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anyone complain to a court
#1
Has anyone complain to a court, if so what was the outcome.  Basically over xmas period from previous post, my ex decided to stop me seeing children because of lock down, right over xmas untill nearly end of March.   This effect my mental health badly put me in a bad place i wanted to give up, in the ended had professional help.  I also contacted a solicitor who told me to enforce court order, well that finally happened yesterday took nearly 4 months.  It cost me abit too, but i couldnt afford for a solicitor to represent me.  She then had her say and defense.  Basically she sent them lots of doctors notes and medical records which  of course im not aloud to see.  Just gave loads of negative stuff about me how i put the children at risk alot of things werent even true.  I was then hoping to defend my self afterwards.  I was then put on mute for 20 mins.   Then afterwards they come to a verdict, basically said we not taking any further action against my ex for not letting me see my children due to the uncertain situation at the time.   Due to all her so called medical issues, handovers will still take place at the mother house.  Which is a 240 mile round trip, but they must think that exceptable.  They also said to her contact between the children and there father is very important.   As parents we need to communicate better with one another, which is impossible as she just sent me abusive messages constantly.  Was already messaging me after court case winding me up.   I explained the journey made me tired and ill, and there been a few occasions i literally dosed off at wheel.  i also had accident going back home, luckily that wasnt my fault, but if i was more alert probably could of avoided it.   Do you think i would get anywhere complaining or they just side with the mother again.
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#2
Sorry no point complaining i am afraid. The above sounds very reasonable and could have been a lot more worse for you. Generally courts dont do anything about breaches especially when u can mention the word coronavirus.
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#3
It couldn't be much worse tbh
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#4
I think the problem is she presented evidence- did she have a solicitor? An ex with a solicitor is a nightmare. The key would have been to have submitted a really logical solid position statement the day before the hearing. That speaks for you and presents your argument.

So you have lost that time but the lockdown is being relaxed again now and she should follow the order. If she doesn’t then enforce again but prepare well. Also you need to show in writing (email to her) that you are taking her medical issues seriously and taking xyz precautions.
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#5
I'm at a lost she didn't have a solicitor she just sent them all her doctors records. I don't know her medical history. All I know I was in such a dark place over Xmas I had to get professional counselling. Some how she got away scott free. I still get abusive message, and said I hope you like wasting money. Court order a waste of time, she won't swap weekends, I spoke to my kids once in a week. She now knows she can get away with it. I'm so screw over I don't know what else I can do, this is 3rd time always goes in her favour due to medical reasons, which I don't know what they are. Everytime I try and get my CMS sorted she then reports me or stops me seeing them again. I can't keep going back it costing me money and not good on my mental health. The 240 mile round trip is killing me, I already one accident. Court had no time what so ever to hear my side of things.
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#6
I think I know how you feel as I had one bad hearing where an order wasn't enforced as well (partly my own fault, partly circumstances and I was also run down and not prepared enough). Was Cafcass involved? All I can say is - every hearing is different and we learn from the ones that don't go well. The enforcement would be for the the breaches that have already happened. They have gone now. Your court order still stands and she should be following it. If she is still using covid as an excuse then you maybe need to start putting a few things in writing so you have evidence of what you've tried for another time. It doesn't have to cost if you apply to enforce again apart from the £215 court fee - you can self rep. Right now it sounds like you need to take care a bit. Counselling can help but also just looking after yourself. And trying to keep positive (easier said than done). Good that you are getting to speak to the kids once a week.

Start by only communicating by email or text and do BIFF emails (brief, informative, friendly, formal) as if writing to a business colleague. It is good for evidence, it helps you detach from her and it stops it being personal and her getting to you. The abusive messages aren't nice. A response to that could be:

"I hope the children and you are well. As lockdown is now being relaxed and covid numbers very low and vaccinations well under way, I think it is safe for the children to stay with me. If you still have health concerns, and haven't been vaccinated yet, I will ensure that we don't go anywhere when the children are with me for now, except for a walk in a quiet place possibly, without other people around. And take precautions such as quarantining anything that arrives in the post and wiping food shopping. I will be there to collect the children on x date and ask for confirmation that you will make them available please. I ask that we keep communications civilised please."

