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What do I do now?

  • MissingMySon2009
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26 Nov 09 #165582 by MissingMySon2009
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Horrible day today, conciliations hearing and first Directions, acting as a LiP.

I asked to see our toddler son three times a week, at the paternal grandmothers home. The ex wouldn't budge and I had to settle for 2 hours at a contact centre each week, starting the 27th December. This was "negotiated" by a Court mediator, not CAFCASS. The mediator was honest with me, said that for now I just have to take what I can.

At the end of January we have to see a mediator to discuss whether I can move out of the contact centre, and then we go back for another Directions Hearing. Previous mediation was ended when the mediator said that one of us is clearly lying and it is better for the Court to sort it out.

The Judge wants us to use mediation, and does not support my application for shared residence as she feels that any Court order is worthless if the mother does not agree to the arrangement voluntarily.

CAFCASS were great. They over-ruled the solicitor for the ex, who was trying to get a "no order", and made sure that I got a defined contact order.

Q1) I am very worried that at the next Directions the Judge will rule that we no longer need to involve the Court. How do I maximise the chances of CAFCASS and the Court staying involved? I can't handle having to rely on the "goodwill" of my spiteful ex and her spiteful solicitor.

Q2) What can I do to maximise my chances of moving out of the contact centre?

  • Elle
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26 Nov 09 #165624 by Elle
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MissingMySon2009 wrote:

The Judge....feels that any Court order is worthless if the mother does not agree to the arrangement voluntarily.


What? :unsure:so the mother has wider owers than the court :blink:

I am truly sorry that your parenting role has been reduced to two hours in a contact centre :(

Hopefully someone will be able to answer your questions.

E

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27 Nov 09 #165628 by MissingMySon2009
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Thanks, Elle. Thinking about it I hope that the judge is just saying this to push me to give mediation a real go. On the other hand, she did seem genuine in what she said...

  • eyes on horizon
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27 Nov 09 #165649 by eyes on horizon
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I think as long as you keep asking for more contact than you are currently getting this won't be finalised in the court. It seems that luck was not on your side in regards to the Judge that sat..was there a mention of whether you will see the same in January?
Mediation only works when both parties best interests are the children invovled. Some people just are not mediation material and its all for spite.
Maintain as much contact with Cafcass as possible, document each contact session and ensure that anyting out of the ordinary is recorded. Good luck, I have read your historic posts as seems like you are dealing with a right piece of work in the form of your ex.

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28 Nov 09 #165859 by nbm1708
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MissingMySon2009 wrote:


Q1) I am very worried that at the next Directions the Judge will rule that we no longer need to involve the Court. How do I maximise the chances of CAFCASS and the Court staying involved? I can't handle having to rely on the "goodwill" of my spiteful ex and her spiteful solicitor.

Q2) What can I do to maximise my chances of moving out of the contact centre?


First of all, please remember that solicitors do what they are instructed to do by their clients. They can advise their clients but they cannot stop them. They also do not care one way or the other about the case because they still get paid. Therefore the solicitor is not being spiteful it is your ex.

The difference people report in solicitors is just simply some have more questionable methods when pushed by their clents than others.

With regard to maximising your chances the trick will be routine and calmness no matter what.

When your ex tells you she won't be their or you'll never see your child you still turn up and you continue to turn up no matter what untill the court says otherwise. If you don't you've just furnished your ex with an excuse that you're unreliable and therefore not fair on the child.

When the child is settled in a routine and used to seeing you at X, Y and Z times you can then look at increasing the contact and moving it outside of the contact centre.

Do not be afraid to contact your caseworker but make sure your questions are contructive and child centred. Do not use them to bitch about your ex.

Look at the language you use (and I don't mean swearing) and think is there anything negative there.

It will be a hard slog but be prepapred to take it slowly because if you try and rush it you will blow it.

If mediation fails then the judge will order CAFCASS to prepare a report which will usually take about 4 months. In which time they will interview both parents, relatives and friends (if there's a reason), school and nursery as well as doctors (again if applicable), contact centre staff. They will also at some point engineer a meeting between you and your child so they can view how the child interacts with you. They will come and see where you live etc and where you propose for the child to stay when they eventually come over. Show to them that you mean to stick it through for ever and a day.

Sort out on paper for yourself a long term plan of how you see this contact working. What contact you'd like, how you'd like to build it up. Holidays, christmasses, birthdays etc. Picking up, dropping off. Emergency contacts. Then you know what you're aiming for. Judges also like to see what both parties are aiming for and if they know you're being realistic this will help your case in the long run.

When cafcass submits their report to the courts the judge will then make a defined contact order of how he/she best see's contact working. My order is very clear on the where and when's and also alternates and holidays and the reason for this is my ex who feels in the scheme of things she's above the court.

On the bottom of this order will be a warning with regard to breaking the order and it's enforcement. This was brought in December 2008 and if your ex becomes a serial breaker then you will have to use this and get it taken back to court for enforcement.

I've done this once and I have found that it's worked. The judge made it clear to my ex she was not going to have her in court again for this or else. Since then things have calmed down (touch wood) and contact is stuck to even though it's obvious she's not happy about it.

Remember you can kick and scream about the system all you want but at this moment in time you will still have to work with it.

T

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