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In court tomorrow!
#1
Hi all,

Im in court tomorrow representing myself and am looking for a bit of last minute hints on what to expect. I'm taking her to court as she keeps me from their school and i want more time with them.

The cafcass report was very frustrating:
My ex has invented numerous wild claims about me whereas I sung her praises as a parent, saying that she was just unfair to me.
Things I said to cafcass dont seem to be written as i said (I said i wanted more time than the one day i get currently and they said im asking for every other weekend?), and they seem to of written false irrelevant stuff on the ex's behalf, feels very one sided already!

So....

Can i expect to be arguing these claims she has made? Or am i just going to turn up and accept whatever it is they give me?

I felt very confident at first with the efforts i had made to co operate with her regarding our children, and how difficult she had made it, but now im worrying because anyone can just lie and drag my name through the dirt to look good, and with cafcass onboard with the lies how can i hope to get a better deal?!

Thanks.
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#2
Is this a first hearing?
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
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#3
Waht hearing is this? The first one? What report? Was it the initial report before the first hearing over the phone or section 7?
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#4
Yes it is the first hearing following the first phone call with cafcass.
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#5
Ok then i would not worry too much about it. Im at my 3rd hearing on Friday and my ex has yet to turn up to court. My first telephone interview was pretty much the same, all seemed to be in favour of the ex.

If she has made allegations against you then just say you refute them and thats it. You do not need to defend yourself against them, it is upto her to prove them but the court is not really interested in any of it unless there is proof. Keep it all child based, say you are not there to defend yourself against false allegations you just want to do what is in the best interests of your child. I take it you are completely clear and have have not been arrested etc? Just be careful about what you say and do from now on, stay calm and try not to get agitated by her or what she says in court. Do not interrupt her or try and defend yourself while she is talking, let her finish and then have your say. She is just throwing mud to try and stop you getting more than you have already. Are you still getting contact since she has known about court?

If you are currently still getting contact then you are already 1 step ahead because she cannot turn around and say that you are a danger to them. The reason they would have put in every other weekend is because the starting point for the court is half the quality time with each parent, i.e. every other weekend with over night and half the school holidays. You havent said what you have asked for?

The court will not decide anything on the first hearing unless you both agree to sort it out with each other. Is she likely to do that? Or is she even going to turn up?

What does the report say? The likely hood is that the court will order a section 7 report which means you will both have a meeting with a different cafcass officer. They usually order this to find out more about these allegations but if you have no criminal record or anything with social services etc then it will just be her word against yours. They have seen it all before but they dont want to say too much against the resident parent as they are the ones caring for the child.

I would ask for an interim contact order to be made of at least staying the same as you have now, probably more based on what you want. In my case i didnt get this because i had no contact with my daughter at all by this point.
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#6
(01-02-2018, 05:42 PM)Charlielovesyou Wrote: Ok then i would not worry too much about it. Im at my 3rd hearing on Friday and my ex has yet to turn up to court. My first telephone interview was pretty much the same, all seemed to be in favour of the ex.

If she has made allegations against you then just say you refute them and thats it. You do not need to defend yourself against them, it is upto her to prove them but the court is not really interested in any of it unless there is proof.  Keep it all child based, say you are not there to defend yourself against false allegations you just want to do what is in the best interests of your child. I take it you are completely clear and have have not been arrested etc? Just be careful about what you say and do from now on, stay calm and try not to get agitated by her or what she says in court. Do not interrupt her or try and defend yourself while she is talking, let her finish and then have your say. She is just throwing mud to try and stop you getting more than you have already. Are you still getting contact since she has known about court?

If you are currently still getting contact then you are already 1 step ahead because she cannot turn around and say that you are a danger to them. The reason they would have put in every other weekend is because the starting point for the court is half the quality time with each parent, i.e. every other weekend with over night and half the school holidays. You havent said what you have asked for?

The court will not decide anything on the first hearing unless you both agree to sort it out with each other. Is she likely to do that? Or is she even going to turn up?

What does the report say? The likely hood is that the court will order a section 7 report which means you will both have a meeting with a different cafcass officer. They usually order this to find out more about these allegations but if you have no criminal record or anything with social services etc then it will just be her word against yours. They have seen it all before but they dont want to say too much against the resident parent as they are the ones caring for the child.

