In what circumstances can I stop my ex-partner having contact?

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I always find it a hard question to answer when a client comes in and asks me if they have to let the children have contact with their ex-partner. It takes a detailed exploration of the families’ situation to work out whether stopping contact is right. The very simple answer is that there are very few circumstances in which you can stop a parent seeing the children or that it would be right for the children for that to happen.

Nearly all decisions made about children by the courts start with the question ‘What is in that child’s best interests?’ There is a presumption that it is in a child’s best interests to have a relationship and spend time with both parents unless it would be harmful to the child to do so. It should not be in one parent’s power to stop the other parent from seeing the children. It is the children’s right to have a relationship with both parents.

My experience as a mediator and being involved in Child Inclusive Mediation shows that nearly always when a child meets with the independent mediator they say how they want to see both parents. They love their mum and they love their dad. They want the conflict between their parents to stop and they want to spend time with each parent.

However, the above assumes that there is a safe environment in which the children can spend time with each parent. The situation is far less clear when there are concerns about a parent’s ability to care for the children appropriately. The first thing we have to consider is what are the concerns and why do you want to consider stopping contact?

Parenting/House rules

If it is a disagreement about parenting styles then that is not enough to stop contact. If you find that you are in conflict with the other parent about the way the children are being parented then the first step I would recommend is to both complete a parenting plan. Cafcass has an excellent online parenting plan which you can access here.  This will help you to identify the different approaches by you and hopefully narrow the issues.

Emotions

We then move up a degree in the concerns, is one parent undermining the other in front of the children or have there been some strong arguments/emotional outbursts witnessed by the children that has upset them. Such behaviour is not usually enough to enable contact to be stopped. If you are within court proceedings then you can ask for undertakings (which are binding promises to the court) to control the behaviour. The difficulty is policing such behaviour. This is where I would recommend that you enter mediation as swiftly as possible and look to agree on a protocol as to behaviour and have help in stopping such situations arising again.

My ex is erratic with attending contact?

Again, this is a hard one. The children want to see the other parent. They get excited and are waiting and then that parent doesn’t turn up. Can you stop contact in this situation due to the impact it has on the children? Yes, you could, but then you have children who are upset and want to see the other parent. I believe that a better way to manage this situation is to explain to the other parent the impact not turning up/being late has and have a requirement that they confirm they are going to attend contact perhaps 24 or 48 hours in advance. If you don’t have that confirmation then the children will not be available to see them. You then get the chance to tell the children in advance and manage their expectations.

The children don’t want to go for contact

My first question when this situation is presented to me is why don’t they want to go? The second question is how old are they and do they understand the consequences of trying to make such a decision? The reasons why the children don’t want to go need to be explored, these should be discussed with the other parent and ideally, you will be working together jointly to overcome this. It may be that your child needs some professional support such a counsellor or the family would benefit from family therapy. If the child is aware of the conflict between the parents it places a real burden upon them that they are the ones having to move between the adults and manage their relationship with each parent. It is concerning when a child is saying they don’t want to spend time with a parent. A child should not be able to choose whether they spend time with a parent if that can be avoided, the decisions should be made by the parents.

My ex is a risk to the children

This is the top end of the concerns and can be the situation where it is right to stop contact. The concerns need to be at a high level but can involve the children having witnessed domestic violence, being subjected to domestic violence, addiction, mental health problems. If there is a real risk that the children will not be safe when in the care of the other parent then this is when you can stop contact. If you have a court order in place you should immediately apply to the court to vary the order so you are not in breach of a court order.

However, having said that these are the times that contact can be stopped you should consider whether there are other ways for the children to spend time with the parent. Remember, it is the child’s right to have a relationship with both parents in a safe way. It may be that having another person present is enough to enable contact to still take place. Perhaps the children can meet the parent at an activity in a public place, perhaps the contact takes place during the day but not overnight? Alternatively, can the children maintain a relationship, even if limited, by video call or telephone, sending cards and pictures?

There are so many different situations in which a parent can begin to question whether contact should be taking place. The first thing they should do is ask ‘what is best for my child?’ and that should be answered as objectively as possible regardless of the relationship between the parents. It should not be in one person’s ‘power’ to stop contact or their ‘gift’ to the other parent to let it take place. Arrangements should be agreed and discussed between the parents wherever possible using professional support as needed.

