TOPIC: Contact complication!

Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96694

Hi Simon,
I remember you from before - think we were both on a different forum around the same time.

Have you tried contacting social services in her area, and in your area?

My husband has the same problem. Heard nothing from any authority. Eventually he emailed to ask and was told an allegation was made but no contact was made because they weren’t interested in it. He wouldn’t have heard either way without chasing.

Legally she doesn’t have the right to stop contact on the basis of safeguarding concerns. While it would be a defence for a breach - technically she still needs to apply to vary the order.

Sorry to see you’re back in this situation. I hope it’s resolved smoothly for you and your son.

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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96695

Stepmum,

Hope you are well.

I phoned the police and they refused to tell me if any allegations had been made against me in relation to my son, and they would not confirm or deny anything. I have also phoned social services for my son's local area and they will not confirm or deny anything either. Even explaining the situation to them, that the ex has suddenly stopped me seeing me son, and he could conceivably be at risk of harm at home, they didn't care about that either. In fact, they told me to call the police.....which I told them I had already done.

So, it seems I won't get any information from the "authorities" about what is alleged to have happened, which is disappointing.

I will have to try and get an application into court for a breach of the court order early next week and deal with the allegations as and when I'm made aware of them.

It seems to me at this stage, she can deliberately disrupt contact any time she wants and defend it by saying it was in our son's best interests to do so. Very disheartening and demoralising for sure.

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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96699

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The impasse leaves you with no alternative but to make an application for enforcement. However you do have the option of instructing a solicitor to write to her formally, to remind her that she is in breach of the existing Child Arrangements Order and unless contact is reinstated with immediate effect, you will be making an application for enforcement of the order.

It may be worth a try, if you wish to avoid court... sadly enforcement proceedings rarely see the penal notice enacted, or the mother held to account.

All the best
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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96712

Mojo

You are right, enforcement does seem to be the only option I have at this point.

I've had a night to mull this whole situation over, and certain things just don't make sense to me.

I've said it twice now, but I haven't done anything to my son that would warrant police or social services involvement, nor have I put him in any situation where he is at risk of harm. I'm about as clean living as it gets; don't drink alcohol at all, don't smoke and don't take any drugs either. When he is with me, it is me alone, or with paternal family, and never in an environment where he would be unsafe. I've never been known to police or social services either. My son is my only child. That was all evidenced in the last Cafcass S7 report in the last court case.

So when I think about it, there's three things that could be happening here. Firstly the ex is just trying to thwart the existing contact arrangements for reasons only she knows. Secondly, she and her new partner are coaching/and or manipulating my son to say things about me that are untrue or that would give the impression untoward things are going on. Thirdly, my son is making things up.

The first 2 options I believe are most likely. I just can't believe my son, who is not even 6 yet, will make things up of the nature I believe them to be, on his own, when the relationship we have is loving, fun filled and rewarding. I have reams of messages, as recently as last month, telling me that my son misses me, he loves me, I'm his best friend, he can't wait to see me again. It just doesn't make sense at all.

Anyway, when my ex emailed me yesterday, she told me that the authorities had told her to tell me not to contact her again until they had contacted me to investigate the matter. That seems a ridiculous response. If she was making serious allegations to whoever, and she believed our son having contact with me placed him in danger, rather than give a "he said this" response to me, wouldn't she have been better off going to court and getting a non molestation order of prohibited steps order and serving that on me?!

She says the disclosures from our son took place over the christmas period, and since she ignored me on the 27th of December, I can only infer from that that the disclosure came before that date. So she has had from then until now, 15 to 16 days to get a court to bar me from contact with my son or the home address.

I could still go and attempt to collect him on the 19th, because I'm not prohibited from doing so in law. I won't do that because I don't want an altercation or any upsetting scenes. But the point being, thing's just don't add up here. She hasn't done what you would expect to have been done in a situation like this.

So yes, I need to get busy today and tomorrow and fill out an enforcement form and draft a position statement and collate some evidence and get that in to court.

Will keep you guys updated.

