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james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 5866
Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
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I'm just wondering what is classed as a 'reasonable excuse'

Customer Question

Hello, I'm just wondering what is classed as a 'reasonable excuse' not to abide by a family court order? I have previously been told that if my ex wife cannot make the times and locations stated on the court order that she has to make alterative arrangements to get my children to me? She consistently refuses to stick to our court order and states her 'new boss will not allow it'.
JA: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in family court?
Customer: we have a court order and i am now in the process of enforcing it
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?
Customer: yes
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  james bruce replied 13 days ago.

Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and  I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter.

A court order is a court order. They are not simply a guide that a person can choose to ignore if not suitable to them, or inconvenient to them.

They must either abide by the court order, or, apply to the court for the order to be amended.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi James, thank you so much for your response. So in other words she can't keep using work as an excuse to refuse to stick to the order?
Expert:  james bruce replied 13 days ago.

No, not at all. It may be acceptable for the odd occasion. But, is she is unable to follow a court order that is made, then she must take the appropriate action to have the order amended. She cannot simply break the court order because it suits her personal situation and life.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
She also keeps emailing me at the start of every holiday period to tell me how the holidays are going to work based on her interpretation of the order. Then when I dont agree because her interpretation is her way of still dictating arrangements to me, she calls me controlling. The emotional impact of her emails are really taking a toll. We have applied to get the order enforced but are still waiting on the courts.
Expert:  james bruce replied 13 days ago.

Then as you have applied to the court, unfortunately it is a case of waiting for the court date. Keep a detailed record of every event she creates breaking the order, and her controlling nature. That can be presented to the court.

Expert:  james bruce replied 13 days ago.

Can I assist or clarify anything further?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Tonight she stated that the reason she communicates regarding the holidays is as a favour to me but now if the children aren't at home when I collect them as per the order it will be my own fault.
My issue with this is that communication isn't necessary anymore, and is the exact reason the order is in place, so that we don't have to communicate because all she does is dictate. Yet she is still dictating and refusing to follow the order regardless of how many times I've told her, we stick to the order not based on how you want it to be but based on how it is written in black and white.
Expert:  james bruce replied 13 days ago.

I fully understand.

Only the court are going to be able to resolve this.

Expert:  james bruce replied 13 days ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Will they be able to spell it out to her? And tell her it's not my responsibility to keep reiterating this order to her?
Also will there be a contingency put in place if her behaviour continues after the enforcement?
Expert:  james bruce replied 13 days ago.

The court will certainly tell her the order is not there for her to simply ignore when she choses to. They may amend the order if she gives good enough reasons.

The contingency is that you can apply to the court if she continues what she is doing.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Ok.. thank you so much for your help, it's much appreciated!!
Expert:  james bruce replied 13 days ago.

Your welcome, good luck.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hello, could you please explain how I take holidays without my children when a court order is in place? I thought the order stated that when on holiday days are either missed or made up but it doesn't seem to.
Expert:  james bruce replied 11 days ago.

Do you mean go on holiday without them?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
the order tell us how to take holidays with them just not without
Expert:  james bruce replied 11 days ago.

That would be because the court would not deal with when you can go away by yourself.

They are only interested in the child arrangements.

Go away when you don't have the children. Or, negotiate with the other parent if you would like them to have the children at a time you would normally have them.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
we would need to ask her permission to go on holiday?
Expert:  james bruce replied 11 days ago.

Not if you are going away during the time that you would not have the children.

But if you plan to go away when you would have them then of course you need to agree that, after all it would be interfering with her time when she would not have the children.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Oh yes.. the plans would be on our own time it would not interfere with hers. Thank you
Expert:  james bruce replied 11 days ago.

Your welcome.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi again, the situation with my ex wife not following the court order is now also resulting in my eldest daughter not wanting to visit me. My daughter has been going through a lot recently and I have been working with the school regarding her behaviour. However she has now resorted to stealing from myself and my pattner but instead of facing what she did she is being encouraged not to see me now. In my opinion this only makes the situation worse and makes me (once again) the bad guy. I have genuinely been going through these battles of my ex wife talking to my kids and turning them against me for a long time bow and it's just exhausting. The ex wife is now telling the school that because my daughter is almost 13 she shouldn't have to go to my house if she doesnt want to and that her time should be spent with her friends. That completely undermines my relationship with my daughter and doesn't show that my ex wife is supporting a relationship between us. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you
Expert:  james bruce replied 10 days ago.

Sorry to hear this is happening, really you need to get yourself a family law solicitor and get the matter back into court for the court to resolve the issues, clearly they will not be sorted between the two of you.