So my partner has applied for an enforcement of his CAO that is only 15 months in, relationship just built up after no contact for 27 months in total.
Mother of children has stopped contact indefinately until covid19 is over.
Not all will agree with application during covid, and I know from reading so much on here alot of fathers in limbo with this too.
My partner feels he has absolutely nothing left lose applying for this.
We've Researched all justice, gov and cafcass guidelines, also had solicitor telephone advice, all pointing out the court order should be complied by as long as safe to do so.
He has reassured our household is as safe as hers. No high risk in our house and no symptoms, all taking precautions, furloughed and staying home!
The children are out on bike rides etc and enjoying their daily exercise.
No contact as per the order for 7 weeks now. Yes he is lucky to have video calling but its painful. He can't accept only this until she decides its safe. The children are emotional on calls.
Her attitude and lack of involving him in anything with the children is part of the issue. She dictates and its her way or no way. This breach is no surprise and it is definately an opportunity she's grabbed without considering the long term effects or children's best interests.
The above is something he wants to elaborate on in the enforcement, her difficult behaviour to increasing the order as it states in recitals, and her power to retract last minute any extra she agrees when in a good mood.
Changing recitals to order, and a possible vary of order to gain more than 30 hours a fortnight.
All recitals start with 'UPON THE PARTIES AGREEING' its all not worth the paper it's written on.
We understand its very unlikely the court will enforce the order, given the circumstances and taking all concerns into account, and he wants no punishment as such, he just wants his contact back.
Any experience? Opinions on his chances during covid, any advice on how to handle the enforcement and whether its best to not be cheeky asking to vary in enforcement etc? (a vary is very much due, he was just biding abit more time as overnights only been in place a year in May)
Working on a position statement to support application. (Kept c79 reason box brief) Planning on sending that in 5 days before hearing.
Application is already in, self representing, court working on 15 days so hoping he won't be waiting too long for a hearing.
Most likely going to be video/telephone.
Look forward to your wise words of advice, as always we take it onboard.
You are absolutely right to enforce. Best way is to have ex breached although she wont be punished . However she will but you have to be calm and kind of not care what she done. So what you do is quietly say she has done wrong and not you thats suffered but poor daughter/son has been denied a loving relationship with father yet again. The way you punish her and courts normally do this is by adding more contact and making order also more watertight . I mean as in using schools for handovers and then you do the i let breach application go but wish to have it noted if u gain extra contact:)
Thank you for the boost of confidence Warwickshire1. We both know it's the right thing to do, but it's always a worry, he hates to upset the apple cart and worry about difficulty and hostile behaviour as punishment afterwards. So yes really hope his grey order does become more watertight and worded where mother actually has to comply to the small stuff too, like increase time, holidays and special occasions. It leaves it all on her terms and this cannot be trusted with some parents. He lives in fear of asking for more, some how he always loses out if he pushes it, as she suggests.
Anyone know what they mean by they are working on 15 days lead time. Is that until a possible hearing or until they assess your application? How quick is an enforcement usually? Please say quicker than a c100?
i was in court last week. it was to vary order for increased time. i am also kept away from kids during covid19. as interim order i asked can some form of contact be re-instated during this crisis.
judge tried to assess our situation. asking who lives with me. do i drive? told them i judt live with mum, who is very elderly and has some health issues that come with old age. we have no family visiting, due to the lockdown.
ex lives with her mum, also elderly. so we have both been classed as having vulnerable people at home. ex saying risk is too great lol. so court is happy i am getting video calls. made ex give me 3 calls a week. so all i can do is wait for school to re-open.
Oh christ that is so sad, such a long time for you and your little ones.
This is what we are trying to avoid, if she had her way for sure she would hold contact until school starts, firstly because yes she is worried about children contracting the virus but secondly because she can and she likes to remind she is resident parent and she makes the decisions!
How do you think it may have gone in my partners situation, where the same is happening that is to you, but we have no high risk in our households?
