• Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Whether to turn up to collect children?

Whether to turn up to collect children? 3 weeks 12 hours ago #97129

  • Jss
  • Jss's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 2
Hi everyone,

I was hoping someone might be able to offer some advice.

My husband has a court order to see his children once every two months. The order also states weekly emails between father and children and skype calls. The emails are sporadic and one line generic responses, the skype doesn't happen at all.

The children have been heavily alienated against my husband by their mother, but unfortunately, cafcass were useless in picking up on what is actually happening.

Tonight he has received an email from the eldest stating she does not want to attend the next contact, which is due to take place in a few weeks. We've been expecting this unfortunately. He has replied trying to encourage her but the mother wil use this as ammo against him, telling the children that he doesnt listen to them.

He's not sure what to do next. The mother has stated that he is under no circumstances to contact her, except to send an email confirming pick up/drop off times (which she doesn't respond to). She has previously made allegations about his conduct and, given his job, could potentially affect his career.

He'll still email her and confirm the pick up/drop off times; but what if she replies saying the child has said she doesnt want to see you? What if she replies nothing at all? Does he still drive the 280 mile round trip, to potentially be ambushed with the confrontation he's expecting? But if he decides to not drive to visit them, due to the high possibility of confrontation, will she still be in breach of the order, given he has not collected them? The order does not state times or places to pick up/drop off, it's just a given that he has to collect and return them to her home address.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Whether to turn up to collect children? 3 weeks 8 hours ago #97134

  • actd
  • actd's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 10476
  • Thank you received: 1576
an order states that she should have the children available for contact, so she is breaching this if she doesn't do so. She is also expected to encourage this contact, though proving that she is alienating them is extremely difficult to do. I would certainly say that if she isn't confirming arrangements, and then not turning up, then this is also a breach - I would hope that if it goes back to court, then a judge would tell his ex to grow up in this respect. I'm not sure whether he should go for a breach, or whether it would be better to attempt mediation - hopefully someone with better legal experience on here can answer that one.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Whether to turn up to collect children? 3 weeks 7 hours ago #97136

  • Yoda
  • Yoda's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2494
  • Thank you received: 405
If she's messing about with contact then it would be a breach you are applying for using a C79 and no mediation is required.

Can I ask, how old are the children? This will have some bearing on the matter.

Are they saying neither want to see you for the next visit or just one of them?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Whether to turn up to collect children? 2 weeks 6 days ago #97142

  • Jss
  • Jss's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 2
Thanks for the replies!

They are 8 and 10. It's just the eldest at the moment but as the mothers ultimate goal is to stop any relationship between my husband and his children, the youngest will refuse to go if the eldest doesn't.

Mediation was tried previously but the mother lies; agrees to things, behaves pleasant in the comany of professionals, then completely goes back on agreements.

He has messaged her confirming pick up/drop off, no reply as of yet. My thinking is that she will email the night before saying they dont want to go - so if she does do this, should he still make the journey and potentially be met with confrontation? Or is her saying they dont want to go, effectively a breach?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Whether to turn up to collect children? 2 weeks 6 days ago #97152

  • Yoda
  • Yoda's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2494
  • Thank you received: 405
At that age they should certainly not be responsible for sending emails about contact schedules.

I would suggest a strongly worded letter to the mother (possibly from a solicitor) insisting that she either complies with the order and doesn't put the responsibility of decisions on to these young children or you will apply to have the order enforced.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Whether to turn up to collect children? 2 weeks 5 days ago #97160

  • Jss
  • Jss's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 2
My thoughts exactly, Yoda - but unfortunately cafcass seemed to think it is perfectly acceptable for an 8 and a 10 year olds feelings to completely dictate contact, without even investigating potential parental alienation (and this was on the new pilot programme for parental alienation!). This has really spurred the mothers alienating tactics on. I don't believe a letter will make any difference unfortunately. We made a SAR for the childrens interviews and I am disgusted at the lies the children have told - and the lies their mother has evidently told them. Cafcass' negligence has shocked me to my core!

He's really not sure what to do re the journey - if he drives up there anyway, he is potentially walking into a conflict which a) he doesn't want the children to witness and b) concerns him because of his job. The mother will then use this to tell the children "see? He doesn't listen to you, he doesn't care what you want". If he doesn't go to collect them, after being told they don't want to see him, he is concerned this won't effectively be her breaching the order because he didn't physically go to collect them. The mother will then also tell the children "see? He doesn't even care enough to come here and try to convince you to go out with him. He doesn't care about you".

He's really not sure whether to go or not..???

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Whether to turn up to collect children? 2 weeks 5 days ago #97175

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 7701
  • Thank you received: 1621
This has been going on for so long, you must both be exhausted mentally.

Such a tough call for him, what about an email to her, stating that unless he hears to the contrary, he will make the journey as per the order, as not to would send the wrong message to the children.

Reminding her that if he doesn’t hear from her and makes the journey, only to find that she isn’t making them available to him, he will be seek to enforce the order in court. As having been given the opportunity to communicate with him, by not doing so, and then refusing contact, is obstructive and not in the best interests of the children.

So sorry for you all. All the best

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

I may not be legally trained... but I have plenty of experience and common sense!

Whether to turn up to collect children? 2 weeks 4 days ago #97188

  • Jss
  • Jss's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 2
Thanks Mojo. It's just relentless - and only getting worse. My husband is now being accused of "blackmail" by his 10 year old, because he said they need to build a bond before he can agree to change her surname!

He will send her an email - what if she does reply, and says they don't want to go? Should he still attempt to collect the children regardless?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Whether to turn up to collect children? 2 weeks 4 days ago #97198

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 7701
  • Thank you received: 1621
That’s dreadful! A 10yr old shouldn’t have any awareness of the concept of blackmail, unless it has been fed to her.

If you make it clear in the email that no response is an agreement for contact to go ahead, it does crystallise the situation, but I’m sure you feel that she already thinks she has been given carte blanche to do as she pleases... sadly, it certainly seems that way.

If she replies and says they don’t want to go, he could ask for alternative suggestions for contact to take place, reminding her that no contact isn’t an option and the court order needs to be respected.

I feel for you both, it’s like someone’s nailed one foot to the floor and all you can do is go round and round.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

I may not be legally trained... but I have plenty of experience and common sense!

Whether to turn up to collect children? 2 weeks 2 days ago #97220

  • Yoda
  • Yoda's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2494
  • Thank you received: 405
Why is the daughter's surname going to be changed and why are the children aware of that?

Mojo has given good advice.

When did court end and when did Cafcass speak to the children? Was it a long time ago?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.
  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: Samantha Downes