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Going to court for the first time

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12 May 09 #115609 by ClimbMountains
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quick further comment

if cafcass supported the extra sunday night you would probably get it. If your son said that he would like to spend the sunday night with you cafcass would probably take note of that (but it must not appear that you have made him say that it needs to be his wishes).

Perhaps keep a record of what you do every weekend. If you can show that there are weekends when the 6pm compromises what your son gets from the contact with you (ie cannot spend time with extended family or had to cut short a weekend away). However, its a difficult balance because you need to show that you would be getting your son ready for school the next morning so saying we could have gone to Scotland for the weekend and got back at midnight if it wasn't for the 6pm return isn't going to work in your favour

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12 May 09 #115611 by coping so far
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Very true. Its things like going walking with different sets of cousins.One lot do other sports on Saturday the others ate at a posh school with school stuff on Saturday. So then a good walk on Sunday ends up with us rushing back, We always have tea before returning by 6. But I think thats a lesser argument than winding down and having bath with mum one week and dad the next.
Anyway it does all come down to what one CAFCASS office says. And changing that is unlikely.
I can't see a good reason to have my solicitor around for this first directions hearing. I can put up with some bullying from her and her solicitor if it happens.

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12 May 09 #115612 by ClimbMountains
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I do (some) mountain biking. If you said that you want to go biking but then get home, chill out and eventually get clean, clean bikes, do it together and get him ready for school that is a good argument (to me).

They system doesn't like "I want more time with my kid" - contact is about giving the kid time with you to let them have and enjoy their relationship with you. It isn't about YOUR needs

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12 May 09 #115613 by coping so far
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Absolutely. I will have my arguments noted down so I don't forget anything but will just give the CAFCASS officer whatever informstion they need to know.
Thanks for all of you help with this.

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12 May 09 #115614 by ClimbMountains
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sorry just read your post in full. If you give your son dinner on a sunday then you really should be returning him later than 6pm (imo). to get home and have dinner and then return him by 6pm is really pushing it.

if you act in person be prepared to have hassle with ex's solicitors. At one hearing my ex's solicitor tried to tell me I was stupid and could not count because I said 7pm Saturday to 7pm Saturday was 7 days and he said its 8 and got a calendar and counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5... as if talking to someone with severe difficulties. They tried to say you will lose and get much less contact than what we are offering.... they refused to include documents in the court bundle (so I took them to court and then made sure the judge knew that sol had refused to include them)...

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12 May 09 #115615 by coping so far
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Thanks for your reply. I am only at the directions hearing stage so a court bundle isn't relevant yet is it?
I do have a solicitor but she already said to me that doing this on my own was possible, when I was talking to her about costs.
Hopefully that would not exclude me from getting her involved later?

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12 May 09 #115618 by ClimbMountains
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if you have a solicitor now and then act in person you have to file a notice of change with the court to say that you are acting in person (just a single form that your solicitor can give you). There is nothing to stop you appointing them again; for example for the final hearing.

bundles are for the final hearing but i was just trying to illustrate the games that they can play

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