Hi, I devorced my violent husband. Our eldest goes to his every weekend but he has had no contact with our youngest, i am now in a very happy relationship and my youngest is settled and really doesnt want to see his dad (even tho i do give him the option, he saw the violence). His dad is very inconsistant and this weekend has demanded he takes our youngest out or he goes to a solicitor. If my son wants to go then thats fine but he really doesnt, how do i stand?
Province/Country relating to question : England
I have asked my ex husband to abide by any wishes my son makes. He is then saying its me stopping him. My ex took our youngest out 18mths ago to mcdonalds and said it would be a weekly thing but hasnt had any contact with him since. He is settled now and being let down by his dad again will disrupt him. If he wants to go i have no problem but i think my ex is doing this just to disrupt our lives now that we are all settled and happy. My ex will not except anything i say!
Good morning, thank you for your question, I will assist you with this.
How old is your youngest son?
He is 8 yrs old now.
Hi, thank you.
The court does expect the resident parent to do "their best" to ensure contact with the non-resident parent takes place. However, if your son refuses to go, you cannot force him.
If the father wishes to take this matter further, then let him. Really, the only thing you can do is encourage your son to go and spend time with his father, but it may be difficult for the father to show the court that it is your fault if he has been so inconsistent or missing from your sons life for 12 months. Further, if he does go down this route (legal) then the court would involve CAFCASS who would speak with your son and prepare a report for the court of his concerns and wishes.
Please do not feel pressured by your ex to try and force your son to visit with him. If he will not go, try and talk to him to find if there is any other reason why (other than the violence he witnesses) he does not want to see his father. Perhaps ask your older son to talk to him to see if he will open up to him if not you.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.
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Thank you for your help, I have let my son decide and will pass on his wishes to my ex. My older son who is 16, basically now lives with his dad now he has left school and with his fathers influence says some horrible things to me. When he was under 16 my ex used to refuse to drop him home and completely mess out with the rules. Im worried that he will do the same with my youngest if he does decide to go with his dad. Can he keep him and refuse to bring him back? He obviously has parental responsibility so has a right, but he is so manipulative and only doing this because I am happy and he is hurt we will not get back together like he planned.
I understand your concerns. Therefore, it is perhaps not a good idea to have your elder son speak with him.
Is there a residence order in place regarding your youngest son? If so, then he must return your son, should he decide to visit him. If he does not, then the police can attend upon him and remove your son, returning him to your care.
If there is no residence order in place and your ex refuses to return your son (if he visits) you must make an urgent application to the court for a residence order.
Can i apply for a residence order now before my son decides to see his dad? And how do I apply for one?
Yes, you can apply for this.
However, whether or not you need and/or will get a residence order right now is another matter. A residence order is generally sought if there is a dispute as to where your son should reside. As it is, there appears to be no issue regarding this as your ex has not sought to apply for residence.
Therefore, you are essentially seeking something as a preemptive measure, before a possible problem. If you ex refused to return your older son after visits then you would have just cause in applying for this now.
If you wish to go forward with this, I would recommend you obtain legal assistance in doing this. You may be eligible to legal help and a local specialist family solicitor would advise you if you are eligible for this.
If you wish to do this yourself, you need to complete the form C2 - this is the link to the court form and guidance notes - http://hmctscourtfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=78
Complete the form and send it off the the court with the fee, which is currently £200. The court will review and arrange the initial appointment, it will also send the papers to your ex.
I hope this answers your question. If you need anything else please ask.
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