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TOPIC: From a shared residence order to contact centre!?

From a shared residence order to contact centre!? 6 years 4 months ago #25301

Hi All,

I currently have a shared residence order which has now been in place for three years, it was working until about 9 months ago at which point my eldest started to be manipulated out of coming and now my youngest (as of December) has also been prevented from coming.

Stupidly, when it all started to go pear shaped I tried to get legal aid but due to being self-employed and also employed on a casual basis it was very difficult to obtain, it went on and on, with everything from miss-calculations to my solicitor not providing updated paperwork etc. Blindly I proceeded thinking my solicitor was doing the best they could and now realize that I could have just dragged it back to court myself.

Well, as of today I have received the first ever letter from my ex-partners solicitor (who might I add refused to take my call or speak to me the other week as he will only deal with solicitors) stating that:
  • It is me who has broken the order
  • I am abusive and use derogatory language at the door.
  • My eldest does not like contact because I spend little or no time with him and constantly shout at him.
  • She is concerned for my ability to care for the children whilst in my care.

As a result she is proposing contact in a contact centre for 4 hours once a week (which is difficult as I live 70 miles away) as opposed to the shared residence order which states that they are to stay at my house Fri-Sun every fortnight and then for several weeks holiday per year, with other bits such as alternate Christmases etc.

On a separate note, there were never been any allegations of domestic/verbal abuse made until she found out that from April legal aid would only be provided to victims of such - hence she is all of a sudden registered with abuse charities. There have also never been any issues relating to my ability to care for the children even when one was a toddler and the other a baby - which I also did on my own while they were in my care.

On a side note, I served a C79 enforcement application to her local court last week.
  • Should I agree to this arrangement in the interim given I spent 6 years fighting to obtain the residence order?
  • Should I still try to get a solicitor, go this alone and/or try to get a McKenzie Friend?
  • Should I even acknowledge her solicitor given that he refuses to talk at all?
  • Should I just wait until I get something back from the courts with regards to the C79?


Any advice that anyone can would be more than welcome.

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Last Edit: by FatherChristmas.

Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25306

  • ak57
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Hi, there will be others on hear more qualified to advise with regards your residence order. But I would wait to get the c79 back. and go back to court, its a shame 9 months as gone by. How old are your children now ? I think what will happen now is the children will be interviewed . Im not sure if I would go to a contact centre as its her who is breaking the order not you. I think more and more women are going to be shouting DV because of the legal aid situation.

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25313

Hi ak57,

My eldest is 7 and my youngest has just turned 5.

I'm absolutely gutted that 9 months have passed by, but like I say I blindly proceeded believing that my solicitor had my interests at heart and was pushing forward as best they could - probably not the case at all as they have now left the firm! Although in my defence some of that time was spent in an attempt to go through mediation, which was eventually cancelled due to my ex-partner making it as difficult as she could.

During the last court hearing there was involvement from CAFCASS and it was on their recommendation and our request that a residence order was put into place. I am worried though, that when they do get involved again that my eldest will have been manipulated to the point that he will say what ever his mum coaxes him into saying - he is such a different and happy child when she is not about but if you put her in the room with us, he totally changes to the point where is rude and even abusive towards me.

Regarding the whole abuse thing, I agree with you, I think there will be so many more allegations made from April - but unless there is some sort of concrete evidence that this has taken place in the past, such as a police report or similar how are they going to verify it - anyone in the world, even us men could make up that we were spoken to rudely at the door, over talked, or referred to in an inappropriate manor - just because I mention it to an abuse agency or say that it took place, doesn't mean that it did, or for arguments sake, take place in the way that was described.

Back to my original post, would you reply to her solicitor, how would you handle it?

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25316

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I'm a.ittle confused, do the children live with you or their mother?

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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.

Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25318

Many apologies, I should have included the word shared - omitted probably because of the character limitation of the thread title.

My children live with their mother, she is the primary carer, but as per the shared residence order they live with me for a set proportion of the time - which is now being prevented to the aforementioned reasons.

I will edit my original post to include the word shared.

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25321

I applied for an enforcement order, which is in front of the judge tomorrow. At the moment, I don't have a solicitor or Mckenzie friend. I've replied to all her solicitors emails, but ignored the letters to which I felt no response was required. I have noticed they have tried to intimidate me with jargon and other such nonsense, but don't bow down to it. Just be polite, courteous and informed in your responses.

