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CAO for variation Early June - Question about supporting statement
#1
Hi All,

Sorry for sounding naive, but I'm representing in person, and my experience of the family court has not been positive so far.

I applied for a CAO to make variation of existing CAO back in April, prior to submitting this, my ex had stopped contact for a period of 6 weeks, due to me losing my job and not being able to cover the supervision fee (the supervision fee for the au pair who accompanies me on all visits. This was never part of the court order, she had started this in September last year after an argument about nursery fees). Prior to submitting my CAO in April I had also asked ex to attend mediation, which she refused and I had sought legal advice about the breach and was told to apply for enforcement of order.

The hearing for the breach did not go to plan, the courts view was that the other parent will always pay for contact(even though this money goes directly to the ex and not the au pair). The follow up letter from the court even stated that the decision to uphold my application for enforcement was not upheld as the supervision fee was pasrt of the original order in June 2018 (which is not true or correct and was not even discussed verbally let alone part of the order)

At the time of applying for C100, I did not know this and was of the view that the ex had breached the order and I had not seen my daughter for over 6 weeks. This was the first 2 points made in my opening statement in support of the C100.

So my question is now, can I just turn up on the day and say that I would like to retract the 2 points with regard to breach and non contact but wish to focus on the main reason for being there, and that is for increased contact with my daughter? Or do I have to submit a new statement in advance of the hearing date. My view is that when she applied for C100 last year it was full of false allegations with no evidence and the court did not take issue, so the fact that mine contains 2 points(that at the time I believed to be correct) should not take away from the focus of establishing increased contact (The rest of the statement is totally child focussed and positive).

Thanks for any advice in advance
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#2
I’d definitely want to get something submitted in writing rather than rely on a verbal explanation on the day (but that’s probably just me!). You could email the court with the details as an addendum to the statement you have already submitted rather than submit an amended statement (head it with your case no. etc).

But, if you email the court with this query, they’ll give you the correct legal procedure. They’re aware that many people have to self-represent now and are usually very helpful. In my son’s case they’d often put the query in front of the judge and then respond.
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#3
Hi,

I spoke with the court and they advised to email the private law and listings email addresses with my addendum statement. I received confirmation and served notice on the mum. Today I have received the CAFCASS letter following telephone interviews with the both of us last week. She is still making allegations of historic domestic abuse despite the court taking no action based on unsubstantiated allegations, she also says she will not agree to any changes of the current CAO and she states that she has been advised to apply for a barring order as I am abusing the legal aid system by repeatedly taking her back to court!? I followed the legal advice which was that I had to apply for enforcement (which was not upheld) and apply for C100 separately. This is not excessive if I have genuine reason and evidence to support that increased contact is now feasible. Praying that I get a fair judge on the day who can see through her drama. Fingers crossed.

Thanks.
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#4
Quick Update, hearing went very well. Had an excellent Judge on the day. Ex handed me a 3 page statement 30 mins before the hearing full of new allegations. Spoke with Cafcass officer who asked to see copy of previous scott schedule which she took to show the Judge. The Judge didn't let me speak, just spoke to the ex. I have now had my current supervised contact increased up to 6 hours until September and then go back to review, with looking to then move to unsupervised. Very happy with the outcome!
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#5
Good news.
You have the right idea - small steps at a time.
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