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Advice needed
#1
Sad 
Earlier this week I attended a directions hearing which didn’t go well at all. 

My ex lives in a different city with my son. I have weekly overnight contact every Friday from school and then the Saturday/Sundays are split evenly, with us both having a Saturday Sunday each, the 3rd weekend is split so I have the Saturday and she has the Sunday. My ex has made an application to vary the order as she wants the Friday attached to her full weekend, meaning that my son will not visit me for 2 weeks.  

In the weeks building up to the directions hearing, she sent in 4 letters and alleged evidence e.g. example: selected/cherry picked and on occasions doctored texts,  copies of letters from  A&E department sent to her GP where she alleged that I’d change my sons (Her) address to mine to keep her in the dark and brought up a past issues, where I’d taken my son on Holiday in my agreed holiday time which coincided with his birthday resulting in her missing this occasion. (She took this matter back to court 3 years ago and was told she was being unreasonable to expect our son to miss a holiday so she can see him on his birthday for a couple of hours).
Each letter she sent is referred to my ‘wrongdoing, bad behaviours and difficulties etc etc.’ painting me in a very poor light.

As it was a directions hearing, I’d not sent in any evidence my self to counter and prove her claims where wrong, incorrect or exaggerated. As I understood it, no evidence should be heard or presented at such a hearing.
During the actual hearing she continually referred to past issues and the evidence she has submitted. I sat there letting her speak waiting for my turn only to find that when it was my turn I was interrupted by her and on occasions cut short by the judge who showed no interest in what I had to say. When my ex was talking the Judge looked interested looking and nodding to what she said and when I talked he didn’t look like he cared often scribbling on his notes. At one point he did say (cant remember the exact words but along the lines of..) ‘its not how it looks or you’ve only got yourself to blame’ when I was trying to defend my position.

When my ex brought up about me taking my son on Holiday, she never mentioned that it’d already been to court and quoted the evidence she had supplied and then offered her future proposals etc. the Judge then turned to me and said do you agree yes or no? I tried to say it had already been to court and promptly cut short with a ‘I require a yes or no answer’, I said no. At some point I asked if previous court hearings and decisions count and was told that as a variation had been applied for then no, which I find hard to believe.

I left court feeling really dejected, that I’d not had an equal opportunity to get my points across nor was able to challenge my ex’s evidence or prepare by having the knowledge that this would be discussed.

There is lots more I could put down but my questions are….
·       Should I be able to complain about my treatment, having evidence discussed and that I believe that the Judge was influenced by the letters and evidence sent in, which resulted in the hearing feeling unfair and not impartial ?

·       Secondly …. If a matter had previously been taken to court and found that my ex was being unreasonable should this be brought up again? (I feel like I’m being tried for the same thing twice)

·       Thirdly …. The current contact arrangement’s where put in place 5 years ago to ensure that my level of contact is maintained and also to remove/reduce any opportunity for my ex to be in control of what happens. This order has worked well in the main and I see no real reason for change… should this order be completely dismissed if a variation has been requested? (I feel that this is what’s happening)

A final hearing has been set for March with magistrates.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
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#2
(12-23-2016, 10:41 AM)Bokis25 Wrote: Earlier this week I attended a directions hearing which didn’t go well at all. 

My ex lives in a different city with my son. I have weekly overnight contact every Friday from school and then the Saturday/Sundays are split evenly, with us both having a Saturday Sunday each, the 3rd weekend is split so I have the Saturday and she has the Sunday. My ex has made an application to vary the order as she wants the Friday attached to her full weekend, meaning that my son will not visit me for 2 weeks.  

In the weeks building up to the directions hearing, she sent in 4 letters and alleged evidence e.g. example: selected/cherry picked and on occasions doctored texts,  copies of letters from  A&E department sent to her GP where she alleged that I’d change my sons (Her) address to mine to keep her in the dark and brought up a past issues, where I’d taken my son on Holiday in my agreed holiday time which coincided with his birthday resulting in her missing this occasion. (She took this matter back to court 3 years ago and was told she was being unreasonable to expect our son to miss a holiday so she can see him on his birthday for a couple of hours).
Each letter she sent is referred to my ‘wrongdoing, bad behaviours and difficulties etc etc.’ painting me in a very poor light.

As it was a directions hearing, I’d not sent in any evidence my self to counter and prove her claims where wrong, incorrect or exaggerated. As I understood it, no evidence should be heard or presented at such a hearing.
During the actual hearing she continually referred to past issues and the evidence she has submitted. I sat there letting her speak waiting for my turn only to find that when it was my turn I was interrupted by her and on occasions cut short by the judge who showed no interest in what I had to say. When my ex was talking the Judge looked interested looking and nodding to what she said and when I talked he didn’t look like he cared often scribbling on his notes. At one point he did say (cant remember the exact words but along the lines of..) ‘its not how it looks or you’ve only got yourself to blame’ when I was trying to defend my position.

When my ex brought up about me taking my son on Holiday, she never mentioned that it’d already been to court and quoted the evidence she had supplied and then offered her future proposals etc. the Judge then turned to me and said do you agree yes or no? I tried to say it had already been to court and promptly cut short with a ‘I require a yes or no answer’, I said no. At some point I asked if previous court hearings and decisions count and was told that as a variation had been applied for then no, which I find hard to believe.

I left court feeling really dejected, that I’d not had an equal opportunity to get my points across nor was able to challenge my ex’s evidence or prepare by having the knowledge that this would be discussed.

There is lots more I could put down but my questions are….
·       Should I be able to complain about my treatment, having evidence discussed and that I believe that the Judge was influenced by the letters and evidence sent in, which resulted in the hearing feeling unfair and not impartial ?

·       Secondly …. If a matter had previously been taken to court and found that my ex was being unreasonable should this be brought up again? (I feel like I’m being tried for the same thing twice)

·       Thirdly …. The current contact arrangement’s where put in place 5 years ago to ensure that my level of contact is maintained and also to remove/reduce any opportunity for my ex to be in control of what happens. This order has worked well in the main and I see no real reason for change… should this order be completely dismissed if a variation has been requested? (I feel that this is what’s happening)

A final hearing has been set for March with magistrates.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

1, While there is a time limited for the person requied to file anything, anyone else in a case can file a responce to it. Your local court protocol will set out when it has to be done by, in most cases its 9am the day before a hearing.

2, If you are on an application to vary, only events after the order was made can be considered. If this is a historical claim, inform the Judge that it is, and that it has already been ruled on.

3, The person bringing an application needs to show good reason why it should be looked at again. It might be that its just to change the times, but for an overall increase or reduction, there will have to be evidance to show way.
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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