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Guide to Court 1: 1st Hearing; Court Forms & Statement

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 18 Sep 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Court Hearing Forms Application

In our series of guides we hope to arm you with enough information to be able to understand the legal issues and achieve your objective in the easiest way possible. Our going to court guide is in 3 parts. You can download the entire guide (see below) or you can read it here it on the site. Part one of the guide covers:

  • The court process
  • With notice and without notice hearings
  • Completing court forms
  • Writing the court statement

The court process

In an ideal world, you and your ex partner would have an amicable relationship and be able to resolve any issues (particularly where your children are concerned) out of court. Unfortunately that is not always achievable and it may be necessary to apply to the courts to resolve disputes.

There are several court orders available to you, including:

  • Prohibited steps order (stopping a party doing something)
  • Mandatory order (making a party do something)
  • Contact order (making a party allow another party contact with a child)
  • Residence order (stating who a child will live with and when)

The process of applying to court and conducting proceedings varies slightly depending upon which order you are applying for and the circumstances in which it is made. The two main processes are set out below:

1. With notice hearing

This is the usual type of hearing where the other side is informed of your application and both sides attend court.

(1.) Complete the relevant application and file to the relevant court. (This will depend on where you live but generally be your local County Court or Family Proceedings Court).

(2.) A copy of your application is served on other party known as the Respondent. (This will usually be the other parent of your children).

(3.) A first hearing is scheduled. Before this hearing you may be invited to attend a Cafcass meeting. This is a brief meeting with a Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service officer who is experienced in dealing with all court cases involving children. At this meeting the officer will listen to both parties and try help you to reach an agreement regarding any issues.

(4.) The first hearing will be conducted by a Judge. This hearing will briefly outline any areas of agreement and dispute. The Judge may also ask the Cafcass officer for advice on the issues in the case. It is normal for parents not to speak to the judge at this brief hearing which is really more administrative than a time to rule on issues. It is common for the judge to then ask the Cafcass officer to draft a detailed report on the case.

(5.) You may ask for an order during the interim period between first and final hearing as this can be several months. For example the judge may order weekly supervised contact while the case is still ongoing over whether you should be given unsupervised contact.

(6.) The Cafcass report will be sent to both parents once completed (though this often takes 12-16 weeks). The Cafcass officer will usually speak to both parents, any other relevant relatives, the child's school, and (dependant on the child's age) the child themselves in preparing their report. They may also observe interaction between the parents and their child/children.

(7.) The court will nearly always follow the Cafcass officer's recommendations and so many parents choose to simply implement the recommendations in the report rather than continue to argue issues in court.

(8.) If no agreement is reached, a final hearing is held. This will be conducted by a judge (not necessarily the same one as at the first hearing though). The judge will hear evidence from the parents, the Cafcass officer and any other relevant witnesses before making a decision and granting / not granting an order.

2. Without notice hearing

This process is used in more urgent applications, such as where a child needs to be removed from one person's care due to allegations of abuse. You may not have time due to the urgency of the matter to inform the other side officially.

(1.) Complete the relevant application and file to the relevant court. (This will depend on where you live but generally be your local County Court or Family Proceedings Court). This WILL NOT normally be served on the other party where allegations by their nature need to remain secret (e.g. where it is alleged one parent is about to take the child to live abroad permanently without permission).

(2.) A first hearing is scheduled. Usually this will be urgent and so may be scheduled for the same day as the application is made. Often judges hear without notice family applications first thing, or after lunch before their ongoing cases or trials resume. If the application is extremely urgent, they may even break off whatever case they were hearing to hear your application. Only the applying party will normally be present.

(3.) The Judge will usually make a ruling on your application which will last until a final hearing is arranged with both parties present.

(4.) A final hearing will be arranged and the other party sent notice of it along with copies of your application and the decision at the without notice hearing. The judge will hear evidence from both the parents, a Cafcass officer and any other relevant witnesses before making a decision at this stage. They may then confirm or vary the interim order they made at the without notice hearing.

What will the court consider in reaching their decision?

