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Thread: Wedding day mayhem

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  1. #1
    OliverJB's Avatar

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    Default Wedding day mayhem

    Good evening Beagles,

    Bit of a desperate one and I hope that someone can give me some advice!

    My partner and I are getting married this summer, so as you can imagine were nothing but shocked with her son's dad calling this evening to confirm that he is away on the weekend we are getting married and is taking his son with him. We haven't ever mentioned the wedding or the dates to him, so maybe his son has let him know.

    We already have a court order which lays out the time over the summer holiday that we split with him, but unfortunately in an email to him earlier in the year my partner got the dates wrong and emailed asking her son's father to confirm he had her son on weeks 2,5 and 6. The son's father responded to agree but only confirmed on the phone this evening that in the court order he is meant to have 2,3 and 6 and as such he is sticking to what was agreed in the court.

    Obviously we understand that we are in the wrong with this, but in the emails he confirmed that he was fine with the proposed dates, but we found out this evening that he also knew about the wedding dates which makes us believe he was holding off on telling us to spite her (they have a very rocky relationship, and he is extremely bitter over the break up...hence the court order in the first place).

    He is now using this as a stick to beat her with regarding a property sale from a house they owned together years ago that he doesn't want to pay her out on, and this is another ongoing saga.

    So what i want to know is; is it worth while taking him to court (considering the wedding is in 4 weeks) armed with the emails where he confirmed he was happy with the dates and hope that they agree that her son coming to his mother's wedding is in his best interest, or are they likely to say that the court order takes precedence over other arrangements?

    I look forward to hearing back from someone and will obviously take proper legal advice as well, but a sounding board is always great and you lot are always really helpful.

    Ollie

  2. #2
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    How old is your intended's son ? ( just wondering if he is old enough to have a say in whether he wants to go away with his Dad or go to his Mum's wedding )

    Did you arrange the wedding after the court order was made ?

    Court sounds extremely stressful way to try and deal with things, particularly as he is sticking to the letter of the court order Does he have him for the full weeks 2,3 & 6 or just over the weekends? When does the week run from and to ?

    I suspect it is just spite. I have a similar ex.
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  3. #3
    OliverJB's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    Thank you for the speedy response Amethyst!

    He is 11yrs old, so i don't think he is old enough to have a say in court, but maybe he is?!

    Unfortunately we booked the wedding date a year after the court order was put in place, but chose that date specifically because we knew he would be with us on that day!! Turned down other dates that he was MEANT to be with us (as per the court order dates) but it was a genuine oversight.

    You are spot on, it is 100% spite and now he sees this as an opportunity to get £ from the house so is clearly prioritising that over his sons happiness, but we know that having a leg to stand on is looking unlikely, but we are still happy to go to court if we have even a 20% chance of coming out with him there on the day!

    So much to lose otherwise...

  4. #4
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    I'm pretty sure he'd have a say in court, but surely he has a say generally at 11 with his mum and his dad ? - What does he want to do or is he worried about upsetting one or other ? Putting him into court to 'chose' would be pretty difficult for him, and possibly put a downer on your wedding day.

    If it is just spite, then his Dad being like this now will damage his relationship with his son further down the line sadly. Guessing your son is well aware of the wedding and has been involved in preparations....( so his Dad can't turn it around and say Mum chose to get Married while you weren't there because she doesn't want you there ) Is there any possibility he doesn't want to go to the wedding ( some loyalty to his dad maybe, or just doesn't want to wear a suit ) and has said this to him and they've come up with a ' we'll go away so you don't have to go' plan ? ( Just trying to look from all angles )

    Presumably your partner has attempted a conversation with her ex about it ? Is it possible to have a conversation or is it immediately narky ?

    Weeks of School holidays must be a nightmare for planning purposes, our holidays are always changing, and the older ones were often a week out from the younger.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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  5. #5
    OliverJB's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    OK, there is quite a lot of backstory to this so i will pick out the relevant pieces and respond to those;

    He said that he would like to come to the wedding, but isn't bothered if he isn't able to because weddings are "boring". An understandable response by an 11yr old boy i reckon. But in essence, he doesn't want to rock the boat with his dad as he is scared of him. He said this evening when we explained (extremely carefully) to him that this is the current state of play just so he knows exactly what is happening. He said he would speak to his dad, but his dad is a bully, and will do anything humanly possible to get 1-up on my partner. On a call to him this evening, when she asked if he would swap the saturday ONLY for any of her days over the summer his response was "i think this could be a good time to talk about the house".

