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Not following order

 
KyleParker
(@kyleparker)
Active Member Registered

Finally after 2 years of pain without my son the courts have finally put a contact order in place.

 

I'm extremely concerned that she won't follow any of the order and not take him the contact center and future over night stays etc

Has anyone got any experience of what happens if she breaks the order? It's not enforced and I already know she won't follow it so we'll be straight back to court. How long does it take to go back to court and get it sorted out. Will they just restart the order again, will she face any consequences?

There have already been 2 previous interim contact orders in place but she broke them both with the usual car broke down, family member was ill, it was her brother's birthday nonsense excuse but the courts did nothing about it hence why it's taken almost 2 years to put a contact order in place. I'm worried that she will just do it again and the courts will side with her excuses and I'll be back to square 0 with my son again.

 

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 19/10/2021 5:02 pm
MikeBurry
(@mikeburry)
Active Member Registered

Whilst i have no experience with the family court as of yet, i am very interested in seeing what effect the domestic abuse act has on child contact cases. Although the act came out in april and is criminal not family law, it appears it is not as well known as i would have thought. My solicitor didnt seem to know about it, and a police officer i spoke to didnt even know about it.

The guidance notes of the act list multiple examples of abuse, several of which are focused around using a child, for example frustrating or limiting contact is mentioned. On this basis could you not report her for coercive and controlling behaviour?

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Posted : 20/10/2021 4:57 am

KyleParker
(@kyleparker)
Active Member Registered

@mikeburry Theres no domestic abuse involved although she has tried to lie about abuse to the courts and after an investigation it was dropped due to her not being able to provide any evidence. I've been through 2 years of this now and the last thing I want to do is keep arguing with her and filing reports to the courts to drag things out even further as it has no positive benefit for our son. I just want to be a father to my son and I won't be able to do that until she realises that she has to follow this order now as it's a final order. I'm afraid she won't take him to contact and it will take months to go back to court for it to take even more months to do an investigation. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it, after reading online it seems to be happening with almost every person. I just need to know the process and how long it will take after she breaks the order, I can't do another 2 days let alone another 2 years of that again, it will end me.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 20/10/2021 10:26 am
Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

hi,

when are you next due to see your son in the contact centre? and has ex already stopped following order?

there is still a big backlog of court applications. people have been making them, and in some cases they are being listed for a hearing in February 2022.

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Posted : 20/10/2021 11:09 am

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KyleParker
(@kyleparker)
Active Member Registered

@bill337 Saturday but she's already broken 2 interim orders with no consequences except delays for investigations as to why she broke them. Saturday in the contact center is the final child arrangements order.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 20/10/2021 4:13 pm
Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

@kyleparker ok wait for saturday. if she doesn't allow, document if she gives any reason why it doesn't go ahead. enforcement would be form C79. costs about £232. could be about 3 month wait for a hearing date. I heard often these enforcement hearings become a variation of the order. your ex may get a telling off at the most.

some info:

WHAT CAN HAPPEN AT COURT?

If it is accepted that the order was broken, and there was not a reasonable excuse to justify the breach, there are a number of things a judge might do.

If, as a result of the order being broken, you suffered financial loss, the court can order financial compensation from the party in breach. You cannot claim damages for emotional harm/stress etc, but only for actual financial loss. Examples would include travel costs having been unnecessarily incurred, the cost of a lost session at a contact centre, or your having had to cancel a holiday or arrange additional childcare.

The Court can order that the party in breach carries out community service work. This can be for a period between 40 and 200 hours.

The Court may order that CAFCASS (the Court Welfare Service) monitor and/or assist in contact taking place. This can be done through the Court making a Family Assistance Order which can run for up to 12 months.

The Court may order that the parties attempt mediation to try to resolve their difficulties.

The Court may order that one or both parties undertake counselling/therapy/anger management counselling or other activities which the Judge feels are appropriate and may be of assistance in the prevention or resolution of conflict and to facilitate contact in the future. Such orders will likely be dependent on there being available services locally.

The potential exists that the Court could:

  1. Change the terms of the existing order if the current arrangements are found not to be in the children´s best interests and/or are impractical/unworkable.

  2. In exceptional circumstances, the Court could change the person who the child lives with or commit to prison the person in breach.

  3. There has recently been a new development in cases where contact has been persistently frustrated by the resident parent, the courts have suspended an order as a firm warning. It cannot be overstated that this is a new step, and comparatively rare. The court places conditions upon the residence order (now the child arrangements order) which, if breached, see residence transfer to the other parent. Case law to cite includes M (Children) [2012] EWHC 1948 (Fam).

More recently the case A (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1104 is of great importance. At paragraph 60 of that judgment McFarlance LJ gave guidance:

´If, as part of that strategy, the court makes an express order requiring the parent with care to comply with contact arrangements, and that order is breached then, as part of a consistent strategy, the judge must, in the absence of good reason for any failure, support the order that he or she has made by considering enforcement, either under the enforcement provisions in CA 1989, ss 11J-11N or by contempt proceedings. To do otherwise would be to abandon the strategy for the case with the risk that a situation similar to that which has occurred in the present case may develop; to do otherwise is also inconsistent with the rule of law.´

https://www.familycourtsupport.social/child-enforcement-orders

ReplyQuote
Posted : 20/10/2021 8:28 pm

how contact centres work

Desh
 Desh
(@desh)
Eminent Member Registered

@KyleParker - last year I made a c79 application for enforcement. Paperwork straightforward.

In my case ex moved out with our 5 month old baby. Refusing any contact. She applied for NMO which was refused. She was told at Interim Hearing to arrange contact. Ex then provided contact at contact centre - cancelling at whim. At FHDRA Court ordered interim contact to move from contact centre to my home ex refusing to comply with order citing lockdown excuses.

At enforcement hearing, she promised to provide contact. Judge made order to adjourned my application for 12 months with liberty fore to return to court in the event of a further breach. Looking back I wish I had not waiting so long to file. I was trying to avoid antagonizing her and think of our baby. 

If your ex does fail to show up at contact centre, I would file as it took 12 weeks to get hearing date. At the Hearing I would try to get contact moved out of contact centre to your home/the community. Reason - sessions missed at contact centres can't be made up. Ones I attended were only open for 2 hours on set day & times. At home you have flexibility to rearrange.

At my DRA judge made that clear to her, if for some reason contact has to be cancelled - it must be made up not just cancelled. Other than reason of sickness, any other reason to vary must be agreed in writing. 

Wishing you all the best. 

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Posted : 21/10/2021 6:36 am

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