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Advice needed after solicitors letter
Prior to my first hearing this month. I have asked a friend to attend court with me. Can I use him as a McKenzie friend? And what do I need to do to inform court about having a McKenzie friend. Thanks for any advice you can give
I am not sure but I think you are expected to inform the other side's solicitor and ask them to agree. If they agree then inform the court that x person will be accompanying you as your McKenzie friend and the other side have agreed to this (enclosing a copy of their letter indicating agreement). It would seem unreasonable of them not to agree. But if they dont agree then suggest writing to the court asking permission for x person to be your McKenzie friend.

For example at my last hearing, my ex didn't have a solicitor - as in she got her solicitor to write to mine saying she didn't have a solicitor! And asking for agreement to her husband being her McKenzie friend. Which isn't usually accepted I think but my solicitor said it would look good if we agreed.
So I've just had my cafcass interview and to be honest after the last mentioned solicitor letter I wasn't at all surprised by the accusations. Although one came to a shock. So as some know I was convicted of drink driving after our split. This has transpired into domestic abuse due to alcohol abuse!!!!! I like I'm sure alot of others like a beer after a 48-50 hour week at work and was never a problem whilst living together. Cafcass also brought up that I broke my hip whilst out with friends and was diagnosed with osteoporosis. A generic bone condition. But as I was out on a night out with friends it's now an issue. The officer also said there was an allegation of drug use. This was the shocker as in my 39 years of life I've taken no more than prescribed medication or smoked a cigarette. I was as instructed calm and polite and did not bad mouth ex in anyway. I did bring up domestic violence on her part and threats made toward my eldest but only when asked if I had any concerns about ex mental state. I was told that as alcohol abuse has been accused they must now contact child services and I may be subject to hair strand tests ECT. These of course I have no issue with at all. I was also asked if there was a history of mental health issues. I informed them that after out separation I contacted and completed a steps to well being programme and that ex herself had suffered depression and anxiety some years back pre relationship. I hope checks will be carried out as I couldn't be more honest after what was asked. Phew rant over. Next step firts hearing
What might help you out is as from today is to not drink up until court hearing. when you get to court its likely they will order a hairstand test, well if you stop drinking now ..not even a pint result will come back fine. and you tell the judge on day i like a drink on odd occasion but not when i have children.also by passing it she is then made to look like a compulsive liar
Thankyou. To be fair. I haven't drunk since I've been convicted of dd in December. I went out on my bday in April but that's it. I don't touch it at home now. And was told of hair strand test which I'm happy to provide.
Hey Alfie,

It’s going to work out for you all, it will take time and you will be the central strength.

I got done for dd due to exactly the same circumstances as you did, I got bashed by my ex also and she went off to a WA refuge, I never laid a hand on her.

You’re under stress no doubt, I felt like a failure when I got drunk and wrecked my chances/car/licence after going out for a packet of fags, I’d quit for months and it was New Year’s Day....

I missed my family; ex and my son were away as things weren’t great before the holiday, I’d spent the nye after Christmas with my best mates in London as I wasn’t invited into to my ex’s plans, regardless of having a lovely family time with her and our son and my family for Christmas (my son’s mum was oppositional as usual but hey.. my family just want good times and made it great for all of us, so no reason for hostility). The realisation of the crap I was going through was too much once I got home on my own to an empty house, I had a drink on top of the nye load, living in the countryside I got in the car and went shopping for fags... Shit... got done.

She ran with the opportunity and I let one barrister walk all over me because of my f’up as I was so spun out from it all I felt like a deserved failure, forgetting what took me there in the first place. She went to WA refuge, despite being the violent party. She secured legal aid and wasted our son’s early childhood on it.

I got my act together by round two and put up a fight.

We’re on round three, I’ve got near on shared parenting. I’m a good dad. The court actions have caused a massive problem, best avoided as it’s a blunt instrument, sadly it’s not about the children but you must keep your kids central in your approach.

Did you have kids in the car when done for dd?
Have the kids ever been at risk because of your drinking?
Do you drink in ‘excess’ when around your kids ever (got into trouble with authorities or family who complained to social services)?
Have you ever contacted your GP or other official support group regarding your drinking (excluding anonymous org eg, A.A., CA)?
If no, it’s going to work out ok I think... don’t admit anything. They only know what you tell them. If you do have a serious issue, or you just need to get a measure of where you are, go to an A.A. or C.A. Meeting. Don’t trust CAFCASS with your situation.

If yes, be very careful, you could hurt your kids if you have a drink problem. You really wouldn’t cut yourself much slack if you did them any harm. It gets better if you lay off a bit, if that’s the case.

Pm me at any time

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