Dad wants to reduce contact in order
10 July 2019 at 6:53 am #27524
10 July 2019 at 7:22 am #27525
<li style=”text-align: left;”> There is a child arrangements order in place but my ex husband wants to reduce his contact with the children. He said that now he has split with his partner he can’t have the kids from school on his Fridays he wantbecause andof his swork though he’d self employed. He also wants to reduce school holiday access so he can work more. I have a term time only contract but sometimes have to work extra outside of this. I’ve also made plans like agreed with manager to work extra and have a holiday booked without children for one of the weeks. I have evidence that these arrangements were made before his request to reduce contact. Where do I stand? It’s giving me anxiety and I can’t sleep with the court hearing coming up in a few weeks. Thanks
The court can’t force your ex to see his children. If he chooses not to show up, there’s not much you can do about it.
Can you explain to him about the holiday and ask him to delay his plans until after that week? Or can you take your children with you on holiday and ask him to pay half? Can any of the grandparents help?
My ex won’t commit to anything during the week so I send him half the bill for holiday clubs and afterschool clubs.10 July 2019 at 7:55 am #27528
He took it to court for the original order so if he didnt have the children when he agreed to them he was in breach of the order. Isn’t that the courts making him have them? He originally wanted them every single weekend but I compromised with 3 weekends out of 4. Now he wants to change to fortnightly, not pick up from school times and cut holidays in half. I’m saying that it’s detrimental to the kids if he reduced access so much. He doesn’t want any set times on his Fridays so I’m arguing that too that they need routine and would be upset at such a dramatic reduction.11 July 2019 at 10:55 am #27571
A court can only enforce that wanted contact is not restricted. They cannot force him to have contact when he doesn’t want it.
As such, you will have to find some middle ground. Perhaps discuss your holiday away and see if he can have the children at that time.
With regards the weekend contact, I would suggest that if he cannot confirm for Fridays that he has EOW from Saturday until Monday school drop off.11 July 2019 at 1:47 pm #27581
Thanks for your advice. I’m not sure if it’s right though otherwise there would not be the option of me taking it to court to enforce the order if he breached it by not having them when it’s stated in the order.11 July 2019 at 4:05 pm #27587
There isn’t that option if you’re the Resident Parent.
You can NOT make a parent have their child.
You cannot enforce this.
You can only enforce the resident parent not complying and making the child available for contact.11 July 2019 at 5:34 pm #27591
11 July 2019 at 6:51 pm #27597
<li style=”text-align: left;”>I really don’t understand that. The non resident parent agreed to a court order. He breached it twice by not having the children. The court themselves told me via email and also during my last hearing that I could enforce the order if I wanted so if he would have sanctions. I understand if there is no order in place then you can’t make a non resident parent have their child but if there is an order then both parents need to comply. This is for variation of an order not a new one. Are you trained in law or is your advice from experience? Thanks
Solo’s right, The contact order tells him what he can have. It doesn’t mean he has to use it. It can be infuriating but as the resident parent, you might find yourself picking up the slack. Sorry.
I hope the holiday works out somehow.15 August 2019 at 5:16 am #29209
I had the final hearing yesterday and thankfully the15 August 2019 at 5:24 am #29210
Thankfully the advice I was given on here was wrong. The magistrates ruled that reducing father’s access (non resident parent) in the school holidays and having no set pick up time would not be in the children’s best interests. My ex husband had focused only on that it would be in his best interests because of his work, not the children. I argued that I need to work too and it would disadvantage the children. He was also reminded by the magistrates that he had parental responsibility and should not be pushing all of his responsibility on to me and that if he did not comply with the order then he risks imprisonment. He has effectively been forced to have the children in the school holidays as per the original order. His employment does not prioritise mine. I demonstrated my efforts to compromise for what is best for the children but he did not. It could be different because it was a variation of a child arrangements order.15 August 2019 at 5:26 am #29211
15 August 2019 at 6:55 pm #29221
- I just want to tell mother’s that they CAN enforce an order if father dies not comply. He can’t use it as a form of control by not picking up children as agreed in an order so as to make life difficult for the mother.
In that case, sorry, I was wrong. I’ve not heard of that happening before.
Let us know if he keeps to the order. I hope it works out.16 August 2019 at 7:35 am #29227
Well done for what you achieved in court and thank you for sharing your story.
It’s really helpful to know, as there is so often the perception that the legal system in practice only enforces “parental rights” and not “parental responsibilities”.16 August 2019 at 9:41 am #29232
The court ruled that reducing the father’s contact is not in the children’s best interests because they’re used to the contact with him and it would financially disadvantaged the mother, with whom they reside.16 August 2019 at 1:38 pm #29245
A court order only gives an order for contact. It plays no part in frequency or the quality of contact .
Is it not possible to find a trustworthy carer to take over what were Dad’s times to have the children?
Luckily I was always in a position to look after my children (still do for the youngest) however, I see your difficulties as you both work hard and deserve help.
Something will work out for you.