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Directions Hearing Today - Great News

  • u6c00
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24 Sep 12 #357668 by u6c00
Topic started by u6c00
Dear all, just thought I''d update you all on the situation after the Directions hearing today.

A bit of background - Contact has been along the pattern of Friday to Saturday AM alternating with Friday - Sunday PM for 7 months. Contact was supervised by a member of my family after ex made allegations.

Ex was prohibited from moving my child''s home from his current location until further order. This was ordered ex parte in February but after a contested hearing in August it was left in place. Ex moved house anyway, registering my son in a nursery 60 miles away. I applied for enforcement and we were scheduled for directions today.

Today was the first time in the county court, previously we were in the Family Proceedings Court (Magistrates). My ex had been faffing around at each directions hearing and with no magistrates available was able to get away with a lot.

I went in to the court today and met with my barrister. I outlined the situation and I got the impression (perhaps erroneously) that he was inclined to get the directions issued and knock off for the day. He was downplaying the significance of the amount of time she was spending at her new home. I disagreed and told him it was a central issue (didn''t help that he suggested he didn''t want to get sidetracked, I said it''s not a side issue!).

So it became clear that we were not going to agree directions with the other party because we could not agree on the definition of ''home'' so I said I wanted to go in front of the judge.

We went in and I was surprised at how informal the surroundings were. It felt a lot more like a large office than a court room (the FPC court room was unmistakably a court, including having a witness stand etc).

My barrister made submissions and so did her solicitor. I argued through the barrister that she had moved, she argued that although she was spending a substantial amount of time in her new home she had not moved. The judge did not accept that, asked directly if she was spending every night at her old home and was told no. I believe the phrase ''dancing around the terminology was used.'' He also suggested that he was minded to issue an injunction for my son''s immediate return. We were then sent away and told to have a discussion. This was key, having been condemned by the judge put my ex in a weak position.

I went back in to discuss things with the barrister. He went off to negotiate with the other party and came back. Several ideas were mooted by the other party and rejected by me as they all involved me accepting that although my son lives in location 1, I am willing to allow him to attend nursery in location 2. I stated that I could not agree.

I was willing to ask the court for directions for a contested hearing and to submit evidence so held firm in my position.

After around about 2 hours of negotiations I received this offer: unsupervised contact alternating Wednesday evening to Saturday morning and Wednesday evening to Sunday afternoon. Basically 3.5 nights per week average, shared residence. All travelling to be done by the other party in the interim.

So that''s the new pattern. I have gone from 1.5 nights to 3.5 nights a week.

It''s worth noting that I initially proposed Thursday - Saturday / Thursday - Sunday with travelling to be shared 50/50 6 weeks ago and it was flat out refused by my ex. I''ve actually got more than I would have accepted so I''m very happy indeed.

I have some major life decisions to be made in the coming few days and weeks but right now I''m off to the pub for a celebratory half!

  • maccy2
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24 Sep 12 #357670 by maccy2
Reply from maccy2
Really good to hear your news. Well done.

  • Fiona
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24 Sep 12 #357675 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
Well done, it just goes to show what can be achieved by remaining reasonable. :)

  • Elphie
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24 Sep 12 #357677 by Elphie
Reply from Elphie
Well done that''s a fab result!

  • Nanny18
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24 Sep 12 #357679 by Nanny18
Reply from Nanny18
Well done!!

So pleased for you.

  • pixy
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24 Sep 12 #357683 by pixy
Reply from pixy
brill. have virtual pint on me.

  • stepper
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24 Sep 12 #357691 by stepper
Reply from stepper
Well done.

Best wishes.

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