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Advice needed
#61
Yes you're in different camps - she wants the finances and housing sorted and still have control over what happens with child arrangements. You want her to put her money where her mouth is and sort child arrangements formally for after separation, before going ahead with anything else. The comment about moving on with lives is a bit crass as the kids have lives too. Honestly my ex thinks she is God and decide who the Father will be - in her eyes she has decided that son's Father is the man she chose to marry - and me - I'm just a sperm donor and not a Father! She is either extremely nasty or completely bonkers,or both.

Anyway. Did she agree to go to mediation, I can't remember? Probably not. But you're at stalemate without a court application to decide child arrangements.

I think Leader sorted Child Arrangements first - he may have some tips.
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#62
Hi,

She did not attend mediation twice. Failed to attend first time, second time I thought that we will agree on child arrangements, I re-opened mediation..she did not bother to attend.

It's just makes me feel sad that judge will have to make a decision on kids.

Not sure how she will react once application received. Not long to wait..
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#63
Don't be sad - in the long run it's better that a court decides - because you can say to the kids (when their Mother comes out with a load of rubbish) that the court decided this was best for them - it undermines the stuff ex's come out with about being the only parent etc etc. And saying the kids don't want to come blah di blah - and getting the kids to say Mum says I would be better coming here less and being there more - and you can say - the court decided it was best for you to spend this amount of time in each home. ie - the court is a higher authority than Mum! It also legalises the situation.
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#64
You need to primarily focus on securing a good schedule for seeing your kids on a regular basis, anything regarding financial / divorce should be secondary to that. She is using finances as leverage to discuss child arrangements - it does not work that way. Just as a way of an example, Cafcass in their S7 report suggested that an increase in the time I spend with the kids won't have a detrimental impact on them as I remain in the family home and they are used to that environment. The ex's legal team suggested that they are still looking to discuss finances and that it may result in the father having to sell the home. The Magistrates intervened here immediately and stated that financial arrangements are a conversation for a different day and not for this forum - I hope you can see where I am going with this.

Similar to my ex, you will be pressurised into engaging in conversations around finances but just inform your ex politely that the child arrangements and financial arrangements are treated as being mutually exclusive and that it is in our kids best interests that we agree a schedule for them so that disruption for them is kept to a minimum.

My ex has been badgering me directly and via her solicitor about voluntarily disclosing form E's since September 2018 and here we are in March 2019 and after having set me another 5 deadlines to disclose voluntarily (which I have ignored) nothing has moved on the financial disclosure front. However, what I have managed to secure in late Jan 2019 after the final hearing is 12 nights a month and half of the school holidays - focus on the kids and do not let the ex distract you towards a different direction.

When your ex receives notification that you have lodged a court application it can go one of two ways:

1 - your ex realises the reality of the situation and comes to the table to agree a consent order, the positive for you is that it appears she has recently started discussing a schedule with you
2 - she gets really riled and is more than happy to take you to court and you will get the usual allegations thrown at you. However, this will be difficult for her to do given that she is choosing to remain in the same house at present. Just protect yourself whilst you are living there as things can potentially get difficult depending on the ex.

The difficulty that you face in discussing informally with her is that she is not likely to agree with what you are asking for otherwise, you would not be faced with the situation that you currently are. Trust the process and just await for the date of the first hearing after you have had the call with Cafcass.

Let me know if you have any specific questions
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#65
Good advice from Leader. The other thing that is likely to happen at the first hearing is that the order mediation to take place - so your ex would have to go then. That happened with me but it was a token attempt -we had one session and it was accepted there was no agreement so it went to final hearing. Your ex has her solicitors telling her to get the finances sorted first - because they are acting in her interests (and not in the interests of the kids!). Whereas your court application is acting in the interests of the kids - the finances can wait -she can wait - her Solicitors can wait. And you will get a fairer financial deal at the end of it for having a Child Arrangements order first. And you'll avoid being held to ransom - ie agree this financial deal or you can't see the kids.

Your ex probably will go ballistic when she gets the court papers - and take them straight to her solicitor. Or she may get scared and talk to you and say she'll agree something. If she goes to her solicitors expect them to fight dirty - they may tell her to accuse you of something. But as your application went in before any accusations and you currently ahve plenty of contact with the kids, then it undermines any rubbish she comes out with. Just more or less said the same as Leader there, sorry!
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#66
Do I need to inform school of my child that we are going through the divorce? If Cafcass will be involved,will they access a data what school holds?
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#67
It might not be a bad idea, if done in writing by email and carefully worded. Yes Cafcass do contact the school and ask for feedback and may look through school records. That helped me a lot - School said good things about me to Cafcass and told them how difficult ex was! Anything you put in writing goes on the file, but you have to be careful with the wording so it doesn't sound like you are dissing the ex behind her back- as that kind of email can work against you if used as evidence (or with Cafcass) so keep it relating to concerns for the children. I was advised to put everything in email to the school - addressed to the headteacher.

So you could "inform" them of situation affecting the children - eg

"Dear Mrs Headteacher

Re Joe and Jane Bloggs

I am writing to let you know that Mrs Bloggs and I are currently going through a divorce, so you are aware that Joe and Jane may be experiencing some stress with the current situation. I would be very grateful if you could inform me if you have any concerns about them while they are in school. As you know, drop them off and collect them at school daily and they have seemed happy going to school to me. However there is very little communication between their Mother and myself and the situation is strained. As such I request that you contact us separately, regarding any concerns, or any letters to parents or events. I can be contacted at this email address or by mobile phone number .......

Yours sincerely .......
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#68
Received a date for court hearing, hearing time 1hour. It states at hearing I will be able to tell the court about any special needs or circumstances of the children, also Cafcass will do a safeguarding letter.

It states that this application was allocated to Magistrates. Not sure is it bad or good.

Have noticed that on form I have received they put that child lives with the respondent mother. It's not true as we still live together in family home. Shall I ask to correct it?

What happens at the First Hearing? They did not ask to provide any documents also.

A bit stressing out..
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#69
Hi AK, without reading through your whole post has your ex made allegations? I was in your position and my hearing got adjourned until April because the magistrate couldn’t deal with the allegations so it was re allocated to a district judge, might be the same for you if you have that’s all.
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#70
As far I know, no allegations are made.
I am already stressing, so don't know how will I handle emotionally during court day.
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