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Contact Order Challenged
#1
Hi, 

I have recently gained a contact order for my son, my ex is now challenging, via court, acting LIP, that my (& my partners) home is not "BIG" enough.
I personally believe its because she doesnt want my child meeting my partner, but court has ordered this should happen.

What should i add to my personal position statement?
What should i do on the day in court?
I am acting LIP also.

Thanks
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#2
Hi Akburnham, and welcome.

I'm assuming you've been granted overnight contact? If that's the case, will your son have a bedroom for his sole use whilst he's with you?

If so, then she doesn't really have grounds to vary the order. Not every child has the opportunity to grow up in a mansion, and as long as he has some space for himself I'm fairly certain that will be satisfactory to the courts.
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#3
(03-31-2016, 12:19 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: Hi Akburnham, and welcome.

I'm assuming you've been granted overnight contact? If that's the case, will your son have a bedroom for his sole use whilst he's with you?

If so, then she doesn't really have grounds to vary the order. Not every child has the opportunity to grow up in a mansion, and as long as he has some space for himself I'm fairly certain that will be satisfactory to the courts.

Hi, 
Thanks for coming back to me.
I now live in a one bedroom flat, but i have purchased a double sized sofa bed.
In my personal statement, i have also stated that once my son retires, my partner and i will move to our bedroom to respect his sleeping arrangements.
I have a staggered contact order, overnight stays begin after 8, 8 hr day contacts.
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#4
Well, he's got a bedroom to himself whilst he's sleeping, and as long as you and your partner are up and about before him then personally I wouldn't have an issue with it. However, as I'm sure you'll agree, it isn't ideal but you can and will work round that. Emphasize in your statement that you agree it isn't perfect, but the only one going to any inconvenience is you, and that's a small price to pay to ensure your son has a decent relationship with you. Maybe mention that you may be looking to move as circumstances permit, but irrespective of that, he still has a room for his sole use even under your current living arrangements.

As far as your ex goes, whilst she has a right to express her concerns, they are adequately addressed in your opinion, and your son has a right to a decent relationship with you and this includes overnight contact. Maybe you could ask that the order goes ahead as written with a review after, say 6 months?

As far as what to do on the day in court, turn up at least 1/2 hour earlier than the time stated on the papers, make yourself known to the clerk of courts, dress smartly, be polite. Once in the courtroom or chambers, address your responses to the judge, not your ex. Remember it's solely about his welfare so don't slag off the ex, keep it focussed on the relevant issues.

I lived in a one bedroomed bungalow and it was no barrier to me having my daughter overnights (She was 2 at this time), and like you, I had a sofa bed in my front room for my use. The only difference was my partner didn't stay overnight, but you have a right to run your life as you see fit and if that involves your partner then that's the way it is. No-one can deny you that and it's perfectly natural, and society expects that you'd live with your partner. You could spin it on it's head by saying it shows your son that sometimes you have to help others by putting your own wants and desires on the back burner?

You already know that court isn't quite as daunting as it sounds, so you don't need a confidence boost on that. All you can do is be honest and emphasize the positives for your son.
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#5
Thanks, i also have a handover point, which is my ex's friend (I agreed to this in court, as anywhere is better than being on my own with my ex).
On the first handover, her "neutral" friend told my son " you dont have to go" making the handover impossible, as my son, then didnt want to come.
How would you handle this?
I reported to the police, against my court order ref, and have basically been told the order isnt wort the paper unless the power of arrest has been assigned to it.
It took a year to get the piece of paper, so wasnt impressed.
I have sent a letter to my ex and the handover address, saying i will be there again at my next contact, and expect this to go smoothly and i will be applying for an enforcement order if it fails again - but do feel an "arse" at the same time...
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#6
Don't feel an arse over it, your ex's friend has no part in proceedings other than as a place of handover. However the only way you'll resolve it is take it back to court for enforcement, citing interference from a third party, namely the "friend" of the ex. You could add that you think your ex has encouraged your friend to behave as she has, and is totally inappropriate. The Police won't and can't do anything as the ex has the residence order. Police would only be involved if you refused to hand him back.

Sorry I can't offer any crumbs of comfort, but remember one breach of the order without good reason is still a breach, and if your order has the bit about defying the order is contempt of court, then you are free to take it back before a judge to seek enforcement and ask the judge to remind the mum of her responsibilities in facilitating the order, and the penalties available to the courts if she chooses to defy it. Hopefully you'll get a judge that takes such things seriously and you'll have the full backing of the courts in this respect.
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#7
(03-31-2016, 03:40 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: Don't feel an arse over it, your ex's friend has no part in proceedings other than as a place of handover. However the only way you'll resolve it is take it back to court for enforcement, citing interference from a third party, namely the "friend" of the ex. You could add that you think your ex has encouraged your friend to behave as she has, and is totally inappropriate. The Police won't and can't do anything as the ex has the residence order. Police would only be involved if you refused to hand him back.

Sorry I can't offer any crumbs of comfort, but remember one breach of the order without good reason is still a breach, and if your order has the bit about defying the order is contempt of court, then you are free to take it back before a judge to seek enforcement and ask the judge to remind the mum of her responsibilities in facilitating the order, and the penalties available to the courts if she chooses to defy it. Hopefully you'll get a judge that takes such things seriously and you'll have the full backing of the courts in this respect.

What accomodation did you have at the time the order was made?

What type of application is the court currently dealing with? If its to vary, you might be able to add that suitability of accomodation as been ruled on to your positoin statement, as on applications to vary you can only intruduce any changes since 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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