When a judge makes a decision in a family law case, they must consider every element of what is called 'the welfare checklist'. This includes:

  • The wishes and feelings of the child (if they are old enough for this to be ascertained)
  • The likely effect of any changes on the child
  • The particular needs of the child (eg any disabilities or special needs)
  • The ability of the parents or carers to meet the needs of the child
  • The harm that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  • Any characteristics such as religion or sex that the court considers relevant
  • The child's educational needs (if of schooling age)

It is important to note that the court will not make an order where the effect of not doing so is no worse than making the order. This is called the 'no order principle'. You therefore need to show in any application that the order applied for is really necessary and in the child's best interests.

Court forms

To start every court application you will need to fill in and file the relevant form. The courts have a wide range of orders available but you must use the correct form when applying.

Perhaps unhelpfully the forms all have a letter and numerical code which can make choosing the right form a bit tricky. Below is a description of which orders need which forms:

  • Contact Order C100 - You want to see your children but your ex partner won't let you
  • Residence Order C100 - You want your children to live with you
  • Anything regarding abuse C1A - You are making specific allegations of abuse of your children by a family member
  • Parental Responsibility Order C1 - You want to have formal parental responsibility for your children
  • Parental Responsibility Order (step-children) C(PRA2)- You want formal parental responsibility for your step-children
  • Prohibited Steps Order C100 - You want to stop your ex partner doing something
  • Enforcement Order C79 - You have an order but your ex partner is not complying with it
  • Cancel or vary Enforcement Order C79 - You have an Enforcement Order against you and you want the court to cancel or vary it
  • Care or Supervision Order C110 - This formalises the involvement required by the Local Authority in your child's care

All of these court forms are available online at: www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/family/formspage

Many of the forms also have a helpful 'Notes' guide (also online to download) which will help you fill out the form. It is important that forms are filled out correctly so court time (and your money) is not wasted. Read the checklists (including those for practitioners) carefully and ensure all the essential information is completed fully and clearly.

Most forms will have a section asking:

"Why are you making this application?"

It is often tempting to write every bit of information relevant to your application in this box, and you are allowed to use additional sheets of paper if necessary. However, remember that the judge will not have long to read this application and so will want this box to just be an overview of your application.

An example:

We have an agreement that I look after my two children (aged 8 and 12 years) Thursday to Sunday. My ex partner looks after the children Sunday to Thursday.

I would like this to be reversed for the following reasons:

  • My house is 10 minutes walk from the children's school. My ex partner lives 45 minutes drive away.
  • I am able to take the children to school for their 8:30am start and pick them up at 4pm as I work 9am to 3:30pm Monday to Friday. My ex partner has to drop them off at breakfast club for 7:30am and pick them up from after school club at 6pm, giving them a very long day.
  • My ex partner is out of an evening frequently during the week and so the children have a babysitter. It would be cheaper and more beneficial for them to spend that time with me

My ex partner says that she will alter her working hours but she has said this before and was unable to do so. She does not work Friday to Sunday and so we would both end up with more time with our children by this alteration.

You do not need to include evidence of everything alleged in this application but can refer to that in your later statement. Keep a copy of your completed form so you can refer to it at a later date if necessary.

Writing a court statement

A court statement is often used in addition to your application to set out your case in full, or to respond to your ex partner's application to the court.

There are specific rules about how a court statement must be written (in the Family Proceedings Rules 1991):

  • On the top left of the document, put the court dealing with your case in capital letters.
  • On the top right of the document put the case number (provided by the court on all correspondence to you)
  • At the top, middle of the document put the names of the parties
  • At the right next to the party name, label them 'Petitioner' or 'Applicant' and 'Respondent'. (The Petitioner is the person who applied for the application and the Respondent the person replying to it. The petitioner's name is always first, even if you are the Respondent.)
  • In the middle put a title summarising the purpose of the document (e.g. 'Respondent's Statement about Child's Residence')
  • At the end of your statement you must sign and date a declaration that you believe your statement is true and know it may be used by the court. (e.g. 'I confirm that the contents of this statement are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief, and further that I understand that this statement will be placed before the Court as evidence.')

It is up to you what exactly you put in your statement and of course this will vary depending on the purpose of the statement and the facts of your case. It is however, always a good idea to have an introduction in which you outline your reason for making the statement and what you want the court to do so it doesn't get "lost" in the rest of the content.