I would ask for an interim contact order to be made of at least staying the same as you have now, probably more based on what you want. In my case i didnt get this because i had no contact with my daughter at all by this point.
Years ago before children we had a very loud argument where police were called around. Cafcass apparantly say this was a caution to me alone? That is all though. Lucky they didnt drag up the arrests from me scrapping in my younger days!
I am seeing the children and she has conveniently been very reasonable since i told her we were going to court as i knew otherwise i wouldnt see them as much as i should over xmas! Before this though i had to fight for every weeks visit trying to keep it on the only days she knew i could do.
She will turn up to court im sure as she has a solicitor and i dont, and i wouldv'e said the old her would've sorted it with me, but recently she has invented so much false accusations i dont think it'll go smoothly now.
I have written points were i disagree with each false point she made but with what you say, just forget it and say i just want to spend time with them? It's hard to let it go unchecked when your name gets dragged through the dirt like this!
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#7
Ok so if it was before the children then she can not claim that it happened in front of them. Its amazing what they bring up when they want to try and paint false picture of you. I have been accused of bullying, controlling, shouting in front of the kids, i have even been reported to the police and social services for apparently attacking them. She keeps adding things as we go in the hope that something will stick. I just told them what happened and cafcass knew all this too. I have had a section 7 report and it basically said there are no safeguarding issues and contact needs to happen for the benefit of my daughter. My ex is just adamant i wont be getting contact.

Its hard not to defend yourself and get angry with her for making up false allegations and trying to muddy your reputation in order to get what she wants. But thats exactly what you must do, just ignore them and concentrate on the children. Its up to her to prove anything she claims or wants to use against you. Dont defend yourself against every little thing she throws at you. If you show any anger towards her that will not go well in the court. But if she is letting you have contact now then i dont see what her argument is for not allowing more time, usually they come up with all these allegations in order to stop contact altogether as in my case. Is she on legal aid or paying herself?

As i said if you have contact now then you are already one step ahead. You will need to show that it is in the childrens best interests to spend more time with you and she will need to show that it is not and tell the reasons why. You have contact already so there should be no reason why you should not get more time with them. The courts starting point is usually half the quality time as i said so every other weekend and half school holidays depending on your availability.

Just stay calm and child focused, tell them what you want. Ask for an interim court order for contact so you can continue with the contact you have or a little more to enable that you keep a relationship with the children. Otherwise she may stop contact. Like i say they will try and get you to sort it out yourselves and if not may order a section 7 report, does it say this in the first report. Cafcass recommended it in mine as they said they could not tell who was telling the truth despite me having no convictions or anything against me. The section 7 report was done and they found all allegations were unfounded and unsubstantiated.

Its just a box ticking exercise you have to jump through. Let us know how you get on. Or if you need anymore advice just ask or pm. Im sure other people will come along shortly who know a lot more than me about this stuff
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#8
Im in court 2moro . I have a court order already. shes taking me to court to nullify it to zero and already attempted an urgent hearing behind my back which was turned down . a new order was sent out for contact to continue as per court order and she still didn't let me see them. been 5 weeks now for absolutely no reason so surely court order will continue 2moro as normal as no social services involved or solicitors. I am enforcing court order as its terrible for our children for her to behave this way
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#9
So just to let you all know, despite all the mad accusations reported by my ex to Cafcass, and just representing myself in court against her 2 solicitors, I got everything I asked for!

I went in quite confident that I wasn't asking for much and a lot of what I was asking for I was entitled to as an equal parent with PR, but all the accusations made me doubt myself. I was accused of potentially selling or taking drugs (utter nonsense), physical and mental abuse (it was infact the other way round), and not showing up to pick kids up (always had genuine reasons out of my control like slicing my hand and being in hospital).
So for all you Dads worried about accusations to Cafcass, don't be if it isn't true and you can back it up, in fact i didn't even need to prove it was rubbish, they didn't even need to ask.

I was offered a day and a half on alternating weekends and 2 hours every Thursday eve by her solicitors. I refused and took it to the judge.
I battled with the solicitor quite hard in front of the board and got the judge to be back me on 2 full days alternating weekends and a full Thursday on the week of no weekends plus the Thursday evening! I also got access to all their nurseries and doctors and she is instructed to tell me details of their holidays. All things I knew she shouldn't of kept from me.

Very pleased with the outcome. Just goes to show you don't need to fork out hundreds of pounds on solicitors if what you are asking for is reasonable.

I hope this helps others.
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#10
Well done mate... another win for Dads!!!

Even when they offered you more than most guys get .... you said 'no thanks' and got more ... You are a hero to your kids mate!

Well done 1 million %
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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