Thank you all so much for your kind posts, keep reading for the detail......
Mums barrister comes over first thing, starts trying to negotiate for one weekend per month, is told not a chance. She then says ok two per month, but one of them has to be in the locality where daughter lives, again is told no as this involves hotels, expense and why on earth would she want to stay in a hotel!
Next the Cafcass officer comes, reads the position statements, and they all sit down to talk, she says I stand by my report, why is mum still being awkward?
Into court they go... Cafcass takes the stand and the barrister tries to make out she is incompetent, she very kindly responds by standing by her report and pointing out Mums faults and her lies in her position statement, saves my partner a job! Lots of things said, she refutes all of them, every point in my partners favour.
Judges start indicating theyre going to go with the CAFCASS report, and theyre all asked if they want to cross examine or go straight to submissions.
Barrister takes instruction from his client who by now appears to be sucking a large lemon. Straight to submissions they go.
Barrister makes a big deal of the fact that mums never met me, and the court orders a new CRB - should take 3 days...
Barrister then makes another fuss about distance, saying contact should be dad alone, in the locality once a month.....
There is a lot of discussion back and forth, partner does his submission which is exaclty on the lines of what Cafcass recommended.
They go off for a two hour recess and dinner break, then take another hour to get them back into court at which point the following order is given:
Alternate weekends, all non location specific. Half of all school holidays, this includes specifically the one we have already booked for the summer. Half of bank holidays, half terms are to alternate between the two of them, half of Easter and alternate Xmas and New Year starting with this Xmas. Alternate birthdays as well.
In addition, telephone contact to be given to Dad on the weekends he doesnt see her, yes she DOES have to answer the phone to him. No residence order, hearing for this set for the 2nd October with new Cafcass reports for the 24th September. court very unhappy with the amount of time this has taken, and with the amount of legal aid that the case has cost.
I think we are still in shock, we are going to see her this weekend for the first time in 6 months, and we cant wait.
Wiki''s I dont know what I would have done without you xxxxxxxxxxxx
Emma, your post has brought a tear, seriously! I cannot tell you how happy I am for you all. This is exactly what the courts should be doing in cases like this, where there are no issues and its just mum blocking contact (or dad), so your post will also give hope to those still fighting or thinking of going down the same route.
Your Judge sounds as fab as the one we had, and just goes to show that they can see through contact blockers, something I know we didn''t believe before it happened, convinced that my husbands ex would manipulate the judge as well as she managed to manipulate others.
What''s just brilliant is that your partner has got more contact than he applied for, and the day just couldn''t have gone better.
You are all going to have such fun together and you are going to be a brilliant step-mum.
Thanks MisTish, I know we had a good Cafcass report and people told us not to worry but its so hard when its your real ife situation that you are dealing with.
I hope our case helps people, I dont believe its over by a long shot - we have the residence hearing yet and I think we may still have issues with her, as evidenced by her tirade against her "useless" barrister, who we actually thought was quite good!
But for now, we are going to enjoy the time we have with her, in the knowledge that although its taken a very long time, the justice system has worked for him and more importantly for his daughter.
The court definitely did see that she was blocking it unneccesarily, and judged accordingly.
I am now crossing my fingers for some more successes on here x