In a pickle. Mother refusing etc…
2 May 2020 at 7:48 pm #39576
Just looking for some thoughts on this one before I blow a fuse. The day after the lock-down was announced was supposed to have been my 2 days contact with my daughter. As a matter of course and to be on the safe side I elected to quarantine myself and have 7 days ‘just to be sure’. All was well and when I approached the ex to resume contact it was flatly denied. Fair enough I thought, give it sometime and things will work out, but as time has gone on I’ve been missing my girl more and more and with no end in sight I’m starting to get a little aggravated that I’m missing valuable court ordered time with my girl.
I’m going to contact her again and insist that contact is reinstated although I know she’s going to kick up a fuss and tell me to take a hike. SO the question I’m asking is if she doesn’t play ball should I apply to the courts to get contact reinstated?
Much thanks.2 May 2020 at 11:36 pm #39579
I feel your pain 100%. I’m in exactly the same boat as you – the only difference being that my contact is a locally arranged agreement, so at the moment it is unenforceable by law.
My ex partner couldn’t wait to use COVID as an excuse to stop my contact – she’s living with her new partner and just wants me to disappear. I politely asked if I could just spend an hour a week with my daughter – they live an hour away from me and I was willing to drive up there and just walk around a park with her – but much like your ex, she wasn’t having any of it.
On 21 April the head of the family courts, Sir Andrew McFarlane, released a statement to say that separated parents were not to use COVID as an excuse to stop contact – and “could face court action” if they do. I’ve tried to find the BBC news article (I took a screenshot of it to forward to my ex), but my lack of technological skills have hindered my ability to put the link here!
However- it seems to be a bit of a grey area, and from the advice I have been given, it looks as though if ex partners can prove they have a genuine concern about COVID, the chances are they will get away with it. My ex took delight in sending me a war-and-peace text message quoting chapter and verse on infection rates etc, it may as well have been signed at the end like the Magna Carta. She even sent me a link to the gov.uk coronavirus information. As if I’ve been living on the moon for the last 2 months!
It’a a tricky one mate. Perhaps try to dig out those news articles and explain you haven’t been mixing with anyone and would never put your daughter at risk. You’ve even taken steps to quarantine yourself, and the court ordered contact still stands.
The trouble is, I’m not sure if your ex is the same, but if I start to make too much noise my ex will respond by stopping what little contact I have. She’s got me by the ‘short and curlies’ and she knows it. Yours is court ordered though, so I think you would have a case if you challenged her. Trouble is, if she spins a yarn about being scared of COVID, the whole thing could end up being academic.
Good luck with it mate, hope the situation gets resolved soon.
Steve3 May 2020 at 10:47 am #39585
Steve and Dofbeer,
As soon as is practically possible, you could apply to the courts for reinstated and increased contact. You both have a right to it – and if your exs are behaving unreasonably, then polite words probably won’t help. It’s probably not worth trying to discuss first, just do it.
There are lots of great single mums out there, but lots who deliberately make things awkward for their exs. But the good news is that the family courts are much more willing to consider reasonable men’s rights, as well as women’s.
In fact they mainly consider the child’s rights – and there have been cases where, if a women’s behaviour seems not to be in the best interest of the child, then the courts will increase the contact with the father or even transfer custody (although rare) from mother to father. Something like one evening per week and every other weekend seems like a minimum contact to aim for. A good family court lawyer will advise you.
If you are not happy with the first one you get advice from, try others (the first half hour is often free) – it’s important for you to get it right. It’ll be hassle for a few months, but no doubt worth it.
Best of luck to both of you.3 May 2020 at 8:00 pm #39596
Many thanks for the message. I’m really pleased you posted- as this afternoon I took the bull by the horns and completed the court forms (which I had been sitting on for a month!)
You are absolutely right – sometimes you just can’t reason with people, and are left with no other choice other than to act.
It is really encouraging to hear the family courts take a more open view these days. I have heard so many rumours of old-school attitudes towards fathers! Nonetheless, whatever the outcome at least we can say hand on heart that we tried.
