How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35052
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

My 4 year old boy and his sister 2 years old, have only seen

This answer was rated:

My 4 year old boy and his sister 2 years old, have only seen their father and paternal grandparents only briefly in the last 12months. It has been agreed in court that they should see their father fortnightly. However, the children are to be collected 5pm on a Friday and returned Sunday 5pm. Both children will be totally distressed as they have had little contact. This is cruel. Now I have breeched the order and offered instead for the children to be collected Saturday am returned 6 or7pm and the same for Sunday; the father has refused. I am facing community service, prison etc.... Should I involve social services, do my children have the right to refuse. My daughter will cry her eyes out and my son will mot likely ask to come home . Please help
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 court hearing and has a CAFCASS report been prepared
What contact have they actually had since June?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

CAFCASS were not involved in June as I was agreeable as to the father seeing his children again. Morgan the 4 year old saw his father one afternoon, Willow (2) was in Addenbrooks hospital with a asthma attack. But, soon after that the threatening phone call from the girl friend. All contact was stopped as I worried for the children.This was overlooked by the magistrates and the court order was enforced. I am now in breach of the court order and facing prison. I spoke to CAFCASS they are going to try and help. They are going to be at the court on Thursday.

So originally you agreed to overnight contact is that correct?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes, but only when the children would have felt comfortable and it was thought that a couple of months would have been sufficient. Then the threatening call.

What contact are you willing to offer over the next four weeks?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I offered Saturday 9am to 7 to 8pm sat and Sunday again 8, 9am to 5pm. thus allowing the children to re connect with the family and the father, as long and more contact if need be in between. This has been turn down today by the family (plenty of money) and by the magistrate's court.

Sorry to say but the Magistrates are from the old world, all grey heads and do not seem to relate to today's needs. We are lost as to what to do! The children will be totally upset, the 2 year old does not know her father and will be distraught. On the 12th of this month, Friday, we are to hand over 2 children, who will be totally lost, on Tesco's car park in Haverhill Suffolk at 5pm on Friday to Sunday 5pm. Are we living in a third world country! THIS IS CRUEL Should we advise the newspapers. Would it help!

No I am afraid telling the newspapers would not help - and the fact that you tried to do so will make things worse.
You have two options.
The first is to immediately appeal the Order and ask for the Order to be placed on hold pending the appeal hearing and offer Saturday and Sunday contact in the mean time
There is no guarantee of success and you may face having to pay your ex's legal costs.
The other option is to remember that the children take their lead from you their mother - and others close to them.
If YOU are anxious and distraught on Friday then they will be.
If you are able to stay calm and remember that the children will come to no physical harm and you will have a least one night of wrapping presents in peace then there will be no great scene in the car park (although frankly the restaurant would be better so that you can walk away quickly.
It will then be up to your ex and his parents to deal with the children and it is likely that they will swiftly realise that you had a reason for your concern and
Alternatively you will discover that your children are happy enough to go so long as they get to come back to you.
They will play you up when they get home - and that will be entirely normal - but having been there I can tell you that provided you keep your tears where they cannot see then they will come to no great emotional harm in the long term.
I KNOW you prefer option one.
Please think carefully about option 2 as you need to show that it is not just you being difficult
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you