Sudden change to contact
Hi everyone, this is my first post, I’m new here and looking for some support and hope to find that I’m not alone with this problem….
Brief background: divorced for over 5 years, court contact arrangement order established - 50% school holidays and 45% school time. Care during holiday time always agreed way in advance with ex. Son is almost a teenager. Great close relationship. Go to footy together, take footy training each week (when we can and could pre-COVID), Support with school, always attend school meetings, activities etc.
All has seemed to be fine for sometime, few bumps in the road, but nothing more I’d say than any child coming into adolescence.
Then… completely out of the blue at the start of the school summer holidays, when I was due to be having him for a week, I get an email from ex saying doesn’t want to see me. A shock for sure. There was no indication anything was wrong, had spoken daily right up to the day he was due. Have not been able to make any meaningful contact since this time, told doesn’t want to speak or see me. Distraught to say the least.
ex has never been happy with the arrangement order since day 1, had wanted only basic contact (holidays and alternate weekends). Has grumbled on and off for past couple of years that arrangements not working and son wants to make decision, but son when discussed says is happy.
in background, often talks negatively about me to son and understand had been outwardly vocal about me within earshot during early days of separation, continues to make petty remarks to son from time to time. I withhold from going down the same route and always speak favourably about his time on the other side.
communication with ex isn’t great tbh, will pass limited vague information on and is currently sticking to a rhetoric of its *childs* decIsion and wishes, its what he wants, claims to be encouraging him to come but day after day nothing. It’s not like him at all to be like this. I’ve tried to contact him on his WhatsApp since, got some replies but my dad sense made me think they weren’t from him and now all messages are going undelivered, maybe has been blocked(? Can this happen?).
it feels like she is trying to force me back down a legal path, which I’m reluctant to do again, for many reasons, including strain on J, my own mental health, enormous cost again etc.
I don’t know what to do for the best and need some help, I’m beside myself with worry for him.
That must be very hard for you. You could start with mediation which will cost about £100. Mediation will be required anyway if you went down the legal route and submitted a C100 form for child contact. There should be a list them in your area or try the website www.nfm.org.uk
it seems she planned it very well. because if she did it during term time, she knows you could still go to school to pick him up and speak to him freely. I would suggest you send your ex a polite message that you want the normal arrangements to resume, that you want to see your child and speak to him to see how he is doing, and that you would like to resolve this without returning to court.
if it is ignored, you do not know for sure that child does not want to see you as all contact is blocked, so in that sense you could apply to court for an enforcement of the order, using a c79 form. no mediation required. You can self-represent to avoid huge legal bills. They can look into things and speak to your child to find out what's going on. If suddenly your child wants to see you again in September, then it would be obvious that the mother is being malicious.
Been here too. Ex, since losing first CMS appeal, has successfully blocked child from seeing me or their grandparents.