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Letter from EX''s Solicitor came today

  • zonked
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08 Jun 12 #335762 by zonked
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I think in your shoes I would:

- Agree the mediation. Perhaps take with you proposals for moving contact outside the center. To be frank, your ex might just be hurting, angry and imagining the worst from you. People get polorised in these situations. If all you do is manage to explain where your coming from that in itself might help defuse some of the problems. Worth a try.

- I would still apply for a contact order. Given the hostility between you and the ex, a defined order and having a neutral third party involved may well you give you both some peace of mind.
.You would normally expect the first hearing in about 6 weeks. There''s nothing stopping you asking the court to put that back a few weeks to give the mediation a better chance.

- By the time you reach court you would have already done the contact center thing for a couple of months and be looking at moving forward anyway? Obviously, it would be great if the next steps can be by agreement but if that can''t be reached then at least the judicial process would have already started.

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09 Jun 12 #335864 by ffc1991
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Thanks Zonked and halfadad

Pretty much decided to go with what you have reccomended in a sense between you both. I kind of hope that mediation will work but i know it wont but worth a try i suppose. How long do i have to attend mediation for? What happens if at the first meeting my EX is quite clearly not wanting to agree to anything and just attending because she has to? Can i just say this is pointless she doesen''t want to agree to anything? This is more because of the cost it is going to cost me. Regarding the me requesting to have the mediation sessions on the Friday before contact my EX won''t have to do this will she? She knows it will cost me £100 more + a days wages, as i''ll have to book the day off work if she arranges it on a non weekend and i''m pretty sure that''s what she would do. Can i say i''m only willing to attend mediation on the weekends i''ll be seeing my daughter.

Before i go ahead with your reccomendations, just want to check an order of a CAFCASS report won''t affect anything you said for me to do?

As i''m 99% certain a CAFCASS report will be ordered. My EX has stated numerous times to me that she don''t want me with her on my own as she says i''m not capable of looking after her. This is ofcourse not the case and just power hunting from my EX but ofcourse the courts would have to check this and take any concerns seriously.

I''ll ask if the contact centre can be used as drop off and pick up only but i know she won''t agree to this but worth a try.

Will the fact that iv''e been attneding a contact centre before the hearing go in my favor at all? do these places do reports etc?

Need to see what a contact centre involves aswell, will my EX partner be there? am i stuck in a room with loads of other fathers?

Thanks in advance

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09 Jun 12 #335883 by halfadad
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Mediation is always worth a shot in my opinion as it as least gives you an idea of what your ex will say in court giving you more time to address the issues or find the arguements to disprove them.

There is no paricular time limit on mediation. Most literature I have seen says most simple child matters should be resolved in around 4 sessions! Mine personally went on for 10 (and I still got nowhere!)

I personally think that even if you dont get anywhere at the first meeting you dont get anywhere, I think you should go back for the second, because usually the mediator will ask you to go away and think about what has been raised and solutions & compromises. If you ex comes back for the second session and there is still no movement, i think its fair to say its not worked.

No the ex doesnt have to agree to the sessions being on the Friday before contact, but again its not unreasonable to make the request due to your work commitments. State quite clearly in the letter that if she is unable to commit to this you are requesting to know when she is proposing the sessions take place allowing you to see if this is suitable with your work commitments. Id there any reason (other than being difficult that she couldnt do this - i.e Does she work?)

An order of a CAFCASS report is unlikely to affect anything suggested, because this order will come at the Directions hearing, which you arent proposing to attend until after you have given mediation a chance.

I dont think using a contact centre will go against you. I do think however it might be worth dropping in the letter, that you dont agree with the need for a contact centre, (and request for it to be used for handovers only) but in the shortterm you are willing to use it to a) ensure the break you havent seen you daughter isnt any longer than necessary) and b)help reduce your exs worries.

I assume you are being referred to a "supported" centre in which case as far as I know they only report on whether you and your ex turned up, they dont actually report on anything during the contact (unless you turn up raging drunk and/or they have to remove you from the premises during the contact session because of some terrible behaviour). They would however be able to speak to CAFCASS if they get involved (if they do make sure the judge directs CAFCASS to speak to the contact centre!)

Generally supported contact centres are at a hall and is a playgroup type setting, so yes there will be a number of other NRPs there with their children. Its unusual though for the RP to remain within the contact. Generally they ask the NRP to arrive first so you are waiting in the play room, and then the RP arrives with the child, hands over to you and then leaves. ALternatively you can ask for the contact centre staff to handover (as in take the child off the RP in the waiting room and bring to you)

If you want to draft something for the solicitor as a reply and want it checking im happy to have a look over it.

Tony

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09 Jun 12 #335885 by ffc1991
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Thanks Tony :)

I''m willing to give mediationa go as like you say if theres a small chance we can sort things ammicable then it''s worth a punt, and i suppose i''m now getting contact with my daghter again even if it''s not the most ideal situation.

No my EX doesen''t work she lives with a family member atm and lives rent free and is on income support i believe. It would be purely down to her being difficult if she didn''t agree to this. I quite literally would struggle to afford all this trvaelling. Like i stated i don''t qualify for legal aid but i have a lot of outgoings which wasn''t taken into account. So £85 a cost of a train ticket and a days wages will be an awful lot of money to me personally. On this basis could i reject the mediation if she proposed on days i wasn''t visitng my daughter that weekend? It would surely quite clearly show she was just being very unreasonable.

I''ll defo include in the letter that i don''t believe a contact centre is nessecary other than possible handovers like you said. I know my EX won''t agree to this as at every single visit b4 contact broke down she wouldn''t let me be alone with my Daughter. But it''s worth documenting my thoughts like you say. However it did say in the letter that they ''''propose'''' a contact centre should be used. So maybe on that wording that there is a little room for negotiation shall see.

Regarding the handover of my daughter at contact centre. I think i would ask for her to drop her off to a member of staff etc and bring her to me. Obviously with everything that has gone on seeing her isn''t really something i would willingly like to do atm. As i believe she is being pushed into letting me see my daughter by her solicitor.

Also yes that would be much appreciated.

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12 Jun 12 #336315 by halfadad
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Hi,

Just wondering how its all going for you.

Tony

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13 Jun 12 #336464 by ffc1991
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Hi Tony

Well i filed for court like i was going to do, but did do a covering letter asking if a date could be put back by a further 4 weeks than the normal date to allow mediation a proper go. Have recived a phone call from the mediators in my EX''s hometown and told them i was willing to attend but would have to be a Friday before contact with my Daughter on a Saturday. I sent a reply to my EX sol saying i wasn''t happy and agree with the use of a contact centre but am willing to accept it for now to allow my Daughter to see me. Also discredited several of my partners claims in a sense nothing overboard but just stating that some of the stuff from her solicitor in the letter was factually incorrect etc. Just waiting to hear back from my EX sol now as sheel be making the referral to the contact centre i believe. Just more waiting i presume.

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