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Instructed my solicitor finally – What to expect next?
6-8 pages is usually sufficient; you will add your exhibits in addition to this. Focus on the welfare checklist when you write your statement as it needs to be reflective of the fact that you are focussed on the children. Let your ex take care of the mud slinging bit, it will come to nothing and make your statement and case come across even stronger.

If it goes to a contested hearing like mine did, then they will try and get you riled, just take it all in your stride as this type of approach shows they have nothing on you and are now desperate.

What your ex thinks or wants will not come into it, your case will be judged on what is best for the children. Whatever has happened let it go, look to the future and focus on how you can be the best father to your children. Your ex has lied in an attempt to stop you seeing your children - this is the world of Family Courts, she is not the first and won't be the last. My point is that the courts have seen all this dross before, you have a lot of positives in your case (school report, GP letter) and I would focus on these and avoid getting side tracked.
Mine was 8 pages and I was told that is considered maximum. That is in double line spacing as well. Because it got to 8 pages,I attached a draft order rather than put at the end what I would like the court to order, so it just said "I respectfully request the court to make an order as per the attached draft order".
Well, it's finally here. Tomorrow (17th October) at 12.30 I will be meeting with Cafcass. Despite the court ordering my living conditions to be assessed as part of the S7 the meeting is taking place at the cafcass offices.

As my ex didn't answer the phone to cafcass at the arranged time (for the initial telephone interview) the resulting report we were both given only states what I had said and nothing about her interview which had to take place on the morning on the first hearing. So I'm already on the back foot as I have no idea what she said yet she has all the notes of my discussions to refer to.

As I've said all along, my ex has lied to such an unbelievable extent that it is easy to show factual evidence that proves she is alienating me based on malicious lies. The issue being theres so much of it I don't think anyone is going to sit and look through the folders of evidence I have collated over the last 2 years. I want cafcass to see everything I have that contradicts everything she alledges, but I know nobody will be prepared to read through them so they will likely count for nothing. How can an impartial decision be made if not all the evidence is taken into consideration?...maybe I'm jumping ahead of myself because I'm worried but cafcass have already made it clear that they will only look at certain factors.

I will check the forum incase of any last min advice and will report back on how it goes.

It's disheartening to hear that you were told 8 pages is the maximum. That means that there is no possible way I can submit the full details or even defend myself fully. Essentially I've been advised by various services to document everything over the course of two years (which I have) and now it's crunch time I'm expected to condense 8 folders worth of evidence into 8 pages. Since there are so many false allegations, and I cannot respond to them all in a short statement, findings will likely be made against me to which I can disprove. This same thing happened during the occupation order/NMO hearing which is why I'm concerned.

So here's a hypothetical for you.... I dump 2 or 3 folders worth of relevant evidence in cafcass lap. What then? They might not look at it but at least then I can raise it if the findings are wrong and say I gave you evidence no? If I don't, the same thing will surely happen again as during the last case - things will be found against me when I have emails and chat logs at home which prove the findings aren't true. Where do you go with that?

Sorry, feeling very frustrated at the way cafcass are already creating obstacles when all the info is there.... You just have to look at it.
How did you get on Sector78G?
Heya, it went better than I expected actually, I felt as though I was listened to and to my relief the officer told me to send any evidence to her that is relevant to the points we discussed - that is big positive. She looked at letters from the school and told me that allegations regarding my mental health issues of the past were not relevant 'because I've shown evidence from doctors that satisfies her'. She made some positive comments which I did not expect, stating that if I was going to run off with the children I would have done it by now (the ex says I need supervision incase I kidnap them!), I explained that I have been alone with my son on occasions because if my aunt is supervising and we are out I have to sometimes take him off to the toilet - I always come back! . She seemed to express the view that relationships do break down but that doesn't equal abuse or controlling behaviour, she said its normal for relationship issues to arise. She seemed to agree that if I had been abusive the exs NMO application would have been successful. There is still the issue of my ex now claiming new physical DA but that was not even alleged in the NMO hearing ...its a brand new allegation almost 2 years after separation, my ex even said in the NMO hearing I was not physically abusive but now she is claiming I was, I have the nmo hearing transcript. I trust in my evidence and I'm relieved they will at least look at some of it which is more than I thought would happen.

I was composed (by my standards) until the officer mentioned my daughters name. I didn't think I would, but I immediately burst into tears! I have to fight back the tears just thinking of her, it's been over a year and a half since I have seen or spoken to her. I apologised and managed to regain composure.

I am well aware that things could still go against me and that cafcass could make a report that doesn't reflect how I felt the discussions went (as so many report) , but overall I feel relieved that it didn't feel like a disaster. There were positives to take from today and I don't feel as though I did my case any harm. So at the very least I can not curse myself until the report comes through!

I hope that helps someone out there and if anyone wants some more info because they are going through the same just DM me. As usual, I will update for anyone following when there is something to report.
So glad things appear to have gone well in this meeting - hopes and prayers the report reflects your feelings as to how it went. It is so frustrating to be held over a barrel for such a long time, the toll it takes on you and your daughter simply can not be measured, the precious time lost - and for what? Some narcissistic pleasure of being in control even if that is to the detriment of your daughter. Very sad that the courts don't start at 50/50 and go from there. Keep strong, look after yourself!
That sounds very positive. They have looked at evidence. There is nothing against you. It is the childrens' right to spend time with you and a welfare issue. I hope their recommendation is what you hope for.
I’m following your story Sector. Your comment about how you burst into tears when your daughter was mentioned really touched me.  My son hadn’t seen his son for over two years, but then suddenly a few weeks ago there was a change of heart by his ex (in part because she has a new baby by her new partner, who encouraged her to reinstate contact). Seeing my son with his now 5-year-old, who was barely 3 years old when we last saw him was wonderful.  I always had optimism that it would happen at some point, but maybe not for several years yet as his ex had used the court system (ex-parte NMO’s) to sever the connection. It’s such a harsh system, and really not fit for purpose. Anyway, it’s good to hear that things went well for you.
Hello Dad's (and some mums).

Just a quick update. Yesterday I received my Section 7 report - I have been digesting it and have mixed feelings. While it's not all bad there are many things that are being said that are not factually true. I will challenge these at the hearing.

Remarkably I am now acused various times of refusing to provide my ex with my home address. This is not true and my address was on the CAO application form many months ago, my doctor's letters, physio letters and the exs solicitors have even written to me at my home address directly! Yet cafcass still agree that I have refused to provide it just because she says so. It's nothing more than an attempt to make me seem uncooperative.... They believe anything these women say even if the evidence is under their noses.

Because my mental health is of no concern cafcass have had to find something to hang their hat on and have written that 'my mental health could relapse again due to my social isolation'. I mean, WHAT?! There is no social isolation and infact I have a healthy social life. My ex must have made a comment about it but she hasn't spoken to me in 2 years so how would she know! They just made it up!

Finally and most ridiculous of all is the fact that my ex says her main concerns are communication and the fact that at handover I don't look her in the eye! Please remember, this is the person who tried (and failed) to get a NMO put on me which stated that I was not to contact her in any way shape or form (had it been successful). Now the report says she had an issue that we don't communicate and that I don't look her in the eyes.

I just cannot believe I went through an NMO hearing based on lies to now being reprimanded for not communicating (which is not true anyhow).

Jesus wept.
That doesn’t sound a bad report really, as you say cafcass will try and cling onto anything and just go along with mother making themselves look totally inept and stupid in the process. It’s obvious you have good evidence to counter these points so if that’s their worst then I’d be pretty pleased! Your ex is clearly clutching at straws so you should have no issue brushing these ridiculous claims aside.

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