Clear, constructive and accurate communication is the way to go! It means you can avoid a court case. Or mediation. Or an argument. Or street theatre with you and your ex starring with a supporting cast of serious men and ladies who suddenly arrive stage left in cars with flashing lights and sirens.
Picture the scene. You have an ex you disagree with. You go to the local Costa to meet him/her. Notepad and pen in hand you hammer out the issues and go home knowing that you’ve dodged a bullet. You don’t need to pay at least a couple of hundred for a court fee. Or £260 an hour to a solicitor (or much less to your friendly McKenzie Friend – contact us for details, we’re very reasonable…). You’re not going to waste holiday days from work, get sleepless nights, sitting around in a rundown court building with awful coffee and a long drive to get there in the first place. That’d be absolutely bonkers wouldn’t it? Lucky, lucky you!
No laughing at the back please because…it doesn’t always work like that does it? We can always dream!
I’ll take an educated guess here. You’re reading this because you have…the other sort of situation we all know and, erm, love.
Instead you’ve got communication via solicitor. And court order. Everything is positioning. In the old days it’d be the evening-ruining letter waiting on the mat for you when you get home (as opposed to the email that pops up on your phone and ruins your working day instead). Usually on a Friday afternoon just before a Bank Holiday weekend. We’ve all been there.
In short, the time when communication is needed the most, the more likely it isn’t going to happen.
So what do you do when your ex refuses to communicate? When you are told not to email, text, write, attempt mediation or turn up. Or communicate via his/her solicitor Oh…that’s easy. You respect that request.
Because that’s a sure fire way to become the proud owner of a PIN. Or a caution. Or a non molestation order. Glittering prizes for all! And on top of the fact it’ll be on record you can sure as hell count on the fact it’ll end being used to demonstrate what a bad person you are in subsequent hearings. It may end up with your ex getting legal aid too (although to be honest that’s often not a bad thing).
Truth is…you can’t make your ex communicate. So if they are clear they don’t want to – don’t even try.
The Children Act doesn’t mention that parents need to communicate. Of course, it’s in the best interests of children for Mum and Dad to actually talk to each other (unless someone has written a groundbreaking parenting book with a title like `Bringing your Children up Via Solicitor’s Letter‘ that I’m not aware of). The court will tell parents that they should communicate. It may even tell them how…disappointed it is. But it doesn’t have the power to compel them to do so.
No…there isn’t an easy answer here. But fight the battles you can win – ask the court to order what it can and don’t waste your time on something that is doomed to failure.