Evidence is key to proving the truth of anything said, so try outlining points in your statement using this formula:

General proposition:

  • Point 1 - Evidence 1, Evidence 2
  • Point 2 - Evidence 1, Evidence 2

For example:

Wife's behaviour is unacceptable - Children left alone in house while she is out at pub
(Statement from wife's neighbour and statement from teacher of what children have told her)

Strange men invited back to the house regularly
(Statement from wife's neighbour)

Make sure you proof read your statement as this is your evidence and so you will have to stick by it in court. If you don't know something personally, say so and state how you do know it. Do not put something which you do not believe to be true (remember your signed statement). If you suddenly change this evidence in court it could make you look untruthful and damage your case.

Read on to part 2 of our guide to court which will help you create your skeleton argument and use character references effectively.

And Finally...

We know that some of the dads on here don't have much spare cash. So we are offering the downloadable guides for free.

To help us develop more guides and other products to help separated dads we would really appreciate a small PayPal donation. Our content is written by a qualified barrister. It would really help us and we would appreciate it.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Mister - Your Question:
I separated from my ex in March. We had been living seperatly for 6 months before that but still had a physical relationship throughout that time. I'm pretty sure she met someone else because all of a sudden she is making it impossible for me to see my 4 years old Angel. There has never been abuse of any kind and I don't understand it. I'm out of work but was always very generous in the past. I don't deserve this. Do I?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, whatever the reason your ex is not allowing you access to your child, your only recourse is to go through the motions laid out via the link here .
SeparatedDads - 18-Sep-18 @ 3:37 PM
I separated from my ex in March. We had been living seperatly for 6 months before that but still had a physical relationship throughout that time. I'm pretty sure she met someone else because all of a sudden she is making it impossible for me to see my 4 years old Angel. There has never been abuse of any kind and I don't understand it. I'm out of work but was always very generous in the past. I don't deserve this. Do I?
Mister - 18-Sep-18 @ 7:32 AM
hi all , my partner has accused me of 1 violent assault, apprently throwing her against her wall and dragging her off the sofa. however i have responded to her allegations with oure denial as this never happened, she has never reported to the police or anyone else, also her doctors letter came threw saying they had no concern when we was together of any domestic abuse. so with no evidence at all will the court allow a supervised interim contact until the finding if fact hearing, i am in court thursday to direct whether there needs to be one and have been advised there most probaly will, does any legal adviser or judge ask for any evidence before decding this? please someone respons
gary - 17-Sep-18 @ 5:19 PM
Ness63 - Your Question:
Hi, can anyone tell me how my son can represent himself in court to get supervised access with his daughter? Social services have no problem with him seeing her as long as contact is supervised but my sons ex is refusing to let family supervise contact so he's been told his only option is to apply for a contact order at court. We don't know which form to fill in. He will have to represent himself as he's on benefits. He has parental responsibility and has had contact 'on and off' with his daughter for 3 years, depending on his ex's moods. Thank you

