From peoples experience what is the approximately time scale for an application for joint residence to be heard and a decision to be made? Does it always involve CAFFASS and the children being interviewed? How many hearings are there and what is the purpose of each one. thank you
I think it completely depends on the specific issues of the case and the reasons for it. The first thing will be that CAFCASS just take a general look at the case (before the first hearing) to see if there are any safeguarding issues and they should talk to both people as well. The first hearing is then a Directions hearing that should layout the general plan for how the case will proceed; what evidence is needed, if a cafcass report is needed, etc and to consider whether the court can define a schedule for a final hearing or whether it has to do some interim things and then another directions hearing. The process can be as quick as a couple of weeks or a couple of years or anything in between. A lot depends on the judge. It also very much depends on the reasons for joint residence and whether there is merit in the application
Thanks climb mountain. I assume then threatening a joint residence application as a result of some other contact issue is not a good reason??. This week I have emails that are all over the place from my ex, I agreed to what he is asking for regarding contact and then another one comes in asking for something completely different. Each time he adds a threat that if I don''t agree he will go for joint residence. I really have tried to be reasonable and see his point of view hence agreeing to his initial requests.
I would really like to attend mediation now as I can just not get to grips with him constantly changing what he is asking for.
You shouldn''t feel bullied by threats of shared residence. First of all a shared residence order practically isn''t that different from the more traditional contact/residence order. Secondly, a SRO is unlikely to be deemed appropriate if rather than being child focused your ex is seen to use it as a means of domination and control.
There is no reason why you can''t initiate mediation. If you make an appointment on your own the meditator can write and invite your ex to attend. In the meantime I wouldn''t answer a stream of emails immediately unless there is something urgent. IF you let them lie for a few days (ideally 10-14days) and then respond just to the important points in one email it helps take the heat out of the situation.
Thank you both. Fiona I have not responded quickly to anything (although admittedly only a couple of days not 10-14 whoops!) and have consulted others before I reply to make sure I am responding in the children''s best interests and not letting my emotions take over. I do wish to attend mediation now as none of his emails makes sense, each contradicts the other, always followed with the threat of going to court for joint residence.
He is now saying he will get a joint residence order by September, and that 50/50% is a guarantee and his right! I know it isn''t or not in the children''s best interest ( and also know he doesn''t really want it or can practically do it with work etc) Just feel its anything to get at me now and nothing about children.
Feel so sad, I have tried to protect the kids so much from what as happened and they are happy and settled, seeing their father regularly and for long periods of contact.
with court nothing is a guarantee. Getting a first Directions hearing in september for an application for joint residence would probably not happen (not least because he would first need to go through mediation before the court accepts the application).
Just realise that every time he sends a stupid email he doesn''t help is case and every time you take a deep breath before sending a polite reply you help yours (and the kids).