Hazel Manktelow is an expert family solicitor in Hampshire and advises clients in Petersfield, Clanfield and the surrounding areas. A specialist in family law, Hazel has been a qualified mediator with Resolution since 2010. Please mediator Hazel to discuss your own unique situation.

48 responses on “In what circumstances can I stop my ex-partner having contact?

  1. Hi me and my ex had mediation a few years a go he did not stick to what was agreed and was on and off the screen. Now he wants to see them again I suggested mediation first but he said he can now take me straight to court is this true?

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this blog but by way of information, it depends upon the circumstances as to whether your ex has to meet with a mediator again before starting a court application. If it has been more than 4 months since mediation broke down then he should meet with a mediator again and you should also be invited to meet with the mediator. However, mediation is voluntary and your ex may decide that he does not wish to continue with mediation on this occasion. Alternatively, he may try to use an exemption to not have to meet with the mediator again. Your local court who issues the application should be carefully checking whether or not the mediator has been met or whether the exemption is valid.

  2. My ex has applied for court action for contact of my 3yr old. My child found his dad’s class A drug. Information unfolded that the dad shared a bath with my child while minutes before using the class A drug. He has prior addictions, 1 instance of domestic abuse after child was born, no criminal record. I offered co parenting he refused, he put forward third party facilities i refused as third party was my relative who refused. He completed drug tests indicating he lasr used. Class A few months ago but has reverted back to prior prescription drug addiction.
    My son does not and has not asked for his dad since he left the family home. My son is now happier, content and secure.
    What are the chances the ex will get access?

    1. Thank you for your comment. What a difficult situation for you. Unfortunately, we cannot give advice on this forum. The general principle is that it is your son’s right to have a relationship with both his parents and not either of your rights to spend time with him. If he is to spend time with each parent, it must be in a way that is safe for him and in his best interests. We would need to know much more about the situation to be able to advise you as to likely outcomes. You are welcome to contact me directly if you would like to know how I can help.

  3. My daughter is 14 yrs old and she sneaks out early hrs in the morning to go round her dads and he has told her that he will give her a key so she can go round there night or day and let herself in and he hasn?t told me even though my daughter told him that she don?t want me to know so he has said to her that he wants her to trust him so he won?t tell me please help as I don?t know who to contact or seek help from

    1. Thank you for your comment. It must be a very difficult situation for you. We can’t give advice on this forum but it is certainly a matter you could take advice upon and you are welcome to contact me directly to see how I could help. You may want to speak to your daughter’s school to see if they can offer any practical support at this time.

  4. Hi,
    My ex keeps cancelling having our son for numerous of reasons. My son has also come home the last 2 visits because his dad has hurt him whether intentional or not i don?t know but he told him he had to man up and be tough to be worthy of his surname. The second time he came home crying because his dad had been bad mouthing me and punished him because he told me about the incident. What can I do?? As my son is now saying he doesn?t want to be his son anymore and be my partners and that he doesn?t want to go. I?ve tried talking to my ex several times and even applied for mediation. He declined and told me that it?s his right by law to see his son and anything I don?t agree with is basically tough luck when he?s in his house he?ll do what he pleases. I?m genuinely scared that if I send him again he will take it all out on our son and then he won?t tell me anything in future because he knows he will be in trouble.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum but I would certainly recommend that you take advice on your situation. There are options available to you and it is important to ensure that your son is safe if he is spending time with his father. You are welcome to contact me directly so that I can set out how I can help. Tel: 023 9200 0086

  5. My ex smacked my 2 year old for smacking his new partners son she came home with a red mark he denied smacking her and said it was only a tap She also sustained other injuries to her head from hitting it on a table and he felt it wasn?t a big thing. since she has been waking at night crying and saying her bum hurt, I spoke to a doctor about it and he said she is suffering psychological pain due to her dad smacking her. I?ve told my ex that contact needs to be supervised as I feel she is in harm being with him but he said he is not having that and I can?t stop him having her and that she isn?t in any harm what do I do?

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum but you should obtain advice from a solicitor where you can fully discuss the circumstances and your concerns and obtain advice about whether you can put controls on how contact takes place and how you can do that.

