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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34128
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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I am divorced recently and separated years. My daughters of 12 a

Customer Question

I am divorced recently and separated for 2 years. My daughters of 12 ans 14 don't want to see me on a regular basis. Only once in a while every two weeks more or less. Can I force them to see me more ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What do they say when you ask them if they would like to see you more often?
has this always been the pattern of contact?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They say that they don't want to see me more. That seeing me "randomly" when they want suits them, that I can't impose them anything and that is what they offer. Point. I left my former wife very suddenly and have had quickly another child with another woman I am now leaving with. The girls are of course furious themselves and are also prisonners of their mother despair and suffering. Hence in my view they did not have much choice to chose a camp and support their mother and show their faithfulness. One way being to concur with her that their father had done something so morally terrible that he doesn't deserve anymore the same consideration neither he has a legitimate position vis a vis us. In a first phase they had to deal with their mother depression and immense suffering on top of having their daily life disrupted and their dream of their family life destroyed. Through the narrative of their mother as well as the disruption and suffering of their mother in front of them they chose to join my former wife to condemn moraly my behaviour and to manifest it by refusing to have regular contact. in a second phase their mother decided to Adopt the following position. She proposes them verbally very often to see me, insist about it , but of course will never force them and the girls knows very well she will never force. In a way she proposed and insist but it is clear that it is optional. And by regards ***** ***** of their life (school and other obligations ) I can see that one of the rare thing that is optional without constraint whatsoever in their life is 'see daddy'. It goes as far as them pre-empting whatever their mother could propose them: they themselves have established that they won't let their mother alone on any occasion (holiday, religious festival ....) such that in the end we are in the following situation: I don't see them more than once every two weeks and it is never planned or part of a schedule. They are not with me for any festival/religious occasion. They don't want to spend holidays with me. Not to mention of course that they refuse to see my partner and their 1 year old brother (I have no intention forcing them and I always see them alone and propose holidays with me alone. ). I mail, text or call everyday without much success (only one answer sometimes).
My question to you was : In this context and despite they are now teenager isn't it upon the parents to do their utmost to insure regular contact with the father. And in that regard just proposing and having a No answer is that sufficient ? What is the law saying about those kind of situation where no agenda and schedule is never pre-agreed because the children refuse and the mother won't force and will hardly put some pressure. Should I ask for a contact order to at least make a point for the record . The downside I see is that they would see that as undue pressure and an act against their mother again and that it will not change much. Their ages are : 18, 16 and 14.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Could you confirm the ages of the two younger children - is is 12 and 14 or 14 and 16
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Youngers are now 14.5 and 16
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry but I am afraid that there is no Court action you can take regarding the two older children as they are over 16.
Whilst you can still apply for a Child Arrangement Order in respect of the younger child there is little point in doing so.
I am afraid the Court will not make an Order in respect of a 14 year old which does not accord with her wishes - they accept that it would be almost impossible to force a child of that age to spend time with you if she does not wish to do so
I am sorry - I can understand how frustrating this must be.
The only possible interim option would be to arrange for Family Mediation ( and using a Mediator also trained to work with young people to help the children explore their views
Please ask if you need further details