enforcing court orders; is it worth it?

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  • #16991 Report


    I’m non residential parent of 2 – aged 15 and 11. split with partner 2 yrs ago. 15 year old son doesn’t want to be in contact with me; not communicated with  me for more than a year. Court order in summer gives me structured access to 11 yr old daughter: 2 hrs on a week night, alternate weekends + half school holidays. Well in theory structured – in fact regularly changed very late and almost always involves me loosing time with daughter.

    Ex has told daughter that situation with CO includes her (daughter) being able to choose when to be with me. This is false. I have said to both if CO isn’t more closely reflected in reality i’ll go back to court. Daughter on edge of refusing to see me because shes so hurt, angry that I would do that. Ex states I’m obsessed with punishing her. Blowing up for half term.

    My view is the ex is manipulative and controlling – in retrospect our relationship could be summarised as damaged people in damaging relationship.

    All very grim.

    So heres the thing: why would/wouldn’t you go for an enforcement hearing:

    YES : for me, I think I might because daughter  is best served by us having a clear framework of time within which I can be the best parent I can ; this is what a CO could give me, should give and is in both her and my long term interests.

    NO: if court found against ex – it wont lead to any change in her behaviour, process will damage relatn with daughter; also further entrench estrangement from son, cost time and oh so much heart ache and stress.

    any thoughts?






    #17018 Report


    Hi lookingforward

    i think this is a really difficult age. Your 11yo is or will be very shortly starting high school and entering into the selfish teenage years where they generally only see the needs of themselves. Peers become their greatest influence. Things can get a little dramatic at times. I feel the more you try to enforce time with the 11yo, the more you’ll push her away but this is balanced with her choosing not to spend time with you like your son is currently. Personally as a parent in the situation, I would just encourage taking any opportunity your daughter or son is willing to spend with you, by maybe asking them both out for a meal (I know there’s a cost implication but there always is with kids), maybe asking them if they’d mind if you watched them play a session/match if their sport as it makes you proud as a parent. Failing this and if there is no contact I would drop them a card/note maybe 4-6 weekly so they know you are thinking about them and if they are ever free….. My 15yo won’t have anything to do with his dad, the 12yo/7yo there is a contact order. There will come a time where my 12yo won’t want to go, I will encourage her but I won’t damage my own relationship with her as resident parent if she is adamant about not going. I can see her priority will be socialising with her friends sat/sun with no time for either parent! I think I’m sitting on the other side of your fence so to speak! But I’m not malicious. I’d like the children to spend time with their dad, but they grow up and their own needs become their priority. Hopefully this will change 20yrs> Good luck

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