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First directions hearing - help needed

  • micje
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23 Jun 09 #125867 by micje
Topic started by micje
I applied for a contact order as my stbx has reduced contact to only a few hours on a Sunday. I have two boys aged 2 and 5. I have a first directions hearing on Tuesday next week and have some questions.

What should I be doing to prepare for the hearing?

I think I more or less understand what will happen with CAFCASS. Will I be expected to tell the judge what evidence I intend to call in support of my case? Any advice greatly appreciated.

You can read more at about the background to my case at.

www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Divorce-Forum/...hat-next.html#117228

  • charlie09
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24 Jun 09 #126482 by charlie09
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hi,
I have been through all of this.( nearly 2 years ago ) It is not very nice!
My ex husband would not agree on any contact with my 2 daughters ( 8 & 10 at the time ) and would turn up any time to see them! This unsettled them so much that I asked him if we could agree on something .................. sadly he refused!
He decided to go to court this involved CAFCASS ( i don't know if thats the right initials )
Firstly, I was scared as I really didn't know what to expect so I can only sympathise with what you are going through.
On our first hearing the officer spoke to me and my husband seperately. Then we both went into the room together and talked about what we wanted. I stressed that I wanted him to be involved in their lives. There was lots of tears!
After the talk we were called into court where the officer told the judge what we discussed. Then a second hearing was arranged for 6 weeks later.
The officer visited the girls in my house and spoke to each of them seperately and took note of what they wanted.
At the second hearing the officer told the judge what he thought would be best for the girls.
My ex sees them Friday night through to Sunday night one week. The following week Sunday night through to Monday morning and takes them to school.Half of all school hols.It's good for all of us!
If you have kept any form of diary of dates about contact, take it with you. It may be a good idea to type it up as the officer may want it.
Anything your ex has said to you or your children that you feel unfair.
Hope this helps!!!!

  • james2009
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24 Jun 09 #126489 by james2009
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Hi,

Wow..Yesterday was my first hearing for contact order...I was self representing with the help of MF and my ex had her barrister.

To be honest i was very nervous 10min before the hearing. I spoke to my ex partners barrister to see if we can come to some kind of agreement, but no agreement could be reached.
So off went in the court room, where the judge was already seating and right next to the judge was ithe cafcass officer. The judge gave me the opportunity if I would like to speak first, which i did. As i was not able to get any contact to see me child. A very basic position statement from me the father was given to judge, which really helped. 2 pages max with bullet points
eg

( name of court ) Case No

BETWEEN:
(your name) Applicant
and
(ex partners name) Respondent

POSITION STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF
THE APPLICANT FATHER

I, (your name) will say as follows:
1. Both parties met in (date) and lived together for (how long)

2. On (date)both parties separated.

3. (name of children and date of birth)

4.basic information that would help you in court and make you look better in front of the judge.
5.
6.



The other party then had the opportunity to speak, why they were not giving me contact. Here barrister did try and make me look like a monster in front of the judge...i am too dangerous to have contact with the child. Which is all lies.
The judge was not having non of it from my ex partners barrister. Instead my ex partner had an earful criticism from the judge for not allowing contact to the father and wasting everyone’s time coming to court.

The judge was not interested about the past and how we separated it was only about the Childs future and growing up with the love of both parents.

The judge said very explicitly that because this is the first hearing the judge can’t force contact if the other party don’t agree. If contact order could be forced at the first hearing the judge would have done it now. So now the judge has order a another hearing next month.

The caffcas officer did not say much but agreed with the judge and told the other party that the child needs both parents and the past is not important the future is.

Even my MF was able to address the court, with the permission of the judge when the MF asked if they could speak on behalf of me during the hearing.

Anyone thinking to do it themselves and save a lot of money..go for it.

  • charlie09
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25 Jun 09 #126791 by charlie09
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I think you are very brave doing all of this without a solicitor. I was not strong enough ......... I cannot afford it either but have wonderful parents who paid for the contact order to be sorted.

My husband refused mediation ........... this went against him! I'm sure i read that you offered mediation.

Get yourself character references ( at least 2 ) from your boss etc! I'm only saying this because my stbx husband started throwing accusations .......... saying i was a bad mother etc! If you get these references it's just extra back up in court.

As i said before keep a diary ............ not only dates of missed contact but all text messages including the ones you have sent. Any phone calls or conversation!

Anything your son may say or his change in behaviour note down. It may seem silly but will help! My eldest suddenly gave up dance .................. something she had a passion for!! The judge took note of this!

Please explain to your son that when he falls out with his friends at school he may say nasty things or call them names but he doesn't really mean it!
Try to tell him you are feeling very hurt because you can't see him and he may have heard you say things that you didn't really mean. Tell him you're sorry if you've said anything!
Remind him it's between you and his mummy and nothing to do with him! Tell him you love him!

Keep me informed!!

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