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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96728

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You’ve attempted to contact the agencies, where complaints would usually be made, to find out what the allegations might be... you’re prevented from making further contact with her and her family, so at least an application should shed some light on the current situation.

I think you’re sensible not to go and collect him, if there’s a scene it would upset your child.

Best of luck

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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96800

Alright, so I have sorted the paperwork and sent that off today. Basically all I could say in the application is that contact has stopped and I am aware of a vague reason why this is the case, but we need to establish if my son has said what his mum claims, and if so, what exactly it is that he has said. I'm really going in blind here.

As of yet, like I said, I phoned the police and children's services last Friday and neither of them were prepared to tell me if allegations had been reported and if what the nature of them are.

I have had no contact from the police.

Children's services actually phoned me today, but it seemed like there was no purpose for the call. The lady I spoke to wouldn't tell me what the allegations were, other than to say that he had disclosed something of concern. I don't know if they were just restating what mum had reported, or whether they had interviewed my son independently.

I don't understand why, given that I'm being accused of something, why nobody will tell me what I'm being accused of. Is this normal? Am I being fobbed off? Is there any way to find out what's been said? Other than wait for a court date or possible visit from the police, then I have no idea where I stand.

Thoughts?

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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96803

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As worrying as this must be for you, I feel that had the allegations been really serious, you would have had a visit from the police when the allegations was first made. Hopefully, the fact that you haven’t heard from them points to a lesser allegation... did you ask the SW if they had advised your ex to stop contact?

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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96821

Mojo wrote: As worrying as this must be for you, I feel that had the allegations been really serious, you would have had a visit from the police when the allegations was first made. Hopefully, the fact that you haven’t heard from them points to a lesser allegation... did you ask the SW if they had advised your ex to stop contact?


They were very reluctant to tell me anything. On reflection and from the way the SW worded things, it seems to me that she has been dealing direct with my ex, but is not in the loop as far as the ex's solicitor or the police goes. As I say she was not willing to tell me anything about the "disclosures", but seemed to be keen if I had intentions to travel to pick my son up this Saturday - I believe the SW had told my ex to not make my son available, and wanted to check what I was doing. I think if there was any legal basis to not comply with the court order then the SW would have known about it.

There's still time before Saturday to receive a non molestation order or prohibited steps order - so there may very well be a legal basis to not comply with the original order, but as yet I am not aware of anything like that.

Like I say, I have put in the c79 form for enforcement. How will the court handle things if at the same time my ex has put in her own application for a non mol/PSO or variation of the existing order? Which application would take precedence over the other?

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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96824

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I think it’s whichever application is received first, which would determine who is the applicant and who is the respondent. The two applications would then be put under one case number.... that’s my understanding anyway.
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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96828

Mojo wrote: I think it’s whichever application is received first, which would determine who is the applicant and who is the respondent. The two applications would then be put under one case number.... that’s my understanding anyway.


Sounds pretty straightforward.

Obviously planning ahead here.....I intend to self represent at the first hearing. But if things do get ugly here, which I anticipate is going to happen, considering the potential nature of these fresh allegations, I may need to strategically employ some form of representation down the line. I know barristers are pretty expensive as I did use one for fact find hearing back in 2014. Of course a McKenzie friend would be more cost effective. Does anyone know of any reputable Mckenzie friends, preferably based in the North East?

Thanks.

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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96832

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You could try mensaid... not sure what areas they cover though. Yoda may be able to make recommendations.
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Contact complication! 1 year 9 months ago #96841

Quick update, just received an email from the ex's solicitor. I was expecting something sooner or later. Basically says as follows (I'm paraphrasing of course)....the solicitor has been advised by mum that the SW has advised mum that she should not promote contact between son and I, and they are advising me of this. They will be grateful if I refrain from attending the family home. There is no non mol order or prohibited steps order, just an informal email.

In other words, there doesn't seem to be any legal basis in which mum is stopping contact. Social services are acting on allegations and have told mum to breach a court order.

Any point in me replying to the solicitor?

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