    The court order that we have in place has been an absolute god send and saved us untold stress since we had it signed, but unfortunately this is going to be an occasion that he is keen to enforce it, as it works in his favour!

    We have kept our son 100% involved in the planning, even down to getting a special ice cream machine for him and his 2 half brothers at his request. He is doing a reading, and was also excited about being one of my "ushers" (wearing the same suit etc.).

    Re: conversation with her ex. Yes, to a point. She didnt mention the wedding itself, because we found out from our son that he already knows about it, but asked if he would swap a day. At no point did he ask why she wanted the change, just said no and that he already had plans, so it's tough luck!

    Question is, is court a) going to happen in time, and b) going to be worth while or just an additional cost that we are likely to lose because of the court order?

    Talking with this man is pointless....he has 1-up on us now and will do anything in his power to make us squirm. Do we just accept that he wont be there on our big day? It will absolutely ruin the day for everyone, but the cock up was on our side so do we just need to accept that we messed up?

  6. #6
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    Okay he's just being a cock then....thought it would be that but it is best to check that there isn't anything else going on.

    Time wise you could apply for an emergency injunction/order but I'm not sure it will do much other than inflame an already difficult situation and cause a whole world of stress, and it wouldn't be certain that you would get the order considering he will be an arse about sticking to the letter of the court order. He's just going to make the most out of this, and it's always possible the weekend away will be mysteriously cancelled on the Friday....(if he just likes playing at being an arse but deep down does have some semblance of humanity - who knows....)

    See what some others think on the thought of taking formal court proceedings, personally ( as i think you'll have gathered) I think its keep communicating and negotiating with him. (not negotiating away the house though ! )

    @Peridot @FionaC
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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  7. #7
    OliverJB's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    Yeah, being a total cock, as he has been for years so there's nothing new here!

    We are not worried about inflaming the situation, as at the moment the situation couldn't be a whole lot worse, so have sent an email to our solicitor asking his advice about going for an emergency injunction/order to see what he thinks about the chances based on the emails.

    Would the more recent emails with him confirming he is happy with the proposed dates not work as a binding contract above and beyond the court order, or would the court order supersede anything else?

    In the meantime, our son has said again that he will speak to his dad, but keen to know what the law says about the emails etc.

    Thank you again for your help on this, and hopefully others you have tagged in have a view as well as its always good to hear balanced views from rational people haha!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    If it does come to your son not being able to attend the wedding you could always arrange a special 'do' for a few people when he's back??
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  9. #9
    wales01man's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    The boy seems to be piggy in the middle here come on get the parents to seek a solution with the help of someone they both accept and respect is there any need to make an eleven year be subjected to this

  10. #10
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    Not an ideal situation and I bet your future intended is beside herself thinking he won't be there. It is a really tricky one. Yes her son should be involved but as you say his father is a bully and he probably doesn't want to rock the boat with him either. Really hard, is it worth the stress and expense of trying to obtain an order in such a short timescale, which will no doubt fire dad up and your soon to be step son again ends up piggy in the middle. The ex could be even more nasty and try and ruin other parts of the day too? Your partner's sons views do count, but he has loyalties to both parents, which is probably right (although frustrating when the ex is a so and so). I wonder whether thinking outside the box a bit may be worth considering.

    I don't think you will have much luck forcing the issue of the e-mails although obviously they are worth mentioning. You can imagine there are plenty of child contact orders and arrangements that are changed to then be re-arranged again. However this is a very special day for all of you.
    Maybe it would be worth one last go with the ex, although from what you say he is pretty immovable. Has he actually booked a holiday or is this purely to scupper your day? Don't let him!

    It will be upsetting her son may not be there, but this is just what the ex wants, to make your partner so upset that she doesn't enjoy your day. If neither of you can step back a little and accept that your future step son may not be there then the ex wins in ruining what should be a joyous occasion for the two of you. I don't mean to sound hard but this is about the two of you, as well as creating a new family of course, but it will be you two are there once the children have left home. This is meant to be your day and although really upsetting he may not be able to be there, you will no doubt have plenty of happy joyous days and events ahead of you all, as a family, in the future.

