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plclegal
plclegal, Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Barrister at law
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I am trying to find out how old you have to be for a UK

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I am trying to find out how old you have to be for a UK court to take into consideration your human rights not to speak to your mother if you don't want to
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: it is the family court that is trying to make him see her
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Coventry Warwickshire
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: he hasn't spoken to his mother for 3 1/2 years and neither have his elder siblings..he doesn't want to but court have said that their ultimate goal is to have contact with both parents not just me (I'm his dad)

Hello, my name is Peter and I’ll do my best to assist you today.

Please bear in mind as this is an email service and not live chat I may not respond immediately.

How old is your child, please?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
he is 15...16 in January but I know the solicitor mentioned trying to do something to keep him under him until he's 18...I filed for an order for my son for a child arrangement, prohibitive steps and specific issue because I was told by a solicitor that due to his age it wouldn't be too difficult but since Cafcass came into it things have become very difficult indeed.
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I can't do that anyway I am just going on the school run

OK. If he does not want to see his mother, then at nearly 16 the court is not going to be able to make an order to force this.

I appreciate Cafcass will need to have their say, but they can't force him to have contact either.

The court can set a goal of him having contact, but if he is adamant that he does not want this then it is pointless, and the court won't enforce an order with a child of this age in my experience.

What was the reason for applying for the order in the first place?

 

 

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Well the problem is that I have been going to court and telling the facts and it appears that Cafcass goal and solicitors goal is contact no matter what and also they introduced a clinical psychologist who has said it is parental alienation so they are doing a S37 (family therapy unit - social services I think) with a view to change of residency if I don't co-operate...the Cafcass officer lied about me but I withdrew my application to have her removed as I wanted to try and show the DJ that I am not just obstructive as the expert said if I didn't co-operate it should be seen as such...this is so complicated I requested legal aid but the judge can't grant it and I can't afford to instruct anyone so they all know that I just have to comply...the expert left very relevant information out of his report but he is apparently very well respected...even the DJ said she'd seen some of his reports before...so I can't go against what he says though I am getting a copy of our meeting.

OK. But the reality remains that if your son does not want to see his mother, parental alienation or not, the court can't force him. And if they change residency he will be free to return to you if he wishes. He can't be held 'prisoner' in his mother's house against his wishes.

It's really most odd that this is being pursued in the way that it is.

 

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
you're not wrong it is odd but then if you knew what I knew about it you'd probably say that you can see what's going on...at least we are still at the dispute resolution stage and not a final hearing as I'm pretty sure I will need legal representation at that hearing as I can see where this is going...they are trying to introduce indirect contact then video contact then direct contact so TBH I'm trying to string it out as long as possible as he will be older and hopefully finished school...the police and court and all involved have been just a little biased towards the mother and now I'm being told that my attitude of if any of them want contact they can and if they don't they don't need to is being seen as obstructive...that's the reason I was looking at his legal rights under the human rights act and also I'm investigating the separation of siblings as well. It does seem that the happiness of the family home (as in me and the four kids) is being put a long way behind the mother and what she wants even though in the three and a half years she never once filed for access to him even though he was only 12 when he stopped speaking to her.

I appreciate this. I think that his views are key and as I said, the court cannot successfully force either contact or a change of residence for a 16 year old in these circumstances, in my view.

If you have further questions, you can always come back to me.

In the meantime, if you could take a second to provide a 5 star rating (top right of your screen) I'll be credited for my time spent responding to your question.

Kind regards,

Peter

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
No worries Peter and thanks I will rate it and I think there's somewhere I can send you a few quid and as he's 16 in January I think they're just trying to bully me and the kids into doing what they want us to do...TBH the solicitor I spoke to before I started the proceedings said that he would have to be listened to due to his age but all of the professionals involved in what I consider to be a system not fit for purpose know they can use their considerable knowledge and power to waste public funds to try and force a near 16 year old to have contact after such a long period of time without contact especially as his school attendance and performances are really good...in fact he only just lost his 100% attendance this time because he is anxious about the court case and the outcome.

Thanks, your rating is appreciated.

Let me know if I can assist further.

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