things last night and thinking it might be a much bigger case to prepare for.

I have twice, and now have it.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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