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Can I request a different judge?

  • bab
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7 years 3 months ago #401057 by bab
I would like to know if I could request a different judge for child court hearing.

I am LiP.

The child involved is around 4.5 years old.

We''ve had the same judge for First Appointment and 2 child court hearings.
My experience was that she was pretty biased and would ignore my clear and concise statement and evidence. She would agree to all my stbx wife demands, e.g. changing previously agreed childcare pattern to suit her.
We had a 50:50 arrangement privately. She demanded to change it when we went to court so it got to like 60:40 in her favour. I''ve never requested more that 50%.
I feel that the court didn''t see a parent as a genderless entity. There is a gender bias because a parent is a mother or a father.

The judge has reserved the case for herself. There will need to be a final hearing on parent sharing arrangement.

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  • rubytuesday
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7 years 3 months ago #401060 by rubytuesday
Replied by rubytuesday on topic Re:Can I request a different judge?
Not really, no, and not because you think she is biased.

The thread has more information on this topic - www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Divorce-Advice...udge-I-hate-her.html

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7 years 3 months ago #401061 by bab
Replied by bab on topic Re:Can I request a different judge?
Thanks rubytuesday.

That''s a shame.

It''s annoying that she made the decision to reserve our financial remedies and child court hearing cases to herself. I can see where all these are going...
Guess everything will need to go to final hearing. At least for the financial remedies, I will get different judge at the final hearing.

She would ignore all the negative things my stbx did to our child and continued to rule in my stbx''s favour.

I just want equal access to our child. Either parent can give the child consistency in education and daily life. So, it should not be gender biased. The judge used the word "mother" quite a number of times. She also said I got more contact with our child than a lot of fathers. I was left beaten and speechless...

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7 years 3 months ago #401119 by Fiona
Replied by Fiona on topic Re:Can I request a different judge?
Unless there is evidence from impartial professionals (school, social workers, health care professionals etc) that children aren''t surviving satisfactorily it''s unlikely that judge is interested in you dissing your ex. You need to focus on children issues, how you can work together as parents for the benefit of your child rather than your "wants," parental rights and demands for equal time.

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7 years 3 months ago #401127 by bab
Replied by bab on topic Re:Can I request a different judge?
Thanks Fiona.

It''s not about dissing my ex. In actual fact, it''s my ex that keeps pestering me on petty issues.

- My son was abducted to another country by my ex. That''s why I had to apply for the 1st PSO.
- My ex demanded to move my son away from the FMH with little consideration of him being admitted to a good school . I was OK for her to move out on her own and maintain contact with our son at the FMH . I wanted our son to get into a good school with the FMH address. That''s why I applied for the 2nd PSO.

I keep hearing the priority is the child''s needs.

E.g. a consistency pattern during school time.
It''s a fact that either parents can do the school runs and look after the child after school. So, there shouldn''t be a bias towards the mother that she should have all or most overnight stays during weekdays.
Either parents can take the child to playgroups, birthday parties, etc.

We had an agreement on 50:50 parent-sharing and it was working. My ex wanted to change it to her favour and it was readily accepted by the judge (Yes, I understand it''s about the child). The judge wouldn''t entertain the same arrangement in my favour even though I could easily satisfy the requirement of doing the weekday childcare. So, that''s why I felt the judge (or in actual fact, the family court system) was biased.

The positive thing is, the nursery report says the child is doing very well. Health visitor was pleased to see a happy and active child under my care. That''s a very good indication that equal parent-sharing was working as it reduced conflict between parents. As a result, both parents could focus on welfare of the child instead of keep fighting behind the scene.

So, it''s frustrating that when people (not you) say child needs are paramount without being specific on what those needs are and how those needs can materially be satisfied. If it''s about good enough, then either parent can provide a good enough childcare arrangement.

So, why do I feel like I am on my back foot as a father? Why the father has to accept "quality" of time instead of quantity?
Why it''s OK for the mother to get the quantity of time?

Sorry about the rant.

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7 years 3 months ago #401147 by Fiona
Replied by Fiona on topic Re:Can I request a different judge?
Why does your ex say the shared parenting arrangement she agreed is no longer satisfactory?

