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Final order day...
Hi all,

I had received good advice and support from this forum in the past, so I thought it would be a good idea to share some experiences here in case it proves useful to others.

I can’t say that I had the desired outcome from today’s hearing, but it wasn’t at all bad.

Family assistance order: hopefully, if you are able to get one of these, you will be appointed a CAFCASS officer. This is designed to improve communication between yourself and the other parent. It was pretty useful but I still found CAFCASS to be biased in favour of the mother. Keep the CAFCASS officer sweet and be nice, do your best to work smart with the other parent and keep child centred.

If parental alienation is going on, and it’s one parent’s word against the other and you can’t afford a solicitor, the court can appoint one for the child/children and this is covered by legal aid. They represent the child. If you request this from a district judge and it is over ruled, you can appeal. This appeal will hopefully go to a circuit judge who might look at things differently.

LIP, keep focused on what you are there for, the kids. Have a list of key issues that you will stick to. Don’t get drawn into distractions. Don’t be afraid to speak up, don’t expect the judge to remember any details previous to the current hearing, you will have to remind them what is given as evidence. Don’t get into slinging dirt at the other party, you might end up looking hostile. Do expect a very unfair response from CAFCASS and the judge, it’s not about what is right for the children, it’s about protecting the mother and child regardless of what may or may not be true, even if proven in evidence. However, for you, it is all about the child, never your self.

Always complete the tasks asked of you such as completing parent information programmes etc. Having trouble with a position statement? Indicate that you are having difficulty with it and make sure that you get it in to the court on time.

Good luck.

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