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Just had CAFCASS interview, update
#1
Well thats done,

Nothing especially spectacular or unexpected happened. The guy was pretty friendly and structured. Asked me about daughter and the current arrangement. Asked me some details about the relationship with ex, asked me about my proposal.

He did say ex has legal representation which she told me she did not. So thats worrying, need to get on that.
 He went through a list of things that ex has said, claiming Im aggressive at handovers, even though I dont talk to her at handovers. Claimed that I had a sleep disorder, which I dont, she made that up years ago and the doctor and sleep hospital said theres nothing wrong with you. Claimed that I would disappear for hours in a "black mood" during the relationship, that was me removing myself from a hostile situation.

He said he agreed with my proposal but then went on to say he is pretty certain it will be a contested hearing.
Thats not to say the report will be the complete opposite.

So she is definitely digging her heels in and it looks like its going all the way to a final hearing.
Not sure what to feel really, completely bummed that my little girl will have to endure more of this. Its not going to be pretty.
Ive noticed that as the applicant I seem to already feel like Im the one on trial, thats its her job to fling excuses/accusations and my job to defend them.

Time to knuckle down.
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#2
Glad that went ok. Try not to feel like you are on trial. It is the process until the final hearing. I think evidence should be allowed earlier in these processes, to knock more things on the head, although I believe you can send things to Cafcass (ask Strider about this) if you have any evidence that knocks her allegations on the head.

All it means, if ex has legal representation, is that her Solicitor will be showing her all the difficult things she can throw in your path. Don't be deterred by this. Solicitors act for their client's best interests, courts act in the child's best interests - which is why the final hearing is a good thing really. Cafcass has clearly picked up that she is not likely to want to come to agreements at a first hearing (because her motivation is to try and prevent contact). At the first hearing Cafcass are involved in negotiations - whereas at a final hearing it is the Judge that is more involved.

Just keep positive and confident that you have done nothing wrong and it is a case of jumping through the hoops,going through the processes and always being the calm, reasonable one. And never saying anything bad about the ex. When you get the Cafcass letter it can seem to be not exactly how things seemed to you when being discussed - I think they put their own slant on things sometimes,after talking to both of you. But as long as you are ok with the letter I wouldn't challenge it. If there is some glaring negative thing that they say you said and didn't then a polite formal letter correcting that can be ok.

It is good that the Cafcass guy said he agreed with your proposal. Have you been accused of DV, been reported to Police or anything? If not and she is just saying you are aggressive at handovers you can just calmly say that is not the case but you would happily wait in the car and let children come to you from the house, if ex prefers that. What you did in the relationship isn't really relevant to your being a good Dad as you are now separated. And in response to that thing about black moods, if it comes up at a final hearing you could just say,the relationship broke down and you sometimes needed some space, and as you say, to remove yourself from a hostile situation to prevent it turning into a heated argument (which is a point in your favour - avoiding conflict).

When you get the Cafcass letter,you should know if they are recommending a Section 7 or not. Keep busy until the letter arrives or it can be nerve-wracking waiting.
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#3
Thanks Charlie, Yeah I know its going to be ok in the end, simply because Ill never give up. My chief concern is that raising my daughter "contact" has been reduced and Im being managed out of her life, ex is a master jedi at it. The longer this goes on the more people [CAFCASS, mediator] believe her insistence that she is the important parent.

The one good thing is that as this is going to be a final hearing, the CAFCASS officer has just given me her game plan, I know what she'll throw at me now.

Sorry,
No DV or any other serious allegations.
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#4
This sounds exactly the same as my first hearing. Ex threw all sorts of nonsense about - illegal drugs, sleep patterns. I just dealt with them systematically and showed them all to be nonsense.

Got exactly what I was looking for in the final hearing - 50/50 care. A long road, but one worth taking.
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#5
Thanks Marwood,
How long did it take from the first hearing? Im almost certain her plan is to delay long enough to claim it will be disruptive to change anything once she has started school in Sept. Its 6 months away but I know Im in for the long haul now.
Also what was your cross questioning like? my ex has a ball breaker solicitor and after the "black mood" comment I bet my right nut she'll be baiting me to react the whole way.

(02-23-2018, 01:30 PM)Naive Wrote: Thanks Marwood,
How long did it take from the first hearing? Im almost certain her plan is to delay long enough to claim it will be disruptive to change anything once she has started school in Sept. Its 6 months away but I know Im in for the long haul now.
Also what was your cross questioning like? my ex has a ball breaker solicitor and after the "black mood" comment I bet my right nut she'll be baiting me to react the whole way.

Actually..... aslo, what did your CFACASS report say? I cant work out if theyre actually going to make a recommendation or not, he said he doesnt but everyone else says the courts usually follow CAFCASS advise?
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#6
For me the first hearing was in March, the last one was in September, but normally the courts do follow CAFCASS recommendations, UNLESS the parents exercise their Parental Responsibilities and come to an arrangement before the end of the 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.
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#7
(02-23-2018, 01:30 PM)Naive Wrote: Thanks Marwood,
How long did it take from the first hearing? Im almost certain her plan is to delay long enough to claim it will be disruptive to change anything once she has started school in Sept. Its 6 months away but I know Im in for the long haul now.
Also what was your cross questioning like? my ex has a ball breaker solicitor and after the "black mood" comment I bet my right nut she'll be baiting me to react the whole way.

(02-23-2018, 01:30 PM)Naive Wrote: Thanks Marwood,
How long did it take from the first hearing? Im almost certain her plan is to delay long enough to claim it will be disruptive to change anything once she has started school in Sept. Its 6 months away but I know Im in for the long haul now.
Also what was your cross questioning like? my ex has a ball breaker solicitor and after the "black mood" comment I bet my right nut she'll be baiting me to react the whole way.

