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Instructed my solicitor finally – What to expect next?
Actually if you have a PC Supertuxkart is free :-) Not quite the same as Mario Odyssey but arguably more fun!
I've got an Xbox (gamertag 'Mr Wimpys Sauce' if anyone's got xbox live).

Not got a PC but can run Windows on my Mac so I'll take a look at your suggestion. Cheers!
So frustrating, quick update. Both I and the ex signed the TF1 form for the property transfer about 6 weeks ago. I was advised this would be processed within a week....I'm still waiting. Yesterday the ex's solicitors wrote saying she has not 'put them in funds' yet so they have been unable to request the required paperwork.

Seriously, what is the point in signing this document if the other party has no obligation to pay and have it procees?

Has anyone else here signed this form to transfer the property and receive some equity? If so, how long did it take after signing?
Sorry I don't know about these things. I assume, if she doesn't make the funds available then it would take something legal to make her pay? Just wondering if you can do it through the small claims court. Could you get some legal advice on this one?
OK so, predictably the ex has not responded to my solicitor requesting evidence that the transfer is processing and that funds have been paid.

Seeing as it has been 9 months since the valuation was carried out, 6 months since court and I still have nothing, I'm thinking of having the property revalued. The original one was criminally low and so if the ex is refusing to release me surely I am within my rights to get a revalue as the market will have changed by now.

I wanted all correspondence to go through solicitors but if she refuses to reply I will have to contact her directly. Am I within my rights to ask her for a time and date that a surveyor can go around and look at the place?'s still in both our names after all, even if I am not allowed to go into the property myself. Should I suggest we go halves on the fee again because the old valuation is out of date?
I would keep doing it through solicitors - I wouldn't contact her about anything directly except dates for child arrangements etc, briefly. You don't want any more problems from her (eg the police turning up saying you are harrassing her etc).

So yes your solicitor could send another letter saying there has been no progress regarding the financial payment, and no response to their correspondence, and as x months have passed since the property was valued, their client wishes to have the property revalued and a valuer will be in contact with her to arrange a time and date. And that if they do not receive a response to correspondence within 7 days the matter will be put before the small claims court.

(That is if it can be put to the small claims court! Check with your solicitor). But I think this may be a simple case of money owed that has not been paid - you have the legal documentation, presumably showing how much she is supposed to pay you.
Hey Dad's - Hope you are all good.

So, the ex has stopped responding to my solicitor letters and her solicitors themselves are not taking my lawyers calls anymore.

We are sending a letter stating that if payment is not received in 14 days we will be forcing a sale of the property. My solicitor says this won't be a problem given my exs conduct - and that I can apply for her to cover all the fees.

While I'm here a few Qs...

As I mentioned i've been putting everything in a statement but it's really long! So much has happened and if I strip it down I'm worried the people who look at it won't get the whole picture. Can a statement to the court be too long? How long were the dads on here statements?

Also, I'd like shared care of the children but since I've not had equity from the property (and I live in a room) it would perhaps not look good to suggest as much. I'm wondering what a sensible thing to put on the CAO would be under the circumstamces in the box that asks you to state briefly what you are asking for and why.

I guess alt Xmas, birthdays, half holidays, my birthday, religious events. And I'm also thinking of asking for every other weekend and 2 evenings/nights a week. Worried I'm forgetting something.

Is this box just a rough outline or am I fixed in terms of what I ask for? Ie if I don't put alt xmas's I'll never get to see them on Xmas!
Hi Dad's,

A long overdue update - There hasn't been much news until now so forgive my disappearing act. Also last month I had a stroke out of the blue so I've spent time in hospital recovering.

So on Monday I had the initial hearing regarding my application for a CAO, I am representing myself but have had some invaluable advice from a source I met on here. We are back in about 9 weeks after cafcass do their thing.

Unfortunately I came away from the hearing with a bad taste in my mouth and I don't have much faith that the process will be anything other than biased toward the ex. That much is obvious.

Firstly, just as in her failed non molestation application, the ex submitted a second statement on the day which her solicitor handed to me before the hearing. During the hearing I raised the issue with the judge saying that there had been a deadline for submissions and that I hadn't had a chance to respond. But the judge dismissed my query telling me that 'I have a chance to respond now'. On both occasions I've been to court, new documents with new allegations have been supplied on the day and both judges have allowed it.

Also something else I'm not too pleased about is the cafcass initial report based on telephone interviews. I have been provided with a copy of the report as has my ex which documents some of what I discussed with the officer. The report goes on to say that cafcass called my ex twice but there was no response so they will interview her on the morning of the hearing (they did do this). But now I have no report or information about what my ex said to them, while she has a full report on everything I discussed - all because she didn't answer the phone to them. I have emailed cafcass and requested a new updated report including the notes from my exs interview from before the hearing. I won't hold my breath.

