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Court orders, C4 and C100 forms.
#1
Hi all,

Has anyone had the displeasure of needing the courts to locate thier missing child?

We split a few years ago and all was ok until she met a new fella. She went awol taking my daughter with her. I have no address, school, doctors or anything. My ex is refusing my calls or texts and I'm pulling my hair out.I also have a son who lives with me.

I think I need court orders to resolve this because my ex refused mediation. Has anyone done something like this themselves or would I be better off using a costly solicitor?

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
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#2
(04-12-2016, 09:20 AM)SingleDad78 Wrote: Hi all,

Has anyone had the displeasure of needing the courts to locate thier missing child?

We split a few years ago and all was ok until she met a new fella. She went awol in September 2015 taking my daughter (9) with her. I have no address, school, doctors or anything. My ex is refusing my calls or texts and I'm pulling my hair out.I also have a son (14) who lives with me.

I think I need court orders to resolve this because yesterday my ex did not turn up at mediation. Has anyone done something like this themselves or would I be better off using a costly solicitor?

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

yes, i have been through family courts personally and also with many people as their mckenzie friend.which may be something youd want to look into as you can get support from mckenzie friends in organising, presenting your paper based submissions and having someone attend court on the day and be a point of advice before and during proceedings.the c4 form should resolve the whereabouts issue and subsequently mother will be called to court to explain why her actions.has their ever been any police involvement in your relationship ? any significant allegations?
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#3
As I'm sure Graham won't mind me pointing out, McKenzie friends don't work for free and aren't usually legally trained so if you go choose to go down that route do your research carefully.

Self representation is now more common due to the cutbacks in legal aid and there is plenty of information online about how to do it. The Separated Dads website would be a great place to start. It isn't difficult and as long as you are prepared properly is no more difficult than attending a job interview. I've self repped before and came away having wiped the floor with the ex's solicitor. I've no legal training, just a desire to do the best for my child.
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#4
Thanks for the confidence boost. I've done extensive research already. I know what forms are needed etc and it's an open and shut case. My ex tells me where my daughter attends school and her doctor. I'm not even asking for an address as I would think she'll claim she is 'scared for her safety' which is untrue.

Seems a C4 would get the information I'm requesting. I have today sent one last text to my ex in an effort to stay out of court... I don't get why she would cause all this angst for no real reason.

Once I have a location I then think I can ask for access via a C100 form. I mean, I'm entitled to see my daughter, why would a judge say no? I have no convictions of any kind and I'm a good dad. That's why I'm here...

I hope my experience will help other unmarried fathers who's children are effectively abducted. This has almost cost me my job too!!

SD78
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#5
Don't take this the wrong way, but you're not entitled to see your daughter, SHE is the one who is entitled to see YOU. It's a simple, but very important point. If you get into court going on about what you are entitled to then the judge will get the impression it's about you, not your child. Whereas if you go in and put your case forward about your child being entitled to spend time with you it'll put a much better picture across.

Simple distinction, but an important one if you are to get the result you want.
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#6
(04-12-2016, 12:47 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote:
Quote:Don't take this the wrong way, but you're not entitled to see your daughter, SHE is the one who is entitled to see YOU. It's a simple, but very important point. If you get into court going on about what you are entitled to then the judge will get the impression it's about you, not your child. Whereas if you go in and put your case forward about your child being entitled to spend time with you it'll put a much better picture across.

Simple distinction, but an important one if you are to get the result you want

A good point well made. No offense taken. It's very easy to find yourself getting emotionally tied up and the language you use can make a great deal of difference. I wear my heart on my sleeve and has often been a problem of speak before I think. This is when maybe a solicitor might be the better option. Undecided

I'm just starting this journey as all attempts at mediation or reasonable communication have failed. I have seen my daughter during this period but its sporadic, unpredictable and has no structure or routine for either of my children. I also fear she may 'go missing' again and without a court order in place I'm back at square one with no recourse.
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#7
As you say, the issue of contact with your own children is very emotive, but you can coach yourself not to make these mistakes. It's not so much what you say, but how you say it that makes the difference.

As an aside, if your ex represents herself in court then you'd do well to do the same. If you have a solicitor repping you and she doesn't, it gives the impression that you feel money will get you the result you want. Self repping at least lets the judge see you for who you are rather than a solicitor acting as a spokesman for you, and you appear as someone who is on a level playing field with your ex.
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#8
(04-12-2016, 12:31 PM)Norfolk n Good Wrote: As I'm sure Graham won't mind me pointing out, McKenzie friends don't work for free and aren't usually legally trained so if you go choose to go down that route do your research carefully.

