What do the Courts do if Contact is not being supported by a Resident Parent (usually the mother)?
The whole process is exactly that – a process. There are no short cuts. The father makes an application for Contact with his children. The couple are now probably referred to Mediation. If Mediation breaks down there is a further Directions Hearing.
Statements and perhaps a Welfare Report or a Children’s Wishes and Feelings Report (depending on the issues and the children’s ages) will be ordered. About 3 months later there will be another Directions Hearing. If agreement cannot be reached there will then be a Final Hearing. An Order is made.
We are now at least 6 months down the line and if the mother so chooses Contact could have been denied in this period completely. An application for Interim Contact can be made – extra cost and if the mother raises allegations of domestic violence is unlikely to succeed.
Oh yes, if there are allegations of domestic violence then this could necessitate a separate Finding of Fact Hearing in any event.
Add another 3 months.
If the Order is breached its back to Court again for an Enforcement Hearing. The first hearing will be another Directions Hearing. If the mother is found guilty what does the court do?
Send her on community service or if the breeches are persistent send her to prison.
How does all this help a child see his/her father? How does this help solve the parental dispute? What is needed is analysis of the protagonists.
If the dad is being controlling/angry send him on anger management. Give him a 3 strikes and you are out card. If the mother is being bitter/resentful/using the children – have her psychoanalysed and look to take the children out of that environment if she will not change.
It is not normal to fight for years over your children seeing one of you. What is the issue? Jealousy? Fear? Hatred of your ex? The courts need to focus on the causes of this behaviour and take out the adversary. Usually it is one party who is stuck.