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Court process and any advice?

  • ffc1991
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19 May 12 #331612 by ffc1991
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Basically me and my ex split up around 2 months ago and since then things have slowly but surely gotten out of control. My name is on the BC and she also has my last name. The split was quite mutual tbh she was upset that i decided to end things. But things just wasn''t working and i felt staying together just for my daughters sake would be the totally wrong thing to do. She did say she would stay where i lived so i could see my daughter all the time but a week later she moved back to Xxxxxxx(200 Miles away) where admittingly she would have a lot more support from her friends and family as down here it was pretty much just me. I understood this and didn''t shout or vent at her moving away and understood her decision.

But shortly after moving up there things to a major turn for the worse she became very bitchy and argumentative about my access. I do believe this does have alot to do with outside influences such as her family. As she left her family at the age of 17 to come live with me. We were together for just over 4 years before this split. But going back her family have a massive dislike for me as her parents gave her an ultimatum of them or me and she chose me and i feel this is where the large part of the problem lies. She''s also now in a relationship with another lad and has put pictures up on Facebook of him holding my daughter etc.

We originally agreed access of 2 weeks a month and she would stay overnight with me. This quickly changed to every 2 weeks but supervised access and no overnight stays. This is where the problems began. Ofcourse i was upset as she was making me sit supervised in her house which i might add is a 2 bedroomed house and she is currently sharing a room with my daughter in a very small room. I offered to try help pay towards a deposit on a more suitable house but was told no she was on the housing list which i''m told can take up to 6 months which i''m not happy about. I am perfectly capable of looking after her like i did for the first 5-6 Months of her life. I could partly understand why she might not of wanted me to have her overnight because my daughter never really settled for me but she did for my EX and could understand maybe a couple of reservations about that. But the supervised access in the day was nothing short of a joke and i said this. We also agreed that i would be allowed 2 Skype phone calls a week which was cut off due to my EX claiming that it was unfair on the LO to be forced to sit there and watch me. Clearly this is more BS excuses as i have several videos and photos of me doing the video calls with my daughter of her purely just laughing and smiling. Anyways the weekend just gone i was due to see my Daughter Thurs all day, Fri all day and Saturday just for a couple of hours b4 i had to travel back for work. But she texted me and told me that i would be unable to see my Daughter on the Friday because she had made plans for XXXXXX to go to a party. I did know about this party and was told i could take her there. But was then told i couldn''t. I reacted badly and told her that it was totally unfair and out of order that on my weekend that i could see her that she was making plans and eating into my weekends. She then replied and told me she was cutting my hours that i could see her from 20 down to 10 over the 3 day period. I must add i spend over 12 hours on trains and over £150 on travel and hotel fees over the weekend just to see her. So how was it acceptable that i would be on a train longer than actually seeing my daughter?. Anyways i sent a couple of nasty texts like calling her a ***** and that she was using our daughter as a weapon against me and that it would not always be like this as i had told her that i was seeking legal advice about how to get guaranteed access. She then replied to me and told me that i am no longer allowed to see XXXXX and that if i wanted to i would have to go via the courts. She has since turnt her phone off and ignored every form of contact i have tried to make. Calls, texts emails etc It has been 4 days now. Iv''e rang up my EX''s local mediation office and have got the ball rolling for all of that but don''t think sheel make any effort to attend any of these meetings. I know some Dad''s are far off worse than me and have been waiting months but my daughter is my Absolute world and going 1 day is hard enough without seeing her.

I kind of know my rights after speaking to a solicitor.

But was just wondering if any other fathers on here have been to court and what happened and how long did it take?

Can my EX stop me from seeing my daughter completely until we go to court?

What''s to stop her ignoring all form of contact from my solicitor and mediators etc?

If anyone has experiences like this i would love to chat about it would be a great help to me as i am a massive pessimist and can''t help but feel that i won''t get what i want.

I must add my EX is a fantastic Mum at bringing up our daughter she''s done an amazing job but this doesn''t excuse her for what she is doing. Iv''e no criminal record and have never touched drugs and very rarely touch alochol.

Iv''e read so many posts on various websites where Ex''s just make up disqusting lies. is there anything i can do to try to protect myself from this? Iv''e kept a record of absoloutely everything like text''s emails etc. And in the middle of putting it into a portfolio kind of thing. Have also been writing a diary about stuff.


Edited by TeamWiki to remove details that may identify a child

  • MrsMathsisfun
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19 May 12 #331640 by MrsMathsisfun
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Hi. Welcome to wiki

Sorry you find yourself in this situation. There are other on here who have managed to gain contact with their children, but truthfully if the mum is being difficult it will be a struggle but your child will be worth the fight.

