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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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I have a statement of arrangements for childern that stipulates

Customer Question

I have a statement of arrangements for childern that stipulates my contact with my 5 year old son every other weekend and half of the holidays.
10 weeks ago I asked my ex wife to see my son additionally one night each week as he was distressed every time he went home he would not see me for 2 weeks however my ex wife refused and exploded at me in front of him
Since then she has stopped contact completely stating I have been emotionally abusing my son, on the basis that he was badly behaved at school, that I had advised him when he would next see me (in 12 sleeps time) and that he says things like Daddy is very weak and not well and is going to die-I had explained possible reasons for weak thing as my son wanted me to pick him up and put him on a climbing frame however at the time I had trapped a nerve in my neck and couldn't lift him. I explained this at our first mediation session, the mediator has recommended Psychological family therapy however my ex wife after two weeks has still not made contact and now 3 days ago advised she was taking my son abroad for a week.
The divorce from court stated contact as above and is less than a year old?
Questions are:-
1) Can my ex wife stop contact without a court order?
2) There is no evidence other than my ex wifes statements that Danny is unhappy with me other than he cries a lot when I left him asking when he would next see me
3) I was advised that mediation had to take place first however is this the case even with a court order?
4) How quick can I ge back to court?
5) The mediator we saw stated that her mediation will not work and referred us to the Court Psychological assessment therapy where we are being asked to pay for therapy- What does this mean?
It has been 10 weeks since I saw my son and I have no idea what my ex wife has said to explain this to him, please can you advise what options I have?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I can help with your questions.
1) You and your ex are both responsible for your son, and should act in his best interests. She should not stop contact without agreement or an order (in theory) but no doubt she would say to a Court that she felt she had no choice but to act. (Of course you would disagree, and your complaints about the lack of contact seem reasonable).
2) It is correct, from what you say, that she has produced no further evidence. If there was a Court application, the Court would probably appoint an expert to interview each of you, and possibly also interact (in a child-friendly way) with your son.
3)You have had mediation, so you do not need to pursue mediation any further if you would feel that a Court application is appropriate.
4) You could file an applicaiton this week and indicate on the form (C100) that you wanted an urgent hearing. Quite how soon the first hearing was fixed would depend upon the individual Court and its diary, but I would expect that you would be likely to get a first hearing within a few weeks.
5) Given your ex's actions and the lack of contact with your son, I recommend that you file an application for contact as soon as possible (on form C100 - which you can find by googling it, or get from Court). You can always stop the application if your ex is more reasonable, but at least it gets the Court timetable started for an order regulating arrangements for your son. In the absence of strong evidence pointing to the contrary, your request for alternate weekends and a midweek night is not unreasonable - indeed it is a fairly typical arrangement.
I hope that is helpful.
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
I notice that you haven't yet rated my answer - is there any aspect of your question that I can help you with further?