Contempt application and not returning children
I have two questions, both kind of connected, I currently see my children once every two weeks for 6 hours until the outcome of a final hearing.
Mother has clearly lied in court, I have clear medical evidence about the children's health, being that my son went hospital and she lied he didn't and other medical stuff. With that in mind I want to do the following:
1) Make a contempt of court application, which application form do I use? What is the process...
2) Here is the complicated one, mother has refused full access to the medical records, I am concerned of the children's health on that basis, she has refused to answer the questions of there health to me. I therefore will not return the children this or next weekend, my question is, am I bound by the court order OR is it a civil matter?
I am not sure on the first point, but you are allowed access to your child medical records if you have PR. My ex tried to do the same, the receptionist was at first happy to help me but must have seen a note that the mother does not want me to have access (because she lied to court that our children have serious medical conditions so i cannot look after them, although they had none at all when we were together) write a letter to the practice manager asking for a reason why, if they say it is because mother said no, this is not a valid reason and you can raise a complaint to the ICO. This is the method I took, within half an hour of dropping of the letter i got a phone call saying the records will be available in a couple of days for me to pick them up. do not take no for an answer, you are entitled to them.
What is your basis of contempt of court?
With regards to the second point, under no circumstances should you not return your children this weekend unless there is an immediate danger to your children - if you do that, you'll almost certainly find the police on your doorstep, and the potential of a child abduction charge. You need to stick to the court order otherwise it will all count against you when you are next in court.
I'd agree with actd on this. Unless you have strong safeguarding concerns about the mother then return the kids. In addition to the police paying you a visit and various charges, even if the police say its a civil matter, your ex can take the matter back to court, if it is found that you did not have sufficient grounds to not return the kids then your ex may argue to restrict future contact saying that in fact you are now a safeguarding concern due to the harm and distress that you caused the kids by not returning them as agreed. Depending on the children's ages if your ex decides to get professional medical support for the kids to help them cope and overcome the harm/distress that you caused them then she could argue that contact needs to be built back up until the kids have recovered from the traumatic experience.
It's a very risky route to take and so give plenty of consideration before you do it.
In relation to filing for contempt you have to be absolutely certain with evidence and that it is a road you want to go down. It is also the sort of thing that can Harden the ex against you who even if it is proven may get a slap on the wrist with a fine or token financial penalty if they are unemployed but who may then determine to frustrate your contact with the kids forever using the grey areas of the law. I believe the form required is N600 and there is plenty of guidance online about this and the process.
All the best.
unfortunately false allegations, lies are rampant in the family courts, and I don't think your application will be taken seriously. as your case is ongoing, have Cafcass been involved, and have they done a welfare report?
There is no contempt of court and also it would be foolish not to return child/children this weekend. Unfortunately ex partners lying and with holding medical records is very common and courts wont do anything other than tell her off at the most. You have a final hearing coming up where contact should be increased. If you dont hand child/children back this weekend you could jeopardise everything at final hearing
My basis for contempt is as follows:
1. I came to mother's house because she informed me by phone that my little one was going to hospital and very sick.
2. She then lied in court saying that was not true and that I came to her house not for medical reasons.
3. I then after court went to obtain medical records to find the GP said my child was sick
4. she lied to court to get me in trouble, this trouble led to me having a finding of coercive control so it was materially relevant.
1. My ex said to court my little one did not go hospital for a cut to his head, it was just a "mark"
2. Clearly he has a visible scar to his head and is life changing
3. My ex said to the court it is nothing and no scar, no hospital, just a GP surgery.
4. It was a specific matter to the fact-finding that my son suffered this.
5. I went to the GP surgery to obtain the medical records and found that mother had lied to court.
There was other lies to the court, but the above were materially relevant.
That isn't contempt of court, and perjury doesn't apply to the family courts as any statement isn't made under oath. Harsh as it sounds, this is often standard behaviour for one party in the family courts. You could raise it when you are next in court, however you have to be very careful - if the court thinks that you are there with the main purpose of having a go at the mother (even though she is in the wrong), then it will go against you. You have to be in there purely for what is in the best interests of the child, and the courts will want to see you trying to work with the mother, rather than against her. You can dispute anything that she says that isn't true, but that almost needs to be an aside to the main purpose of being in court.
If she has committed perjury, then it would be a criminal offence, and would be needed to be dealt with separately. The issue is that you could be diverting the courts attention away from what is the best solution for the children, and that could potentially sway the court that you are more interested in having your ex punished than concentrating on the children, which is the courts primary concern.
@glad_dad i can see where you are trying to come from in that your ex has lied. However as the others have said, you risk coming across negative towards your ex and will struggle to make progress in relation to child contact and your main focus should be on arrangements to see child.
Addressing the lies you mention, I don't believe they will have had a material impact on their own to the outcome of your hearings.
Lie 1 - controlling and coercive behaviours is a pattern of behaviours with multiple examples including fear/threats etc and therefore if you have findings against you then I imagine that there are multiple examples.
Lie 2 - the court will just look at this as the mother playing things down as all parents see things differently when it comes to accidents, injuries, scars etc and the specific facts of who said what the court will not be interested in.
By all means consider pushing for contempt as per the N600 process, however I imagine this will result in a negative opinion of you forming by the courts and CAFCASS and also your ex may become hardened towards you and restrict contact further saying she is too stressed dealing with contempt of court proceedings to allow any contact until they are over thus forcing you back through the courts taking longer to get the contact you want.
What is the current situation in relation to your child contact proceedings? Have you secured a child arrangements order?
@actd and Daddyup
If someone commits a criminal offence, why is it that one should shy away from informing the courts in a proper means?
One should not be prejudiced for whistle blowing, it is a general principle within courts and professional bodies as a concept.
Furthermore, as you stated, the matters are separate points, the court will concentrate on children proceedings and then a separate application will concentrate on the offence.
Further, if it was a man who committed the offence, would the courts treat it differently? Under our Human rights we should be treated equally.
These are not white lies, mother phoned the police on me to try and get me in trouble with lie 1, lie 2 is something physical on my son's head.
PS. My ex is already hardened, she never once agreed to give me more contact outside of court, she fights in court to give me less contact, I currently get 6 hours every 2 weeks after 4 years.