Most troubling to me, is the fact that in previous documentation I can see that my ex was recommended by child services to refer herself to the mental health service IAPT. I raised this in court and requested evidence to be provided showing she had followed the advice (the ex is requesting my doctor's notes of which I have agreed to supply) - Instead the judge asked the ex if she had been and she replied that she'd had some 'free counselling from her employers'. I again asked for documentary evidence to be requested and the judge said 'Well, she has just said she has been' as though her word is simply to be believed. Seeing as my ex is now making new allegations it doesn't fill me with confidence when the judge makes it clear before seeing any evidence that I shouldnt question the exs word and whatever she says is to be taken as fact. I think that moment was when I realised nothing I say or show will make a difference to the outcome.

I also made a request that I can provide the ex with a payg mobile phone so I can contact the children at home without having to call her directly. I explained that this is because I don't want to open myself up to more false allegations of pestering/abusing her. Unfortunately the judge dismissed this request too. It is so one sided its unbelievable - My ex took me to court in what turned out to be a failed NMO application which asked that I don't contact her in any medium. Yet now she and the court are saying I have no choice but to call her direct number regulary despite my not feeling comfortable with that for clear and obvious reasons.

You know what. Both judges I've had are female, all the cafcass staff have been female, the solicitors are female and my ex is female. It's basically a complete fix and the fact that it's already been made clear to me in hearing 1 that whatever my ex says is fact and I shouldn't question what she says just means this whole process is pointless. It's a case of the ex can say what she wants about me and if I try and disprove what she's saying with evidence I'm accused of calling her a liar! You couldn't make it up!
I’m sorry to hear that you’ve not been in the best of health recently.  It’s possible that all the stress that you must have been under with your housing situation and child arrangements have taken its toll on your health.  

If you’re self-representing you might find it helpful to have a read through of Practice Direction 12J if you haven’t already.

When you say Cafcass are doing their thing does this mean they are preparing a Section 7 report?  I was thinking that there could possibly be a Finding of Fact hearing because of the allegations, but paragraph 22 of Practice Direction 12J says:

If the court directs that there shall be a fact-finding hearing on the issue of domestic abuse, the court will not usually request a section 7 report until after that hearing. In that event, the court should direct that any judgment is provided to Cafcass/CAFCASS Cymru; if there is no transcribed judgment, an agreed list of findings should be provided, as set out at paragraph 29.

It does say “will not usually”, so there does seem to be some flexibility on this.
Hi there. I am really sorry to hear you had a stroke. Are you settled in your new place ok now?

The court system is tricky to negotiate. Glad you had some advice. I think it's important to be careful to always come across as the reasonable one and always be respectful to Judges etc and address them as Sir or Ma'am - they are human and can form opinions. I am sure you were. Personally I find it easier to put things in writing, via a position statement before each hearing, so there is less to say or ask for. I also found it stressful and demoralising at first hearing - four hours of being grilled by Cafcass as they tried to get agreement reached.

I do think there is a bias also but some Cafcass officers are ok. Just hang in there and go with the flow. The thing to remember is - they are only looking at what is best for the children so they don't care whether your ex has had a failed non mol or has failed to submit something on time. Does your ex have a solicitor? These are the kind of dirty tricks they do.

I think you're within your rights to ask that a Cafcass safeguarding letter is completed before the next hearing but I am not sure about this. I have also heard of some people writing to Cafcass directly (only positively mind you) putting across why they feel it is very important the children see both parents regularly, how much care you have always given as the stay at home parent previously, and how you think this could work after separation. If you say something blindingly sensible and reasonable it shows you are child focused and on the ball kind of.

The usual mantra of course is - I just want my children to enjoy happy loving homes with both parents. And to never say anything negative about the ex. Even say something positive about her if you can.

It does sound a bit like, at the last hearing, the Judge maybe felt you were criticising her re the mental health thing so be careful to keep child focused where possible.

I also think it sounds like there needs to be a fact finding hearing and that you could do with some help and support. Legal fees are expensive. Hope we can help and you get some further support too.

I felt very much as you do at my first hearing. I actually had a solicitor there (female too!) who ended up seeing to be more on the other side! It was a very negative experience. But come final hearing, when you get chance to submit a full statement and evidence then it comes down to Judges - it is true a lot of that is luck but there are male Judges as well as female ones, and also good and not so good male and female Judges.

I think right now, Cafcass are the people you want onside. They are the ones that recommend to the court what contact/arrangements there should be.

So what is the situation now, I couldn't quite follow. You have had a first hearing, but there is another directions hearing coming up and Cafcass haven't finished their letter yet is that right?

I am guessing, from reading your post again, that because ex has made new allegations, Cafcass are going to do a section 7 report, is that right? Are you still getting any contact at all? It was a couple of hours a week wasn't it?

Good that you requested a copy of the updated letter/report. I think if you do decide to write to them, PM me - and also send any documents that can undermine her allegations or support you.

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