  6. How is it viewed when the partner of your ex is verbally abusing you to your child? E.g. lying and saying that Mummy doesn’t really want you? Would it be worth seeing a lawyer as it’s distressing to my son? My child’s Dad is a good Dad, but very passive, and his partner is upsetting my child by saying awful things about me like I don’t really want him home again? I desperately miss him when he’s gone, and love being a Mum, so it’s completely untrue. My partner and I split up over 5 years ago, and I don’t know why his new partner is saying such things. I’ve moved on and am getting married soon, so it’s not a jealousy thing in that sense either.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, it would be worth obtaining advice upon your situation and to consider the options available. It may also be worth considering mediation, if appropriate for you, so you can discuss your concerns with the father. You are welcome to contact me directly so I can explain how I could help further.

  7. I’m wanting to legally stop my ex having my 4year old and 7month old he doesn’t have his own place and is in between homes so there is no where suitable for them. He is a known cocaine user and is now involved in a QFC fighting thing which I’m sure is also illegal. He has a temper and can be very intmidating and scary. Hes only just started having our little one but i feel he can be a risk to both our children with everything combine especially the drugs

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum but you should take advice on your circumstances and ways in which your son can see his father but in a way that is safe and child-focused.

  8. my ex partner and i have been seperated for 3 years now we have always had small arguments regarding our sons contact arrangements but have alway maintained a good relationship for the sake of our son he has since entered a new relationship and has been with this partner for about 8 months his partner regularly makes aggressive belitelling comments towards me and has threatened to take my son from me this has been spiraling issue for a while now where she has told him to send me a list of demands on how many days he has his son that we are no longer to contact each other and make all correspondance through lawyers i have met all his demands to his request but he has now after the third attempt at trying to come to an agreement still not been able to keep to anything. this is now affecting my health and my sons wellbeing he now ralely contacts me himself and his partner contacts on his behalf and threatens me what can i do? is there a way i can legally stop his new partner from dictating our arrangements for my son ?

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum but you should consider taking advice on your situation to consider the options for trying to improve the situation for your son. It may be that mediation could be considered.

  9. After 5 years of my ex taking our children overnight on Saturdays, my children have recently started refusing to go (aged 9 and 7). Their accounts of being with him sound like he?s drinking excessively, he?s falling over and acting ?weird? he?s not putting them to bed and passing out in their beds so they can?t sleep. Last week he offered my 9 year old an adult ?headache tablet? but he refused. When I tell him what they?ve told me he denies everything. Can I stop him seeing them?

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum but you should obtain advice on the situation and the options available to you. You are welcome to contact me directly and I can explain how I can help.

  10. My 11 year old daughter does not want to see her dad as when we were still married she said he used to go into her room at night and put different things into her head , now she cannot sleep at night and has nightmares. She is scared of her dad and will not see him. I think this is emotional abuse. Does she have to visit her dad

    1. Thank you for your comment. You should obtain advice as to your situation to find out what options are available to you. We cannot give advice on this forum. A solicitor will need more detailed information to be able to advise you.

  11. Hi, my friend and her partner split up a few years back. They have two children together. Since the split he?s been in and out of several relationships – one where he got engaged after a month and introduced all of them to the children. The kids are 10&12 and know their dad to be less than reliable. He makes excuses not to see them loads, has paid little to no maintenance at all over the last 5 years and is frequently in and out of jobs/addresses. The question I have pertains to a recent stint he did in prison, we think for assault. He?s been arrested a few time these past two years and had to go to prison for it. My friend has prevented her kids knowing most of the bad stuff to protect them. They still love their dad and despite it all she wants them to maintain a healthy relationship with him if they can. The question is around disclosure. If he has been violent in front of other children and/or towards his current and ex partners after my friend then can she apply for that info to ensure her children are properly safeguarded and not exposed to any danger If they agree to visit him at his? Is there anything my friend can ask of social services or the police to get this info. She will never take him to court as she has full custody already and they cannot afford it so this isn?t about using the info for anything other than to ensure her kids are safe. His behaviour is more and more unpredictable and he refused to tell her what he was convicted of.

