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Posted by: DGonnella - 03-31-2018, 11:33 AM - Forum: Fathers’ Rights, Legal Info, Court Orders - No Replies


See this link if you've had papers dealt on you this weekend!!!

Look for 6.2!

My ex's solicitor has royally screwed this one up! 
This will get thrown out of court before it's even begun!


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  Shared care 4 nights a fortnight result
Posted by: Charlie7000 - 03-31-2018, 11:24 AM - Forum: Your Court Results/Outcomes - Replies (1)

Having just been through the process and ending up with a shared care court order "lives with both parents" 4 nights a fortnight and half the school holidays, I wanted to share my experience of negotiating the system and tips I have learned along the way (and in hindsight).

Updated! If you get persuaded into negotiating a consent order at court instead of going in for a final hearing, make sure it gets sealed on the day. Mine didn't and I had another month of stress and further negotiations and had to compromise further, to get the order sealed.  It's still a good order but in hindsight would have preferred to take my chances in the full hearing.

1)  What you put in your initial application - ie ask for - is most likely what you will get.  You may get less but you are unlikely to get more.  So if you want 50/50 shared care and only ask for 5 nights a fortnight, then you're not likely to get more than 5 nights a fortnight.  If you ask for 50/50 shared care with a suggested pattern of how this will work - you have to be prepared for getting less than that, but you may get it.  Always ask for an interim order in your application.  (eg to reinstate contact that is stopped, or to start initial contact with suggestions). I regret not knowing I could ask for 50/50 in the first place.

2) When your ex gets your application she will react!  I submitted a C1A as well citing emotional and psychological welfare issues, with evidence, and asked for prohibited steps and specific issues in that.  Ex's reaction was to stop me collecting child from school and mess about with half term dates and week-ends.  And she got away with it as it was months before a final hearing, and history by then.  So yes her behaviour is taken into consideration but doesn't seem to affect the overall result in the end.

3) Your C1A will most likely be ignored by Cafcass.  Basically unless something is life and death and you apply for an urgent ex parte residence order because your child is in hospital after being beaten up - then submitting a C1A, even with evidence, will not hold much weight with Cafcass in my view.  The child lives with the Mother and they aren't going to change that at an interim hearing.

4) Submit a C1A anyway if you have serious concerns of any emotional or other welfare issues or abuse - and if you have some evidence (eg social services report etc).  Because it does get looked at, at final hearing, in your bundle, even though it may be classed as no welfare issues by then.  But no point doing one without evidence - eg an official report.

5) Cafcass phone call - be yourself, don't say anything bad about the ex.  You should get the letter before the first hearing and have an idea what their views our.  My letter was very positive and clear that the ex was very negative about me. But said it would be a different Cafcass officer at the hearing.  What helped my case here was the evidence attached to the C1A which Cafcass saw, and looked into.  And found no welfare issues.  So basically any welfare issues re the ex were ignored, but it cleared me of having any.  Ex had called social services on me, but they had more issues with her than me, so I asked for a copy of the closure report - and that was my evidence for the C1A about false accusations and that I had been cleared of them.

5) First hearing is a major issue in the system in my opinion.  You cannot show evidence until a final hearing, so at the first hearing, the ex can say anything and Cafcass may make decisions based on it, if she is convincing.  At my first hearing I was basically bullied for about 4 hours by a very loud angry bossy Cafcass officer - it was like being yelled at by the ex.  I was treated as a bad selfish person.  It was traumatic to be frank.  And after a whole year of abuse from the ex with false accusations and harrassment.  All allegations against me had already been knocked on the head by various bodies, including a Judge at a previous hearing, Cafcass twice, and social services.  And yet the ex's Motherly needs seemed to be the priority at this hearing.  After four hours of bullying I was bulldozed into an agreement for an interim order, and didn't get the school pickups back.  Cafcass officer said "The Judge will do what I say"- in other words - agree to this or you don't get an interim order.  The ex told Cafcass I had been hostile in communications and done xyz (pot calling kettle black) and Cafcass behaved as if this was true.  I had the communications with me in a folder and could easily have shown Cafcass this was not true - but no evidence can be produced at this stage.
So be prepared for jumping through hoops at this stage.  And if you have a Solicitor be very clear that you want an interim order by the end of the hearing.  Because it had already been decided there were no welfare issues, via my letter, Cafcass said they would no longer be involved after that hearing.  They ordered mediation and a SPIPP course before final hearing.