Whatever she replies - these kind of replies are good evidence for you to show she is being obstructive. Even though you might not want to think about enforcing again just yet, always keep building evidence. One or two emails from her can clinch it sometimes - if they are nasty enough. Your communications should always be polite, civilised and no point scoring. That shows her as the hostile one.

Was it magistrates or a judge you had, and was it just the one hearing? And were you able to present evidence? I think rather than appealing you just enforce again if she refuses to let you see the kids, and at the same time apply to vary the order.

Assume you have every other week-end and half the holidays? If not then you want holidays - so the kids spend longer periods with you, less driving.

The distance is an issue as every other week-end is the only real option unless you move closer to her. And she is taking advantage of the distance.

The thing with enforcement is - there is no real punishment - they might order a fine. It is more a case of a Judge giving her a ticking off and telling her to follow the order. If she then doesn't, and you have to enforce again, then it starts to show a pattern on record at the court that she is consistently breaching the order.

However it has to be a clear breach. As in - no reasonable excuse. What she did was provide a reasonable excuse (provided medical records) so it wasn't a breach. But there should have been an argument that you were no risk to her health.

Now if you work in a high risk environment, she would have good reason to say - can't let the kids go there, I'm shielding. But not now - the kids are back in school now - they are not staying at home so that is a risk as well. If she is in a high risk medical category she'll have been prioritised for vaccination. People with diabetes and asthma are now being vaccinated regardless of age as being "clinically vulnerable" even if not "extremely clinically vulnerable".

A position statement can really speak for you in advance. However depressing and demeaning it feels that court did nothing and she sends you abusive taunting messages - try to get pragmatic. And don't give up.

The other thing about enforcement is a) it depends if you get a good Judge, a woolly Judge or woolly magistrates. If woolly then they need more to guide them to an argument and a solution - eg a good position statement. Even a good Judge needs something to work with. Not just - I haven't seen my children - but more detail, saying what you have tried etc. and b) it depends what they can actually do if she isn't following it. They could give her a stern telling off and tell her to follow the order (maybe that was the bit you mentioned about keeping up the Father's relationship but does sound woolly and vague). Or they could fine her. But it sounds like she used the distress argument - that is common. I have no money, he's taking me to court, I am distressed and I have health issues and here's the evidence.

The sympathy vote. And you have to be careful not to be negative about her but stress the childrens best interests to spend time with both parents. Sorry you probably did all that.

The main thing I have learned is they like to see you have tried to resolve things before you apply to court.

Right now I don't think she has any medical grounds whatsoever to prevent the kids being with you. Not at this stage,even though lockdown hasn't fully ended yet. Unless - you work in an environment that could mean transmission.

If you can say - I work from home and take careful precautions and get food delivered, wipe packages etc. Then there is no safety argument. If you don't work from home then she is playing on the safety aspect. But the argument against that is - kids are in school now - they mix with other people all the time and your home is safer than that.

So keep up the phone calls and email her about half term. What are you supposed to have - half of May half term?
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#7
Thanks for reply, I'm slowly getting there I am seeing them again. I think Xmas period not seeing them, messed my mental health the most. I was struggling. It just the handovers causing biggest issue since I had my accident it put me off abit I'm always feeling tired now doing driving. It only way I can see them, I did try putting my point across at the court, phone conference and with letters. I guess one good thing my eldest child on my side, and seeing what his mum can really be like to me. Also don't help at moment there road works everywhere nearly adds another hour in to my journey. I'm am worried about another accident or falling asleep driving, now I stop taking my anti depressants that makes me feel abit more alert.
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#8
Is there a family member who can go with you and share the driving?
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#9
No unfortunately not, my parents are nervous drivers, not to keen on driving far, plus there find my car to powerful to drive. It mainly winter that effects me the most
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#10
At least the weather is improving and lighter nights. It would help if you had someone with you though maybe for the journey, even if they didn’t drive.
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