Hope all is well with you; and if you are going through a similar experience, thoughts are with you.
Steve5 May 2020 at 9:46 am #39642
Morning gents. Thanks for the replies.
Had a brief email chat with the solicitor who’s represented me twice regarding contact and her take on things is that contact should never have stopped and that Covid isn’t an excuse to do this. Solicitor has offered to write a letter outlining the facts to the ex but at £100+ VAT I’m in no position to do this considering I’ve already shelled out £1200 on 2 court hearings.
I’ve told the ex I am turning up today at 3pm to pick my girl up as per court order, if she doesn’t make my girl available then a C79 will go to the courts today and we’ll see what happens.
A very frustrating situation and totally unnecessary!5 May 2020 at 12:00 pm #39645
So sorry to hear that you are struggling to see your child. We definitely are not all the same. My ex and I currently share our son, I have him for 4 nights and he goes to his dads for 3 nights a week. I think it is massively important for both children and parents mental heath to see each other. My ex has been in self isolation for almost 12 weeks as he is furloughed. I also take our son to him and then collect (ex doesn’t drive) him and then i know he has only gone from my home to the car to his dads house.
I hope you can all get to see and spend time with your little ones very soon.
Stay safe everyone
Lou x6 May 2020 at 10:27 pm #39728
Evenin’ all (proper Copper greeting there!)
Dofbeer – how did you get on yesterday? Did you go to collect your little one, did your ex comply?
I submitted my court application forms this morning; it’s a huge relief to have finally done it, as the very thought was making me anxious.
£1200 on two hearings…. ouch. I was chatting to someone recently who spent £7,500 on hearings and representation. I certainly don’t have that sort of money, so I’m going to try and represent myself. If it starts looking as though it isn’t going my way, I’ll have to hire a solicitor.
I was thinking the other day- do the police have any power to enforce contact orders? (It is a legal document after all…) or are they not interested as it is a civil matter?
I know it’s not ideal for kids to see the police rocking up (I saw it myself as a kid and it wasn’t nice)… it’s just that each time you’re being denied contact it affects your little girl as much as you. That’s what my ex doesn’t understand. She’s so hell-bent on trying to get one over on me, she can’t see that our little girl is getting caught in the crossfire.7 May 2020 at 3:08 am #39740
Kids need their families! My dad lost interest and it broke my heart when he stopped coming to see me, blows my mind that their are dads out there who WANT to be part of their child’s life and are being denied.20 May 2020 at 9:15 pm #40176
Hello everyone. Thanks for the input, sorry I’ve been AWOL on the thread. Been stressed and irritated almost to the point that my fuse popped!
Made my visit on the May 5th to collect my girl and as expected the ex didn’t make her available. She seems to think Covid is an excuse to break the order and do just what she wants to do. Hoping she’d see sense I pointed her to this story http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/mother-tells-court-she-is-denying-ex-partner-access-to-son-over-covid-19-fears-1.4220233 but alas, it fell on deaf ears. Anyway, C79 went in on May 6th and I have my telephone hearing on June 4th. In the meantime I must remember not to second guess myself. I have a terrible habit of expecting the worst when in reality I shouldn’t.
Hat off to you Lou!! Dare I say you’re in (as far as my experience goes) a minority. A well adjusted woman with your lad at the fore.
Sorry to hear that Waunderful, it must be a tough thing to deal with. The irony of my situation is that if I showed no interest in my girl her mum with be throwing contact arrangements at me left, right and centre while moaning that I’m a rubbish dad. A very similar situation with my stepson, his dad didn’t give two hoots about him for 11 years. I took him on as my own @ 2 y/o and loved that boy unconditionally. Last year contact with him was stopped by his mum AND dad! At the CAFCASS meeting she told the officer that I had almost driven him to suicide. A total fabrication, an injustice I’ve struggled with every day since November last year. Unsurprisingly a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone…