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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Urgent advice needed re court application C100

Resolved Question:

Urgent advice needed re court application C100
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further informtaion first

What would you like to know?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello and thank you. Long story short, Partner's Mum has stopped access (happened a number of times before, usually over minor things that have annoyed her and always been resolved without court). On this occasion it is particularly nasty and she is hinting at some kind of sexual abuse on my part, so Partner feels he can no longer discuss things with her. He did try one reply putting her silly assertion into a normal context (ie little boy being in our bedroom during the day when I had to rest with a bad foot). We have been a family unit with his son for many years. The irony is it is us who have always had real concerns about his wellbeing (I have an answer from you re that from about 18 months ago). This stopping contact has come out of the blue and just before we were going on a family holiday next week and shortly after she sent a message telling Partner she had sent little boy to bed with no tea for forgetting to bring a jacket home. Result is we have decided to ignore the unpleasant assertion and just apply to have contact reinstated as a matter of urgency. We have a mediation appointment today and hoping to get the form into court shortly afterwards.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Getting stuck on filling out the form and feeling a bit overwhelmed. We would like to ask for an ex parte hearing so we can show some evidence of why we are concerned about him being at his Mum's for too long, but I understand ex parte hearings aren't often given. The alternative is to avoid putting anything in the application about our concerns for son's welfare I guess - we feel if we do put such things, his Mum will take it out on him because she will be aware he has talked to us.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I would be grateful if you could advise. We were not sure whether to ask social services to be involved ourselves, or take matters to have contact dealt with or what to do first.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Specifically we wanted to know if it was acceptable to enclose attachments as evidence, with the form, which back up things we have put on the form.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Incidentally, I recognise you from a previous question which I was unable to complete. I tried to reply to you to apologise for being unable to rate - there were issues with my account which were later resolved - I was unable to rate or reply and apparently my account was mistakenly converted into an expert account and that was why that had happened. That has now been sorted and I am able to rate so you will get the payment!
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Are you applying to enforce the existing order - or for a whole new order?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
A whole new order - we've never had one before. Sorry for delay - just been for mediation to be signed off. I should say my partner has never had one before. We've managed to go 7 or 8 years without applying to court. In previous instances, thrashing things out has usually worked (mediation wouldn't), but in this case if she is hinting at improper behaviour and then saying just my partner can have contact, that makes it difficult to discuss - loggerheads. Also unfeasible in our own home - I can't exactly go and stand outside.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Anyway, we don't really know what we are doing. The intention had been to try and make an urgent application to have contact reinstated, plus make a bit of a stand rather than sit here and just be accused of things, do nothing, and achieve nothing. But it won't get the contact back quickly I'm guessing. We've more or less decided to contact social services as well just to make sure someone is keeping an eye on him.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Could you remind me what your actual concerns are please?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Contact has been stopped out of the blue. In the past it has been silly reasons like forgetting to take a teddy bear back. This time it was because she had decided it was inappropriate to leave child with me while partner wasn't there, and we were sitting in our bedroom (because I have a bad foot and had to sit with my leg up - so easier to keep an eye on him). Strange as we have been living together as a family unit for years. Partner responded rationally saying nothing wrong with parenting while sitting on top of a bed with a bad foot and we then received a barrage of nasty accusations including "grooming". We left it a couple of days then Partner texted to ask if he should pick child up as agreed. Another barrage saying no and saying she was talking to social services, contact would have to change (ie only for him and not me) and he would have to go round on Monday where she would tell him what he could and couldn't do now. So we decided to just take some control and put the application in for an order. Except I think it isn't quick.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We're feeling a bit stuck and down now. It seems we can't do anything to get our normal lives back. We were about to move house, go on holiday, and we just have a normal happy little household here. Speaking to the mediator was depressing. She said you might or might not get an interrim hearing, and the whole thing could take 3 or 4 months. We've considered partner trying to discuss things with child's Mum but it isn't going to work. She doesn't have to budge now. She has "told" other half to go round on Monday, said his access will be changing, and at that time she will tell him what he can and can't do and who with. And we can still take the child on holiday if he brings proof that the place we are staying has 2 bedrooms. Which is ridiculous. We have two bedrooms at home as well. We think what set it off was, I normally have a low profile, but had been away with a sick parent, child missed me and kept talking about me all the time and was then very happy to see me and talking about me all the time. It must have annoyed her.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

My apologies - I meant your concerns about her care of the child (other than around contact)

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Things like over the top punishments. A few days before contact was stopped, he was sent to bed with no tea as a punishment for forgetting a jacket and leaving it somewhere. We know this because she sent my other half a text telling him! And he was anxious before he went back about the jacket saying she will be really angry and I will be sent to bed with no tea. It does seem to be the usual punishment. The punishments though are usually for things that shouldn't really warrant it. In this case, the child told his Mum he had left his coat at the place. Other half then had angry text message saying go and get it now it cost x much and I will be furious if it's lost. Other half phoned her to try and avoid child getting into trouble, saying the place was closed, we could pick it up in the morning and if it wasn't there he would buy a new one. Shortly after we got the message - He has been sent to bed with no tea. Well Done. It's harsh basically - the slightest mark on an item of clothing or a torn pair of trousers and he gets a rollicking and sent to bed with no tea. It is less than it was 18 months ago when we had to find a way of dealing with it, because then he was being whacked as well as being sent to bed with no tea, but not sure exactly what that means. Over the top anyway and a bit harsh. The day after the coat incident when other half went to pick child up he said he had been quite firm with her and said "that was over the top". As that kind of thing has helped reduce her reactions before. So the message a couple of days later stopping contact on some idea that I had done something inappropriate does sound a bit like a kind of attack as a form of defence, and she maybe realised she had done something not good and had put it in writing. Mostly she is a very volatile lady, harsh discipline, and we feel punishes him to get to us - maybe not consciously but it sort of punishes all three of us. For being happy maybe.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Have the school raised any concerns?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Not as far as we are aware anyway. Although other half said one of the teachers had commented how terrified child was one day when he got a mark on his coat.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I guess what I'm concerned about is if we do anything legal to try and get contact back she may give child a hard time. The mental effects of all this can't be good for him either. So I guess we have to be careful. I wondered if I need to do something myself (re an allegation of improper conduct with a child) - separately from the contact issues. ie see a Solicitor to ask for advice in case she asks for me to be investigated or something. We were hoping in some ways, that she would call social services because I think then all family members are "investigated" aren't they? And they will see it is a child access issue and parent with a grudge. But we're now thinking she might not call social services if she is concerned it may backfire on her or something (I think social services were involved with Mum and family when they lived in a different county - an issue with a stepbrother). I'm just trying to work out a list of what to do, how and when really.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

At this stage try and be focussed one establishing a reliable and enforceable pattern of contact - and to try and save the holiday due next week.

File an urgent on notice application on Monday for a specific issue order allowing you to take the child away next week

This will need your partner to attend court and explain the need for an urgent hearing on 48 hours notice.

If his ex brings up this accusation it is for her to make sense of it given the clear explanation that you have given.

Once you are home then your partner can proceed with the main part of the application to obtain a clear order regarding contact which can be enforced.

At that point and in context he can then raise his concern about the her punishment techniques.

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33946
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks so much, that is really helpful! I did ring a Solicitor yesterday who had said sending a letter could inflame things, but passed me onto a colleague of hers who doesn't have an appointment until Tuesday and the colleague said we'll send a letter out first, so I got confused and thought we'd just make the application ourselves rather than wait. A specific issues order sounds an excellent idea, thank you. I've heard of them. Is it the same C100 form? Is it possible to apply for both on the same form (eg the contact order and the specific issues order?) Or would that confuse the issue? Probably. I see the point - get the permission for the holiday from the court, to keep contact current, then apply for the contact order afterwards. Although I suppose if she then allowed contact there would be no grounds for a contact order then. Anyway. Specific issues order first. "If his ex brings up this accusation it is for her to make sense of it given the clear explanation that you have given." I don't quite understand that bit. Do you mean give a clear explanation on the specific issues form?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi. I am thinking this through. Just to prepare for what might go wrong so can prepare for it. If other half goes to the hearing is there then a short notice hearing for her to attend to give her reasons for objecting? I am wondering if she will be so angry that she will just call the Police and ask to have me investigated, as a way of preventing the speficic issue order over the holiday.I am wondering if we put the application in on Monday for both contact and specific issue, there would be the opportunity to explain why she has stopped contact and show the print-outs of the messages, plus give a history of contact etc. So that if she called the Police, the copy of this application could be shown to them, showing it is already being dealt with legally and her calling them is a retaliative measure. Or do you think that by giving all the information for the contact application as well as applying for the specific issue order for the holiday, it will not be possible for the court to award the specific issue without investigating her claim? Thank you.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Just occurred to me maybe I should see a Solicitor separately to show there has been an allegation made against me in case anything like that happens. Or at least have it recorded that this has happened as part of a dispute over child contact.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello again. In all my headless chicken mode about getting orders done to get contact back I missed out something that might be relevant to the course of action. The last message from child's Mum said she had spoken to social services and been referred to the Manager of Onepoint who had said she needed to take child safeguarding measures. His ex is saying that is why he has to go round to talk to her on Monday about his access changing from now on and why she needs details of the place we are going on holiday before she can allow that.We weren't sure what One Point us, but have looked up local social services to see what you do if you have concerns about a child and it says you talk to them first and then they refer you to someone, and mention One Point.So it seems there is some social services involvement already. I am concerned about two things. Firstly if they want to go and talk to child she will scare him into saying something that isn't true (which would be awful and distressing for him). Either he will be so scared he will do it, or he will stand up to her and then I worry she may hurt him. Based on previous concerns. Secondly - if there is already social services involvement, is it still relevant to try and sort contact via the courts, as they may just say social services investigation has to be completed first or something. Other half and I are not agreed on the social services issue at the moment. I thought it might be good to ring One Point ourselves and say - nothing to hide but we would like to talk to you (ideally before they decide to interview child, and so I can show them evidence of previous things, so they can take care if interviewing child). Other half says no, they will contact us if they want to.So would it still be a good idea to do the specific issue order - and if she comes along and says social services are investigating, presumably the court may say they can't make the specific issues order.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Just because she is making false allegations is not a reason for not making the application.

You have done nothing wrong and giving in to her will simply make matters worse.

Of course Social Services have told her that if she has concerns she must take steps to protect her child - what else would they say?

They haven't got time to investigate every accusation that is made - so it is much easier to simply suggest that Contact is kept to a minimum for safety

You deal with this in a robust way and if the police DO call you are polite and pleasant and explain what is happening.

The two applications are included on the same form.

You can refer to the allegations on the form - say that she has made some unfounded allegations based on the fact that the child sat on the bed with you when you were unwell

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you Clare. I agree. The response is also helpful for other half who is getting angry now and sounding a bit erratic. I just wanted to be clear that applying for the specific issues order would not just be dismissed while social services were involved if they have advised child's Mum.A couple of other questions and am happy to pay an additional amount for this.1) Section 4a on the C100 form. Set out the order/directions sought. I assume setting out the reasons for the urgency are that contact has been denied and we have a family holiday booked and to avoid further stress for child.
2) Proposed timetable. 48 hours? In which case have to complete what efforts have been made to put respondent on notice. Or more than 48 hours (eg 3 days) and leave that blank?
3) Do you think it would be best to apply for both on same form now (eg specific issue and child arrangement order), or do specific issue first and child arrangement order when we get back? I suppose less work to do immediately on the form with just the specific issues order - but then doing both now sets the ball rolling quicker?Thank you.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
ie not sure what to put under "Set out the order/directions sought".
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

You apply for both at once

You are asking for a specific issue order allowing you to take the child away from xxxc to xxx and to a Child Arrangement order setting out the ongoing pattern of contact

$8 hours notice

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you. So 48 hours notice and no need to fill in the box saying what attempts have been made to put respondent on notice.
What do we put in the "Set out the order/directions sought" box please? And also I wondered if we were able to attach anything at this stage.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for helping us keep focused. It is hard to think straight. Maybe I am overthinking things but I can see now why doing the specific issues order first and then the contact order after the holiday may avoid a backlash, if the wording on the specific issue application gives a brief history of contact and says it is hoped that contact can be reinstated without the need for further court applications.Whereas applying for both specific issue and child arrangements up front has pros and cons. As in getting the process underway, but on the other hand could create a backlash and proceedings take a long time to get contact back. What do you think? Also we wanted to request the court order counselling for child, to help him cope with his feelings after recent stresses and which may help with the stutter he developed about 18 months ago. And that this counselling commence after the holiday regardless of whether contact is reinstated as before or not. Is it possible to do that on a specific issue form please? The thinking being - if we don't get contact back straight away, child will have an outlet in a safe place, that is not controlled by his Mum.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
We have the application completed to take tomorrow morning. Have asked for specific issues order for the holiday, child arrabgements order for contact and specific issues order for counselling for child. Have attached details of holiday and dates and also print outs of some of the exported text message files. (Is that ok?). Only thing not filled in is under 4a Urgent Applications:"Set out the order(s)/directions soughtNot sure what we're supposed to put there. Plus not sure what to put under "what efforts have you made to put each respondent on notice of the application?" Same section. Timing of that needs to be careful I think. Would it be ok to say we will notify her by text before 6pm today (ie tomorrow). Or could we just say we will serve her with a copy of the application by 6pm tomorrow.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Have put in the summary that we hope matters of contact will be resolved with need for further court procedures, to reduce stress for child and feel mediation may resolve some disagreements on parenting styles and discipline.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

You apply for both at the same time because they are linked and the court is entitled to know that this is about more than just the forth coming holiday.

You DO NOT mention the counselling - that is something to work with the GP or school on

Under the Urgent application you inform them of the date of the holiday and the fact that she has threatened to withdraw her agreement.

I would suggest that your partner emails her tonight confirming that there are two bedrooms at the holiday home and saying that unless you have had confirmation by 10am tomorrow then you will be issuing an applictaion at Court with a view to a hearing date on Wednesday.

No discussion on the stupidity of the allegations - a simple statement and question

Assuming she does not reply then you take a copy of the email -NOTHING else (unless she texts a response)

At 4a you put

a specific issue order allowing you to take the child away from xxxc to xxx "

at 4b you say - she has threatened to refuse to allow the holiday and has refused to confirm via a reply to the attached email

And go for three days - still doable.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you so much Clare. Got it clear now thank you. Partner has now decided he wants to put the application in Tuesday morning. He has decided he wants to go there on Monday (as she asked), to be able to see child, who has probably been told he is coming. Says he wants to see what comes of it and then put the application in Tuesday. Have said I don't think going there is a good idea and to be careful what he says, but I can see he wants to see child since all this happened. What has confused me now is - she may well say you can go on the holiday now you have shown me the place has two bedrooms, so then we'd look a bit stupid putting the application in on Tuesday as she would say she has no objections to the holiday. Except we'd have to put it in anyway or she could turn round again and say no before we go, so he can text her after the meeting to say there will be a hearing to order the holiday. Partner thinks it is unlikely she will say ok to the holiday without "conditions" anyway. Anyway I suppose he is basically doing what you say, except rather than email he is going round to say it instead.If it wasn't for the little boy I think he'd just put the application in tomorrow morning. I have reminded him though, that an allegation has been made against me and he must be very careful what he says now.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It's more the ongoing contact as well as the holiday, so we have to put the application in regardless.
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Of he goes then he gets her to sign a letter confirming his agreement to the holiday

If she does then do not make the application.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Claire. We nearly put the application in this morning, after other half wanted to think everything through, and we had decided to put it in this morning, but ran out of time (and printer paper) in the end. We are definitely putting it in tomorrow but it means travelling to another court as we had phoned the local court to find the cut-off time and they said the next day there was only a deputy district Judge who didn't have a family ticket.Other half went to the meeting with child's Mother at her house. Child wasn't there. She has given us plenty of information to feel the court application is necessary. She wanted other half to sign a document (which he didn't and has brought it home) basically restricting what we could and couldn't do and said he couldn't see little boy until he signed it. She also told him he didn't have parental responsibility and everything was her decision (which is not true and we know he has parental responsibility). It seems to be about feeling threatened by little boy having a happy life here (on the list was - no play dates, no joining clubs, no going round to other peoples' houses) as she was the only parent who could decide that and that little boy was never to be out of other half's sight and never left with anyone else, and that I had to have a Doctor's note to say my foot was better, and that child was never allowed to sit on or in our bed) - which is strange when we have had a normal family life for years.Anyway the upshot is we will get the application in miles away tomorrow morning. And try to get this urgent specific issue order. We still have an appointment with a Solicitor tomorrow (which was the earliest appointment we could get last week) so may get a letter written to her as well, confirming that other half does have parental responsibility and asking her to resume access straight away and any issues can be resolved at mediation.The tone of the summary on our application is not critical in anyway and points out we think it's in child's best interest to have loving relationships at both homes, so that might help her feel less threatened. I can't help worrying if child is ok.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
There is a lot of stuff on her letter about if I have a bad foot and am incapacitated and never get out of bed then I am not fit to look after children. While at the same time saying I can't take him to other peoples' houses or to clubs, or go on holiday with him - so it's all a bit contradictory anyway. As for the holiday, she said other half can take him if he signs the form, but he is not to leave him with me. The main thing she was angry about was that she hadn't been invited to some event we had organised for child during his time with us and that he had made a friend and we had allowed him to have a play date at this friend's house (not alone obviously, I was there too). Some of it sounds like maternal concern actually - ie that maybe he is not safe with me if I have a bad foot. But I think most of it is not being able to accept he has a life here with us.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Claire. We've had to re-do sections of the form due to applying tomorrow instead of today. I am still confused about 4a and 4bAt 4a I have "Specific Issues Order allowing me to take the child on holiday from xxxx to xxxxx"
Have not put Child arrangements order here as well - is that right? Even though the application is for both.I have then set out the reasons for urgency in the next boxProposed timetable 48 hoursUnder what efforts have you made to put respondence on notice of application, have put "I will send a text by 4pm today (ie tomorrow) or whatever other notice the court asks me to do, but have concerns as to stress for my son at Mother's reaction.Next page is 4b "Without notice hearing"I have left this page blank, is that right?
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

4a - you do not refer to the general Child Arrangements Order as it s not urgent - this page is about the urgent part.

You are asking for a hearing on 48 hours notice - so on Thursday.

An email must be sent tomorrow morning informing her of the fact than an applictaion is being made

You shoudl say that she is aware that you intend to apply and that you will personally serve her that evening.

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