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advise on interim contact order/finding of fact

  • codfanglers
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21 Oct 10 #230477 by codfanglers
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hi everybody. I would greatly appreciate any advise/experiences on the following:

quick overview
Went to court for first hearing 4th august, children's mum and her solicitor offered one phone call a week and contact at contact centre once a fortnight (this was not an order as I came to find it was just their offer...)

Contact centre contact started 02/10 At pre-visit meeting contact centre advised that mum would not be bringing the children to the second session 16/10.

Prior to contact centre phone call had already started failing (not being answered etc)

I have wrote to the courts who advised to speak via solicitors. I've also advised CAFCASS officer in the break in contact. Cafcass officer was planning to view the children and I at the contact centre and remarked that the 30th was a long time away. However we agreed that she would attend 30/10 and then the 27/11 (one on, one off)

After texting the children's mum last night after failing to speak to my son and the phone not being answered. Mum stated that she would not be taking the children 27/11

What can I do?

The manager at the contact centre who was fantastic, said during my pre-visit that I was 'low risk' based on just being allegations made by mum, she said I needed a finding of fact hearing. I did request this when I wrote to court, who did not respond/acknowledge my request.

Would pursuing the finding of fact hearing delay things even further?

the second hearing is 5th jan as it stands at the moment (unless mum cancels further dates I will see my children three more times this year.

How long does an interim order take and would it be beneficial.

I have kept the cafcass officer aware and updated of my letters to court and mums solicitor. She was somewhat empathetic but I don't know if she will tire of my communication.

I don't know what to do for the best, once again it is a struggle to stay positive. I know mums actions should count against her. When i first rang the courts they said if phone contact was interrupted again to write in to see if can go back to into court, which gave me hope, but then their response to my letter was pathetic.

final info
at present i cannot afford solicitor so i have been writing letters myself. i am hoping to have a solicitor for the second hearing

  • eyes on horizon
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21 Oct 10 #230514 by eyes on horizon
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was the order made into a Consent Order issued by the court ie did you receive formal court papers stating what contact you are to have?
if she fails to turn up to court agreed contact this is a breach, and not answering phone calls as agreed is also a breach so you could take her back to court for enforcement hearing. you can then raise all your points and state that you want a finding of facts hearing and want contact to continue until outocme of finding of fact.
think it costs £79 to file application for enforcement which is the C79.

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21 Oct 10 #230521 by codfanglers
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many thanks EOH

the situation/problem is that the first hearing in hindsight was
ridiculous.

Basically contact was not 'ordered' just agreed in court?!?!?!?!?!?!

I asked the judge what interim contact the children would have with their dad whilst waiting for the second hearing 5 months away. The judge asked mum and her solicitor, after a short whispering session they offered one phone call a week and contact centre fortnightly. I asked the question if this contact was guaranteed and that they would be no breaks in this contact. Mum and her solicitor agreed and that was that.

I didn't receive any paperwork at all regarding the outcome of the first hearing, is this normal?

thanks to anyone reading and anyone replying

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21 Oct 10 #230538 by eyes on horizon
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anything that was made before a judge will be turned into an order. the difference is that this was via consent (most contact orders are) write to the court and request a copy of this, you should have received it.
then apply to the courts with a c79 form stating that contact has been breached. you may get the oppourtunity to put forward a case for increassed, albeit probably supervised. contact whilst you wait for review but i would take the enforcement hearing as a place to push for finding of fact if possible.
in hindsight you could have disagreed with what they offered however as with my case i was so happy to get any sort of contact i agreed straight off to the first apple off the tree. dont worry, most contact agreed in court is made under duress from one of the parties especially if false allegations appear on the scene.

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21 Oct 10 #230548 by NikkiD
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It does seem strange that you haven't received anything on paper from the Courts detailing the outcome of the hearing. So, write, phone or visit the Court to request it. A clerk would be able to access your file and take a copy of it for you.

Once you have that to hand, it should state that contact was offered as one phone call per week and the contact in the contact centre, and because there have been breaches of this contact, you can take the matter back to Court for enforcement, which is what I too would recommend you do. However, the cost is £175 (or maybe even £200 as I believe Court fees have just been increased).

Sounds to me like you've been let down here, so chase things up and then you'll see exactly what's what and can go from there.

Good luck.

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21 Oct 10 #230551 by codfanglers
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hi guys, many thanks for you replies

I chased the courts this afternoon. I;ve already contacted them twice before, and on one occasion they advise me that no contact order has been made?

I asked the question what do I do and I was advised that I should write in (again) and that I will probably get an interim hearing to resolve contact issues. This will not slow to the case and there will e no charge. I am a little wary to be honest because the clerk had a 5 min conversation with her colleague (most of which un-muted!) as she wasn't sure.

I did call CAFCASS this morning to advise the officer that she will not be able to watch my visit on the 27th (the second session at contact centre that the cafcasss officer would oversee) I was advised that she was busy and would ring me back....

what should i realistically aim for if I get an interim contact hearing? mum has made several allegations but none of them are factual and have evidence to back them up.

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21 Oct 10 #230558 by NikkiD
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I really don't understand why you haven't had anything in writing from the Court to outline what happened at the hearing. That is not usual at all, and you should have something giving the details of what was offered and agreed. When my husband's ex was ordered to confirm dates for contact by a certain date my husband received a paper copy of the Judge's order, as did she.

It sounds to me like you are being messed around for some reason. Maybe somehow writing up the details of your hearing got forgotten? If I were you I would be looking at writing to someone higher up for answers, although I don't know who that would be. Hopefully another Wiki can help on that one.

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