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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I acted as a McKenzy (sp?) friend to a woman with limited English

Resolved Question:

I acted as a McKenzy (sp?) friend to a woman with limited English about custody / visitation rights for her 14 year old son, Max, who lives with his father in Bridgewater. The mother lives in Blandford.
A section 8 order was made by Bmth Family court on 8th August agreeing details of access rights, times etc. Basically the parties meet in Yeovil on Fri & Sun alternate weekends to exchange Max for that weekend.
Max's father is very difficult and has twice not turned up without explanation. Now his mother, who remarried several years ago, is pregnant and cannot drive to Yeovil because of complications. She has a very small income and cannot afford a solicitor.
How does one proceed? I assume this Case cannot be reopened. Do we have to go back to Bmth Court and start a new action? What would be the grounds?
Thanks.
Cliff Forrest
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 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.
When was the last missed contact?
What other proposals will your friend put forward for contact?
is there no one who can drive her?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks.

1) last fail was 2 weeks ago.

2) Max could take a bus. He is very mature and nearly 6' tall. The father will not discuss this.

3) No. Her husband cannot drive.

There is also some unfinished emotional business here. (isn't there always?) The father used to live close by in Blandford, and Max could more or less come and go between homes at any time. There are other children in the family and they all got on very well. Then last December. father moved to Bridgewater with Max at very short notice. Now the mother finds the limited access very painful and I think she resents even having to pay the petrol for the bi-monthly trip. A week ago the father put in a claim for child suppport from the mother. This will cost her £10/week. She does not resent this if it goes to Max, but the father has a successful business and appears to be well-off.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is the bus a direct one?
Is the child happy in the new area?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I've just checked - bus is hopeless! Min 3 changes and five hours but not possible after school on Friday.

CAFCASS scripted the agreement. Their view was that Max did not want to offend either parent and did not want to have to chose.

I think you need to see the complete background before you can advise, which is difficult. Are you able to advise on the PROCESS of what a parent needs to do to contest the situation without you understanding the merit?.

I am well aware that the court order is only 2 months old, but the mother felt pressured and cornered into accepting it.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
When did she discover she was pregnant?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

days ago. Expected next May.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Ok
That coupled with the two missed contacts is a good reason to go back to court.
This could be either an enforcement application or an application to vary the existing Order
You are correct the latter means a a new application and the process starts again.
Your friend will need to produce medical evidence that she is no longer able to drive this coupled with the fact that it was her ex who actually moved should be sufficient to change the transport arrangements
You and she will need to stand firm on this point
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
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