I need help with a contact order to see my two year old son.

    I'm on esa with depression which is no surprise but I want to get back to work asap after I've sorted this out. There are two different types of esa and I'm not sure if I will have to pay £255 or can I apply for free. Any help will be greatly appreciated during this difficult time for me. I was seeing my son every week until I started going out with a new partner and my ex has now stopped all contact.


    Im sorry I can not advise but I do wish you good luck. Depression is awful. Unless people have been affected bu it themselves, it can be difficult for them to understand. I hope you get to see your son ASAP xxxx

    Original Poster

    Thank you for your comments.

    Dan, I'll try and help you, I've just been through the courts regarding a contact order. Firstly, have you got full parental responsibility? by that I mean were you married to the mother and the time of birth or are you named as the father on the Birth Certificate.?
    If yes, you can apply direct to the court by way of a form and payment to the court, alternatively you can apply for a contact order via a solicitor but this will incur high fees. If you feel up to it I see no reason why you can't apply yourself as the form is pretty straight forward.
    What exactly do you need help with? How to get a Contact Order or what to put in the forms.
    Edited by: "Toptrumpet" 15th Jul 2014

    Just read your question again, meanwhile I'll see if I can find any exemptions to paying the £255.

    Original Poster

    Sadly I'm not on the birth certificate, as soon as this happened I knew trouble was brewing. I'm dealing with a women who I believe has severe mental health problems and who loves to control everybody. I feel so sorry for her new bf, as I can see a mile off that history will repeat itself with him. This isn't about putting our son first, it's about her feeling in control. I don't think our son will be very impressed when he get's older that she stopped me seeing him. Some father's don't care about their children but I will do whatever it takes to see him grow up and be there for him. I will have to represent myself as I don't have much money, so that is the only option. I just need to know which type of esa I'm on. This will determine if I can apply for free or have to pay £255. My friend has agreed to lend me the £255 so that's not a problem. Thank's for your help.

    I think the application cost is £215, I've had a look online at booklet EX160A - Court and Tribunal Fees-Do I have to pay them and I cannot see any reference to ESA, However I'm not up on the benefits system and ESA may fall under another heading, If no one on here can clarify if you have to pay or not I would either go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau or alternatively download the form and fill out the application and go direct to the court and speak to someone at the counter who is much more knowledgeable with these matters.

    Just a suggestion, but I think contact would be much easier granted if you can get your name on the birth certificate, Might have to go down the DNA route, because at the moment if you apply for a contact order the mother will just say 'why? He isn't even the father' alternatively you might have to apply for parental responsibility first before you can get a contact order.
    (The easiest thing would be to tell the mother that you and the new gf are having a break and that you now have time to devote fully to your son on a one to one basis and that you're sure your son would enjoy spending time with you and that it can be beneficial to her if he spends time with you so that would free up time to do her own thing etc while you have the boy, obviously carry on with your gf but just have father and son time until you can persuade or get your name on the birth certifcate and if you can get a DNA test done without the mother knowing then it is in your interests- I know it's underhand but if she's playing games then you must fight your corner.)

    Original Poster

    I tried to call Citizens Advice today but no answer, so will visit them directly tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for your help.

    Google, free solicitors consultation Telford and see if you can get an initial free 30 minute appointment with a local solicitor, you don't have to sign up with them just explain the situation honestly, just make sure you ask to see the solicitor specialising in 'family matters' The CAB volunteers are good but they will only use the internet and find the same info as you probably have already found. Take a friend so they can take notes and also ask questions that you may have not thought of.

    Original Poster

    Will take your advice on board and keep you updated, thanks again.

    If you need help filling out the forms and what to write, private message me and I'll try to help (I'm on holiday now but will be able to help you when I get back in September) try and get to see a solicitor in the meantime.
    Good Luck and try to stay positive, my husband won full custody of his 7yr old daughter after the mother started playing up, so there is hope and no the courts don't favour the mother they always try and act in the child's best interest.

    Just had a little look with regards to the fee aspect of it. From what I can see, you don't have to pay the fee (or the fee will be refunded - didnt look at which it was) if you are income related ESA. If you've been in work recently then it's highly likely you'll be on contributions based. If you've been on ESA for more than a year, then you'll most likely be on income based. Really the only way to find out whether you're on Income related or contribution based is to give the DWP a call and ask them as they'll know. They're not very forthcoming on any letters they send out as to whether it's IR or CB ESA unfortunately.

    Hope you get it sorted.

    What you need to do immediately is go to a Family Solicitor, not a 'normal one, one who specialises in Family Law AND make sure you get AND keep safe any documents for evidence (I had telephone recordings used in Court).

    When you find one be nothing but completely honest and I mean completely and the most important thing to do is DO NOT ever get into a slanging match or talk about the issue with Anyone, it is an emotional time and the last thing you need is outside influence that could endanger future contact.

    A Family Court is closed and private and the ONLY thing they consider is the Childs welfare, not yours or hers. Before you can do anything you will need Parental Responsibility which you will need evidence for as the Courts won't recognise you as a Parent or consider any Contact Order.

    Experience: 4yrs in and out of Court, it's a slow and sometimes lonely thing to do but if you are right then nothing to worry about.

    Once again, get a Family Solicitor NOW.

    Edited by: "Likely2" 15th Jul 2014

    If the worst comes to the worst you could always contact Jeremy kyle for a DNA test and then the after care team will help you to get your name on the birth certificate, get access/contact to you child and help to sort out any problems they can. Of course I understand this isn't everyone's choice of action but it was just another alternative for help.

    Try some of the groups on FB, Fightback etc may be able to point you in the right direction.. Defo go to CAB if you can.

    Just thought of somethingelse - are you paying child support through the CSA? The CSA only take payments from biological fathers and if you are then the ex must then have to accept and acknowledge that she is in receipt of the allowance and that you are the child's father and then that is the evidence to support your right to have your name on the birth certificate. If you don't currently pay or have some sort of private arrangement then either get your cheque book receipts together or immediately apply to the CSA to have the arrangement formally agreed/documented. If you can't get a DNA test then any evidence or argument to back up your claim will show due diligence to a court and will only benefit and strengthen your case.

    I can sympathise with your plight only through what ive seen my brother go through, he spent thousands on a solicitor to obtain a court order to gain access to his son.....only for his ex to break the court order whenever she felt like it.

    Court orders are not enforceable so save your cash, the only chance you have here is by somehow getting on good terms with your ex.

    Good luck.

    Original Poster

    Thank you to everybody that has given me great advice.
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