Our Response:
The link here , will help you/him further as it gives you a link to the court forms to fill in. Your son may wish to join the Separated Dads forum if he is representing himself - our dads can give help and advice having been through the process previously.
SeparatedDads - 7-Sep-18 @ 9:50 AM
Hi, can anyone tell me how my son can represent himself in court to get supervised access with his daughter? Social services have no problem with him seeing her as long as contact is supervised but my sons ex is refusing to let family supervise contact so he's been told his only option is to apply for a contact order at court. We don't know which form to fill in. He will have to represent himself as he's on benefits. He has parental responsibility and has had contact 'on and off' with his daughter for 3 years, depending on his ex's moods. Thank you
Ness63 - 6-Sep-18 @ 6:21 AM
Hi all, My ex left me over 2 month ago we have a 5 month old baby boy together, when she left we agreed to do things amicably. When I rang the next day to ask when she was bringing him to see me her mother(ex’s Mum) answered and told me not to call again and that I ain’t seeing him so then I told her that I’ll just turn up at there home and fight in court if needs be, the next thing I know I’m in the police station amswering allegations about domestic abuse etc over the years in our relationship (witch are false) the police came to the decision of no further action as there isn’t any proof (obviously) the next thing I know they have taken a non molestation order out on me witch I attended court for and agreed to undertakings where I accepted the non mol but not the allegations! Since then I tried mediation I attended my MIAM and she didn’t turn up to her non of hers (2) to witch I asked for my application to court. I have now paid for court and am awaiting on my hearing date! How long does this usuall take to receive my date and then how long is it usually to get to court? Also these allegations they have made against is it going to turn the judge/cafcas against me?! The pain of not seeing my boy is unreal and the thought of having to wait even longer lols. Thanks in advance
Ads88 - 21-Aug-18 @ 12:38 PM
Hi all, My ex left me over 2 month ago we have a 5 month old baby boy together, when she left we agreed to do things amicably. When I rang the next day to ask when she was bringing him to see me her mother(ex’s Mum) answered and told me not to call again and that I ain’t seeing him so then I told her that I’ll just turn up at there home and fight in court if needs be, the next thing I know I’m in the police station amswering allegations about domestic abuse etc over the years in our relationship (witch are false) the police came to the decision of no further action as there isn’t any proof (obviously) the next thing I know they have taken a non molestation order out on me witch I attended court for and agreed to undertakings where I accepted the non mol but not the allegations! Since then I tried mediation I attended my MIAM and she didn’t turn up to her non of hers (2) to witch I asked for my application to court. I have now paid for court and am awaiting on my hearing date! How long does this usuall take to receive my date and then how long is it usually to get to court? Also these allegations they have made against is it going to turn the judge/cafcas against me?! The pain of not seeing my boy is unreal and the thought of having to wait even longer lols. Thanks in advance
Ads88 - 20-Aug-18 @ 4:45 PM
Hi all, My ex left me over 2 month ago we have a 5 month old baby boy together, when she left we agreed to do things amicably. When I rang the next day to ask when she was bringing him to see me her mother(ex’s Mum) answered and told me not to call again and that I ain’t seeing him so then I told her that I’ll just turn up at there home and fight in court if needs be, the next thing I know I’m in the police station amswering allegations about domestic abuse etc over the years in our relationship (witch are false) the police came to the decision of no further action as there isn’t any proof (obviously) the next thing I know they have taken a non molestation order out on me witch I attended court for and agreed to undertakings where I accepted the non mol but not the allegations! Since then I tried mediation I attended my MIAM and she didn’t turn up to her non of hers (2) to witch I asked for my application to court. I have now paid for court and am awaiting on my hearing date! How long does this usuall take to receive my date and then how long is it usually to get to court? Also these allegations they have made against is it going to turn the judge/cafcas against me?! The pain of not seeing my boy is unreal and the thought of having to wait even longer lols. Thanks in advance
Ads88 - 20-Aug-18 @ 3:30 PM
mashaandbear - Your Question:
Been having my son stay with me every Friday and Saturday(And sometimes Sunday night) for 4 years since breaking up with my ex. When she is in a bad mood or annoyed she regularly still denies me access. I took her to court before but did not get an order(worst mistake ever) as the judge said we could sort it out between us. She is now denying me access again saying I made a nasty comment about her to my son. Have tried to resolve the matter with her but I just getting abuse and the phone put down on me. Is this really grounds for stopping me see my son? Today I attended the MIAM meeting which went really well and have my C100 signed by a mediator. Tomorrow the C100 is going to the court. Should I ask for an interim contact order as the second hearing could take 6-8 months to reach. it's already been 2 months and first court date could take 8 weeks. That's over a year without seeing my son(

