Court order advice
Posting here after a dissapointing day in court. We have a court order that stipulates contact every other weekend and wednesday midweek, for my 11 and 13 year old. My ex has now managed to get the midweek contact removed, what she actually asked for in court was to make midweek 'flexible' so that the children only come if they want to. They are heavily influenced by her though. She argued, the journey was too long, they may have homework to do (so no point in coming), etc. None of which are issues the children have ever raised, just her.
But actually the court have ordered that midweek contact should stop and replaced by contact on Sunday evening - Mon morning, on the non contact weekend.
I am pretty shocked as this is not going to work for her, me or the kids - they were completely happy with the mid week arrangement. The judge said the journey was too long (it is nearly an hour), but they are used to it and have said they wanted it to continue. Their thoughts have never been listened to by the court
We have ended up with something that is not ideal for anyone, let alone the kids. I can appeal, but even my solicitor said it is very difficult once a decision is made, as have to prove a procedural error. So I guess I just have to live with this. Just sad for the kids, they like seeing me during the week and their younger sisters at our house.
anyone got any thoughts/ advice?
was this your first court application? I think it is still a good arrangement. I have similar, have kids fri-mon every other weekend, and an alternate monday night. am hoping I can get increased time with kids. my ex did protest about the monday night, like will be long commute to my place etc, and I just told cafcass I will drive and often it can take 30-40 minutes at best. at worst it can take over an hour if roadworks and crazy traffic.
If it’s not suitable to your ex either, could you not talk to her and come up with something you can both agree on. Maybe you could then get a solicitor to draw up a consent form, which the courts could authorise for you, without the need to attend court again.
40-60min drive to or from school isn’t uncommon. I am surprised that judge deemed it as too long but the court has discretion to make orders that are in the best interest of a child whether the parents agree or not.
In some cases they order mid week contact for a few hours after school. However I understand that it doesn’t allow for depth connection.
Like Warhammer said. It might be best if you and your ex come to an amicable agreement without the court.
Thanks. My frustration is that the court just didn't seem to listen to my view at all or look at evidence. Or indeed even ask about the children's opinions.
We have an existing order that has been working fine with contact on a weds.
My ex does not want contact, based on reasons like her own jealousy rather than what is best for the kids. Unfortunately it is very difficult to agree anything with her, more likely that she will allow contact when it suits her, as before our previous order
Another thought, but what if the children say they want to come to me one night during the week. She keeps saying they are old enough to make their own decisions.
But if they decide to come, does she have to agree it?
The courts priorities are:
1. Safety of the children
2. School attendance
3. Contact with parents
The 2nd one carries a high weight in your case. Their school performance or perceived risk of getting tired takes priority over sleeping over at yours. When NRP doesn’t live near the children’s school, courts usually order 3-5h mid week contact from pickup to/after tea time.
This is an unfortunate but common outcome, and is why I decided to live as close to my child’s school as possible following a separation. I did not want the court to have a reasons to restrict contact. However, not all parents are able to or want to live near their ex.
What’s your arrangements for half term and summer holidays?
Thanks for the info.
The thing is that school attendance, homework etc has all been happening fine for many years. They seemed to think it would all change when my daughter goes to secondary school, but my son has been there 2 years now and the journey to mine is fine, he enjoys travelling with a school friend on the bus.
In terms of location, my ex has pushed them towards schools further away from me, over the last 5 years whenever she gets a chance to do anything to reduce or make contact more difficult, she will.
School holiday's are split half each.
Hi. If you look at it another way, court gave you time with kids on your ex's weekend, so appears the court favored you. This is very rare.
@bill337 yep, but I think its muddled thinking from the court. It doesnt benefit anyone for me to have the kids on her weekend.
Overall I am still having reduced contact time with the children, when you put everything into bringing up the kids for 13 years and they decide it is best to reduce the amount of time, without really even looking into the details of the case - I find it very frustrating