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Am I in breach?

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Morning all. 

My case is that my son was taken without consent from Spain to Northern Ireland in Aug 2020. He now lives in NI with his mother and I make the journey every month to go see him.

The CO states, "a) During school term-time, the mother shall facilitate contact between the father and the child for a minimum of four nights/five days once per month. The father shall travel to Northern Ireland for contact."

I read this and understood it at the time that the mother must make sure I can have a minimum of 4 nights per month with my son, however my issue is that I can't always afford to go over for 4 nights every month due to the cost of transport to airports, flights, suitable property rental in Belfast, hire car, child seat hire, etc, etc. 

So, if I go over for the weekend as I have been doing, does that put me in a bad position with regards to the CO? Or have I understood it correctly in that I personally do not have a minimum requirement? It's an extremely difficult, draining and costly situation to have to go over to belfast every month when he should never have been taken from Spain in the first place.

Thanks all. One very stressed dad. 

Topic starter Posted : 17/05/2022 8:29 am
Famed Member


try not to worry. generally these court orders are about the mother making the children available to spend time with father. if your not able to spend time with child for whatever reason, e.g. cost or work commitments, then you are not breaching the order, your simply not available to see the children. as long as the mother does the bare minimum as per court order, offering the 4nights/5 days a month, then she is not in breach either. would be good idea to go over your court order to make sure this is the case, or seek legal advice. I know a dad in similar situation. what he does is fly over during school holidays to see kids. this is something you can consider.

are you paying child maintenance through the state? if so, you could check to see if they can take your child contact costs into account and reduce your maintenance payments.

Posted : 17/05/2022 10:55 am

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Thanks Bill, that's very kind of you to take the time to reply and funnily enough I've just posted about this in the CMS section.


My son was abducted by the mother at the end of the lockdown in Spain and taken to NI, the final CO after the Hague Convention act of 1982 was applied stated that the mother shall not seek maintenance from the father, while the father resides in Spain. 


I'd considered moving back to the UK to make it a bit easier, but to the Midlands where I'm originally from. This puts me into CMS territory as I've already found out (she thought I'd already moved and filed immediately for CMS payments). The costs of going to see my boy would still be the same as the only difference being flying from the Midlands rather than Valencia. This costs hundreds per visit due to renting accommodation, hire car, flights, even renting a child seat, travel to and from airports, etc. What I can't afford is to do that and then still pay a hefty CMS bill. I'd be costed out of seeing him.

Apparently child abduction is permissable depending on gender but I won't get into that. 

Topic starter Posted : 17/05/2022 11:14 am

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