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Back here again for Final hearing
#1
Hello Dads

Hope you all had a good holidays and good start to the new year...

As some of you know i have been in the court for nearly 2 years, and I had a couple of setbacks ( i say setback, not lost !) as my final hearing( after CAFCASS finished their section 7 report in my favour back in July) was moved to january 2020, and then my dad passed away a day after Christmas. All of this meant I'm still in contact center with children for nearly 1.5 years to date ! It has been sad and frustrating wait time for me in last 6 months, but I'm back now with the vengeance !

I'm preparing for the final hearing in next couple of weeks, representing myself, armed with all possible reports and a court bundle. I believe I had the strength to carry on despite all the hurdles and the end is near soon. I will post my updates here.
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#2
What is very important is working out what contact you are seeking . overnights /weekends/holidays etc. have cafcass recommended what contact you may have
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#3
CAFCASS recommended a stepped up contact leading to overnight ( 2 nights a week) 2 months after the normal contact has begun...they haven't said anything about holidays or special days, but I'm seeking half holidays (term, easter, summer, xmas), and half of special holidays such as birthday and festival days.
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#4
Good luck SeanS sorry for your loss. Onwards and upwards, I look forward to you getting good access in the near future.
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#5
if they are recommending phased contact to 2 nights a week. I would go for 10 nights every 4 weeks phased. I would say your children are due to start school so you would like 1 overnight during week pick up from school and drop off to school once they start and fri pick up from school - Monday drop off to school every other weekend . half the holidays. I wouldn't mention special holidays at moment or festival days as you can return later as you would already be asking for a lot.

You could say until they go to school you agree with 8 nights every 4 weeks as you could have 1 midweek and 1 every weekend so the children are seeing you at regular intervals built up in a phased way but once they start school its to be 10 nights every 4 weeks and the reason you are asking for this is to avoid any future hostility and conflict that may arise.

you could ask for overnight contact to start feb half term or easter holidays and have daytime contact every weekend beforehand 9 -6pm for example. bearing in mind you aren't in court until end of month this would fly round pretty quickly. I assume your children start school after 2020 summer holidays
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#6
Very sorry for your loss Sean, Ive been there myself and its heartbreaking. And it must have been incredibly difficult to put up with 1.5 years in a contact centre! Just shows how slow the system is but well done on fighting through it all. I hope your hearing goes your way and you can start the new year with your kids ! Keep us posted mate
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#7
I would do a list of all the holidays you want, birthday, fathers day, Christmas and new year, all defined so ex can't mess you around in the future.

If you need help just ask.
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#8
Thanks you all for the shout out. I'm meeting up with the CAFCASS officer next week in prep of hearing..She has kindly agreed to meet where i intend to run thru her recommendations and my own parenting plan...I have given her heads up that I will be asking more than what she has recommended.
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#9
Go for a "shared care" order. Child lives with both parents. 50/50 if it suits you.
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#10
Ditto. Go for shared care "lives with both parents" 50/50 defined. You can always negotiate down from there to say 60/40 lives with both parents. If Cafcass is funny about lives with both, say - why shouldn't he/she live with both parents?

2-2-5-5 is two consecutive midweek nights each week and every other week-end through to Monday morning. So one week it's 2 nights, the next week is 5 nights (the 2 midweek nights followed by the week-end if the midweek nights are wed,thurs eg).

Defined holidays eg:

Half the school holidays with each parent as follows:

Half of each half term holiday, with consecutive days, keeping to regular week-end schedule, with changeover 12 noon on the Wednesday.
The first half of the Easter holidays with Father and the second half with Mother in 2020 and even years
The first half of the Easter Holidays with Mother and the second half with Father in 2021 and odd years
Half the Christmas holidays to include one full week with each parent and to include Christmas Day on alternate years.

All holidays to commence from the time school breaks up on the last day of term, and to end 9am on the first day of the next term. With the exception of the Summer holidays.

Summer holidays to commence 9am on the first Monday after term ends. Weeks 1,2 and 5 with Mother and weeks 3,4 and 6 with Father.

Such further and other times as agreed between the parties in writing.
Neither parent may change the child's school without the written consent of the other parent.
Mother to keep Child's passport but release it to Father 21 days before any booked holiday, or on request for any other purpose.
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