Good luck. Hope someone can give you more practical advise.

MIF

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21 May 12 #331964 by ffc1991
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Cheers MIF

ANy chance of anyone reading through my post and offering any advice? Thanks

  • isildur
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22 May 12 #332332 by isildur
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Hi,
I''m in a very similar situation and would love to know the chances of securing access/residency and how long it all takes.

The ex used a flimsy excuse to renege on an agreement to move to another place in the same city, ends up moving in with her family 50 miles away, and is now limiting access or making it virtually impossible with a list of unreasonable demands. And this is tough for a father who''s been hands on with an 18 month old LO.

So yes solicitors are involved but really want to know how long the whole process takes with CAFCAS/courts before a final judgement takes place.

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23 May 12 #332356 by u6c00
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Hi

I''m sorry that you''ve found yourself in this position. It must be extremely difficult for you (Isildur too).

I can''t offer specifics on your cases because I''m in the middle of a claim for residence, not contact. I can reassure you that the courts are more fair on fathers than the media suggests.

I would definitely be careful what messages you send to her. Expect that one with the abuse to come back to bite you. She may use them as justification for supervised contact.

When I filed the initial application, I was given permission for a time-abridged application. This meant that the first hearing was only 2 weeks after my ex took the kids. This was important as it allowed me to re-establish contact very quickly.

At the first hearing we were delayed for 4 hours. Between our solicitors we managed to agree a contact schedule which would be in place until things progressed further. It wasn''t great, and wasn''t as good as I wanted but if this is the route you take, remember this: any contact is better than nothing! In answer to your question, yes she can stop you having any contact until a court forces her to. Unfortunately this is the way it works so I would encourage you, if there is no chance of re-establishing contact yourself, to do something as soon as possible.

Your solicitor will guide you what to do, but I would anticipate that either they will write to your ex demanding that she re-establish contact, or they will begin filing for a contact order.

I''m not sure of the truth of this, because the solicitor who told me gave me some very poor legal advice, but I have been told that the proceedings will take place in the court where the applications are initially made. That means if your ex applies for a residence order in XXXXXX, you will have to travel there (with your solicitor who will bill you for their travel time!) for each court appearance. Better to apply for contact in a local court.

With regard to your ''evidence'', keep collecting it, but remember that the best option would be to go to court, reach an amicable agreement for contact and never have to present any of it. When parents start making allegations and counter allegations against each other, no one wins but the solicitors. Please listen to this advice, don''t let things get nasty if you can help it. I didn''t listen to this advice and I do regret it now.

Time scale for things (assuming you take the court route) is likely to be 2-4 weeks until your first hearing. After that, if you reach an agreement then hopefully that''s it until it needs changing (when your daughter starts school, for example). If you cannot agree then Cafcass may need to do preliminary checks (criminal records, social services etc). This may be done before your first hearing if they have enough warning (i.e. your application is not time-abridged). Hopefully, as I said above, at the first hearing everyone''s priority ought to be re-establishing contact.

Hope that helps.

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23 May 12 #332357 by u6c00
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isildur wrote:

Hi,
I''m in a very similar situation and would love to know the chances of securing access/residency and how long it all takes.

The ex used a flimsy excuse to renege on an agreement to move to another place in the same city, ends up moving in with her family 50 miles away, and is now limiting access or making it virtually impossible with a list of unreasonable demands. And this is tough for a father who''s been hands on with an 18 month old LO.

So yes solicitors are involved but really want to know how long the whole process takes with CAFCAS/courts before a final judgement takes place.


Isildur, my sympathies for your situation. Here''s the time scales that I have had so far:

ex moved out with kids and refused any contact. Made a time-abridged application for residence. First court hearing 2 weeks later.

Because Cafcass hadn''t had time to do their safety checks, there was another court appearance 1 month later.

Allegations were made by both parties in the initial Cafcass report so Cafcass recommended a full report.

The waiting list for a full report is about 16 weeks. It may vary depending on the demand for the services in your area.

So all in all, we''re talking about 6 months from first making the application to getting a full Cafcass report. That''s where I''m at now, so I can''t honestly say what happens next. I guess it''s different for each case.

I cannot emphasise this enough. The fastest way to settle everything is by reaching an agreement with your ex. I appreciate that isn''t always possible but keep it in mind.

  • Fiona
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23 May 12 #332369 by Fiona
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Some good advice above. Just one point. Children cases are heard in the court near where the child lives so don''t waste time by applying to the courts local to you.

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