6) SPIPP course - this is good - if you can do it voluntarily before you apply to court they will be impressed.  Mediation can lead to a consent order if you can agree everything.  But if you are dealing with an ex who is obstructive, then mediation is not much help.  In my case it was ordered, to either "narrow the issues" or to reach a consent order.

7) Ex delayed going to mediation so only one session before final hearing anyway.

8) Preparing for the final hearing.

I did a lot of research and reading.  Changed Solicitors and got a barrister.  I had everything in a file and gave the file to solicitors.  Being organised helps.  I had a big lever arch file in sections.  All previous orders or court papers, any emails you can use as evidence (of lies, hostility, threats, unilaterally cancelling or changing arrangements), any documents for evidence against allegations made towards you - eg GP letters, reports etc, any legal correspondence so far.  And I got a lot of help on here!

I drafted an ideal court order, after reading various sample ones online - with every issue in it I wanted covered in my case.  And emailed it to Solicitor.  A good solicitor won't mind this.  Solicitor tweaked it and attached it to my statement for the final hearing, as what I was asking for.
This really helped.  I got most of what I asked for in the order, because it was all reasonable and sensible.  And because everyone could work through it - pre-hearing and agree or disagree various points, so some things can be sorted before going into the hearing.

Statement.  Your statement for the final hearing is your evidence.  You must be 100% truthful in it - anything untrue - even a mistake - will be picked up on by the other side. Anything you want to say needs to be in it - you can't rely on the information in your application - the statement is everything.  Any evidence documents are attached to the statement and called exhibit a, b, c etc and referred to within the body of the statement.  Only evidence is important.  Anything you say is just words - unless you have evidence to back it up.  While you don't want to do any mudslinging or say anything negative about the ex, you can describe a sequence of events (in which the ex did something bad eg) and attach the evidence for that point (eg an email in which she threatens something).  This isn't the same as "slagging her off".  This statement and evidence is what is needed to show why you need the court order, what the difficulties are, and also an opportunity to describe the history of your relationship with your child and explain what kind of life he has with you (eg your home is his home, his activities and hobbies there etc and how he has been part of your extended family - relatives, partner etc for x time).

I read in various places that even if you do your own case, it is recommended to get a Solicitor to write your statement, and I would agree with that.  They are skilled at wording things, arguing things, and making clever points using your evidence.  In my case Solicitor drafted it, I added personal bits and she redrafted it.  It was a very good statement by the end.  With a draft order attached.  It was eight pages long.  You wouldn't want it any longer.  Ex's statement had no evidence attached and was full of mud slinging and accusations.  Which made my statement look even better!

9) Receiving the other side's statement.  Statements are exchanged.  A bit like exchange of contracts for a house - has to be at the same time.  When you receive the other sides statement it is a shock - give yourself a breather to get over the anger and stress, and then get practical.  I made a copy of ex's statement and wrote comments underneath bits that were lies or incorrect etc, and found bits of evidence that proved this.  Then sent my copy with notes on to Solicitor, along with the extra bits of evidence, which went in the court bundle.  When the ex received my statement, there was a lot of disruption and child was stressed and affected.  Try to detach.

10) Court bundle.  Either you or your Solicitor has to submit this to court by a certain date.  If something doesn't go in the bundle you can't produce it later.  Ex didn't have anything in time so the bundle was sent in.  Ex's Solicitor then wanted to submit some things and it was allowed as a supplementary bundle, so at the last minute she threw in various things - presumably to try and gain an advantage.  As these were last minute I asked if I could also add a couple of things to counteract them and was able to take them to court on the day, but they weren't really needed.  As by then the Judge has got a handle on the case if they've read the statements.

11) Ex's solicitor wanted to negotiate an agreement.  Mine said - send anything through but we think it needs to go to court.  They sent something through and it was miles away, so it went to court.

12) Get to court an hour before the hearing time for any negotiations pre hearing.

13) Pre court negotiations.  I wish I had stuck to "no negotiations - going straight into court". My draft order was used for negotiations.  Other side wanted to negotiate a consent order - ex didn't want to go through with hearing.  Most points were agreed with some compromises, but some points were crucial and weren't agreed.  At this point there were two options.   a) forget the negotiations and go through with full hearing or b) Accept the negotiations so far and go into the hearing and ask the Judge to decide the final points - after which there is no going back to a full hearing.  I had a barrister who negotiated very well and then argued the last two points before the Judge and got them sorted for me.  So I can't give any tips on going through a final hearing, other than you will be cross examined by the other side at some point, and they will be cross examined by you, (or your solicitor or barrister if you have one). The main point about the cross examination is on the statement - trying to show a lie in it for example, which then undermines the rest of their evidence. In future I would just go straight for a hearing - but may get a direct access barrister for the day.

Depending on the case and issues involved a Barrister is an expert at negotiation and cross examination.  Otherwise it is luck as to what kind of Judge you get.  If you get a good Judge they may already have made their minds up and can see what's what.  As I understand it, if a Barrister presents a certain piece of caselaw, the Judge has to follow it, so it isn't then all down to the views of the Judge. But if you aren't getting any contact at all and no welfare issues the court will order a decent schedule anyway. Reading up some caselaw could be useful if doing it yourself and going for shared care though.

Ask to see a copy of the draft order before it's submitted to court and make sure it says what it is supposed to say!

Tips re Cafcass and first hearings:

This is a hurdle to jump in my opinion.  They are there for a reason, to make sure a child is safe and there are no welfare issues, but the way it works is an issue.  I have read that you can actually send some evidence direct to Cafcass, before first hearing - if you have anything that knocks allegations on the head.  Eg if ex has claimed you are mentally unsound and not safe to look after kids, send a Doctor's letter showing you are fine, direct to Cafcass.  I think this can help when it comes to interim order as some welfare issues will already have been dealt with so less likely to get a Section 7 report ordered.

If you do have to have a Section 7 it will delay things by a few months so important to try and get interim contact.

Note re evidence: Just to clarify. You can't submit any evidence with your C100 or at an interim (first) hearing, only with your statement for a final hearing. However you can submit evidence with a C1A. And you can send things direct to Cafcass before Interim hearing.

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  Changes to C100 form
Posted by: Charlie7000 - 03-31-2018, 10:21 AM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - No Replies

According to this, some changes were made to the C100 form in January this year. It says the amendments reflect changes to the evidence requirements regarding domestic abuse.  I clicked on the link to the C100 on that page and can't see what has changed.  Anyone know?


IMPORTANT: It also says any applications on the old form received after 12 January, will be sent back to the applicant.

It seems to relate to MIAMS as there are also changes to MIAM rules here regarding exemptions and DV


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  Rights to Step Children
Posted by: Trimmer78 - 03-31-2018, 08:26 AM - Forum: Your Stories, Advice to Recently Separated Dads - Replies (4)

Hi all, 

At last i have found a forum that has been great on advise for us fathers.
So here goes i have been split from the ex for 15 months now we are at the beginning of mediation etc, i have a daughter with her and a step son who i have brought up as my own since he was 18 months old (he is now 9).

I have an amazing relationship with the lad and all the time i do everything that she wants i get to see him but the moment i don't i get the " he isn't your real son "card and i have no rights whatsoever to see him unless she lets me!!!!
Also i am in a dilemma regarding holidays, obviously i can take my daughter away where ever i like but i cannot imagine leaving the boy behind so can anyone shed a light whether i'm allowed to take him too ?

What i cannot understand is i have been told i have a legal responsibility to find a new home for the ex,daughter AND step son as i took him on when i got with the ex, so surely if this is the case i must have some rights with having a relationship with him too after the divorce?