Self representation is now more common due to the cutbacks in legal aid and there is plenty of information online about how to do it. The Separated Dads website would be a great place to start. It isn't difficult and as long as you are prepared properly is no more difficult than attending a job interview. I've self repped before and came away having wiped the floor with the ex's solicitor. I've no legal training, just a desire to do the best for my child.
As Norfolk says, McKenzie Friends normally charge for their services.

I used and am currently using one myself (and I must add this is not Graham).

While anyone can help out with forms, they do not have the right to remain in a court room/chambers unless they get leave to remain. The other side can object to them staying, and this does happen sometimes. My guy hands in a application to the usher (with his CV) before we go in.

At my 1st hearing (application to vary) my guy was allowed to stay, and was given right of audicance (so he could address the Judge for me), but my ex had a Soliciter with her being paid for by legal aid, as at the last min she put in for a None Molestation Order.

The None Molestation application did not run, so she lost her Legal Aid and coud not get it for my application.

Since then, as my ex was unrepresented, all that happens is he is allowed to remain and I can speck to him as I need to.

Some McKenzie Friends charge set fee per month all in, some change per hour.

I am paying £250 per month + VAT while the case is live (all in, I can call him when I want, he will come to all hearings). (First month was also a month Deposit and I had to pay my court application fees).

I also have no legal trainning, I have had to find out about a lot of things for myself (I did not use the McKenzie friend until 2.5 years after seperation). On my own I got contact in place (being withheld "as the children did not want to come" and a prohibited steps order in place due to a child protection issue. I have been up againsed bias Social Workers beliving anything my ex says (even thought its been proved she lied about loads of things), and I had Caffcas involvement in my case, who supported what I wanted.

I do have a lot of knowage of the Welfare Benefits System, I know the basics on Child Support and a lot about Housing regulations.

I am just helping people out on here for free (I work Self Employed as a Courier Driver 30 hours a week).
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#9
Thanks for the advice. I am concerned about the question of police involvement. Unfortunatley I was issued with a harrassment warning. I had no chance to defend myself, the warning was issued on my ex's complaint. There has never been any other police involvement.
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#10
(04-12-2016, 07:35 PM)SingleDad78 Wrote: Thanks for the advice. I am concerned about the question of police involvement. Unfortunatley I was issued with a harrassment warning for going to, and driving past my property. I did this to get evidence another person was staying overnight as this would help my case for a sale of the property. I had no chance to defend myself, the warning was issued on my ex's complaint.

There has never been any other police involvement.

The property is now sold and all proceeds were split 50/50.
I am still unsure of the status of this "warning" in terms of it it can be used by your ex in court. Does it court as a conviction where it stays on file for a set period?
Also, your application is about your children, not your ex. If she is claiming she does not want to see you, there can be other handover arrangments for contact. I am not sure you driving past is grounds for her to object to seeing you.

Unless you have reasons you can prove that there is an imidiate risk to a child, your going to need to carry on with Mediation.

If she no shows again, they will give you the form you need to prove to a court you have tried but she obstructed it (what will help your case).

You will need to do a C4 if her adress is not known, and a C100. The forms are not filled out at court, just filed their (you will need to check local process, I know in Milton Keynes its by appointment now). You can get anyone you want to advise you on how to do them, but they are very easy to understand.

You will get a first hearing date and time. This hearing will only last 15-30 min, unless an agreement can be reached what just needs the Judge to rubber stamp it.
Only a Soliciter or Legal Executive has rights to go in with you and address the court on your behalf. McKenzie (or any other person), excect Caffcas and Social Services if they are involved, can only go in or remain if allowed by the Judge.

They might be granted right to remain or right of audiance, but you will not know till the day.

The normal is,
Both parents to file and serve each other position statements (normally in 2 - 3 weeks).
I any child in the case it known to Social Services (or you state concerns on the application), a report might be ordered.
Caffcas will be put in if there is any safegurading issues (this might mean return to court it longer), as they will have to file reports.

There will then be Directions. It might be you both agree on way forward with the Judge putting it into an order.
If either party makes any claims about why other should not have staying or should have supervised contact, it will go to finding of fact.

Due to this, only put things in statements you can prove. My ex's will put things, but when it gets to this stage, they can not prove it.
You will be able to ask questions at this hearing, but you need to keep it to anything what the fact is not agreed on.

If this does not get any agreement, it will be set down for a hearing.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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