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Good Luck Tigre
#1
With hearing this week.
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#2
Yeah my ex does the laughing and joking with partner thing. Hang in there though and push for more because she is not to be trusted to keep to what you had before.

You asked for residency- the court should take that seriously- and the reasons for it. It is common to make a lives with both order to keep an ex in check and to give you more time as well. Ie remove some power from her.

The laughing and joking is just to get to you.
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#3
Hey Tigre. Sorry today didn't go as you wanted. Trying to find your threads to be reminded of the details of your situation but can't find anything.

Was it a FHDRA today? Sorry I can't recall.

When you feel up to it maybe share a very brief summary of background and current proceedings so we can offer some input?
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#4
He has 3 days of final hearing I believe. She might want to go back to the previous order, but the Judge might decide something different.
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#5
So you need to tell your barrister that it must at least be lives with both parents - as that takes something away from her. And will deter her from it going to court again. So your allegations of parental alienation - are they still going to be heard or not - because she's now not making any allegations.

Hope your barrister shows what she's really like when he cross examines her. There needs to be some focus on her extreme hostility and alienating of son and keeping him off school for weeks. So if the Judge is saying you two should be getting along better, barrister needs to focus on the Mother being implacably hostile to the Father or any contact. And she can't be believed when she says she'll keep to the order of 2017 as she has breached on so many occasions.
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#6
What were the contact arrangements in 2017 final order and what are the latest directions by the court today?

Also what was your C100 &C1 application for 2 years ago? To extend arrangements with your child?

It seems to me you need to continue and focus on your original application which seems to have been overshadowed by her false allegations and the C79 proceedings.

You can use the appalling behaviour by your ex over the past 2 years as evidence of her hostility to you and your relationship with your child. This may actually help you secure what it is you wanted originally?
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#7
Like others wishing you good luck today Tigre. If your Ex hasn’t been cross examined by your own barrister yet to expose the untruths and false claims, I can assure you that she will not be laughing during and afterwards. Barristers have a great skill for exposing a false narrative especially on weak evidence.
Head up and remain positive today.
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#8
I was in your shoes a year ago so I like many others know exactly how you are feeling.
Listen to the question, breathe and simply answer it .... keep your answers short and clean. You will find your own rhythm and it will become easier - short and simple answers where ever possible and don’t rise to any barbed insinuations.
Best of luck again.
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#9
Hey Tigre. Sorry to sense your frustration and upset bud.

There is no difference in law whether an order is by consent or not. They are court orders and both enforceable. But a consent order by definition implies that at the point of being agreed and made the parties had considered all matters related to the child's welfare. So it can have the effect of limiting a little more any welfare matters which either party may wish to raise again for the court to consider, unless it was a matter that was not known to them at the time of consent. Know what I mean?

What is your child's age and was there a contested final hearing at proceedings leading up to the 2017 order? Had there been any welfare findings or any findings against either parent (eg judge found a party has lied, or is aggressive etc) made whether in a fact finding hearing or a 'normal' one?

What is the geography like between where you live, your ex and child's school?

Had you asked for some of the 'care time' ie school nights in your original or subsequent application 2 years ago?

What is the maximum you have spent with your child in 'one go'?

Sorry for all the questions but need details in order to be able to offer any constructive input.

Change of residence is not impossible but there are so many considerations to weigh up. A court will not make any order simply to punish a misbehaving parent, even when their behaviour is quite appealing and at times harmful to the child whom the courts are there to protect.

It is all about weighing up the positives but also the harms...ie what is the less harmful option for the child even though it may still not be ideal.

My views are not all from experience, but from very extensive reading of almost the complete English published case law since 2004 on private law - children proceedings. I struggle to find a single published private case on shared residence or parental manipulation/alienation, or relocation case that I have not read...hundreds of them

I went to such an extent of researching and learning because during the first few months of my own proceedings I had actually believed and was terrified, like you seem to be, that there was a real chance that the court would not let me play a full part in my child's life as I had till separation and as I wished for the rest of his childhood. I was also scared that my ex would try to manipulate and/or alienate our child against me. And finally I was scared she may attempt to relocate in order to distance child from me. So due to all those fears, and my absolute devotion and commitment to be in my chid's life, I instinctively began to try to understand as fully as I possibly could the complex arena I had found my self in in order to protect my child, as we all do...So I spent hundreds of hours, over almost a year and a half, reading and studying and re-reading every authority on the matters of interest in my case but also the Children Act.

