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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
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I’m just wondering what my next steps would be. Speaking on

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Hi I’m just wondering what my next steps would be. Speaking on behalf of my partner but we just wanted to see what we can do next. My partner hasn’t been with his ex girlfriend for years, he was always allowed to see his kid but always had to be at hers and family always had to go there. Everything was fine him seeing his child when she didn’t know about me but when my partner told her, so she didn’t have to find out from somebody else, she threatened him with a contact centre. They finally agreed to meet up in a public place and arranged contact. She would drop the child to his mums and it would go from there. Everything was fine until one day he was 10 minutes late and rang her to say why but she said she had already gone and wasn’t waiting around. From then, he rang up someone about mediation and it was going to go ahead but then she said she wasnt doing it and could not afford it. We’re a bit stuck on what to do now, he was seeing him in 2016 whenever it suited her but she’s changed her number and now he has no way of contacting her so we’re really stuck on what to do from now.

Hello, my name is Jim and I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

Your partner has a right to regular contact with their child.

As their Father he has a right to see them regularly and the family court will encourage this and for him to have an active part in their upbringing. The court will order arrangements for him to see them on specified days and for how long if he cannot agree this with his ex partner. He can also ask for joint custody so the child lives with him for part of the week if he wants..

If custody is to be considered then the welfare checklist of the child is relevant :

http://www.inbrief.co.uk/child-law/child-welfare-checklist

He will need to contact his ex and say he will have to apply for a child arrangements order and if he is successful then he will ask the court to order she pays the cost.

If she continues to refuse to allow him more contact, he will need to contact a mediator as the court will want to know whether he has attended mediation first before involving the court - the mediator will contact your partner's ex and if she refuses to attend then he is free to make the application to the court. This is called “MIAM”, or a mediation assessment.

To find a mediator in your partner's local area, use this site :

http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator

In order to apply to the court, he will need to fill out and send form C100 (copy attached) with a cheque of £215 payable to HMCTS to your partner's local family court centre. Or he can ring the court and pay over the phone (or pay in person if he goes directly to the court and pay at the counter). If he is on low income/have low savings he can apply for a fee exemption here:

http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

Once he applies to the court it will list a hearing where your partner and his ex attends. There will be a family advisor there too (from Cafcass) and if arrangements can be agreed then a consent order will be drawn up.

If she cannot be traced then you can ask BNH Associates (or any decent tracing agency to locate her). BNH uses ex-Police and have a high success rate. You can visit their website at http://www.bnhassociates.com

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Can it still go to court even though we didn’t actually go through with mediation because she didn’t want to and couldn’t afford it? Really didn’t want to go down this route but it’s just not fair on the child and we have no way of contacting her as she’s changed number and blocked us out his lives completely

If mediation was attempted and failed then yes, an application needs to be sent to the family court. She needs to be traced first though.

Please let me know if any of what I have said requires clarification. I am happy to help. In the meantime if you could either leave a rating and click “submit”, or confirm that I have answered your question for you, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
When you say traced do you mean for us to get hold of her? We know where she lives but don’t have her number as she changed it. We tried the mediation a while ago now and I’m not sure if we can find the form, do you know what happens from there??

Yes so if you don't know where she lives then the tracing agency will find her for you and you can then apply for a contact order. If you already know where she lives then that is fine and the application can be made.

MIAM (the mediation assessment) will not apply if there has been previous MIAM attendance by the parties, or if there are child protection concerns. Other reasons would be urgency, so if there was a risk for the safety of the child (or the applicant), or if it would cause the applicant hardship. The other reason would be if there would be a miscarriage of justice if there was a delay. Other reasons would be where there has been domestic violence and this has been evidenced (e.g. Police become involved), if you and your ex are in agreement and there is no dispute (so medication is not required), or you do not know where your ex lives. If social services are involved due to welfare and safety of the child then again, mediation is not required. Other reasons would be if your nearest mediator is more than 15 miles away from your location. If a mediator can show that MIAM is not appropriate because your ex refuses to attend then this is another reason. Likewise if you have applied for mediation in the last 4 months and the mediator has confirmed it is not suitable to resolve your dispute.

If none of the above apply then mediation will need to be attempted again. You can find your local mediator here:

http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Even though I pay £215 for court orders is this something n she will have to pay aswell? I’m just worried as last time she was saying she couldn’t afford it and I’m afraid it will happen again this time.

She doesn't pay the £215 (the respondent) - the applicant does (being your partner)

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Will anything else have to be payed though after the £215 is payed ?

No, that's the only fee. It only gets expensive if solicitors are instructed but this application is easy to do without instructing one. Plus you can come back to this site for guidance if you need it.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Ah okay Thankyou so much

No problem, when you get time if you could either leave a rating and click “submit”, or confirm that I have answered your question for you, I would be very grateful.

Have a good day

Jim

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