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Dreading the outcome

  • nk111
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29 Apr 12 #327132 by nk111
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Have read lots mainly from the advice given on this website it has been such a help I must say first of all.

Sorry to everyone but this is a mixture of my assessment of a particular area of contact and residence ,questions related to my own case which largely have been discussed before no doubt .. ….but for some crazy reason I feel in the mood to type!!;)
As much as i see NRP’s getting 50/50 SRO or contact orders that appear reasonable there are as many NRP''s (who i would particularly like their opinion) who appear not be satisfied or get what i consider adequate time with their children when they had played an active part in their children’s lives before the failure of their marriage, why have they have not been given the access they desire I ask myself ?

What goes on in this process that renders it so toothless at times? i am quite concerned that i will not get adequate time with them , am i vulnerable to lies being made to CAFCASS by stbx which i suppose will be difficult and time consuming prove?

I am only interested in the interests of the children which she is as well to be fair but that is as long as she gets her way of course, any fall out on whatever subject makes her become quite malicious and places me in a weak position and so something that I am tired of now..

How do i convey that i do as much as i can given my circumstances whilst i have them and that it would be more appropriate for them to stay say… alternate weekends with me so that i am not just driving them around place to place ? .
I have read of people making diaries but i haven’t as yet though I do recall certain incidents and vaguely remember when these occurred so could and probably will make one now , but even if i do this I don’t hold much hope this will help as they could easily be challenged and the making up allegations and lies tactic adopted quite easily so back to square 1.
I have read courts look to keep the status quo then the longer I leave it the more likely I am to get the kind of order that gives pretty much what I have now or worse right? This is despite that this was not what the status quo was when we lived together. Purely due to my circumstances i.e. me living in a room for the best part of a year , the hope we could reconcile our differences via mediation , money , making concessions has the current situation remained as it is for so long……this could be perceived as me not taking this regards my children seriously.

But I feel really passionate about this subject the same as you all, as you read through the site you clearly see the tactics that are employed by some people for which there is no real deterrent as orders appear to be blatantly ignored rendering the process in part to be quite pointless surely we can all see this! . .
Action needs to be taken prevent such behaviour from either RE or NRP and everyone involved in the process. Everyone should actively discourage this type of behaviour and punishments in the forms of fines should be administered for anyone proven to commit or encourage this behaviour. Proving it will obviously be the issue here but as I say some things are blatant.
This would apply not just to parents, but solicitors and any other party involved during the process. .Emotions & greed need to be removed from the equation and the children’s interests put back on top of the agenda. Judges and cafcass should be able to do the job they are required to do without this hindrance.
This is a very simplistic view to what is a very complicated area but as I say we all know there to be flaws in this area we just have to be honest with ourselves as I sometimes I think i would rather pull my teeth out then have to drag my children through this.
Back to my own case…

I personally am just about ready to make an application primarily for a SRO and possibly interim as stbx is refusing me contact this weekend.
I currently live in a room as I have save money for a place bigger, affordable and close to their school.

We have had an informal arrangement thus far as we tried to reconcile but any argument can lead to this response and I wish to prevent this from happening and her using the children as a tool and controlling the children and me.

I recognise I will have to do this possibly through the courts as she was clear with me that she would not allow me to have the children on a 50/50 basis or any overnight stay only last week. I am hoping she may agree via mediation as a last resort though if I do not get adequate time with them then I am likely to fight for it.
This is a decision that will need cafcass involvement i expect, a experience that I am already dreading and I haven’t even started yet….call it a 6th sense if you wish .

I have 3 children 9,6,& 5, i usually see them every weekend during the day. Drop them at school on Fridays , sometime pick & drop them up during the week but this is becoming rare i assume intentionally.
Despite not living at home anymore due to friction that can occur between me and stbx i have sometimes looked after them when they have been ill at home when she was working etc , i am pretty much doing 40% / 60% of what i used to when i was living there.

This has reduced as i live in a room to save to move into my own rented accommodation that will allow me to have them over the weekend,..

What I would hate to have is 1 day or a few hours and a uphill fight where I might have to dress up as a superhero to gain fair access to my children.

My conclusion from what I have read so far has been that the NRP & Courts can sometimes be given the run around by a RP who chooses to be vindictive and there will be nothing that can be done about it! orders seem to be blatantly ignored, delaying tactics are used constantly and enforcement of orders are non-existent. If you have no real deterrent than what is the point of the order in the first place ?

This is not in my opinion the best interests of the children so why does there not appear to be any measures to stop this kind of pattern of behaviour we all know that in some cases it does happen.
Just like the CSA have powers to enforce payments there should be powers in place to ensure matters related to non compliance of contact orders , delaying of hearings due to what could be argued flimsy excuses without evidence of genuine circumstances should be punished via fines for example.
As I begin this part of the process I am expecting to encounter at least some if not all of the negative aspects that in itself is really disappointing…and it hasn’t even happened yet ! ….the conclusion really is that I have very little faith in the system that is designed to protect the interests of my children…I just hope It works out

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29 Apr 12 #327138 by TomAdams
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You are right to have little faith in the system.