Our Response:
I think your question might be best answered via our forum. Sometimes, it's good to get advice from dads who have been through a similar situation before and who can give the best advice through personal experience.
SeparatedDads - 3-Aug-18 @ 2:00 PM
@hassaan - it can be ajourned until a later date, or the court can make a decision without the respondent being there.
Neil80 - 3-Aug-18 @ 1:38 PM
been having my son stay with me every Friday and Saturday(And sometimes Sunday night) for 4 years since breaking up with my ex. When she is in a bad mood or annoyed she regularly still denies me access. I took her to court before but did not get an order(worst mistake ever) as the judge said we could sort it out between us. She is now denying me access again saying I made a nasty comment about her to my son. Have tried to resolve the matter with her but I just getting abuse and the phone put down on me. Is this really grounds for stopping me see my son? Today I attended the MIAM meeting which went really well and have my C100 signed by a mediator. Tomorrow the C100 is going to the court. Should I ask for an interim contact order as the second hearing could take 6-8 months to reach. it's already been 2 months and first court date could take 8 weeks. That's over a year without seeing my son(
mashaandbear - 2-Aug-18 @ 7:51 PM
i got a hearing in court for child contact order, i wanted to know what happens if the respondent doesnt turn up at the hearin?
hassaan - 2-Aug-18 @ 5:20 PM
Eve - Your Question:
Hi. My fiancee is trying to see is his daughter but his ex is very difficult and took their daughter 500 miles away. He has tried calling on the days and times she requested but he doesn't get to speak to her. He would like to have regular contact.can you advise what action he should take please?

Our Response:
If your fiancé's has personal responsibility of his child, then his ex should have requested consent to remove the child from the area if she planned to move. However, if the resident parent has taken the child without consent then your fiancé would be able to apply straight to court (without having to go through mediation). You can see more via the link here , which will tell you all you need to know.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jul-18 @ 12:39 PM
Hi. My fiancee is trying to see is his daughter but his ex is very difficult and took their daughter 500 miles away. He has tried calling on the days and times she requested but he doesn't get to speak to her. He would like to have regular contact...can you advise what action he should take please?
Eve - 25-Jul-18 @ 9:48 AM
Can a Prohibited Steps Order be discharged at the First Hearing after the Order has been issued?
Mr. MacKenzie - 14-Jul-18 @ 11:34 PM
mongoose - Your Question:
Can someone tell me what court order I need or how much I have to pay roughly.not bothered about a solicitor.I'm in process of divorce and my wife has joined army for 14 weeks training and given me our six year old boy. I am also in army but rent a house and put my son in school near my partner who I live with and his Nan who picks him up and drops him off at school. She thinks she's walking back in taking him from school and moving him to birmingham which my sons said he doesn't want to go. She has no family there or friends and my son will end up with babysitters instead of family he knows with me.I work away Monday to Thursday but I'm home every weekend and have his Nan on hand all week and he is happy.Hes made friends and lives his school so I'm planning to tell her no and to go apply for residency. She pays me buttons for caring for him so also thinking should I go csa?I just want my son to be happy.me and my new partner are having his sister in Oct and hes excited about it we both want him here. Help needed asap have four weeks to stop her taking him.