I hope this makes some sense lads and fingers crossed your advise can help me 


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  struggling for contact
Posted by: civic4 - 03-30-2018, 08:11 PM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (6)

I have only seen my boys twice this year last time i had any contact with them was beginning of Feb one of my sons has anxiety issues,  the other has behavoural problems, im sure me not seeing them will make it worse.  Any way i put in a court order for acess but unfortunately my case isnt till the end of April.   I have let the Primary school know about the situation and they keep me updated on there progress.  Last year social services were involved in a situation caused by her, at the time they all said it is positive thing they have regular contact with there dad.  Well she stopped all contact now and worried about there welfare.  last report from the school was my youngest has been misbehaving and my eldest was saying he misses me and was complaining of stomach ache, which he gets with anxiety.  I feel helpless as i dont know what else i can do,  i did ask school to pass on a message to them which i think helped abit.  If i contacted social serivces again do you think they would help or not see it as a threat.

My ex has also blocked my calls and stopped him using his mobile phone so he cant contact me, i know how much my eldest use to love his phone.

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  How do you defend a court action?
Posted by: DGonnella - 03-30-2018, 05:15 PM - Forum: Fathers’ Rights, Legal Info, Court Orders - No Replies

Fellow SD's

I have the utmost admiration for you all. This site and forum has been a brilliant help to me thus far in my separation... Now it's my turn to ask for help.

My ex partner has served a court writ on me to take my daughter on holiday without my consent.
She leaves on the 4th of April and I am worried about my daughters welfare. 

I have 48 hours to reply to the writ because of the urgency for before she travels... However the courts are shut today, Saturday and Sunday AND Monday because of the Easter Weekend... 

Ex has told the solicitor that she is a responsible parent, however cannot stay off alcohol. She regularly parties and seems to be out of control with her habit. To quote the writ:-

"She is a responsible parent and does not drink alcohol in excess when **** is in her care." Drinking alcohol on Holiday is a given and we all know it happens, however i can't trust her to stay sober on holiday with my daughter in care!

NO legal services will listen to me because Ex keeps putting up smoke screens and i can't fight it through any respectable source (Police, Solicitor or Social Work Dept.)

You can tell she is CLEARLY LYING to her solicitor to get her own way!!!

What can i do!?

I plan on representing myself and making the whole court room aware of a drinking problem. It's about time i unearthed this because thus far, i have just made a complete arse of myself. My previous solicitor had absolutely no fight in her what so ever and i really got annoyed at her. She has now refused to represent me any further, so i'm going to have to represent myself at court on Tuesday.

I know that i need to keep my cool with her solicitor, which i have no problem with...

Can i object to things? In the films, they say "objection" and stuff... can i do that in a scottish court?

There's gonna be so much bull**** that comes out of her solicitor on her behalf, but i'm genuinely concerned for my daughters welfare. This isn't a tit for tat. I want my daughter to have fun but if anything happens to her, then i am a plane journey away.

Any pointers?

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  child arrangements - mediation failed, what next?
Posted by: lostsoul - 03-30-2018, 02:57 PM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (17)

Been separated for nearly a year now. At the time when I was moving out we have agreed that I would have kids twice a week for afternoon and every other weekend, than I have asked to have kids overnight during the week, over the period of 2 weeks it would work out that they are with me 6 night instead of 2. The idea of it was that they would have to wake up about 6 am so I can drop them off to my ex so she can take them to school, she does't wanna agree to that as she says they are tired when they up so early. but it suits her when she needs me to have them overnight during the week, than it is't a problem. I also have said to her that I could take them to school for the clubs in the morning myself if that the problem for her when I drop them to her, she does't wanna do that, to be honest I think it would be better for them if I drop them to her.
Mediator suggested for me to have them on Fridays when is her weekend, she has agreed to that but really it does't work out for me as I told at work I can do every other weekend if needed and I will get to the point that I will need to sort out my life, maybe meet someone, etc.
So I have suggested that I will take them 3 times a week for afternoon and every other weekend, she does't wanna agree with that as she says when is my weekend she would have them only for one afternoon.
On last session of mediation she was pushing me to start taking days off work during half terms just to suit her needs of me taking kids for longer than afternoon when they off from school. I have told her that because she can't work full time, she is classed as single mum (even she have boyfriend, I did't touch this) and for that reasons she is paid by government. If she is't happy with that lets share kids 50/50, than I will take one child benefit, she would keep the other one and I will take as many days off work as is needed to have them half a year.
After I said all that she had enough and called the mediations off, as the truth was too much for her.
I have moved close to her so I have easy access to kids, don't have to travel far. Rented one-bedroom flat so they have some room for themselves when they around.
Seems like now I will have to apply to court to have them more and sort out other thinks like holidays etc as nothing has been agreed on mediation except me giving her back one of the child passport (we have agreed that she would keep one and would have another) now she want both of them.
What are my chances of getting kids overnight during the week? What are the procedures followed when one apply to court?
Is cafcass always involved, if so what do they check?
As I live alone kids sleep with me, just thinking now to get them a beds and my bedroom them bedroom, I can move to the front room and sleep there.
Kids wanna stay for longer and they wanna stay overnight during the week as they get quality time with me, even waking up at 6 does't push them off.
how to get prepared for the case?
what to study?
How likely I could end up with less time with the kids?
Hope someone can help.