I went before the judge with a letter from my GP and with a psychiatric assessment from a recognised psychiatrist saying that I had no history of mental illness only for the judge to decide to disregard the professional advice and stick with the mothers false allegations.

My wife was prepared to offer me unsupervised access with my 1 yr old and supervised access with my 5 yr old but when I pointed out the flaws in her argument and refused to take the supervised access the judge decided it was in the best interests of the children to refuse all access.

I have now not seen or had any contact with my children in over a year. It all comes down to luck of the draw. Do you get a sympathetic judge or one who wants you to jump through the hoops of CAFCASS assessments, further psychiatric assessments and 1 year + of court hearings before you go back to the minimum contact of alternate weekends.

Sometimes it is better for the children and both parties to call an end to the dispute and walk away. The Family Courts are not fit for purpose. They just encourage the greedy legal profession to further line their pockets

  • nk111
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29 Apr 12 #327241 by nk111
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I feel disappointed for you but most of all for your children. The current and previous Governments have done little to encourage good parental involvement in a child’s upbringing as in reality it is a contradiction, the obstacles some people are faced with are too huge to overcome.

The fact of the matter is that in the real world people will split up but it is how they do it and ensure it is done in a responsible manner. That is where the responsibility of the government comes into play because of the emotive nature of the topic.
Where children are concerned the child’s safety is of paramount importance as are its upbringing in my opinion but I am sure this will be pretty much up there with the wider public.

It is very difficult I hope you can understand to comment on your case as the judge I presume may have taken into consideration other mitigating factors and not the allegation alone, that is what a judge or anybody presiding over an matter should do.
However if we were to assume that there are no other mitigating factors (and only you can confirm this) the decision in itself has no logic to it as you say and needs to be challenged and reviewed not simply accepted.
Facts of cases like yours just highlight my point....was this the only solution they could come up with?

One of the most obvious reasons I expect for many people will be a financial one that will prevent them taking further action, again another factor that does nothing to tackle the issue. Wasting money on extortionate fees when the money could be better utilised by the parents on costs of bringing the child up …remember education costs as well now surely financially impairing the parents will have a detrimental impact on all the parties involved and the childs future. Let us not forget the emotional impact on the child.

These matters should not be as expensive as they end up being, the costs need to be capped in some manner maybe. If the government and politicians are true to their word about wanting to encourage and support good social values they need to assist financially as well. Our taxes and NI would be better spent providing assistance on these and other social related matters rather than on, nuclear weapons and the buying toxic equity. They have a social responsibility as well and need to get their priorities right!

Throwing money at the problem is not the answer but maybe just maybe if they had a duty to do so instead of us they would recognise the failings that appear only evident to a few.
I would encourage everyone to take up these and other issues to their respective MPs , remember this is a democracy supposedly and the government are meant to represent the masses.
Cases like yours and many others will not be heard beyond people close to you and those that visit sites like this.
At the opposite end of the scale organisations such as fathers for Justice will take extreme action and pull the stunts they do to get the attention this problem deserves, however you sometimes wonder whether this in the mind of the wider population , people who have not directly experienced these issues first hand will understand and therefore will not have any sympathy for the cause.

There seems to be enough people on this site who could use their knowledge and experience to convey the failings that are evident to their MP’s (which I myself am about to do) and the wider public in a manner that will force our Politian’s to face the reality and make the changes I have mentioned I hope. In the meantime continue to support people like me who have no option but to self rep with knowledge and guidance.
I don’t know if the general consensus is the same as mine but it’s how I feel so would be interested to hear other peoples opinion.

  • Longview
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04 May 12 #328378 by Longview
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nk111 - I completely agree with your sentiments. This issue is so important and yet remains swept under the carpet for most people unless they have some direct involvement with it. It really is about time that more of us started to make demands of our elected representatives. Perhaps this issue should have a sticky thread? Is there the will among members here to put together an open letter to MPs that as many of us as are willing could put our names to? Or maybe a day of the year towards which we could make a coordinated effort to bring this issue to the attention of MPs/press? F4J manage to grap headlines occasionally, and there is a place for that type of stunt, however a concerted effort to start building some momentum to re-address the clearly outdated and lazy modes of thinking driving many of these "decisions made in the child''s best interests" by more subtle means is due. Loving parents/sons/daughters should not have to go through what the members of this board are having to put up with just so that they can spend time with their children. It does not get much more fundamental than this, does it?

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04 May 12 #328385 by WhiteRose

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04 May 12 #328390 by WhiteRose

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