Hello again – I'm very sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
You don't actually say how often the court order states that the kids are to go to their dad's.
But you are right - the purpose of a contact order is so that the dad has time with his kids, not so that the kids are left with anyone else.
However, to stop the kids going to their dad's altogether is too drastic a step to take.
Write out a list in two columns for say the last 6 months:
In column 1, write the days and times when their dad should have had the kids.
In column 2, write those dates when he either cancelled or left the kids with someone else.
If the court order says he's to have the kids for the weekend once a fortnight, but when you look at your list, he's actually only had the kids with him on average once per month, then you could write to him to point this out, and say that in future, you'll only be sending the kids to him once per month from (date), unless he starts having gthe kids eactly as the court ordered. In theory, he could then take YOU back to court as you yourself would be in breach of the court order – but as long as you keep a careful diary from now on, and a record of what has happened over the last 6 months or a year, the court will be sympathetic to why you have reduced his contact time with the kids.
The proper way to do this is for you now to make an application to court to vary (ie to change) the original order. You'd need form C100 to do this, which is here:
with guidance here:
Unfortunately there is no longer any legal aid for this type of court application. The court fee is £215.
As going to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive, if you and your kid's dad ex-partner can reach agreement, that is preferable. A contact order can be varied by agreement between the parties without going back to court – but that means by AGREEMENT of BOTH parties.
You can negotiate either between yourselves – eg “you need to start having the kids with you as per the court order, or let's agree to reduce the contact to once per month” or via solicitors' correspondence, or via mediation.
The family court anyway now requires the parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court. Here's where to find a family mediation service close to you:
I think you would also benefit from some face-to-face legal advice. Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor near to you:
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks and best wishes....