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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34589
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I have recently received a court order for contact with my

Resolved Question:

I have recently received a court order for contact with my 5 year old son living in England. I live in scotland. My ex has tried her best to stop all contact and with such resistance that I thought it best to take a more patient route than direct access and go for indirect access to begin with so I changed my application for direct to indirect three times a year sending him letters and presents. I have agreed not to reapply for direst contact for 5 years by which time his views will be taken into account. She resisted this contact but the court insisted that it go ahead. She then lied and said that she had moved address and all mail would need to go through a third party as she didn't want me to know her address. I though she did this to prevent him getting the mail but giving her the benefit of the doubt I agreed and the court order stipulates that she gives him the mail/presents and says that they have come from me. I have no way of knowing whether she will or not. I received the order last week and already this week she has written to me to say that the third party address has changed and the new address is of people that I know do not like me so I doubt that the mail will get to my son. What can I do? Can she just change the address defined by the court order like that?

Optional Information:
System of Law: England-and-Wales

Already Tried:
Court order for contact agreed with third party address named. I agreed to this third party because I knew that this person was compassionate to my contact with my son. Can I write to the court directly about this stating my dissatisfaction and telling them about her lying about moving when in fact she is still in her old address
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Are you certain that she is at the same address?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare


 


Did you get my reply to your question?


I seem to be waiting an interminable time for a response to my question initially posted at midday today.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
May I ask on what basis you chose not to force direct contact?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Because I now live in Edinburgh and he in Hereford so the most contact would be 2 hours per month and as his mother is so resistant to contact and he so young I have decided to postpone direct contact until he is of an age that his view will be taken into account and I am financially in a better position to travel from Edinburgh to Hereford on a regular basis. I have settled in Edinburgh with my wife and out 8 month old son.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare Can you confirm whether my ex needs to apply to court to amend the third party address stipulated by the court order?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Yes she does need to apply to amend the Order as otherwise you can simply continue to use the address that she gave
However you could use the fact that she lied about her address to reopen the matter if you would prefer
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare


 


I don't want to unnecessarily exacerbate matters by reopening the case but do not want to use the new third party address she has given as I have no trust in mail getting to my son from that address.


 


Can i write directly to the court with my concerns and ask that the court intervene showing the court the letter she has written telling me to use this other third part address which I do not believe is in the interest of my son?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
No all you need to do is tell your ex (write to her at her address) and say that you will abide by the Order and that if she wishes to change it then she must apply to the court
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare


On review I have decided to follow up on your earlier comment that I am entitled to refer the matter back to court as she lied about her address to try and tarnish my reputation as not being safe enough to have it when in fact she gave it to me - I have the written evidence. I think this change of third party address is her attempt to obfuscate matters as well as not abide by the court order. Do I write directly to the court to tell the court of my decision to refer the matter back to court? I have to date represented myself.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Do you wish to reopen the whole matter?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I want to explore my options.


 


Can I reopen the matter?


 


I want to at least ensure that indirect contact is secure and that I can write to my son at his home address as well as him having my address.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Your son is very small - there is no guarantee that the gifts will get to him - may I ask why you thought this would work?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many years ago I had a similar situation with my first two sons and though I was granted joint custody ( i.e. rights and responsibilities to me, care and control to mother) she made it impossible for me to have access to everyone's heartache. As the mother of my 5 year old son has been adamant from the beginning that I should have no contact I have decided to wait until he is of an age where his views are taken into account in court and until then maintain an indirect contact with him through writing and presents. It was a tough call but I think it is best in the circumstances.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My question is can I not simply write to the court and state that rather than accept a new third party address, that I have the right to write directly to my son at his home at the address that was given to me by his mother and that he has my address for when he wants to / is able to write to me?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The approach of the courts has changed considerably over the years and unless you were in some way a threat to the child then some form of direct contact is likely to have eventually been ordered.
You cannot simply write to the court on this issue.
What you cam do is make an application to the court on the basis that you have evidence that your ex lied about moving and that accordingly you wish to write to her house directly.
I have to be honest and say that I am not sure that I see how this will help given the age of the child, but it will highlight her willingness to lie to the court.
The form you need to make the application is here
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/c002-eng.pdf
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. Is it not possible to seek an amendment to the court order to write to the home address rather than third party.


 


If she asks for a change of third party address by writing for a change of court order can I challenge this before a new court order is made?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I have just outlined how you apply for that change
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you


my question is whether I wait and respond to her application for a change to the court order or make the initial application for change myself.?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
That is a personal decision that only you can make I am afraid!
Clare
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