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False accusations of DV + alcoholic wife = game over
You're making progress, that is excellent. Good the mediator was helpful. Have you got any evidence to send with the C1A? It can really help. You can't send evidence with the C100 - that's for a later stage - but you can with the C1A. The courts are used to people sending C1A's accusing each other of all sorts, but without evidence it's just words. Doesn't sound like the social services report will be much help as evidence. Do you have any kind of report or letter that could back up what you're claiming in the C1A?

You mentioned CS (Childrens Services). Was it actually social services? Sometimes Childrens services is a level below social services. If that's the case, then you could maybe ask social services to be involved.

The difficulty is sometimes some people/organisations are biased towards Mothers and have this skewed thinking that Mothers and children belong together and Dads are secondary. It's important to come across as calm and polite in all communications (however hard it is!) - or you can end up being labelled as aggressive.

I'm still a bit concerned that she may try and claim Child Maintenance as well because you haven't called it Child Maintenance. Might be worth dropping her a very short email (or to her solicitor if you're not allowed to contact her), just confirming that the money of x amount being paid to her is Child Maintenance payments - also to cover groceries and basic expenses). Get that in there - that it is Child Maintenance payment. Then you won't get stung twice. You are still effectively paying "spousal" by covering bills and standing orders etc.

I submitted a C1A with my application as well (although slightly different circumstances to yours) and it was more or less ignored and overlooked. But Cafcass do get to read it and will look into things. Once it gets into the court system - it's a family court - not a criminal court, and they are basically looking at Child Arrangements - eg schedules and so on. Cafcass are there to check out any welfare issues. If they find none with either of you it will just go to a final hearing and probably the best you will get is 50/50 shared care. The standard is every other week-end, a midweek night and half the school holidays. But as she has done this I would try to get "lives with both parents" shared care so she can't call all the shots in the future and needs your consent for things.

If Cafcass have concerns about welfare regarding you they will probably do a section 7. Weirdly they don't seem to do that for Mothers. All Cafcass did at my first hearing was try and bully us into an agreement for child arrangements and believe her when she said I was inflexible (pot calling kettle!). So don't expect justice. The priority is getting an order for regular time with your children (as well as making sure the children are safe). And to do that you have to play the game, follow the system and jump through hoops.

In a way it's two separate issues - the family courts for the child arrangements. Social services for any welfare issues. But any social services reports are strong evidence. When you speak to Cafcass and they ask you about these allegations of financial abuse or whatever, stay calm and deny this and give them details of how you are currently paying everything to support her and the children and how she has always had her own income and child benefits (own account or whatever) as well, and you have all the details of this.
C100 and C1A submitted to court and date set for first hearing of 17th May - apparently we both have to attend - not looking forward to seeing her!
Solicitor says evidence to be submitted as necessary at later date as there is quite a lot of it and she says this hearing is preliminary and as such will apparently only be 15mins or so
Ex has been informed that we are applying to court for her to be alcohol tested and her & parents have had a letter with copies of C1A, C100, C2 etc to confirm the proceedings
It was CSD that I have corresponded with, however I am relatively sure that SS have been involved at least with ex, although I am increasingly being kept in the dark by the whole system - unsure as to whether my kids are actually staying at home or at her parents, also whether she is actually functioning / going to work etc
I have sent a follow up letter to my last one as suggested confirming that the monthly payment is Child Maintenance just for clarity
Have also given her 5 days notice of closure of the joint account and requested her bank details to make the monthly payment into, as well as undertaken to pay the household bills from my account for the near future
Over the last month she has charged 7 visits to the local pub to the joint account to a sum of over £300 - cheek of it, especially being an alcoholic and her pleading poverty and that I’m financially controlling as well!
Cafcass have written to me today (initially asking for my email address) to say they will be in touch soon to make a 40-50min assessment call
Good advice re treating them gently - guess I need everyone on side to have much chance of coming through this
Finally my solicitor has asked whether I would prefer counsel or he4 law firm to represent me - she says that as my case is unlikely to settle she thinks it better to have counsel on board from the start - she says a well chosen barrister would then represent me in relation to not only the kids, but also divorce finances going forwards - any thoughts?
If your going for Hair Strand tests for Alcohol then those cost around £700 with expert witness statements - and they are extremely sensitive
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.
Yes my solicitor has obtained 3 quotes which range between £600-£700 - fair bit of money but think I am gonna need the results to make the various services realise how much she has pulled the wool over their eyes in saying she completely stopped drinking as soon as I was forced to leave the home in January
When you say extremely sensitive do you mean accurate / reliable?
So hang on, if you accuse the other side of alcohol and drugs you have to pay for it? Or they do?
As far as I understand I have to pay for it - just like I am paying for everything else i.e. my solicitors bills, the mortgage, the household bills etc etc etc - guess that’s just our really fair ‘system’ though. In the bigger scheme of things £700 is a relatively small amount to demonstrate that she is lying through her teeth (again) just like she did with the original false allegations of DV, and the subsequent ones of me being financially controlling. Also and more importantly if it helps me in securing a contact order with my kids then I believe it will be money well spent.
Actually you can ask for the other side to pay for it

That's what happened in my case
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.
Thanks, Is that only if it is proven positive or regardless?
Regardless mine was clean but she just wanted to waste my cash
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.
Met with sons head of year at school over 2 weeks ago to voice my concerns but also to ask for them to keep me in the loop re his progress and achievements and for me to get access to the parent login to keep updated - so far nothing back from them which is a bit annoying. Again just feels like at every turn the father is ignored/forgotten about, but have done absolutely nothing to deserve all this.
Have spoken with the CAFCASS officer in a pre-court phone interview for about an hour - she was very nice and understanding and was blissfully unaware of a large proportion of what I told her; says she will be at the hearing as well which will hopefully be a good thing in terms of continuity.
Still haven’t had any bank details from ex yet - she says she is still waiting for them to come through from her bank as he has ‘changed’ accounts (even though she already had her own sole account) - that has left her with ‘no money’ (and pleading that she has no money for food to the kids). I’m not willing to pass it through the kids accounts as that’s not really right, and she has had weeks to get these details to me or my solicitors and so far has completely ignored every communication from us - has even destroyed the letter I sent her with my solicitors details on it!
Haven’t seen my son for a month now or my daughter for 5 weeks, not for want of trying - feels like ex may have ‘told’ them not to see me until after the initial hearing.
Mean while my bank messed up closing joint account so she kept spending on it - luckily only small amounts and has now been sorted. Also credit card company denied all knowledge of me cancelling her joint card and changing my address - that one is ongoing though!
Transpires she spent over £400 in the pub in 4 weeks as well, so I have no sympathy that she says she has no money left now - have tried my best but she is playing a strange game - will see what happens next week.

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