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  • onamission
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05 Jun 09 #121730 by onamission
Topic started by onamission
Hi,
Trying to get my head round this whole process.
I have applied for a contact order as I've not seen my children for several months now.
Who is at the first court appearance? do I need my solicitor to attend?. If contact is not agreed at this hearing (which I doubt and I would also like CAFCASS to speak to the children) do I get an interim order?
Cheers

  • Nikkis9316
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06 Jun 09 #122115 by Nikkis9316
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Hi

I have just been to my first hearing for contact as the respondent. My case was slightly different as contact was in place and my ex took me to court for additional contact.

On arrival at the court i was seen by CAFCASS (ex hadn't arrived so i was seen alone). They explained their role, confirmed jokingly that i had no criminal record and i spoke about my concerns with regard to overnight contact and that i didnt oppose additional contact daytime. It was very relaxed, just one on one (my solicitor could have been present but was also representing another case that day, and i was fine to be on my own). CAFCASS then explained they had no concerns about childs welfare and didnt need to do a report, felt i was making the right roads regarding the overnight issues and spoke to my ex briefly in the waiting room ( when he turned up) to say they wouldn't be doing a report.

In the waiting room the solicitors then went back and forth to each other to reach an agreement prior to seeing judge. This was done (could have been done without being in court!!!)

We then went before the Judge (myself, sol, ex and sol) Very informal, in a room with large table. The decisions reached were stated to the judge and he arranged a further hearing in 4 months to reassess re: overnight stays.

This was from what i've read on here very straight forward and should never really have been in court, i needed to have a solicitor present just for my own confidence. A lot of people may feel they can handle it on their own. Many on here have also mentioned solicitors trying to bully you into things if you are on your own.

In your case as you have been without contact for so long, i would probably suggest having representation, there may be issues of having initial supervised contact, obviously your partner has issues if contact has been stopped so it may not be a straight forward case.
You dont go into detail of child/s ages/s......what the relationship was like prior.....so with regard to an interim order whilst CAFCASS reports are done (which again sounds very likely in your case) i am not sure about, will prob depend on the ages/previous contact.
Maybe if you suggested having supervised contact prior to the CAFCASS reports this would be seen as acceptable to re-establish contact quickly.

I am sure others who have had more complicated cases and more experience will be able to advise more on that.

Good Luck

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