Our Response:
Unless your ex has a residency order in place through the courts, then you can keep your son (if you have parental responsibility), please see link here . However, it is never advisable to keep a child without the resident parent's consent as it can go against you, as all trust is then lost. If the matter is referred to court and your ex is allowed to continue to care for your son, then it is likely she is going to be more reluctant to trust you to have him again in the future. If the matter goes to court and she wins, then you will be granted set times, times that you would not be able to deviate from. Therefore, all of this has to be contemplated before you take such drastic action as keeping your child against the wishes of the other parent. Also, a court will prefer you to have contemplated mediation before it will allow you to apply, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 12-Jun-18 @ 12:06 PM
Can someone tell me what court order I need or how much I have to pay roughly ...not bothered about a solicitor. I'm in process of divorce and my wife has joined army for 14 weeks training and given me our six year old boy. I am also in army but rent a house and put my son in school near my partnerwho I live with and his Nanwho picks him up and drops him off at school. She thinks she's walking back in taking him from school and moving him to birmingham which my sons said he doesn't want to go. She has no family there or friends and my son will end up with babysitters instead of family he knows with me. I work away Monday to Thursday but I'm home every weekend and have his Nan on hand all week and he is happy. Hes made friends and lives his school so I'm planning to tell her no and to go apply for residency. She pays me buttons for caring for him so also thinking should I go csa? I just want my son to be happy ..me and my new partner are having his sister in Oct and hes excited about it we both want him here . Help needed asap have four weeks to stop her taking him.
mongoose - 11-Jun-18 @ 8:02 PM
@Bgibbs - it must have been more than a call and letter to have the police say you would be arrested for harassment. It can take a while and take a while to come to court.
Reub - 8-Jun-18 @ 12:10 PM
So it has been overthree years now since I last saw my son. Me and my ex were quite young to have a kid and could never agree on things. She went to get the birth certificate done without me so I have no parental responsibility, I couldn’t afford to go to court when she first started blocking me out, I was told by her parents that they would call the police if I turned up un announced... three painful years later and it turns out her blocks on my number and whatsapp has expired, hoping that she had grown up a little like I know I have I tried to contact her again... blocked once again so I tried writing to her and my son in separate letters. The following day I received a phone call from the police to say if I tried contacting them again I would be arrested for harassment. So I have stoped trying to be nice, gone through to try and get mediation sorted and she has not responded to the mediator ( shock). I have filled in my c100 application form to send tommorow to try and get an arrangement order which will hopefully mean I can see my son and get parental responsibility... does anyone know how long after you send your application you can be waiting for a response?
Bgibbs - 6-Jun-18 @ 9:34 PM
@Poltz23 - your ex can write to the court saying she wants to postpone the dates to see if the situation can be solved out of court.
SiH - 22-May-18 @ 9:57 AM
Hi, My partner has just filed a C100 form because I wasn't prepared to give my written consent for them to ta el abroad this summer. I gave the written consent before she submitteed the form but asked for 5 working days to consider some conditions I wanted to include in my consent, regarding contact while they were away etc. She refused to wait for those conditions, which I provided in writing today, and submitted the C100 anyway. This seems like an enormous waste of court time, and her money. Can the process be stopped or do we have to see it to completion now that the form has been submitted? Cheers Marc
Poltz23 - 21-May-18 @ 2:38 PM
walter oneill - Your Question:
Hello. my son and his girlfriend have split, he is listed on birth cert, but she is not refusing access or offering very small or supervised access her offer was one day and night a fortnight, am I right in thinking he has same parental rights as her, shouldnt he be entitled to two or three days a week shared ? also one the day we are supposed to have her she has sent so many unreasonable demands such as limited food, no food after certain times etc. mediation failed she cancelled as no babysitter, we are willing to go court but what are our rights. ?

