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Failing custody agreement
#1
Hi,

I'm looking for advice / guidance on various issues and concerns I have with my son, his up bring and his mother.

I currently have a shared 50/50 custody agreement which was agreed in court.

However this is constantly breached by my son mother whether late or earlier than planned drop offs and collections to straight out denial of access to my child.

The most recent being with holding my son over the Christmas period with only the intention of having our child to spend time with her family alone. In order to have achieved this his mother has even contacted my son's school to falsely inform the school that I no longer have access or the right to parental responsibility of my son.

This as you can imagine has caused much distress and disruption and is one of only many such incidents over the years.

I have now come to the realisation that such matters cannot be resolved between myself and the mother and will be looking for legal options.

I am looking for help and advice on a variety of topics.

.Where I stand on legal aid
.likely hood of a full custody
.types of evidence except ( text messages, photos ect)
.ways to raise neglect in court
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#2
Sorry to hear. Been down that route as a parent who had full care and being resident parent to then have the courts blunder the final order giving the mother shared residency .
Legally we should all be on the same footing but the courts are so way behind its unreal. They look at fathers as the secondary parent even when there is handful of fact based to show the mother not capable of positive parenting.
Ive been assaulted and made victim of malicious unfounded lies . Bags if police logs against the mother yet non was even mentioned in the courts unless I spoke out about it.

Keep a diary of everything, record convos if u can and stay child focused. Not that it helped me.
I have a appeal hearing next week to undo the mess the courts have created.
The system is not child focused when the respondent is the mother.
I have cone to the conclusion its all about the ££££ and keeping the wheel turning.
How many fathers shout out the same repeated concerns. Some thing is surely to give way eventually.Right? As I said before attending a hearing with a axe in the head inflicted by the ex wife will not be seen as domestic violence or being a male victim of dv as the stats show men are the perpetrators.

I hope my appeal hearing get the order set aside and I get a retrial as I cannot wait to expose the incompetents of cafcass and the lies that have been created.
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#3
Hi. If the 50/50 shared care was agreed in court, was it specified in the court order? Or is it just an agreement attached to a "reasonable contact order". If it's specified in the order, then you can enforce the order. Legal aid isn't available for family cases any more - unless there is abuse - but I think you'd need hard evidence and an emergency order in that case. (eg a social services or police report). Court application costs £215. "Custody" changed to "Residency" and has now changed again to "Lives with" or "Stays with". Technically your son already lives with both parents if you had a shared care agreement. You could apply for a variation at the time of enforcement and ask for son to "live with" you and "stay with" his Mother, with the argument that the Mother doesn't keep to the shared care agreement and by having him live with you, you can ensure he spends significant and reasonable time with both parents. You might not get it though.

I think what I would want to go for is enforce the 50/50 shared care and ask for a variation of the order, adding a clause that if Mother breaches the order again, then son will live with you and stay with her.

It comes down to what's written on the order to know what to do next, and whether it is enforceable or not. As I found out the hard way. The agreement reached in court, in my case was not in the body of the order but just attached (this is called the recitals - the attached bit). In the body of the order it just said "Mother will allow reasonable contact as agreed". Now in my mind it is clear what is agreed as it's attached to the order - but the order wasn't enforceable. So I'm now in the process of applying for a variation for a defined shared care order - where it specifies that child lives with Mother on x days and times and Father on x days and times.

Types of evidence. Texts can be used if printed out in an acceptable format where the software shows the date, time and phone number (otherwise people could add any name to any number). I used phone brand's Software to upload mine to PC and print them out as a conversation. Emails can be used as evidence. However,check out Karen Woodall's new book - it's not cheap but has a very good chapter on applying to court and in particular categories strong,medium and weak evidence. Emails and texts can back up something you have stated in your application - but aren't hard evidence like formal reports from professionals.

What kind of neglect? Courts can dismiss a lot of he said/she said type things and put it down to different parenting styles. Any serious cause for neglect and you should call social services.
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#4
Hi thankyou for your responses,

Our shared custody agreement does state specific days and a Christmas day arrangement.

I have a few questions that would be great if anyone could provide any light on them.

If my son mother has broken the agreement do I have to pay to take it back to court?

Where do I stand that she has denied me access against our court agreement.

Would hiring a solicitor be advantage? or just an expense.

Is a solicitor required if I am just to repeat the mediation and court process again.

With her currently denying me access and breaking the agreement, is there another way I should go about taking this to court?

Hope anyone can help

Thanks
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#5
You go back and ask for enforcement - keep a diary, emails, texts of all that has happened

Turning up 30mins late ... is annoying but not much going to happen... ask her to text you in advance if she is going to be late
Point blank denied access is serious ... so prioritize your issues with the breaking of the court order

Don't think you need to repeat mediation as you have a court order
Represent yourself if you want ... no big issue... you ask for enforcement... you giving a list of facts... do not slag her off, just focus on your child's rights to have 50:50 access to both parents as per the court order

As for full custody... unlikely unless a danger is present for the kid being with the mother... repeated breaking of a court order may get you full custody eventually but ... not initially (depends on judge)
Neglect issue??? what is it ...maybe judge would ask you what you had done about that before getting to court ... social services... otherwise it sounds like mud slinging?
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#6
Was the order dated after 2008? Any order after that automatically has a warning notice, allowing enforcement. If it's dated before 2008 you'd have to apply to have a warning notice attached before being able to enforce. In other words apply for a variation of the order. Any application incurs a fee. Not sure if enforcement fee is the same as variation of order fee (£215). After that you can do it yourself. It would b an idea to go for a MIAM and ask to be signed off, just to make sure your application is accepted (the mediator needs to sign a section of the application form). I don't know if this is required or not - it might depend on how long since last application, or whether it is a continuation of the same case, but it wouldn't do any harm to have one (although that costs £100 or so). Someone else might know if it's necessary or not.
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