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Court - doing it myself
#1
Following on from previous topic.  Given up on my Solicitor.  Still no response even after a polite email requesting urgent advice on something.  No time to get another Solicitor so will do it myself.

Would be grateful for some tips for first hearing as have applied for a number of orders:  Current order is for reasonable contact with an agreement on schedule (not being kept to).

Applied for:

Shared care (to live with) and interim order
C1A citing emotional and psychological abuse to self and child - examples given and some evidence attached.

Under C1A asked for:

Non molestation order due to a year of harrassment and abusive messages
Specific issues to prevent her discussing adult issues with child (ie alienation)
Prohibited steps to prevent interference with school pickups

Court papers only ask for parenting plan.  Done that

Had held back evidence of abuse/harrassment emails until statement stage but it hasn't been asked for.  Should I take it anyway?

So for hearing I need?

1)  Parenting plan
2) Position statement and ? evidence?
3) Request interim order to prevent further harm to child via alienation

Cafcass phone call in a week's time.  I believe it is Cafcass who recommend what kind of contact to Judge?  Any tips on how to get across it is important child keeps coming to me?

Also - as no response from Solicitor and still getting some contact with child, what do I do about school pickups? Ex said as I have applied for non molestation order I can't pick up at school now and have to pick up from her house. Don't want that to become a new pattern or it could be hard to get school pickups back. (Been doing school pickups for 8 years!). School don't want to be in the middle. They would arrange for son to be picked up at office, but ex is making a fuss.
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#2
I've advisedyiu separately on your other post. Take all papers with you to court. This abuse may well fall uber Practice Direction 12J so have it handy as the court may want to consider it.

You need to normalise pickups. If the school is willing to do it from the office, there is nothing preventing the pick up from the gate. It will feel odd to the child. Your ex needs to have the reality of how uncomfortable that will make the child impressed on her. Stick it out and at the least you pick up somewhere publicly. Do not pick up at her house. And it makes no sense if you have a non mol against her that she wants that.
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#3
Thanks! What would it mean if it falls under Practice Direction 12J? Phoned Solicitor and asked her to try and sort out school pick-ups. She emailed back saying she asked ex's Solicitor and ex's Solicitor says ex is unlikely to agree. Of course she's unlikely to agree! Have emailed Solicitor and asked her to thrash it out on the phone with ex's Solicitor before the week-end about me continuing to pick up and drop off at school. Don't want it to become seen as "the norm" that he isn't by the time of the court hearing. I could ask school to organise it but they are scared of her - she goes in and shouts at them and has made formal complaints before.
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#4
Practice Direction 12J is about contact and child safety where domestic violence is alleged. You can find the official give website here. Look under Section 4 onwards. https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/proced...d_part_12j. To be honest, I'm not sure how it affects your case as the children live with her - allegations of DV are usually made by women against men in these cases often as a gambit. Nevertheless, the solicitor needs to bear it in mind. In my case, the ex made allegations against me, they were unproven as the court considered 12J and there was no need for supervised contact.

School is a good place to pick up and drop off and keeps things normal. The school needs to grow a pair and warn your ex off from abusing them. You need to ensure that school is recorded as handover point in the court Order.

Lastly - although it's a stringent test - one of the few ways in which you can get legal aid is through being a victim of DV. Have you talked this through with your solicitor?
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#5
Thanks, will check that out. Yes I know, even the C1A seems to assume it's a woman complaining about a man! With a box to tick asking if you agree to supervised contact - when child lives with that parent. It does seem a bit of an assumption. Don't think I'd be eligible for legal aid - don't earn much but I'd be over the threshold. School would probably need something in writing. Makes me want to get an emergency order just for the school issue before the hearing date, but no grounds I guess.
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#6
Not sure about the emergency order. Unreasonable as she is, your solicitor needs to impress on the other side that things need to continue as they are (handovers).

If you have evidence that your wife is violent (and it seems you do) then why does she insist on being present at handovers. You should use as your starting point in that discussion that it keeps things on an even keel until things start being resolved during the court case.
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#7
Thanks. Solicitor not much help. Says it will probably have to wait until court. Not sure have evidence she is violent. Getting up to speed with paperwork. Looked at counteraccusations. A couple which have already been dismissed in evidence I sent with C1A. But she also accuses me of controlling. Concerned about that as it could count as domestic abuse. Don't want there to be anything to prevent interim contact with full schedule as before, at the hearing. Getting two character references. Anything else I could do to counteract this new accusation that I am controlling?
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#8
Not really. Judges aren't stupid. Her behaviours suggests someone who is controlling and manipulative so your best bet is to remain open and honest. The school pickpup issue is just one instance which indicates you are not controlling. She'll likely bury herself in accusations she can't prove and you have to remember in family court the onus is on her to prove accusations not for you to disprove them.
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#9
Thanks. You are being a great help. Thanks to your advice about the school pickups I persisted with Solicitor and emailed back saying i would like her to thrash it out with ex's Solicitor on the phone before Friday. And added a couple of points that might help the argument (ie not allowing school pickup is frustrating contact further).

She has done a letter saying Ex mustn't unilaterally changing this long-standing arrangement, agreed at previous hearing, and I will collect from school as usual.
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#10
Welcome and well done.

I think women think as the (usually) resident parent that they hold all the cards. The court sees reasonable behaviour and it notes mentally, the party that can't stick to an agreement and can't adhere to an order. The cases often often turn into a long game, but that doesn't mean they always are. When it does become a long game it's easy to forget that no matter how things may seem, when the case draws to end the court takes into account everything that's been said, done and written. So don't give up. Ever.
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