    If your solicitor recommends taking proceedings it would be well worth contacting the ex pointing out the intention and the cost, together with the fact this is one day you wish to change. Although with the time scales it may be difficult to fit this in too.

    Maybe rather than spending money on the Court process would it be an idea to have a special day/weekend with your partner's son after the wedding? Harry Potter World or some such or doing something he would really love to do just the three of you as he missed the wedding?

    I would see what the solicitor suggests but maybe think of some other options and if needs be see what he would like to do?
    It is heart breaking for your partner but it is also about becoming a family for the future. I'm sure your partner's son isn't daft and he will see what is going on. It won't be too long before he starts voting with his feet!

    Sorry I can't really add much. It will be interesting to see what the solicitor suggests.
    I assume there is no chance of changing the wedding date at this late stage. I would suggest having a second mini day but not sure an 11 yr old boy would really be that fussed by a mini ceremony, or getting dressed up in a suit. Just the cake and party, probably his preference
    I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

  11. #11
    OliverJB's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    Quote Originally Posted by wales01man View Post
    The boy seems to be piggy in the middle here come on get the parents to seek a solution with the help of someone they both accept and respect is there any need to make an eleven year be subjected to this
    No, we are very careful and he is being treated with kid gloves, but we need to make him aware of the situation as he is grown up enough to know whats going on, and has been involved in the planning of the wedding from day 1.

    We are doing everything we possibly can to resolve this without him being involved at all. When we advised him that we made a mistake about the dates and that he may well be with his dad on that weekend and that we were speaking to him to try and sort it out, he offered to speak to his dad himself without us prompting. We have advised him that this is up to him but he doesnt need to put himself in that situation.

    But surely, him speaking to his dad and explaining that he wants to come is much better than him seeing his mother take his father to court to get permission.

    What i am keen to know is whether or not the emails his father sent confirming he is happy about the dates is enough to use in the unlikely event we need to progress anything.

    Thanks

  12. #12
    OliverJB's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    Quote Originally Posted by Peridot View Post
    Not an ideal situation and I bet your future intended is beside herself thinking he won't be there. It is a really tricky one. Yes her son should be involved but as you say his father is a bully and he probably doesn't want to rock the boat with him either. Really hard, is it worth the stress and expense of trying to obtain an order in such a short timescale, which will no doubt fire dad up and your soon to be step son again ends up piggy in the middle. The ex could be even more nasty and try and ruin other parts of the day too? Your partner's sons views do count, but he has loyalties to both parents, which is probably right (although frustrating when the ex is a so and so). I wonder whether thinking outside the box a bit may be worth considering.
    Thank you for responding!

    I have spoken to my partner this morning and she has applied to the court for an emergency order hearing, but as we can't afford solicitors we will be representing ourselves (dangerous i know). In the meantime we will continue to discuss options with the ex and see if he has any desire to budge (which feels unlikely, based on previous). One key thing for us is not making this about the house sale, of which he wants 100% of the proceeds and nothing less, but about his son's best interests.

    Doing another special day would be lovely, but looking back on the day in the future and him not being in any of the pictures, in any of the memories and any of the conversation would be heartbreaking not only for my partner, but for him as well! This isnt the first time his father has prevented him from being part of family event/holiday because he was being spiteful.

    Issue here is that we have messed up with the dates and this is an opportunity to (rightly) berate us! I just hope he can see the damage this could do to his son long term, forget about making this about money, which it now is entirely, and change his mind.

    Lets see what comes of it...

  13. #13
    Peridot's Avatar

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    Default Re: Wedding day mayhem

    Really crappy situation all round. Good luck with the hearing, it is a straightforward request, you have the e-mails where he originally agreed so hopefully the Judge will consider them.
    Whatever happens, do try and enjoy your special day. I really hope her son can be there too.
    Dad always asked why all my friends had terrible ex's. I think it's because me and my friends are the nice ones who were foolish enough to fall for them!
    Fingers crossed for you x
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    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

    If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

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