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Court outcome
#1
I posted quite a while ago asking for some advice on going to court and got some very good advice on here so I thought I'd share the outcome from my partners case. 

After a bit of extra nudging from me my partner got to a solicitor as he wasn't confident enough to self represent & found out his mediation certificate was out of date. Luckily as his ex hadn't bothered to even attend the 1st meeting they wrote a new 1 for a small free.

So on to the pre-court paperwork: 
Ex made allegations of psych & emotional abuse to the child & raised a couple of other "worries" which quite frankly we had a laugh at as they were that ridiculous. BUT at the same time stating that she wasn't challenging & was happy for unsupervised contact.
Solicitor looked over calmed my partners worries & basically replied with "not true".

The cafcass interview:
Phone interview was conducted with Ex spoken to 1st then my partner. Basically a lets hear your side of the story on the incidents listed on the previous paperwork. Asked if he had any concerns about ex. However the ex brought up another allegation of a serious threat of physical violence! Not something you'd 'forget' to put on the original papers. Dodgy
Waiting for the written report was a bit nerve wracking. 

When it came it suggest mediation (again!?) & a co-parenting course & to be honest not a lot else.. just said each party had their own side of the story effectively. 

First hearing:
Solicitor went to & fro between partner & ex to get a feel for what each side wanted / could agree on / see what the ex was like. 
Ex suggested a plan starting with 15mins (!) every 2 weeks as "partner wanted every other weekend" but solicitor dispelled that wrote out a plan but waited to see what the judges said before going to ex. In the 'court room' ex stated that she wanted partner & child to spend more time together but then tried using excuses as to why not (apparently you could hear the eye rolls). The saw straight through all allegations & the fact there was no evidence.
Judges basically said right go sort it out as you said you wanted it.

Solicitor went with what my partner wanted & wasnt going to take no for an answer. Ex tried to make things difficult by putting up barriers but solicitor refuted everyone with the aid of a few selected texts. Example: Ex claims partner doesn't want child at his house. Text asking for exactly that & ex saying no not an option. 
Had a couple of sticking points where it looked like we'd be back for a contested hearing but with a bit of help from the cafcass officer thankfully they came to an agreement & got the court order!

Seems mental that it had to get to court as they were in the court for 15mins & the rest was the solicitor acting as a mediator between them. 
Absolutely thrilled to have the piece of paper & not having the ex breathing down his neck whilst he's trying to be with his child. 

Going for a slow build up of hours so child gets used the 2 homes. By Christmas his child will be stopping over nights, every other weekend & next year partner is guaranteed 2 weeks of school holidays. 

It's a minimum as due to partners work he can't commit to mid week as he could be working in an evening & overnights are a no due to a 6am start.


To give hope to others the courts are recognising parental alienation & that children need both parents. I have seen 2 years of tears / heartache & what I can only describe as emotional abuse & manipulation from the ex but now he's got the backing of the court in case she tries to mess him around.
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#2
It seems generally the winds of change are blowing through the family court laws. Of the many conversations I have had in the past few months with others going through similar things I am hearing positive stuff favourable to fathers. I think there's a few factors behind this.

2) The new incoming alienation laws probably mean the judges are already trying to get ahead of the curve anyway. It's getting more recognised, it's income anyway so they're probably aggressively pushing it. The simple fact is too many women have been allowed to overplay these cards, thinking it will gain them an advantage and the judiciary are trying to change the prevailing attitude.

2) Additional to this the Government and probably the courts themselves are also trying to change attitudes to reduce the workload by of the family courts. The harder they make it and start changing prevailing attitudes the less likely women want to pursue this avenue without hard evidence, not circumstantial hearsay.

3) The new push for gender equality and the whole push for gender fluidity (i.e self declaring yourself to be a different gender) being recognised by government seems to be blowing away the traditional male/female attitudes of the past in the courts. This is bound to have an impact in the family courts, it cannot. The recent comments from the top judge regarding the past attitude of spousal maintenance, bread-winning men and kept women was particularly telling. It appears those days are gradually numbered.

The gender equality push by feminists and the transgender groups can't be ignored and is clearly softening up judges views, be it in criminal proceedings, family courts etc.
I must admit I was sceptical of the gender fluidity attitude but if it's leading to better outcomes for fathers in court then bring it on. It's noticeable the biggest opponents of this seems to be coming from female Mp's in the labour party and mumsnet. We all know the real reason why that is.
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#3
Success stories are fantastic but unfortunately for every forward thinking Judge there are many who still reside in the 1950’s and think all men haven’t yet left the caves.

Well done!
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#4
Yes that's true. Well done and congratulations. I had something similar at final hearing - it got that far before being agreed out of court actually at the court. A word of warning - have you actually got the piece of paper? Is it a sealed order? Are the contact arrangements under "it is ordered that" rather than recitals that say "It is agreed that". I have fallen foul of all of those. Hopefully you got the order typed up and sealed on the day. With my last order it was left to be typed up afterwards - and then needed a nod of approval that that was what was agreed, by the other side - and they refused to agree it! Took another four months of negotiation, big bills and compromises. Anyway sounds like he had a good solicitor.
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#5
In less than 24 hours my ex is already not agreeing with court order lol. She thinks now i have them every other weekend. i should drive 2 miles to drop 1st child off at a club then drive back 2 miles to drop 2nd child off at another club then return back to pick 1st child up and then back again to get 2nd child and think i am going to do that for the rest of my life. very controlling and already said i am not doing this. one club is football so will get our children to go to local team down road, current club her friends are there and would be hostile. 2nd club was started a week ago deliberately to be awkward and my youngest doesnt even know what club is other than its name. he has either been once or not at all
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#6
Thanks for the replies all & I'm sorry about the changes in text size. I have no idea what happened there.

All seems to be going well so far & I think court was the "wake up" she needed. I can't remember if it says ordered or agreed to but they got told that if either of them breaks it they can land in court / liable for a fine.

Hopefully the "dinosaurs" who don't think a father can look after a child as well as a mother are starting to decrease & we'll see a more balanced court system.
In terms of gender I think looking at the 2 parties as just "parents" not mother & father would be beneficial to that.

Warwickshire I'm sorry to hear your ex is being putting barriers up. I think for the football if in a team it's best to keep it up on the NRP time but for the other club it doesn't sound like your child wants to go so maybe don't go.
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