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Anyone had a final hearing at court
#1
I have to attend a final hearing at court and have to advise the court in advance of any witnesses or evidence that I would like to present. Was looking to find out who other people have used as witnesses?
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#2
I didn't have witnesses at final hearing. Just relied on my statement with written evidence attached. But in your situation (read on your other post). It would be a good idea. It's an opportunity for the court to hear that you are a straight well respected citizen and from anyone who knew you as Father. Difficult to think of who. A long standing friend but then they may assume some bias (not necessarily if the friend comes across as genuine). Anyone you can think of who knows you who is some kind of authority. A GP, a local vicar, that kind of thing - but hard to find people who know enough about you.

Evidence - I used emails to and from ex mainly plus a social service report and a GP letter. Documents count as higher level evidence than emails. A Testimonial could be good to vouch for you, as evidence - ask the person to write one as to your character as they know you and anything else they want to say about you (presumably good!).

An employer could do a refernece or testimonial or be a witness. Have you seen a counsellor at all over all this? eg the effects of not being able to see your chidren. Could ask the counsellor to be a witness. If you have a clean Police record then send off for a copy of it - costs a small fee and can take 2 or 3 weeks but it's paper evidence to show you have a clean record. Or just adriving offence or whatever.

Basically - you have no contact and they're giving you an opportunity to have someone back you up as to why there is no reason you shouldn't see your children.

A social worker or Cafcass worker could also be called as witness. It sounds like a big legal case. Suggest you at least get a half hour's legal advice as to what your options are at this stage, what you should be asking for at court (this would be via your statement) and anything else.

This is your opportunity, via your statement, any evidence and witnesses, to persuade the court that you are a loving Father who is prevented from seeing his children because they have been in the sole care of their Mother so long they have been manipulated into saying they don't want to see you and you feel that is unhealthy for them and a welfare issue.

You need to know what to ask for/for the court to order at the end of your statement - hence suggesting half hour free legal advice. Also maybe CAB?

Don't know the full history but I would go in asking confidently for a lot more than supervised contact. eg saying you feel the only way the situation may be resolved is for the children to have regular staying contact with you, and all pickups and dropoffs to be directly to and from school except in holidays and a detailed defined order. That you wish a court guardian appointed to ensure the contact takes place and observe the children at both homes. You could say you will agree another person present during the initial few weeks. If you can think of someone - eg your Mother?

Suggest every Friday from school to Monday return to school increasing to 50/50 within 3 months to "ameliorate" the effects of any negativity towards you and ensure regular time and routine and stability. If you can do 50/50. eg Every Wed and Thurs night and every other week-end Friday to Monday.

Go in high, confident and as if you have done nothing wrong (which I assume you haven't anyway), and have a perfectly sound solution to the issue. If you go in low - eg supervised once a week - they may decide to just give nothing but letters only.

It's a lot to prepare and organise before the hearing - keep coming on here. Tip - there are always pre-hearing negotiations. If you are acting for yourself say no to negotiations and go into court and let the court decide. Otherwise the other side may get you to agree to something and the order they write up not reflect what was agreed (dirty tricks).

What did you ask for when you applied? What did Cafcass recommend? Or did they say no longer involved after first hearing.
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#3
(06-11-2019, 07:34 AM)Bluebear Wrote: I have to attend a final hearing at court and have to advise the court in advance of any witnesses or evidence that I would like to present. Was looking to find out who other people have used as witnesses?

I put the Social Worker in the witness box, asked her 5 choice questions what proved her Bias, and she was sent home!!!!
That was even before me and the ex had given evidance.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#4
(06-11-2019, 12:18 PM)MarkR Wrote:
(06-11-2019, 07:34 AM)Bluebear Wrote: I have to attend a final hearing at court and have to advise the court in advance of any witnesses or evidence that I would like to present. Was looking to find out who other people have used as witnesses?

I put the Social Worker in the witness box, asked her 5 choice questions what proved her Bias, and she was sent home!!!!
That was even before me and the ex had given evidance.

Priceless ^
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#5
Out of interest MarkR what questions did you ask? May be of benefit to some if it's something you're happy to share. I have a feeling I'll have to put cafcass in the witness box knowing how incompetent they've been with me.
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#6
(06-11-2019, 05:59 PM)Astroman Wrote: Out of interest MarkR what questions did you ask? May be of benefit to some if it's something you're happy to share. I have a feeling I'll have to put cafcass in the witness box knowing how incompetent they've been with me.

The situaiton was in line with Cafcass but not what SS wanted, I had been given in April 205

w1, friday pm till sunday 10am
w2, friday pm until saturday 6pm
w3, friday pm until sunday 10am
w4 no contact.
+half school holidays.

I was working Sunday Night every week, from 5pm for 12-16 hours, job and finish. SS knowing that, had recomended contact every other Sunday 10 - 4pm.

I changed jobs, and asked to change to be every other weekend, friday pm till sunday pm.
SS wanted just Friday till Saturday every other weekend.

1, How she came about her recomendation to reduce contact, what had been going on without problems for 9 months.
Answer, X says it would be better for the children.

2, In what way would it be better
Answer, x says there is issue with childrens behavoiur after contact.

3, Are you aware that its my application to vary, and that in the 9 months contact has been taken place, this has not been mentioned once in any Family Support Meeting, or x had not made her own application to reduce contact, and that the alligation was Dismissed by Cafcass when the Order was made?
Answer, I can only say what x has said.

4, Are you aware that in the last 9 months, that at the request of x, my contact had in fact increased, 7 times with her requesting me or my mother keep the children longer on contact weekends, and have them more than half in the holidays.
Answer, she does a 5 min talk on how good x is, asking for help when she needs it

5, So are you saying that when I am asking a Court to in effect just change my overall contact time, your saying it should be reduced, but when x whats me to have  extra contact your supporting her?
No answer, she looked at the Judge who said Mr R have a valid point.
We stopped for lunch and she was told she was not needed afterwards.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#7
Thanks for that MarkR, it appears you were on the ball with SS! Just shows how they generally focus on the mother.
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#8
Brilliant stuff - being your own barrister :-) Yes I hate that double standard thing - she can do no wrong etc. I should have pushed for more from the start when I'd been having son at least 50/50 for years as she dumped him on me at the drop of a hat (great for me). Instead of applying for what the standard seemed to be, thinking that was all I would get!
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#9
I wonder how long a court would consider you going back for more contact time after one has been sealed, if there are no issues or problems on your side?
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#10
(06-11-2019, 10:14 PM)andynumpty Wrote: I wonder how long a court would consider you going back for more contact time after one has been sealed, if there are no issues or problems on your side?

You can only do application to vary when there is a significant thing not know at the time of the last order being made.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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