    1. Thank you for your comment. It must be a difficult situation for your friend. I would suggest that they contact their local police force and ask for disclosure under the domestic violence disclosure scheme, known as Clare’s law. They could then share that information, or lack of, and their concerns with Children’s Services and ask for their advice. I would anticipate that Children’s Services would then confirm whether or not there is a risk to the children.

  12. My ex and I co-parent our daughter. He had moved on and has a baby with his nee partner. They decided to have the baby in another country (400miles away). The baby is now poorly. He?s been gone since Mid-Sept and has given me no indication when he will return. He only visited my daughter once (for a weekend) then announced he had COVID 2 days later. His agreed holiday time was October with our daughter and he did not fulfil / take this.
    He normally has contact every other weekend and one night every midweek.

    Comms have broken down – I was upset he came to see my daughter when he had COVID and now he is refusing to tell me when he & his family are returning to recommence the contact. This is causing my daughter distress – she?s 8.
    I have blocked calls from him leaving email only channel of contact. His telephone calls have been. inconsistent and upsetting. I have advised him the reason for this.

    He has not contacted in a fortnight. Christmas is approaching.

    What can I do?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I?m sorry to hear of the situation you find yourself in, it must be very difficult. Have you considered mediation to try to work out a way forward with your ex? I would recommend that you contact a local mediator and see if you can improve things through mediation.

  13. I split with my ex and found out later I was pregnant. Throughout the pregnancy he was sending me abusive texts, nasty voice messages and even put my window through. I have kept the messages and voice mails as evidence. Now the baby has been born he is demanding to see him. I have said he needs help first to address his anger issues out. Do I have a right to stop him seeing the baby until he gets help. I?m scared if He starts getting abusive and puts my windows through again and I go to the police will social services be involved and think my child is at risk.

    1. Thank you for your comment. You will have seen that we cannot give advice in this forum. Have you tried contacting your local Children?s Services Department? They may be able to give you some advice as to the best way forward for you in this difficult situation. Children?s Services are there to help you and will be used to assisting with situations such as yours. You would benefit from taking legal advice about your situation and what you can do to ensure you and your baby are safe.

  14. Hi, I have two sons who are 1 and 2, the youngest has been in hospital with collapsed lung and bronchitis. My ex partner and his parents all smoke around them when they go for contact, I have asked for this to stop but I have witnessed them smoking around the boys and they come home stinking of smoke. The last 5 weeks my 2 year old has been screaming going to the house and even just going up the road to where my ex lives makes him scream and shake. Can I stop contact?

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice in this forum. Have you spoken to your Doctor about your concerns and whether there is any guidance or steps they can take with regard to your concerns? You would benefit from taking legal advice as it may be possible to take steps to stop your ex partner and his family smoking around your sons. You are welcome to contact me directly if you would like to know how I can help further.

  15. My ex keeps contacting me to run house errands and says its for the kids, just wondering is this normal as shes expecting everything i used to do while together and when i say no gets angry when I explained that we both have separate lives now, just for her to say since i have kids I don’t have my own life anymore. I tkae the kids every weekend often sometimes longer and miss out work. But this is now becoming a nuisance as she always feels like she can call me to buy them food and doesnt sometimes take into consideration my work. I talk to my kids sometimes on their tablets or they call me without having to go through the ex. Can someone tell me whether what shes doing is normal and also she initiated the divorce and everything and im tired of explaining to her she needs to do things sometimes by herself and even when they are with me she would ask me to buy them things. Any help will be appreciated

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum. However, it does seem that the concerns you have relate to communication and expectations as to the care of the children and I would recommend that you look into mediation so that you can discuss your concerns with your ex-partner with an independent professional and you can agree what you can fairly and reasonably expect from the other. You are welcome to contact me directly if you would like to find out more about mediation.

