Can I please have some tips and any advice about representing myself?. I finally has got the courage to go back to court for my daughter all I will be asking for, is reasonable.
At the moment I only have her every fortnight from Friday after school to Sunday 3pm and see her for 1.5 hour every Wednesday. I don't get any extra days apart from Christmas and new year every other year. I don't get school holidays either and I have been prohibited to take her out of the country for no reason and ex has breached the court order a few times and doesn't give me the time back.
Anyway all I'm asking is more flexibility and an extra night every other weekend so I get to take her to school and 1 week of holidays during the school holiday and to removed the prohibited step order and to reinforce the order.
I'm really afraid he has brainwash her completely as he is a narcissist but I gotta do this as she is close to be 11 and it has been 6 years and nothing has changed with my ex and she is starting to think that this is normal.
For what you are asking be clear about how you are going to implement it as in you say you want to take your daughter to school, how are you going to do that, do you have a job that allows you to come in late or potentially not at all if your daughter is ill that day or you have to speak to the teacher before class. There is also the fact that if you take her to school on Monday morning rather than return her on Sunday afternoon you will need to have her school uniform and bag with you. Try to impress on the court that you have really thought everything through in detail and have good answers to their likely questions.
If you go into court and start making claims that your ex is brainwashing your daughter or they are a narcissist it's not going to play in your favour unless you have an accompanying caffcass report to backup your claims. The court is likely going to think this application is less about your relationship with your child and more about continuing a combative relationship with your ex.
You say you want to remove the prohibited steps order and I'm assuming one of the prohibited steps is to not remove your child from the UK. If currently you have no school holidays would it not be better to leave the prohibited steps in place and then work towards getting some holiday time with your child in the UK.
Most of all try not to get emotional or angry as this will not help and is why a lot of people have representation in court because it's difficult to put forward your case and answer questions when you are not calm.
Yes my new job is more flexible and should help with school arrangements and yes I have thought about her school bag and homework. It will just give us more quality time and no rushing on a Sunday night.
I know about not getting angry And being calm bit it is difficult when he makes false allegations and minimises contact every time he wants. He will most likely get Caffcas involve as his idea is to not give me contact at all
I'm sorry you've had to return for help with this problem which has been going on for so long and your child must be quite old now.
If you keep your reasons for increasing contact child-focused and based on her changing needs as she moves towards adolescence then you can present the best possible case for your daughter to spend more time with you.
The form for a variation is a C100 and the fee is around £215 (although if you are on a very low income, or certain benefits, you may be eligible for a reduced fee).
Also recommend you look at the Wikivorce Parenting Plan which has been designed to help parents to agree arrangements or make changes to arrangements.
Whatever you decide, I think you will need to act sooner rather than later as this has been going on for years now.
I have sent the application and got my first hearing booked, I'm really nervous and like you said I'm going to focus a lot on my daughter's best interest although I'm really worried as she has been brain washed however I need to do this for us.
Prepare as well as you can. Arrive early so you don't feel rushed. Sign in so they know you've arrived. If you're not sure of anything ask the usher. Stay calm and don't fall into the trap of reacting to your ex. If he raises his voice, you remain calm. Be polite and businesslike. Easy to say, not so easy to do I know.
Focus on making the case for why it's important for your daughter to have a relationship with both parents.