can a court force contact

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  • #62099 Report

    Nic1182
    Participant

    Hi Newish to the group

    My Ex husband is taking me to court to be able to see our son.  Over the past 18 months since covid they have not seen each other.  Just phone calls that started of quite regular but gradually got less with ex making excuses of why he could not ring.  My son now does not want contact with his dad as he has told me that he is not a nice person, emotionally blackmails him by telling him he has to stay on the phone as he’s the only thing keeping him alive,  Shouts at him when he wants to get of the phone, he remembers his dad hurting me, says when he did visit he would fall asleep on the couch leaving him on his own he’s scared of him and does not feel safe around him amongst many other things. We tried mediation but he does not believe that our son would say these things.  Its been a very up and down contact over the years and i think my son has just had enough.  He says he never really wanted to see him but thought he had to.  I’ve tried my hardest to encourage him and keep telling him your dad loves you but he is still refusing to go.  My ex also has mental health problems that i think he takes a drug called promazine which i think is an antipsychotic and has been using cocaine on and off for years.  He used while looking after our son.  And there is the issue of the domestic violence as well.  My question is what are the chances of him getting  access as my son is adamant he wants no contact at all.

    #62121 Report

    Newbeginnings :)
    Participant

    In reply to your title – yes but all depends on the circumstances and what is seen to be in the child’s best interest.

    How old is your son? As children of a certain age are asked there views by Cafcass and it is taken in to account by the courts.

    You may be able to get legal aid to help with legal fees if you are a victim of abuse.

    You need to clearly list all of your concerns and start compiling your evidence to support your concerns.

    I cannot imagine Cafcass would recommend unsupervised contact at this stage given ‘your allegations’ and that currently no contact is taking place. Probably will go to a fact finding hearing as your concerns are serious and the courts will need to determine whether or not your son is safe in his dads care.

     

    Is there a trusted family member that could support contact? Someone your son trusts and is comfortable with? The problem is your ex will probably try and accuse you of ‘parental alienation’ which the courts hate, so you must be seen to try and encourage some kind of ‘safe’ contact whether that’s indirect (phone) or direct (face to face) that you and your son are comfortable with.

     

    It may or may not go against you that you have already allowed unsupervised contact given some of your concerns… However if you can prove that you acted protectively and responded to your ex’s behaviour i.e ‘taking drugs and falling asleep whilst caring for your son’ and contact stopped as a direct consequence of his poor decisions. Then it could strengthen your case and diminish his counter claim of ‘parental alienation’.

    Be careful – whatever contact / arrangements you agree to in the interim will carry on or increase. It’s unusual for the courts to decrease contact unless there’s a new safeguarding issue.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by GingerbreadHelen. Reason: removed formatting
    #62124 Report

    Michael UK
    Participant

    If he shows signs of domestic violence and drug use, and your own child is stating concerns, then it’s unlikely in my opinion that a court would grant any unsupervised access.

    my ex had mental health issues, and we initially arranged supervised contact via an independent contact Center.

    If a court were to suggest contact (I think unlikely from what you have said), then I’d suggest you ask the court that he pays for supervised contact via an independent contact Center,  they will document the contact quality, and refuse contact if he turns up in an “unsuitable state”.

    also check if your able to receive legal aid.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Michael UK.
    #62311 Report

    Nic1182
    Participant

    Thank you so much for you’re replies and advice. My son is 10 years old. He has told me that he’s upset angry and frustrated that his dad won’t listen to him not wanting to see him. He says I just want to tell him to his face. It’s so awful. I just keep telling him that his dad loves him just as much as I do and that’s why he wants to see you. I do ask him weekly sometimes twice a week if he wants to speak, write a letter meet in the park for football, nerf wars etc but he just keeps saying no. I’m trying my best to encourage him but a lot of the time he tells me to stop asking as he won’t change his mind. He has done too much. Just upsetting that my little boy has to go through all this. Xx

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