Our Response:
Please see the link here , which should answer your question.
SeparatedDads - 17-May-18 @ 3:44 PM
@jjjcol - be careful here as this is not about you and your ex - this is about your kid and the courts are not interested in you slagging off your ex, or her slagging off you. This will get you nowhere. I'd see a solicitor or join the forum on here - you need some better advice than what you are currently planning to do.
Billy - 17-May-18 @ 3:11 PM
Hello. my son and his girlfriend have split, he is listed on birth cert, but she is not refusing access or offering very small or supervised access her offer was one day and night a fortnight, am i right in thinking he has same parental rights as her, shouldnt he be entitled to two or three days a week shared ? also one the day we are supposed to have her she has sent so many unreasonable demands such as limited food, no food after certain times etc. mediation failed she cancelled as no babysitter, we are willing to go court but what are our rights. ?
walter oneill - 17-May-18 @ 12:34 PM
Split with ex three weeks ago, I had initial access to my son after been ask to leave the family home with I did peacefully. However she has not made ridiculous and untrue allegations against me concerning domestic and fininincial abuse from me to her. All of which I’m able to provide evidence and statements proving that she has lied in her first statement to the court. In addition to this I have also prepared some very damming statements concerning her abuse of the benefit system and how she looks after my son without me there is causing him risk to hygiene and mental health. So as it stands I cannot contact my ex or my son until the case is heard in court on June 4th. I believe the evidence I provide will be damming and without question prove my ex has lied to the court and will also trigger social services involvement. Despite the fact we have split and that is final I do not want to air all her faults in a court and get her into serious trouble with benefit fraud, child abuse when we could sort this through mediation and me having regular contact with my son to safeguard his wellbeing and welfare. My only contact option is to write to her solicitor asking them to contact the her to withdraw the non-molestation order and begin mediation which I am happy to pay for. Should and how can I word this letter?
jjjcol - 17-May-18 @ 10:57 AM
I have a residence order granted April 2014 and a contact order for my ex who lives abroad. Weekly Skype call and when he returns in the summer for the first 5 days contact hours are gradually increased to build relationship and all being well he can take the kids to family home in Germany for 1 week. Over the years I have never refused contact whenever he randomly returns, which can be any time of year. He has missed almost all Skype calls and ignored calls and texts from our kids for weeks on end. He is threatening to take me to court because I have refused for the boys to go to Disneyland Florida for 1 week. I have said he can take them to Europe instead. Our children are autistic and suffer terribly from the inconsistency and being ignored after contact and exhaustion from long travel. My ex refuses to acknowledge their diagnosis nor show empathy for the impact of his disappearing for weeks. He is verbally abusive towards me and I believe simply wants to get me in a court to “embarrass” me like he did last time when I was immediately granted full residence and his contact was vastly reduced. It is not about the kids but power, manipulation and control as it is him who does not follow the order, I have accommodated and increased contact time, even traveling abroad myself at my expense to facilitate contact and deliver the kids, he denies the basic needs and interests as well as wellbeing of the kids by dismissing their autistic diagnosis. I am not yet sure what the basis is for wanting to return to court as contact has never been denied other than to cause stress and maximum distress. Is there a way to stop him dragging us back to court whenever he does not get his way, which is beyond what is on the order? I do not want to be in his presence and I have cut off direct communication with me but not contact with the kids. I believe he has undiagnosed mental health issues. One minute he is moving back to the UK then to Europe (he lives between 2 countries in South America) then he is too ill to return the kids’ calls and texts then he wants to take them to Florida. He is causing me and the kids a great deal of anxiety and I wish he would just focus on being an accessible parent rather than trying to control me. When I was granted the residence order his reason for taking me to court was that he wanted me to have to ask his permission whenever the kids and I went on holiday-bearing in mind he did not live in this country, had not seen the kids in over a year and was not contributing financially. The judge immediately granted me the residence order. At present he sees the kids about twice a year whenever he decides to visit. There must be a way to stop this malicious controlling behaviour. I have not denied contact. It takes 6 weeks to settle the kids after the rollercoaster contact time they have with him due to their autism and he flatly refuses to follow advice to prevent these meltdown that I then have to deal with and the school.
ResiMum - 28-Apr-18 @ 11:41 AM
Sam - Your Question:
I’ve been divorced almost 3 years but can’t get my ex out the house It is a housing association house joint tenancy. I’ve been to mediation and have my certificate but I’ve got no idea what to do next plz help

Our Response:
If mediation hasn't solved the issue, then next and only option would be to apply to court.
SeparatedDads - 23-Apr-18 @ 10:55 AM
I’ve been divorced almost 3 years but can’t get my ex out the house It is a housing association house joint tenancy. I’ve been to mediation and have my certificate but I’ve got no idea what to do next plz help
Sam - 22-Apr-18 @ 7:55 PM
@Jlowry - so what about your ex - do you not think she might like some time to herself too? Why should she have to work around and sacrifice her time to your job and lifestyle? Just playing devil's advocate here. The current agreement sounds like a pretty fair agreement as you don't have your kids all weekend. You can only but apply to court to see what happens. Most basic arrangements work around having the kids every other weekend and one night in the week. Reduce it now though and what happens if you split up with your current g/f? You might then regret putting your kids second.
AndyV - 13-Apr-18 @ 11:30 AM
I am a separated Dad who currently has my children every Wednesday evening during school times (full day in the holidays), every Sunday for the whole day and every other Saturday into Sunday. I have requested to change the times to every other Saturday into Sunday. This would mean I have the children every other Saturday into Sunday and every Wednesday. However my ex partner refused this. The reason I would like to change the days is that I have a high profile job that requests me to work a certain amount of Sundays in the year. I am also in a new relationship now and feel that I have no quality time with my other half as every full day I have of is with the children. I love my children very much and will always give them the very best, I also feel that having them the extra night a month will be beneficial for both sides. What are the chances of this holding up in court? I know cafcass will put the children at the heart of everything, I feel that I am being reasonable. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you.
Jlowry - 12-Apr-18 @ 3:02 PM
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