What the law says is the judge must give regard to the Welfare Checklist which includes the child''s background and considering who is best placed to care for a child. If the long term arrangement established before you separated was your ex cared for the child it can be an uphill struggle changing the arrangement even though care may have been shared 50:50 for a while after the family breakdown. Professionals working with children will often advise it is in a child''s interests to maintain their sense of security and the established bonds.

That means when it comes to 50:50 shared care fathers are at a disadvantage because around 90% men work in full time inflexible jobs and fathers work longer hours than any other group of men. On the other hand the majority of women with dependent children don''t work or work in lower paid flexible jobs to fit around commitments to childcare. The absence of shared care 50:50 during parents'' relationships is the main reason for the absence of shared care after the relationship breakdown.

With many parenting issues there is no absolute right or wrong, just parents with different attitudes doing different things. It''s the same with judges, some believe children should live in two homes whilst others think it is in the interests of children not to have the school/nursery week disrupted and live in one home. Then there are those who think 50:50 shared care doesn''t work when there is conflict between parents.

Although PSO''s were granted they aren''t evidence that a parent''s every day parenting isn''t good enough and the courts will want to move the situation on. You really need to focus on persuading the judge of the benefits to your child of your proposed arrangements.

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7 years 3 months ago #401179 by bab
Replied by bab on topic Re:Can I request a different judge?
Thanks Fiona.

Ultimately, this is hiding behind a child manoeuvre by my ex. Not uncommon as I''ve read too many similar stories. The main reason of the marriage breakdown was that she refused to find and work a full time job. It was always the promise for her to do that as I supported her in gaining academic qualifications. She would like to continue not having to work hard by using the excuse of having to look after a child. It''s not hard work looking after a child as I do that as well.

My ex said our son was "confused" with the 50:50 parenting arrangement (Being a young child, e.g. he is not fully aware if today is Tue or Wed. He would sometimes ask at the very beginning of the arrangement which day was with father/mother.).
She proposed a new arrangement that she would care for our son from Sun 11:00am - Thu 11:30am to give him "consistency" in the PSO hearing and it was readily accepted by the judge. The judge wouldn''t accept that I could cover the same period and provide the same consistency as a parent.
So, she got 4 nights + all the weekends free for herself. (Honestly, I don''t think it''s ideal for her either as she can''t take our son for a long day out at weekends.)
The previous 50:50 arrangement was that we both could have long weekends with our son and long weekends to be alone.

We are both not in full time employment. So, we are both capable of doing the school runs, giving the child the quantity of time after school , etc.

That''s the challenge about all these big words, sense of security, established bonds, etc. It''s hard to prove either way.
It''s a fact that I have a very good bond with my son. We try to make each other laugh all the time. I cook for him. I take him to playgroups, parties, etc. However, I guess all these will probably be ignored when it comes to family court as a father.

There was no PSO granted.
She kept demanding via her solicitor to move out with our son from the FMH and changed the 50:50 parenting arrangement so that I would only have 2 nights a week with my son.
I had no issue of her moving out but just wanted to keep the 50:50 arrangement.
I applied for the PSO to ensure our son to stay at the FMH at least half of the time (i.e. the established 50:50) so he could get into a good school based on the distance admission criteria.
Somehow the hearing turned into a forum for my ex to make changes to the 50:50 arrangement and it was accepted by the judge. The judge just listened to some vague and false statements from the other side without giving me the opportunity to respond.

An interim order was granted based on her proposed parenting arrangement. I just worry that she will be able to keep chipping away, getting more overnight stays. 4 days now. She may say she will need more weekend times with our son in the future so I will lose more time with my son.

With the same judge reserved the case for herself, I don''t see how my argument, regardless how sensible and logical it is, will have any effect on her judge.

The logical arrangement would be for me to take care of our son during weekdays, allowing her to focus on exercise and improve on her earning potential and be financially independent asap.
However, from what I''ve read in wikivorce and online, it seems the young child card works for a lot of mothers...

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