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Child arrangement order constantly broken
#1
Hi

I'll keep this as broad as possible.

My childs mother has not stuck to the arrangement order in regards to contact on an number of occasions now providing a variety of reasons but making no effort to make alternative arrangements.  The reasons she has given are things such as she is working and she is too ill to make the child available.  

She has confirmed that she has arranged child carers/friends or child spends day at nursery rather than being with me.  If I politely question her actions she infers that she is being harassed and closes down communication.  

Q.  What should be my next steps if this continues?  Are solicitors required as I am not keen on handing over more money to mine. 

Regards
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#2
I wouldn't worry too much regarding the harassment allegations as a CAO exists which states when she has to make the children available to you.

Have you evidenced the instances where she has not followed the court order and made it known to her that she is breaching? If so, then I would not let her continue to breach as that could essentially mean that you have accepted them.

You would file an application for enforcement of the current CAO (C79 form); you would be able to self represent in court or just engage a Direct Access barrister for the hearing itself
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#3
Dont bother with her, just file for enforcement ASAP. You have the evidence.

For me its about precedent, my ex tried this during the interim order. I called the police, I told the court and worded a strongly worded email to her solicitor, and brought it up at the final hearing. She never did it again. There comes a point when you stop trying to be reasonable and just keep going back to court until she stops the games.

Ask for more time each time you go back to court, make it so unpalatable that she gives up.

If you let it carry on then it sets the status quo in her favour. You need to make it clear that as a parent you are equally capable of caring for your child when ill. Rather than fobbing child off on family and friends when the parent is right there.
Id be inclined to insinuate that she is clearly struggling with her responsibility and maybe need to re-evaluate the order so theres less pressure on poor old mum. We shouldnt have to play these games but ffs its necessary to protect our childs right to two parents.
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#4
(08-28-2019, 10:26 AM)Leader1978 Wrote: I wouldn't worry too much regarding the harassment allegations as a CAO exists which states when she has to make the children available to you.  

Have you evidenced the instances where she has not followed the court order and made it known to her that she is breaching?  If so, then I would not let her continue to breach as that could essentially mean that you have accepted them.  

You would file an application for enforcement of the current CAO (C79 form); you would be able to self represent in court or just engage a Direct Access barrister for the hearing itself


The problem is the order advises that we be flexible but she is clearly pushing the boundaries in respect to this.  I'm being flexible but I do state what the order says she must do without accusing her of breaching although now she clearly is.  Flexibility only seems to be for her benefit at the moment as she tends to push back on any requests from me to be flexible by referring to the court order.  I'm being too soft I know.

(08-28-2019, 10:28 AM)Naive Wrote: Dont bother with her, just file for enforcement ASAP. You have the evidence.

For me its about precedent, my ex tried this during the interim order. I called the police, I told the court and worded a strongly worded email to her solicitor, and brought it up at the final hearing. She never did it again. There comes a point when you stop trying to be reasonable and just keep going back to court until she stops the games.

Ask for more time each time you go back to court, make it so unpalatable that she gives up.

If you let it carry on then it sets the status quo in her favour. You need to make it clear that as a parent you are equally capable of caring for your child when ill. Rather than fobbing child off on family and friends when the parent is right there.
Id be inclined to insinuate that she is clearly struggling with her responsibility and maybe need to re-evaluate the order so theres less pressure on poor old mum. We shouldnt have to play these games but ffs its necessary to protect our childs right to two parents.

Good point made thanks.  Ultimately it's about my young child's rights as he is too young to have any influence on what is going on + she is setting precedents that she can continue to do this as a form of control.
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#5
File for enforcement, the issue is that the longer you let it go on, the more difficult it gets for you. Being flexible regarding the order is only If the both of you are in agreement on a particular matter. Currently, it appears she is just bulldozing her changes through which is not reasonable.
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#6
Agree - being flexible is agreeing to swap a night or week-end or swapping holiday weeks. It is not your ex dictating what will happen on your time. You do need to be careful on time and content of any communications as they can be used against you if you get annoyed eg so keep any communication extremely brief, polite and formal.

Do you have any clear evidence of her breaching. Ie emails or texts where she doesn’t allow the child to come to you on the ordered times? If so you have clear evidence of a breach so should apply for enforcement in a c79 and list every single breach and attach evidence. One question you could be asked though is - when she said she was ill and couldn’t bring child, did you offer to collect child?

You should have a line that says something like “such further and other times as agreed in writing between the parties”. If it is not clearly agreed in writing then it is not agreed and she is breaching. If you have gone along with changes the odd time and agreed because she dictated or insisted then that is evidence of you being reasonable and her being unreasonable.
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#7
(08-28-2019, 11:46 AM)Charlie7000 Wrote: Agree - being flexible is agreeing to swap a night or week-end or swapping holiday weeks. It is not your ex dictating what will happen on your time. You do need to be careful on time and content of any communications as they can be used against you if you get annoyed eg so keep any communication extremely brief, polite and formal.

Do you have any clear evidence of her breaching. Ie emails or texts where she doesn’t allow the child to come to you on the ordered times? If so you have clear evidence of a breach so should apply for enforcement in a c79 and list every single breach and attach evidence. One question you could be asked though is - when she said she was ill and couldn’t bring child, did you offer to collect child?

You should have a line that says something like “such further and other times as agreed in writing between the parties”. If it is not clearly agreed in writing then it is not agreed and she is breaching. If you have gone along with changes the odd time and agreed because she dictated or insisted then that is evidence of you being reasonable and her being unreasonable.

Lot's of clear evidence for example dictating that my last contact time be shortened by 2 hrs in order to take our child to a party.  Child had no idea party taking place as it turned out it was one of her friends parties.   I did offer to collect child for last 2 no go contacts and she point blank refused to even acknowledge the offers and ended communication citing her illness and that my tone was not to her liking and despite the emails being extremely neutral.  Our child stayed at another house - her friends and I was only made aware of that after I asked where the child was as she had stated that she was too ill to parent the child.  Again this breaches the court order.  I will look into applying for enforcement unless she agrees to make arrangements for our child to be with me if this happens again.
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#8
Enforce - don't wait. I think if you let it go more than 2 or 3 breaches it is seen as accepting a change. Apart from that this needs nipping in the bud. She can't dictate on your time. If child has a party fine - you take child to party - it's your time. Unless she asks nicely if you would mind if she takes her and offering a couple of hours extra (which she doesn't by the sound of it).

So yes she is dictating, the courts will take a dim view and her attitude will be noted. Also at an enforcement hearing a Judge can alter the current order in any way they choose to ensure it is more likely to be followed, or add clauses etc to tighten things so she can't argue loopholes etc.

Yes it costs £215 but it is important to enforce these breaches. If you have to enforce 2 or 3 times they will take strong measures. Believe me - don't let it slide. Enforce now - it will be well worth it ongoing. No mediation needed, and she is entirely in the wrong so you're not "asking" for anything like in an original child arrangements application. And the court wants to know if orders aren't being complied with. It is not in the child's interests as a) they have an expectation to be with you at a certain time and have a routine that makes them feel secure and b) it is undermining your parenthood to the child who sees Mum over-ruling things, which is not in child's interests for security either.
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#9
Agree with the above, don't let it fester and continue - file for enforcement. My ex has breached and also refused to follow the certain points in the court order on 10 occasions in the last 3 months, I now have a hearing in a couple of weeks to deal with this. Looking back, I failed to take action after the first 2 or 3 instances but all that did was make it worse for me, my ex thought she could control and dictate the order as she pleases.
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#10
Thanks for all of your sound advice folks. I will file for enforcement asap.
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