Do you think they will make her reinstate contact? Do you think they will make her make up lost time or vary his very limited order in anyway?
I have my 2 children live with me and still visiting their father as per our usual routine. When my partners children come to us, my children are with their father anyway.
main excuses that will be used are either the dad or mum is a key worker, so thats a big risk. thats a valid point. and like my situation, elderly/vulnerable mother in house.
if your partner and ex are not key workers, have no vulnerable/elderly in their houses, then your partner probably has good chance of court ordering ex to re-instate contact. in court he can ask for some make-up time. my ex is a jerk so i did not bother ask for that.
problem is the head of the family court recently said that these child visits should continue "As long as both households are healthy".
my ex played on that and said no, both of our households are not healthy. depends on how some parents twist and play around with that guidance. seems like the courts are not so fussed if non resident parent is getting regular video calls.
Thanks Bill. Just awful I'm not sure how they compare a video chat with physical parenting and quality time together. It's OK for a weekend or so, but not like this in definately, children confused, seem emotional as time going on now. Worked at first but seems like they are really missing him now, just too scared to say out loud.
Hoping for the latter out come, no key workers or high risk as such.
There is one path she may take.. Eldest child takes a drug to. Prevent asthma symptoms, has since a baby and seems to be on repeat prescription, has no issues, has no asthma diagnosis and no regular checks to see if drug still needed.
No letter to shield and motjer has been sending pics of kids out on bikes etc getting their exercise, so she is not shielding the child and the child has not had a letter from the NHS to shield either, so she's not classed high risk.
The mothers partner is out working still in empty properties apparently.
What's your thoughts on how to approach all this in court without nit picking.
We think she will bring up the medication, he's planning on explaining that as I have above in position statement to get ahead before she uses it. Court may be concerned by it we thought, but fact mother not shielding child it's not that much of a concern.
Should he use pictures as evidence. Will it make much difference.
Sorry for all questions. Truly appreciate your thoughts and advice.
Seems as though you got some advice and experiences from other replies, just thought it was worth mentioning that if you do go for an enforcement and ask to vary it is the judges discretion to vary the order.
My partner went for an enforcement a couple years back, mum had no reason to stop contact other than the court order stating additional time during school holidays and mum wasn't ready to have that much time away from her child so refused contact instead. When we went for the enforcement the judge said you can either enforce or vary can't do both so my partner asked to vary as it was more beneficial and then a new date was set. At the next hearing to vary the order the judge (different judge) said that it was an enforcement application and if my partner wants to vary he must apply for c100 and vary the current order - and they enforced by telling mum she has to reinstate contact, mum agreed, case dismissed. So we ended up paying double fees in applications.
Good luck - hopefully you'll get contact again because who knows when the lockdown rules will be totally relaxed, hopefully you'll get an idea from Boris talk on Monday.
Thanks for sharing your experience Ldad.
Seems they are all so different, suppose it depends on your mags/judge on the day. Read on here lots of enforcements turn into varies. I can't see court enforcing during this crisis, they will understand both sides no doubt, but hoping they just reinstate amd remind her he is their parent too.
Seems the courts are inundated so nothing happening quickly. Still awaiting the call to pay, then 15 days to process. I can't see a date coming before June. The concern is lockdown being lifted isn't going to be straight forward, sounds like it will be gradual, which is understanding, we don't feel ready to go out yet ourselves. We know contact still won't be reinstated by mum until she feels ready, that could be after summer.
He's going to keep it at enforcement and not mention vary, but once contact reinstated he's going to attempt to increase as per the recitals, if its a no again, mediator and court no doubt again.
During this crisis, he's realised how very short life is and wants to waste no more time.
Do you think it's quite likely an enforcement under these circumstances could be more than one hearing?
There should be nothing else to discuss surely?
there is strong possibility the schools will be opening on 1st june. but it may be only gradual and not all school years going at same time. also if the gov announces that families can now visit each other again, that would be good reason to start seeing kids again.
i doubt an enforcement hearing would last for more than one session.