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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 757
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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My 12 yr old daughter who lives with me does not wish to have

Customer Question

My 12 yr old daughter who lives with me does not wish to have any contact with her biological mother. However, despite this she is constantly trying to force contact either with threats to take me to court for failing to promote contact, which is not true, I've been trying to do so for the last 2 years and every time I make progress my ex wife try pushing to hard and making demands on my daughter, or send abusive and insulting messages to myself, daughter and my fiance who lives with us. My ex is fixated on the issue that I'm the problem when she should be attempting to fix her relationship with my daughter. Despite 3 meetings which went really bad because she does not believe what my daughter told her, she thinks wrongly that we are influencing my daughter to what to say or do, she is now attempting to force Shannon to see her through legal channels. I fear she will force a face to face meet via mediation. Can my daughter refuse all contact with her biological mother and if called to attend mediation does she have to attend and if so does she have to speak to my ex.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Welcome to Just Answer
Thank you for your question.
I am a Solicitor and I will assist you.
I would like to reassure you that you are doing the right thing. It is important for children to have a relationship with both parents and it is your job to promote your daughter spending time with her mother - which you have described that you are doing.
If your ex was to make an application to the court - then your daughters wishes and feelings would be ascertained (usually via Children's and Families Officer aka Cafcass) and a Judge will give weight to your daughters wishes and feelings in light of her age and understanding. Children are usually considered competent circa 13/14 however this is dependant on the child and can be younger.
Just because your ex makes an application to the Court doesn't automatically mean that she is correct. The court will consider all of the circumstances and will look at what contact if any is best. Your daughter will not be 'pushed' into anything as can technically 'vote with her feet' and decide what she wants to do.
You should make a log of the past including the encouragement you have given and progress made and also the behaviour if your ex and how this has created issues. You should explain all this to the Judge and detail how you are concerned about your daughters emotional well being and the problems being caused by your ex. The Cafcass Officer also calls you before the first hearing so you should tell them this also.
No one can force your daughter into mediation. All you can do is encourage and promote and that's all that can be expected.
If you have suffered physical, emotional or financial abuse in the last two years and if you can get evidence and you also qualifies on means then you may be able to get legal aid and a solicitor to help. Please see this link - in particular the GP letter - if your GP is satisfied that you are suffering from a condition such as stress as a result of your ex's behaviour and he completes the template letter - then you should take this to a Legal Aid Solicitor for a financial assessment.
https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid/domestic-abuse-or-violence
Kind Regards
Caroline
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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 757
Experience: Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
ukfamilysolicitor and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiSimply to add to what my colleague has said - in fact mediation would be your very best options.A trained Mediator will speak to the Child and then reflect the views back to the parents - they do not meet with the children and parents together (unless the child requests itYou shoudl also enquire of your local Children Services what counselling options there are in your area - such as this one in Derby http://www.safespeak.org.uk/There are others across the country but they all have different namesClare

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