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Interim Hearing
#1
Hi All, 

I now have an interim hearing at court on April 18th which my lawyer states i do not have to attend at this stage, then it will be on to a child welfare hearing. Could someone please explain the difference to me and what happens at each stage ?

Also, as per my previous thread, when myself and my ex split back in December our agreement was 3 nights per week, she then reduced it to 2, then 1 when she found out i had met someone else and this is when i got a lawyer involved as she would stop me seeing him for sometimes 3 weeks in a row because he was 'unwell', i was advised to accept 1 night a week for now to see my son but my lawyer would still make the application to court. 

My worry now is that my ex is starting to play games again, she states that anytime my son goes back to his mother that he is always upset, crying and clinging to her. He is never upset when he is with me he is a delight and always in good spirits, he is 2 years of age for the record. She is also saying that she struggles to get him into a bath now as he says 'daddy bath fall' and she struggles to get him to take a bottle as he says 'daddy milk burny', all of this is complete lies and i would never ever jeopardize my sons safety in any way but my concern after speaking to my lawyer is that she can build this case against me and i would need to pay for an independent lawyer to come out and visit me and interview me etc is this right ? How can she get away with these false accusations ?

I already have a social services case against her when she was caught by myself drunk watching my son drunk and the police ordered me to take my son away for the night and social services had to interview everyone involved so i think this is why she is doing it to try and 'get something on me'
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#2
Well good luck
Interim hearing they set out the case and what needs to be done
Child welfare hearing - exactly that .. what is best for kid (attend that one!)

You need to provide the evidence to your lawyer that you agreed 3 nights, then she reduced it to 2 then 1 ... with the reasons (which... you know this ... are not valid from any point of view)

Keeping one night a week is good BUT i would not have accepted that... you agreed 3 and there is no reason why it should not happen.... aim for re-establishing 3 via the court asap otherwise the norm becomes the awarded time

Games... she can play them they are all irrelevant ... lawyer can ask her why she didn't take kid to hospital if he was in accident or burnt his mouth ... of course he didn't and she is being immature and stupid... its common.. .apparently my kids only get ill when they have been at my house! Smile and ignore it

Unless she has evidence (and she doesn't) your statement is along the lines of "i am not here to answer any false allegations made by the mother, i love my son and i am here to ensure he grows up with 2 loving parents irrespective of our relationship status"

External lawyer for interview???... Think he means Cafcass... are you a decent bloke? Is your house child safe? Do you have locks on the cupboards... they are only to assess if child will be safe when with you.

She will be looking for something on you... so keep calm... do not give her a reason to call police etc... you are doing this for your boy (not her)
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#3
What i have asked for is reasonable i think, i work shifts so one week i am a 9-5 shift adn the following i am 11-7, so what i proposed is 2 nights during the week and 1 at the weekend when earlier shift and when i am back shift 2 nights at the weekend to make sure i am spending quality time with him but still getting the opportunity to help my son with his homework when he starts getting this, putting him to bed, breakast etc etc. But her reasons against this are he needs to be in a routine and he's 'all over the place' if back between 2 different houses.

I have already sent my lawyer all the text messages between us both to show that he was with me 2 nights during the week and then 1 at weekends so hopefully that's all they wil need to see.

I only accepted 1 night a week to begin with mate as my lawyer advised me too, at that time i had went 3 weeks without seeing him and my lawyer said the court would not have looked favourably at me if i declined her offer as it meant i at least got to see him in the short term and that's what it was about, but still putting the application into court.

So you have experience of your ex saying the same thing, what do they say in court when that gets brought up then or do they have to take things like that seriously ?

Yea i can't remember the exact name of the lawyer she said the court would use, but if she brings up any false accusations like my child is unsafe when at mines, if he's not being looked after well then they would send out an independent lawyer on behalfd of the court to interview me and and her and come out to our homes etc but that it's £3500 added on costs... my ex would be doing this for this reason as she gets legal aid.

I know i am decent bloke, i live in a nice quiet area, i have a 2 bedroom flat which i own and i would do anything for my son, he loves being at mines and he loves spending time with his grandparents also which i make sure happens a lot when at mines.

Literally every time he goes back to his mothers she says that he's upset and clingy etc so would the court not look upon that as a worry ie he doesn't like being at mines ?

I am missing so much just now due to only having him 1 night a week but i have noticed some differences in him when he is with me, he's always so happy when with me but he has the odd tantrum here and there as children that age 2 so when i said i noticed it in him from time to time she hit back straight away that he NEVER does that with her and that he's clearly not behaving at mines and there are issues there again trying to build a case against me as she has nothing so she is getting desperate.
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#4
Don't worry ... you are not the first dad who works shifts and that wont be a block to you being a good dad.
In the case ex gets residency (i.e. 51% or more of the contact i.e Lives with her but spends time with you)... your time with the kid will be when you are not working... you can give her your shift rota and you will get contact on your off days... in that respect it would work to your advantage

Courts seen all this before - dont worry

Accepting 1 day was a good thing to do ... Lawyer is right, but sad if she'd promised 3 and then cut it ... she wont look good in court for doing that

My ex was horrid in court... came up with all sorts of lies but the judge asked her when we had last willingly exchanged the kids for contact... my ex said 'yesterday' and that was enough... if what my ex said had been true, then why did she give me the kids to look after rather than running in the opposite direction? Judges have seen it all before... Judge saw it as a lie to build a weak case. CAFCASS had no concerns and as told the judge i was a good dad... my ex's lies did nothing to disprove that

As for independent lawyer on behalf of the court to interview @ £3500 ??? I have never heard of this so maybe someone else on the site can help here who knows this??? CAFCASS will come to the house but that is at the courts costs not yours.

Court will no account for he is clingy when he returns... it is irrelevant to her case... all kids cling to their parents ... do not tell your ex it is irrelevant and DO NOT react when she tries to wind you up by saying this.... if this is her biggest claim, then you are in a good place

Tantrums = 2 year olds... nothing to do with you splitting with the ex ... use time out or naughty corner techniques ... whatever you like... ask a friend or research how to deal with it ... there is absolutely nothing the judge will be interested in here to impact your case... she's just getting at you and yep, she getting desperate .... but let her.. do not discuss this advice with her... or she will change her approach and at the moment she has got nothing
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#5
Thanks mate, that is all very helpful.

She definitely has nothing on me and it's for this reason i worry slightly as she will never turn up to court and accept she held him from me with the most ridiculous excuses i.e he's not well 3 weeks in a row. I know she will never ever let me see him when he is unwell and he must remain with her as 'it's in his best interests to remain at his home'

Shock horror he is unwell again today ( i am supposed to get him this friday ) so she is planting the seed to prepare me for not getting him this weekend, although she has reduced it to day contact for now anyway as he's too confused with everything that is going on she says.

My lawyer has received return of the Initial Writ with Warrant to serve the action and Interim Hearing today and as my ex has her own lawyer they have emailed them today requesting confirmation that they have the instructions to accept the service of the writ on her behalf so hopefully the wheels are now in motion.

As for my shifts, do you think it's more than likely i will only get him weekends then and not a night during the week which i asked for as this is the agreement we had before 2 nights during the week and 1 night at the weekend. My son is at nursery so my father would take him and pick him up from nursery on my days and i would be home to give him his dinner bath etc
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