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Mother of a Dad in Distress

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As the mother of a Dad in Distress I can understand why fathers do silly things.

My son has been fighting for visiting rights for over 12 months. He has every second Saturday and is able to ring his son every Wednesday night. None of this happens as the wife never shows up on the designated time and date and turns her phone off on the Wednesday night. He has taken her back to court several times and all she gets is a slap over the wrist and told she must obey the court order. This never happens and so my son has to take her back to court again and so it goes around in circles.

He rang the school this week to ensure that they were going to send him a copy of his son's school report only to be told by the education department that the mum had taken them a letter saying the she was the sole parent and didn't want his dad receiving any information.

This rubbish has been going on for over 12 months. My son has not seen his son in all this time because the mother just disregards the court order and nothing is done. I can understand how the dads become so depressed that they end up doing something stupid.

I don't know how to help my son and am afraid that he may do something silly.
Dear guest, sadly this is a reasonably common scenario.

With regard to the school, your son could take a copy of his court orders, which I hope states that he has shared parental responsiblity etc, and ask the school to provide him with copies of reports (he could also ask to be sent the school newsletter, by email, that way he knows what is happening at the school). If the school refuse, then he needs to take it further up the Education tree, and maybe his local MP etc.

With regard to contact, if he wishes to see his son, then he will need to be persistent. Self represent, keep taking it back to court, organise mediation, anything and everything.

And if you are concerned about him doing something silly, then maybe you could talk to your own GP, to find avenues for assistance.

But at the end of the day, if you son wants to see his son, then he needs to do the legwork. Every second Saturday is not a lot to ask.

How old is the child? Maybe, and this is just a suggestion, maybe you could even invite the mother to mediation, so you can spend time with your grandson. Just a thought.
It sounds as if this Magistrate is too soft.  Prison terms are can be issued these days for repeat offenders such as this.

How old is his child?  What provisions do the current orders allow for with respect to parental responsibility?  Are they consent orders, or are they final orders issued by the court?  Depending on the child's age - every second Saturday is way below the minimum amount of time normally afforded to the non-custodial parent.

Assuming he can afford it - has your son sought legal advice/representation -at least for an interim period to sort this matter out? A decent solicitor should be able to give this matter a good shake for a relatively moderate fee.  It's all very well to self-represent where you can, but in this case it's clear that this approach is not working, and the advice of a professional should be sought ASAP.
Maybe there should be a three strikes and you're out rule. If the matter is taken back to court three times, and proven, and especially if it is for the same infractions, then maybe care should be reversed.

It would appear that the child is at least of school age, so must be at least five. It doesn't even appear that overnights are happening.

Guest, how come your son has orders which provide for so little time with his son? As best4 asks, were the orders by consent, or an order of the court (ie there was a trial)?

When your son took the matter back to court for the contraventions, was he represented? Or did he self represent?

IS your son keeping a diary of contact/non contact/interactions with the mother/lackof interaction etc? If not, then this is something that he would be strongly advised to do.
I really feel for you and your family in this situation. Mothers like that give other mothers (who genuinely try to work this co-parenting thing) a bad name. I have been attacked by people on this very site because they judge my situation based on a generalization of bad mothers.

We all know there are bad fathers out there too who do abuse the system. But your son sounds like he is doing all the work and getting nothing. This family law system often sucks for people regardless of what gender they are.

I really don't have any constructive advice to offer as I am not an expert, but aside from taking her to court has he tried discussing with her her feelings about this and why she is acting this way?
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