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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34033
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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I have sole custody of our 7 and 9 yr old sons. The court order

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I have sole custody of our 7 and 9 yr old sons. The court order states they go to their dad every other weekend and every wednesday after school for a few hours. After wednsedays visit the boys returned to me distraught. The eldest because his dad wanted to take them on holiday in the summer and my son does not want to go so his dad and grandad told him he was spoiling it for everyone and was selfish. My youngest because he dropped some food on the floor and he and his brother tells me their dad smacked my youngest around the head. My eldest now.does.not want to go this weekend. He says he is happy to go next time when dad has calmed down but not tomorrow. Thing is it says on court order if I dont send him then I am commuting an offence and could face prison. My ex is very controlling and came out with some amazing lies when he took me to court for sole custody/residency. When he dragged me through court carcass got involved and said in their report he was not a natural.parent and needed anger management classes as well as learning to discipline without violence. This was 2 years ago. I dont no if he did. So desperate. Please help.
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to assist you but need some further information first.
Have you ever had to cancel contact in the past - for illness maybe?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No never, if they are poorly he insists on coming to get them. I'd they fall poorly whilst with him he refuses to let them come home. I divorced him due to unreasonable behaviour. I know it sounds pathetic but I do what I can not to argue with him. I am scared of him.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He sticks to every word of the court order so if its his time to them it does not matter what happens he will have them even if he has to force them into the car. I can't afford to go back to court. He took me to court for sole residency and it went on for 18months and cost me 40grand in fees to respond to his application. We separated and I was in the marital home but he would not leave me alone so with the help of the domestic abuse police team I left the house and are with the chikdrem without telling him and he wasn't allowed near us until the 2nd court date.
Does he have them in the holidays at all?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes it is suppose to be half each but it does say as per child's wishes in the order so if boys don't want to go I feel confident to say so and know I'm behaving appropriately and as the court order allows.He also has to have my permission to take them abroad which I have given in the past with no argument as boys wanted to go. This year when he asked if he could take them away I said yes that's fine with me as long as the boys want too. Yet he still booked the holiday by lying to me why he wanted their passports. He said he wanted them to open a bank account. I later found out from son they did not open a bank account but needed passports for boys passport numbers to book the holiday. I still don't understand why he lied as I had already said it was fine as long as the boys where fine with it too. I hold the passports and have got them back off him.
I suspect I know the answer but I dare say mediation is not likely to be agreed to?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The judge said because of the emotional abuse itbwas not something that she felt would be productive. It's always his way or no way. He was awful in court and would disagree with the judge and social worker all the time. I appreciate you are only getting a one sided story but to give you an insight he went through 3 differnt solicitors as he dis not agree with them and the last one told my lawyer he was a very difficult client. A few years before the court case I had my ovaries, womb and part of my bowel removed at a young age due to a rare cancer. He claimed in court I did this for attention and he was so convincing proceedings were postponed until my oncologist could give evidence that it was very real. It was humiliating, I had to provide histology results as well to back it up. The worst part is I was still married to him whilst I went through the treatment. He knew it was true but when we went to court he still claimed it was fabricated. I can't begin to tell anyone how this allegation made me feel.
I can see why this was so traumatic - and to be honest I am afraid that the current issue may be the first time the children have expressed their wish not to go for the weekend - but it will not be the last.
In the normal way of things I would be suggesting Mediation with a mediator trained to work with children: or encouraging the children to tell him themselves that they want a break.
However it is clear that this is not likely to be a worthwhile course of action.
In terms of the immediate problem I am afraid that your only realistic options are to tell the children that there is no choice or to take the children away for the weekend yourself and deal with his reaction when you get back.
His only option would be to apply to the court to enforce the order and ask for you to be penalised (unlikely to be anything other than a telling off) and you can use that application to reopen the issue of the contact arrangements and their effect on the children.
If you cannot face this (which is understandable) then you will have to apply to vary the order.
As an extreme option you could report the smack to Social Services but this may be a very bumpy ride
Sorry not to be more positive
If you need further clarification please ask
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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