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Can a solicitor advise this?

Posted by Genesis01 
Can a solicitor advise this?
December 18, 2019 09:29AM
Long story short - in the summer my children confided in me that their mother (who has residency of the children) had abused them and the police got involved. The mother was subsequently charged by police although the charges were later dropped. During this time I refused the children any contact with her until the case was resolved as I had concerns about coercion. The children were subsequently returned to their mother after the charges were dropped.

Since this time I have been engaging with the mother to organise Christmas holidays. Last year she had them for Christmas Day so I was hoping it would be my turn this year. She has not answered any correspondence I have sent to her. Her father told me last night that due to "my actions in the summer" I would not see my kids for Christmas or New Year and that my ex was acting on the advice of her solicitor.

There are currently no contact orders in place for the Christmas holidays.

In your experience, would a solicitor ever give advice to a client to not let the children see their father over the Christmas holidays??

I acted to protect my children, and there must have been some truth in what they told the police as they brought charges against her. I shouldn't be punished for acting on what my kids told me.

We are back in court in the Spring to finalise the divorce. Would a sheriff take a dim view on what her and her solicitor have done when it comes to refusing contact at Christmas?
Re: Can a solicitor advise this?
December 18, 2019 04:41PM
People often say that their solicitor has said such and such when that solicitor has said no such thing. This is very common. You should not attach any credence to it. If a parent with the day to day care of children denies the other contact that is also very common and in practice it is very difficult to do anything about unless you want to spend your life in court.
Re: Can a solicitor advise this?
December 19, 2019 08:21AM
It's shameful on the part of the other parent to deny contact though, without any good reason. Hopefully in court I'll be able to show that she can't be trusted to allow me to see my children during holidays and make a court order to take the decision out of her hands.
Re: Can a solicitor advise this?
December 19, 2019 10:35AM
Well, I don't know how the court system works in Scotland but in England a parent determined to be difficult about contact with children will continue to be difficult whether there is a court order or not. If, say, a court orders that you have contact every Saturday between 10 am and 4 pm what do you do when you turn up to find that X has a 'stomach bug', 'gone to a birthday party' or whatever?
Re: Can a solicitor advise this?
December 19, 2019 11:44AM
Very true, and sadly I know of a few fathers who have court orders in place to see their children and yet are still refused contact by the mother for reasons of "just because".

In the instance of my ex and I going to court and receiving a court order explicitly stating holidays I do think that she would stick to them (thankfully). It's heartbreaking to have to spend 2 years fighting for fairness when it comes to my own kids.
Re: Can a solicitor advise this?
December 19, 2019 02:18PM
>>Very true, and sadly I know of a few fathers who have court orders in place to see their children and yet are still refused contact by the mother for reasons of "just because".

So do I which is why I always caution people against thinking that everything can be settled by a court order. When it comes to children that is sometimes not the case. Parents who are most difficult about contact will often remain difficult whether there is a court order in place or not.
Re: Can a solicitor advise this?
December 19, 2019 04:47PM
What's your view on people who break court orders David? Should there be a penalty for doing so?
Re: Can a solicitor advise this?
December 20, 2019 10:39AM
There usually are penalties for breaking court orders but court orders dealing with issues such as contact with children are a separate sub set of court order. Penalties are not attached to such orders automatically. That is because what is in the best interests of the child has to be considered each time such an order is made or brought back to the court. It is rarely in the best interests of the child, for example, to send the custodial parent to prison for breaching a contact order.
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