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Statements etc
#1
Hi all

I am due in court next week having received the Section 7 report which has recommended contact to be established with me and my daughter.

I have not been asked to write a position statement by the court however I feel it is required as in the Section 7 it appears that my ex has obtained a letter from my GP (which must have been sent before my mail redirect)

I just want to make the court aware that I am happy with the S7 recommendations and have a draft parenting plan setting out how I think it could work.

But I also want the court to know that the ex has either opened my mail, retained my personal property (if the letter is an old one) or she had misled Cafcass (if no letter exists).

her solicitor has not replied to my request for a copy of this letter and I think something fishy is going on also, I don't want to come across as mud slinging but given that in the report it says my ex does not want contact to happen at all I am also concerned that she wont comply with the order or apply for the contact to stop at every opportunity or will follow me when I do have contact

is this sort of stuff worth sending to the court?

I also want to make sure the ex keeps me up to date with my daughters development and health, as it turns out she was taken to hospital this year and I have no idea what happened, I hope the courts will understand that the ex is determined to hinder the whole process as much as possible I just want to make sure that my concerns are noted but at the same time I don't want to annoy the courts with "What ifs"

Thanks
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#2
Probably not... my ex used to open my mail and a lot worse... A LOT worse!
Question you need to ask yourself is does it impact your ability to have a relationship with your daughter . i.e. what was in the letter... did you GP wrote to you with his negative opinion on you as a father... probably not

If its "please come in for repeat prescription of your hemorrhoid cream" - then good luck to her using it in court
If its something more serious like drug use etc ... maybe you need to have a word with your GP about sending letters

Go and ask your GP for a copy - explain the situation that it went missing and think your ex has destroyed it and you want to know what it said but if no direct link to you being a father or your daughter then don't worry.

Just prepare one line for court supported by "According to the Postal Services Act 2000, it is illegal to open mail that is not addressed to you, unless you can show reasonable excuse. I don't think that as it had someone else's name on it, it could deemed as reasonable excuse"
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#3
Thanks LTCDAD

The letter apparently is a referral to a psychiatric clinic, I contacted my GP and he has confirmed that I was referred their 10 years ago and produced a letter for the court which confirmed that it was a one off referral and nothing came of it.

As the letter has so far not arisen for me to study, or for Cafcass to look at, so I'm of the opinion that she has just concocted this to undermine my application.

I will certainly be raising this in Court.

Its the old issues that I'm going to have to face as the ex will undoubtedly not comply with the orders or accuse me of causing my daughter harm in some way to sandbag the whole process, after 10 months of this its all gone round in a circle because Cafcass have recommended exactly what I asked for in my first hearing.
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#4
At some point in life everyone has some sort of mental health event ... this is a useful for her as an x-ray showing you broke your leg when you were 12!

You needed some support, you went and got it, you felt better... it actually shows you are a brave responsible adult who asks for help when he needs it and you are in great company of William and Harry who riase the issue recently #ItsOkayToTalk

Currently you are in good health... she can drag up things from 10 years ago... but it has not impact on your ability to be a father

If i was you, i WOULD NOT raise it ... its not an issue... if you raise it the judge might ask for an assessment (which you would no doubt pass) BUT it might delay access to the child so only defend it, if she raises it ... and you defend it with the truth eg My gran died, i had a period of grief and depression, i went to seek help, they gave me some counselling, I recovered to full health, i'm glad i sought the help i needed at the time, I've not had any episodes of mental health issues in last 10 years etc etc etc

Your ex can say what she wants ... do not waste time mud slinging... she can accuse you of everything and anything BUT she will have to prove it ... you DO NOT have to defend false accusations .... just highlight them calmly... and tell the court you are not there to defend false accusations... if the judge asks for finding of facts ... they will but ask it not delay access any further

In future always worth asking the GP to keep the letters at reception and you will pick them up in person

Good luck
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#5
Thank you very much for the advice, I certainly don't want to shoot myself in the foot over this. The further letter from my GP states that there are no issues with my mental heath and that there is no reason medically why I would be unfit to be around my daughter.

whatever this letter is my ex has is made irrelevant because my GP's letter confirms it happened 10 years ago and there are no issues.

I think she is clutching at straws to try and come up with something to put the whole thing off, so I guess she'll accuse me of something new, just hope the judge shoots it down because she hasn't raised it before.
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#6
Yep... the more desperate they get... the more straws they clutch at!
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#7
Well I have received a copy of the letter from the exs solicitor and it's a referral for counselling. Letter dated in May this year. Apparently it was opened in error and the follow up letter was returned to sender.

I'm understandably unhappy as the 1st hearing was in July and the section 7 completed in October. The ex and her solicitor clearly knew about the letter as they questioned me about it in September but have not provided a copy to cafcass or the Court.

I have demanded that the letter be returned to me and asked why she felt the need to hold on to it for so long and not provide it to the court or cafcass.

The police are currently investigating her for DV against me and controlling and coercive behavior. This letter was for abuse counselling and my abuser withheld the letter and thus denied me medical treatment.

I'm awaiting advice from my solicitor as to what I should do because it's
A. Illegal to open someone's mail
B. Illegal to use said mail with intent to cause detriment
C. Retaining the letter proves her controlling behavior.

I'm waiting for my GP to call me so I can request a further letter from him to confirm that my mental health is not an issue.

Wonder if this will be brought up at court as it only shows I was seeking help, but her opening it and keeping it will probably not be well received by the court.

Any suggestions on what I could do would be great
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#8
I think you should bring this up in your position statement.
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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#9
Should I contact the cafcass officer who wrote the section 7? Or just steer clear of that and knock out a position statement?
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#10
"This letter was for abuse counselling and my abuser withheld the letter and thus denied me medical treatment. "

That is very negative for her - its a lot more serious than we thought
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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