  16. Hello,

    My issue is that my ex partner and his fairly new girlfriend have been physically fighting when our children, (two daughters), have been staying at his house, our formal family home. My teenage daughters were party to hearing her slap him, smash up items in house and hear her screaming that he kicked her, amongst other equally violent things. Neither of them are blameless in the carnage. All this took place late at night and the girls had to suffer it with no reassurance from their dad throughout. They were then told in the morning that there was to be split because they can’t be together and yet when they returned to his for their second night’s visitation she was still there and it wasn’t mentioned. No apology or explanation, everything swept under carpet till next time. I have requested that he calls me in the morning but I’d like to know my legal position on this. There are no court orders etc, he has refused to communicate with me or go to mediation since we split nearly 2 years ago, so talking it through to a resolution will not be an option. I am prepared to do what I need to protect the children from any more exposure to this.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum but I would recommend that you take advice. You could take advice from a solicitor, from Children’s Services, the children’s school or the NSPCC. Each of these organisations can help you in different ways and you may want to have some initial discussions to work out what is the best way forward for you. You are welcome to contact me directly if you would like to know how I can help.

  17. Hi my ex partner I want to stop contact as his mental health is unstable I cannot offer surprised access with anyone but myself as I cannot trust his family as they wont supervise with his other daughter who’s 6.. he will say horrid things about me to his daughter and the daughter we have together who is 3 years old… hes verbally abusive to me aswell and his family and himself thinks he is safe to have alone access becuaee he gets it with his other daughter even though he fits has physcotic episodes any time of the day where he doesnt recognise his own children sometimes or even people around him … what is your advice

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum. However, you should obtain advice from a solicitor where you can discuss in detail the concerns you have and look at what steps can be taken to ensure your daughter is appropriately cared for if she spends time with her dad.

  18. We have an interim court order in place, my partner has now refused me contact with my son due to concerns my 3year old child has disclosed he has come in to harm not by me, but while in my care. She will not share what he has disclosed with me, or by whom this harm has been caused to him. This is not the first allegation she has made, all previous have been unproven at court. She advised she has reported it to social services who advise me they have nothing on record and to seek legal advise. Can my partner do this? Where do I now stand please?

    1. Thank you for your comment. We cannot give advice on this forum. However, you should seek advice on what steps you can take to bring the matter back before the court due to the interim order not being complied with by your ex.

  19. Hello so me and my ex broke up due to arguments which could of been resolved but didn’t and now she can do the things we had arguments over but it led us to co parent, I had a blip and jumped in front of a train but I missed so I can’t see my son at the moment for this reason but she said to my family that she would send pictures over and keep them posted as she doesn’t want to talk to me which is understandable but she didn’t and said that they should of messaged more but she has been on her phone and purposely ignored the messages and now she is saying that social said no contact with me and my son because of what I did but since the situation with me I have gone to councling and I am getting help but she hasn’t shown any interest to keep my family updated about my son at all when we are trying to resolve things, she has said all these things but hasn’t done anything to help the situation, she’s just making things worse than it already is. im stuck, I have proven that im working towards seeing my son and my family have seen improvement but she isn’t doing anything to help the situation, she is trying to make it so I can’t ever see him again?

    1. Thank you for your comment. It has clearly been a difficult time for you. We cannot give advice on this forum. You should take advice on your situation for a solicitor who can talk through your options.

  20. Hello, i split up with my ex 18 months ago. I had my daughter (who turned 2 last week) few hours on a tuesday and thursday and every other weekend overnight for the whole weekend. Everything was fine no issues at all, its been up an down for last 6 months as she has met a new man. i asked to move the friday to an over late because i was still hungover from a staff party the night before an i didnt feel safe to drive? So since then she stopped contact and safe im a piss head and not safe for amelia? Ive had a gamlbing addicton since was 16 (im now 25) but havent met since before i even met my ex. So now shes saying because im an addict i cant see her and she has safegaurding issues??? but i was allowed her for 4 hours on her birthday….. then i was offered 3 hours on fathers day and i said no its fathers day i want her all day? to then her new fella of 8 month says he wants to spend fathers day with her??? Now we have medation tomorrow, but surely you cant claim safegaurding concerns and then let someone be on there own with your child??? surely because she has let me have her she doesnt have a leg to stand on now??

    1. Thank you for your comment. You will have seen that we cannot give advice on this forum. You should obtain advice about your situation, the questions you are raising are certainly relevant as to why there are safeguarding concerns now when they weren’t raised previously.

  21. I need some guidance my ex husband is now back in contact with him but the thing is when my son was 3 his mother hit my son. He is now 10 both him and my daughter have vague memories of this. While I was on honeymoon with my husband their biological dad took the children to see them with prior discussion with me or to ask. Bearing in mind since the incident happened 7 years ago they were the ones that stopped contact with him and the children.
    The kids don’t even remember who they were to look at them.
    I’m worried them now being in his care as when it happened he didn’t say a thing to them. It’s worrying me so much

    1. Thank you for your comment. It seems quite a complicated background. I would recommend that you take advice so you can give full details of your situation and see if there are any steps you can take to put some restrictions on who the children are able to spend time with when they are with your ex husband.

  22. Well I don’t know if that will go against me in court as my ex she walked out on us me and my two lovely girls I’m sure she has a mental health issues and she keep acting childish by creating situation and using the girls to get to me the she refused to talk or see her cause the way she used her and abused her the younger she did stay in contact even going with her for a day or afternoon till one weekend she wanted to take them to a her daughter friends birthday party but the girls didn’t want to go as they said they won’t feel comfortable cause of their mum behaviour around her friend husband as they noticed the way they interact with each other so when I emailed her telling sorry girls don’t want to be at the party as they don’t feel comfortable so she blamed me not letting them go and she kept buting pressure on younger daughter asking if it was my decision so our daughter she did not answer her calls cause she felt pressurised by her mum as always so I decided to go no contact till the court decide how we go about it

    1. Thank you for your comment. I would anticipate that mediation may help you and your ex. Not only could you discuss arrangements for the children but also find out more about what support she is receiving for her mental health issues. The court will also look at these matters but it may be more constructive to consider mediation. If you have not done so already, you should take advice about your situation.

  23. Hi my ex partner that I have a child with has said that should anything happen to her that her ex husband will have full parental responsibility over my son as she says she wouldn’t want to split my son away from his brothers and deny me of any rights to see my son and any parental responsibility. She says I’m not being amicable as obviously I’d never agree to someone else having parental responsibility of my child. She keeps saying this to me and denying me any rights and claims I’m not being amicable, she has never considered any of my feelings and forces whatever views she wants as a legal right.

    1. Thank you for your comment. It’s not possible to give another adult parental responsibility of a child (even a step parent) without a court order. Should your ex partner pass away you should take advice at that time about the best option for your child.

  24. Hello, my granddaughter is a controlling person, that’s a fact. If her ex doesn’t comply with all her demands she threatens stopping contact with their 2 year old & ordering drugs tests (unfounded). She sends a abusive messages full of threats & bad language & will not stop until she gets her own way. Her ex lives with me & is not perfect but he certainly loves & looks after his child when he has her. I get stuck in the middle & I can just see this spiralling out of control as my granddaughter believes that as the mother she holds all the cards & she uses the baby as a weapon. She once called the police to try & grab back the child from a visit but they told her it was unnecessary & she didn’t get her way, I thought this had taught her something but it seems not. I can just see this toxic situation continuing for 16 years or more. She threatens mediation, again because she believes it’s a way of controlling her ex into doing her bidding, but I think she will be shocked. I am very afraid that she will end up in serious trouble because of the messages she sends but she just won’t stop, her ex believes it’s domestic abuse, coercion etc & finds it distressing. Should I advise him to initiate mediation rather than allowing her to continue waving it like an axe over his head? Can people end up in trouble from seeing a mediator? I do think my granddaughter has some mental health issues but she is a good & safe & loving mother, unfortunately she can’t cope with people who don’t do what she wants & expects. The ex is sometimes late for pick ups & has now & then let her down, but I think her reactions are extreme. The baby is too young at the moment to understand date & time & doesn’t need to be told when daddy is due, however her mother tells her & causes upset. I can’t get through to her, most of her conversation is via text & she turns on me too. She says I need to get him out of my house. He sometimes doesn’t pay me & he is messy, which has caused me to moan to her in the past but it is not enough to justify throwing him out, I think this is just a way of her trying to use me to hurt him too. It was her fault the relationship failed. I don’t know what to say or do anymore but it’s making me ill.

    1. Thank you for your comment. It sounds like a difficult situation for you. It seems like it would be sensible for your granddaughter’s ex partner to take legal advice about his situation so that he can discuss all his experiences in full. Once he has had that advice then he can work out whether mediation would be a sensible option or whether there are alternative routes available to him and your granddaughter.

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