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Court outcome decidedly mixed results

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11 Sep 12 #355221 by u6c00
Topic started by u6c00
Afternoon all, Directions hearing over and done with. For those unfamiliar with the case a quick summary.

Ex and I separated but continued to live in the same house. One day in February I came home from work and found that she had taken the children and moved out. She refused all contact until she had a residence order in her favour (her words).

I went to a solicitor, got an ex parte Prohibited Steps Order to stop her moving house with the children to her home town 60 miles away. Contact was re-established after 2 weeks but on a supervised basis because she stole some of my medical reports and alleged that I am dangerous.

She made an application to discharge the PSO and for a Specific Issue Order to move house to her home town in May. She bought a house in her home town in July, and put her current house up for sale.

We had a contested hearing in August. After a full day the magistrates ruled that the likely effect of a move would be harmful to the children and that the PSO was to remain in effect until further order. A directions hearing was scheduled for today.

Last weekend I went to my ex''s house to collect my son for contact and he wasn''t there. The house appears to have been emptied. My ex''s solicitor emailed several hours later saying that my ex was too ill to facilitate contact. No contact occurred and her solicitor did not respond to my requests for information.

Today we had the Directions hearing. I had hoped for a hearing regarding enforcement but after speaking to the usher it turned out that there would be no magistrates, only the legal adviser (again!) so there would be no opportunity to argue the point.

My barrister took a few notes and then went to agree directions with the other party''s solicitor.

After she came back she informed me that my ex denies having moved home, but informs me that she has registered my son in nursery in her home town on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. My son is therefore spending between 4 and 6 nights every week in her home town. I don''t believe he is spending any nights at all in my home town (where the PSO applies to)

Directions were agreed but I said that I wanted the case to be transferred to the county court as the issues are not being dealt with as there are never magistrates present. The hearing was adjourned and listed for the county court in a couple of weeks. I am told that the agreed directions will then be made.

Ex has now dropped her insistence on drug and alcohol testing. CAFCASS are to prepare an addendum report and all parties are to file statements as well as full medical records.

I am now deciding whether to make a separate application for enforcement of the PSO. My feeling is that I need to make my application urgently but I am unlikely to have any representation if I go for enforcement.

Obviously she has again behaved badly, but my step son is now living and attending school in her home town. By asking the court to enforce the order she will argue that the judge will be separating a family. My counter to this is that when the magistrates made the PSO after a full day of evidence they made it clear to her that they did not believe that my step son needed to move house and therefore they were not separating the brothers by making the PSO. They stated to her in no uncertain terms that if she chose to move it would be her own choice to separate her family.

She did not appeal the decision and has not made an application to vary the order.

Now that she has moved she will obviously make the welfare argument that even though she has acted badly (which she won''t admit), that enforcing the order would be detrimental to the children.

The matter will be listed for final hearing around the beginning of November.

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11 Sep 12 #355254 by Yummy_Mummy
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I think you have done well today.

Does this mean now that Cafcass will be involved and when. When is Fact Finding likely to occur based on all evidence including medical?

Has your ex stated the reasons for now not insisting alcohol and drug testing?
Usually allegations are withdrawn and sudden compromises occur when they believe they are about to lose. Again you could ask for this and submit it.

Like I said you have done well today.

What is likely to occur now during the Interim Period, you say November.
Will you be seeing the children just as much, less or more?

If your relationship with your step son is good and depending on his age, you could ask for his wishes and wants to be considered especially if the two brothers are fond of each other.

Best of Luck.

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11 Sep 12 #355319 by u6c00
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Thanks YM

No fact finding is to happen, just a final hearing where the evidence will be examined.

My reasons for not pressing the drugs issue is that the hair strand test was ordered more than 6 months ago. Even if a positive result was returned now it would have little bearing on the outcome. Perhaps she is thinking the same, though personally I suspect the money''s running out and it''s £1000 that she can''t afford having just wasted the same amount on the DNA paternity test she demanded.

No changes to the contact arrangements in the interim. I have the option to apply for enforcement which I think I need to.

I was close to my step son, but my ex has refused all contact since February so now I don''t know his wishes. In CAFCASS'' first report they wrote all about his wishes and feelings without actually speaking to him. My ex just said that he didn''t want contact and the officer believed it all without evidence.

They are going to prepare a new report by the end of October.

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12 Sep 12 #355393 by Yummy_Mummy
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As there is no Fact Finding, I would suggest that you still remind the Court that drug and alcohol testing she said was paramount, wasnt - hence false allegations and 6 months have passed.

Another example is the paternity test which again is now not seen to be necessary could imply parental alientation.

Furthermore, then there is no proof yet but the fact that she has moved. You can ask your ex about details regarding your son / children such as name and addresses of doctors, nursery, home address - details both parents need in case of an emergency under the Parental Responsibilty.

You may wish to stress how difficult it is to work with her for the benefit of the children. Of course you would mention all this to Cafcass as well verbally and in writing.

I am not sure about the enforcement and I think you need to get some further advice.

Ask for contact with your step son too if that is what you wish. It doesn''t matter what she says, if you had a good realtionship with him too then ask for it for both children''s sake.

I hope this helps.

Wish you Luck.

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