Enforcing a child arrangement order

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  • This topic has 7 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Ilya.
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  • #41308 Report

    Opening doors


    I have a child arrangements order in place. There have been multiple breaches in COVID period by my ex who still controls me even though we are separated. Has anyone had to enforce one via court?

    #41321 Report


    Yes, I made an application recently to enforce our CAO. The cost was £215. I’m yet to have the hearing, which is scheduled for this week by telephone. My ex refuses to take our child to the designated handover point and keeps leaving him alone on the street outside my various relatives houses and driving off. He’s only 8 and it’s just not safe. I’m not sure what will happen and how the court will deal with it

    #41325 Report

    Miss mop

    My ex partner to take me back to court to enforce the court order. As I have reduced contact due to the COVID-19 . As he was having multiple people around his house still going out. I have two children with him one child suffers with chest infections and that also has type one diabetes which I classed as vulnerable so I made a decision to reduce the contact is now taking me to court

    #41327 Report


    With type one diabetes being an auto immune disease you potentially have a case for reducing contact if you feel that dad is not minimising risk and you yourself are actually socially isolating. If your child is a shielding patient, you will have received a letter from the government or GP practice. As for chest  infections, unless you have a respiratory diagnosis then you are unlikely to be able to use this is as excuse.
    You may be able to get a letter from your paediatrician stating that the child’s condition makes them vulnerable as judges are not medically trained and in my experience tend not to take the word of parents

    #41423 Report


    Im waiting to hear from the courts for a similar application.

    Ive phoned them several times and was told a judge would be reviewing the application this week.

    Your lucky to have been given a telephone hearing……

    I hope you get the outcome you want.

    #43809 Report

    Hello. I have a hearing for an enforcement of an order coming up. My ex uses contact to manipulate. Three weeks after the court order was made the indirect contact became sporadic. The excuse was always that it’s not possible to stick to the times because of planned activities or friends being round. It was clear that this part of the order was not going to be followed. I started writing to ask for why and offered to supply a device. Soon after we had a disagreement about a change of plans, my ex was already asking me to deviate from the agreed schedule in court. She then stopped contact for a weekend. This has happened about four or five times since the court order. A year on from the court order I had all but given up on indirect contact and coronavirus came along. Ironically we seemed to be getting along ok, I was doing over half of the parenting from March until June. This might have some correlation with my ex loosing her job, there was a disciplinary against her and she got signed off sick for several months. I was the ‘go to’ for support it seemed, certainly in terms of child care during interviews. While things were good, indirect contact was a given, during lockdown it was encouraged as something to do to combat boredom! There was still the occasional disagreement. My ex would call up and discuss arrangements with my daughter then tell me what the plan was. It was lockdown so I wasn’t too bothered the first few times. It felt it was a bit disrespectful and that it’s not a child’s decision but my daughter was choosing to stay with me. After lockdown I started to make plans to meet friends and one day the same thing happened. I asked for my ex to start asking me before making plans and she decided to revert back to the court order because this upset her. Once school started back an agreed extra night a week that had been in place for several months was taken away. I had purchased my daughter a phone instead of a new iPad thinking it would be more useful, more portable and have a decent camera. I thought it might help our indirect contact. My ex was never a fan of this and had tried reporting it to a social service referral place who dismissed it.  Eventually she discovered my TikTok account and has used this to claim that the videos are a form of sexual abuse. Admittedly it should never have been public. I love the internet but I know how to ensure my child is safe. I use the google parents app on my daughters device and have emailed my ex suggesting it several times. My daughter spent time at her cousins which is where I believe the she might have learned to toggle private mode off, she told me that she got bored because her cousin was using TikTok so much! The videos we made are in no way sexualised just a father and daughter being creative and having fun with video. We shared these with friends and family and my daughter did collaborations with school friends when face to face contact was not allowed. Two days before the start of summer holidays my Ex contacted the school with downloads of the videos and said they were sexualised. The school advised she take it to social services. All contact was stopped over the summer except the occasional phone call or video call when my ex decided it was ok. My involvement is framed as generally negative. I am left to break the news that our holiday plans are cancelled and blamed for that making my daughter sad. Since then my ex has applied for a CAO and I have applied to have the original CAO enforced. Does anybody know if there is anything to be aware of having two court hearings happening under different numbers with weeks of each other. I thought parents had to try mediation or there be police involvement and a threat to skip a MIAM?

    I would also like to hear feedback from the others that have had their first hearing. I am representing myself, do I need to prepare a court bundle at the first hearing?

    #44755 Report

    Hmmmm. …….

    Hi Everyone,


    I’ve just joined. Saw this posting and thought it may help if I shared my experience of trying to enforce a CAO during the pandemic.

    I will briefly give you the background. In 2017 a CAO was done by consent. Less than a week after the order was made my ex breached the order. Went back to court to enforce the order and at court my ex made allegations of sexual abuse against me. Our daughter was assigned a Guardian Ad Litem. After 9 months the assigned Social Worker declared that no abuse had taken place.

    In response the court made a CAO. Myself and my Barrister thought that my daughter would live with me. Despite what my ex had done it was ordered my daughter remain with my ex.

    The following year my ex started breaching the order again. I returned it to court. No action taken. Further breaches occurred. I returned to court again. No further action taken. It happened again, we were ordered to attend mediation. It didn’t happen so we returned to court again. The Judge was very fair, gave more time for the mediation to take place (6 months) but also made my ex do an undertaking not to breach the order and stated in the order that my daughter would be made available under any circumstances.

    Coronavirus hit, just before lockdown my ex withdrew my contact. I had no contact for 4 months. I informed the court of the breaches. I felt sure that this time around something would be done. Three months ago we went to court. Other than amending the original order as my ex stated it wasn’t working for her nothing was done. The courts view was that re-establishing the contact was more important than investigating why it didn’t take place.

    It seems that if you are the non resident parent the courts are reluctant to enforce the order and if you are the resident parent you are given a lot of opportunities.

    The family court system doesn’t seem to keep a consistent approach. Every enforcement hearing has been heard by a different Judge. I believe that as much as possible enforcement hearings should be heard by the Judge that made the order. At least then you would be making a case to someone who had all the evidence and history.

    CAFCASS are automatically involved if the application is made 3 months after the original order. Again in my experience you get a different person each time who doesn’t have the background of the case.

    I wish you luck with your enforcement and would be interested to hear how it goes.

    #44781 Report


    Hi Children-are-not-weapons

    I’m not legally trained but I do represent myself in court. I haven’t gone to court for an enforcement order, but for CAO and SIO I have had to prepare a bundle. I highly recommend joining a McKenzie friend group, you can get free help and if you need support preparing documents to be a litigant in person, you can have them drafted up at around 1/4 price of a solicitor.

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