:woohoo:

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25322

I figured that it is probably best that I do reply, as my ex-partner refuses to talk to me and until this letter her solicitor has also refused to communicate with me regardless of the fact that I am self representing.

What I will probably do is explain that all of the allegations that have been put forward are both baseless and without merit, and that I am not willing to partake in the suggested arrangements when there is already an existing and valid order that in place.

They are expecting my reply within 14 days, after that period I do not know what action they will or could even take, but given that I have already submitted a C79 to the courts last week I will leave my response for another week and then pen my reply to them.

Just out of interest, if what actions could they take and would they even be able to given that there is my application for enforcement has already been submitted?

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25327

Don't take my word as gospel, because I'm just figuring it out as I go, but what I would do is refer them (solicitors) to the current order, stating that any deviation from that order, without agreement from both parties, is a breach of that order. I think it highly unlikely your ex's solicitors would advise her to breach the order. With regard to the allegations, don't call them baseless and without merit, but simply state that you have noted the allegations made against you and that you look forward to presenting evidence against them in court. As you have filed your C79, they will also receive a copy of your application. I found my ex's solicitor assumed I was 'full of it,' and asked me to send in a copy of my application, along with various other requests, that they should know would be sent to them by the court anyway. Also, don't make the mistake I might have made, by trying to be 'legalese' in your language. Just come across as you are- an informed Dad. KISS it! Keep -It -Short, -Simple! Also, I start my responses with 'Thank you for your letter, dated (date of the letter).' I find this helps change my mindset into a more 'professional' approach, and it helps dictate the tone of your letters. I'm also always tempted to end them with 'If you are in any doubts as to the content of this letter, I urge you to seek legal advice.' But thus far I have resisted!!! :p

Also, is there a warning attached to the order you have?
The following user(s) said Thank You: FatherChristmas

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25328

Also, I submitted my application late in December, and I have a hearing on Monday- exactly 2 months. You might expect the same, so get cracking on your case!

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25353

Hi Lark Swift,

Many thanks for your advise, I think I will probably go with what you suggested and near on to how you worded it too, actually seems a lot let confrontational which can only be a positive!

Regarding a warning being attached to the order, the order was created in 2010 and from what I have read, all orders created after this time automatically carry a warning notice - mine does have a warning attached, and clearly states that if not complied with person could be held in contempt of court, and/or etc.

Thanks again for your help, what's your current situation if you don't mind me asking?

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25371

  • ak57
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Hi so pleased other posters have come to your aid, its such a help when others have direct experiance. My son didnt see his daughter for 18 months as she said he couldnt, he so wishes he had pushed sooner, we will never get the 18 months back but we are now fighting for her future. The mother even uses the 18 months as to say he wasnt bothered, so untrue, so time can zoom by but I do feel its quicker to self rep. She as broken the order if she is trying to get the order cancelled there has to be a dam good reason. Cafcass are trained to spot children that have been told what to say and they will ask questions that will open them up. Good luck

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Re: From residence order to a contact centre - right? 6 years 4 months ago #25379

Hi ak57,

It really is a gutting scenario, children only get one shot at being a child and so many of them have it spoiled by situations such as these when they are so easily preventable. I've been in the system for probably more than 6 years now and nothing has changed, my children as still being dragged through the mill and having their childhood spoiled by they're mother doing tip the apple cart - even to this day.

I really wish that I had your faith in CAFCASS, but the last officer that we all had to deal with was a complete nightmare, she even managed in her reports to get basic things completely wrong, such as where and when parents lived together, and even claimed mother would like additional help taking children to hospital even though I had provided proof in the form of letters from both doctors and solicitors showing that my ex-partner had went out of her way not to disclose any information, and even going as far as to tell the doctors that they should provide me with anything as I am not involved with the children - it took months for my solicitors to eventually prove to the doctors (on advice from the GMC) that I had PR and that it hadn't been revoked and for then for them to provide me with any information, and then when they did it turned out that she had missed most appointments and stopped attending a long time ago - even so, CAFCASS thought I should have been doing more to help.

Fingers crossed this time I get a different one, either way I'm sure that I'll be back here seeking further advice when I do!

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