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  C100- Request for Guidance
Posted by: Dell - 03-30-2018, 11:16 AM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (4)

Dear Forum Usears,

I am  currently in process of moving out and is able to see my child but my wife is not providing me anything in written for access rights. I have tried to approach through mediation but no luck.

In such scenario I think i need to approach court, in this regard please can you advise me on following:

  • I understand i need to fill c100 but do i need any other form?
  • Do i need to physically go to court or send application by post?
  • As this affects my stay in the country until I have access rights, what document will prove that I am working towards getting access to my child formally though I can see them when I want to - as i pick him from nursery and spend time in evening-only thing is i do not have evidence in black & white?
  • Do I need solicitor
  • Any thing else I can do before going to court (Tried email and verbal communication)

Look forward to your response ASAP - as I just have this weekend to make decision.

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  Nearly there
Posted by: Charlie7000 - 03-29-2018, 11:44 PM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (9)

Finally got order agreed before the deadline to return to Judge today and it's been sent off to be sealed.  Over a month after being consented to at court!  Just got firm over the last point and said - no further negotiations - sending it back to court for Judge to decide and last point got agreed.

I won't believe it till I actually get the stamped order in my hands!  Haven't given way on anything too important to get it agreed so it is a result - but not as good a result as it should have been!

Now I just have to work out how to stop feeling like a coiled spring permanently and try and remember how to have a life.

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  Today I stopped Contact
Posted by: asd1270 - 03-29-2018, 09:36 PM - Forum: Contact & Residence Issues, Problems with Child Arrangements - Replies (1)

Ok its half term. The successful appeal and a re trial for a final hearing keeps getting vacated.
This is the 2nd time. I guess delay tactics by the courts will help the mother in some way,as "Time" is the enemy for a once resident dad n now under shared care.

Ok I decided to stop all contact based on my sons emotional and physical wellbeing ,with safeguarding concerns thrown in for safe measure. All factual and genuine reasons.

I'm in court in a few weeks time for a rule 16.4 hearing along side a enforcement order the ex threw in last year for one contact she missed as my son was so sick he was in bed all day, the ex was in agreement with rescheduling contact..

Any way.
I decided I'm not going to be putting my son at any further risk or let the courts laze around to getting to a final order.
I won the appeal on grounds of Practice direction 12j in Jan,
So why promote contact when it is not safe???

Lets see if the courts reprimanded me as I doubt they would want me to place my child in a situation that may cause him harm.

I spent 1000s to have the appeal heard, 1000s waiting around...

The donkey order states 4 consecutive nights a week during easter???not wat I consented too.
A jump from the current 1 night.
If I let the ex have that many nights . The courts will reverse the primary carers position ie me.

Its a bloody game to them while my kid is so confused in all this messing about.

I know im all in favour of contact once the ex gets her shit together and I would be wrong to send my son without all the safeguarding concerns being dealt with.The safeguarding concerns ive been shouting about since the 1st Hearing. Bloody incompetent system.

Lets see what happens.

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