Actually..... aslo, what did your CFACASS report say? I cant work out if theyre actually going to make a recommendation or not, he said he doesnt but everyone else says the courts usually follow CAFCASS advise?

It was 8 months from first hearing to final hearing, which then got adjourned for a couple of months, so 10 months in total.  It should normally be around 8.

Cross-examination was fine, but then I'm a weirdo who enjoys that sort of thing. Your barrister gets to go first questioning you, then the opposition side gets to cross examine, then the same happens with your ex.  As long as you have a a good barrister, stay calm and polite, are familiar with your statement, and have been reasonably consistent throughout, you'll be fine.

CAFCASS recommended 50/50 in my case. Yes, they do usually follow it, so making a good impression on the CAFCASS officer is the most important thing in the whole process, in my opinion.  I spent 2 days going over the house tidying it up and making it ridiculously child friendly before she came round. It paid off!
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#8
(02-23-2018, 02:12 PM)marwood Wrote:
(02-23-2018, 01:30 PM)Naive Wrote: Thanks Marwood,
How long did it take from the first hearing? Im almost certain her plan is to delay long enough to claim it will be disruptive to change anything once she has started school in Sept. Its 6 months away but I know Im in for the long haul now.
Also what was your cross questioning like? my ex has a ball breaker solicitor and after the "black mood" comment I bet my right nut she'll be baiting me to react the whole way.

(02-23-2018, 01:30 PM)Naive Wrote: Thanks Marwood,
How long did it take from the first hearing? Im almost certain her plan is to delay long enough to claim it will be disruptive to change anything once she has started school in Sept. Its 6 months away but I know Im in for the long haul now.
Also what was your cross questioning like? my ex has a ball breaker solicitor and after the "black mood" comment I bet my right nut she'll be baiting me to react the whole way.

Actually..... aslo, what did your CFACASS report say? I cant work out if theyre actually going to make a recommendation or not, he said he doesnt but everyone else says the courts usually follow CAFCASS advise?

It was 8 months from first hearing to final hearing, which then got adjourned for a couple of months, so 10 months in total.  It should normally be around 8.

Cross-examination was fine, but then I'm a weirdo who enjoys that sort of thing. Your barrister gets to go first questioning you, then the opposition side gets to cross examine, then the same happens with your ex.  As long as you have a a good barrister, stay calm and polite, are familiar with your statement, and have been reasonably consistent throughout, you'll be fine.

CAFCASS recommended 50/50 in my case. Yes, they do usually follow it, so making a good impression on the CAFCASS officer is the most important thing in the whole process, in my opinion.  I spent 2 days going over the house tidying it up and making it ridiculously child friendly before she came round. It paid off!
OK, this is assuming that a section 7 report is requested right? or do they come and visit anyway in a contested hearing?
Sorry about all the questions, need to calm down a bit. Truthfully I was hoping that it would be sorted at the first hearing, ha ha.

Just for info, CAFCASS said her proposal was only that the usual Saturday night be changed to a Sunday night every other weekend.
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#9
Glad they saw your a fit dad.
What kind of questions did they ask you about. the relationship with ex (does that mean your current way of getting on or before hand) and what did you say with regards to your proposal? I’m looking for 50/50 but nows my ex is only offering 1 night and I can go to her mums to bath our child any night and then when she moves in with her also family ruining bf I can go there too.
Um no thanks sign page 9 of c100 see you in court
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#10
(02-23-2018, 02:17 PM)Naive Wrote:
(02-23-2018, 02:12 PM)marwood Wrote:
(02-23-2018, 01:30 PM)Naive Wrote: Thanks Marwood,
How long did it take from the first hearing? Im almost certain her plan is to delay long enough to claim it will be disruptive to change anything once she has started school in Sept. Its 6 months away but I know Im in for the long haul now.
Also what was your cross questioning like? my ex has a ball breaker solicitor and after the "black mood" comment I bet my right nut she'll be baiting me to react the whole way.

(02-23-2018, 01:30 PM)Naive Wrote: Thanks Marwood,
How long did it take from the first hearing? Im almost certain her plan is to delay long enough to claim it will be disruptive to change anything once she has started school in Sept. Its 6 months away but I know Im in for the long haul now.
Also what was your cross questioning like? my ex has a ball breaker solicitor and after the "black mood" comment I bet my right nut she'll be baiting me to react the whole way.

Actually..... aslo, what did your CFACASS report say? I cant work out if theyre actually going to make a recommendation or not, he said he doesnt but everyone else says the courts usually follow CAFCASS advise?

It was 8 months from first hearing to final hearing, which then got adjourned for a couple of months, so 10 months in total.  It should normally be around 8.

Cross-examination was fine, but then I'm a weirdo who enjoys that sort of thing. Your barrister gets to go first questioning you, then the opposition side gets to cross examine, then the same happens with your ex.  As long as you have a a good barrister, stay calm and polite, are familiar with your statement, and have been reasonably consistent throughout, you'll be fine.

CAFCASS recommended 50/50 in my case. Yes, they do usually follow it, so making a good impression on the CAFCASS officer is the most important thing in the whole process, in my opinion.  I spent 2 days going over the house tidying it up and making it ridiculously child friendly before she came round. It paid off!
OK, this is assuming that a section 7 report is requested right? or do they come and visit anyway in a contested hearing?
Sorry about all the questions, need to calm down a bit. Truthfully I was hoping that it would be sorted at the first hearing, ha ha.

Just for info, CAFCASS said her proposal was only that the usual Saturday night be changed to a Sunday night every other weekend.

No, they only visit if a section 7 report is required. If your ex is nuts, a section 7 report can be quite helpful, as if you get a decent officer they can get handle on the dynamics of the whole thing and report back to the court.
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