My understanding is that courts will try to minimise any change in the child's arrangements unless there is a good enough reason to do so. This is not as simple as it sounds, and the more drastic the change the bigger the reason needs to be.

I do not subscribe to the notion that the family court are biased. I honestly don't and I know so many fathers have had very different experiences. But I think if we were to look at statistics, there is overall no bias. I could write pages about this now, its societal norms which give way and some credence to the stereotypes and the perceived bias. Mothers are, just factually, the ones who are the primary carers overwhelmingly, to this day, simply because of the structure of our society, BUT this has been changing for years now and the courts DO recognise this and in the right cases will treat both parents absolutely equally. By 'right cases' I mean by looking at the reality of the history of how each parent cared for their child and most importantly, especially for a younger child, which parent the child has a secure attachment to. In my case I had been caring for our child since his first day of birth almost equally with the ex (everything except breastfeeding obviously), every single day until he was almsot 2 years old and thankfully even during proceedings I was able to have him at home with me every other day. If Cafcass reports to court in an S7 that the chid is securely attached to both parents, equally or close to equally (this is not common as I said because of work/home set ups in society) then the court will treat them equally and weigh up all the items on the Welfare Checklist and make a decision. Something as simple as geographical practically could ultimately be the thing that can sways which direction a judge decides in a finely balanced case, all other things being equal.

Having said all the above I absolutely believe there are some biased judges and Cafcass officers, and it is unfortunate that devoted parents had the bad luck of having them involved in their case. But is is the minority. Mothers too actually complain similarly that courts are these days biased against them.

The enormous, almost absolute, level of discretion afforded to family judges can definitely be a positive or a negative in a very absolute way in somebody's case. And not every parents has the capacity, whether financial or emotional, to follow through with a difficult appeal where many of the mistakes we read being complained about in this forum are often overturned and corrected in the higher courts on appeal.

There are so many variables. No case is the same as another. The smallest details can change the outcome. It is all a balancing act. So one can not even attempt to guess which way a court will decide without every single detail. Because even with all the details the evidence given in court, the parties presentation and demeanour also play an important role as does the tone and language in written statements.

Sorry for the lengthy post, I always found that understanding of the process helped me be more at ease and focus on my case in a better way. Hence the crazy reading and re-reading of the authorities.

Some interesting reading by the Nuffield Foundation:
Full report: https://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/wp-co...report.pdf
Short summary of report: https://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/wp-co...laimer.pdf

If you and your child have a very close bond, if there is some history or can show you can care for him during the school week, if its practical, if there are no big changes involved which can upset/harm the child (eg change of school), if child's wishes/feelings also are positive, and lots of other ifs considered against the Welfare Checklist, then of course the important matter of manipulation/alienation and the harm on the child, these will all be weighed up.

Chin up. Wink
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#10
Hey Tigre.

Ok very briefly, is it at all possible you can move to be closer to ex and child's school? This would obviously remove a lot of potential obstacles to shared care or change of residence. You may be able to secure shared care as a protective measure against the manipulation if you were able to do so, but also it would simply become very easy practically.

The weight to the secure attachment aspect of it, as i understand it, is very important when the child is very young. As child becomes older it becomes less so. In your case, it is probably less important so don't worry too much. If child was 2-3 then it would be very different.

Very positive that you have spent multiple lengthy periods with your child which I assume your child enjoyed and was happy with.

Really sorry to hear that your child was influenced to say negative things about you. Just the thought of that makes me so very upset. That a parent would mess with their child in this way. Your disproval of the Monday return to school, because it would not be the best option for your child, even though you plainly would love more time with him, is commendable mate. THAT is how a parent should behave and act, simple question, "what is best for my child?"

It seems the professionals recognise that the child was influenced by his mother to say things. So that is a definite mark against her, whether this has been expressed so in writing or judgement or not (courts often avoid open heavy criticism of either parent). But is it on record.

Change of residence in your case, as you seem to recognise, is hard because of the perceived bigger magnitude of changes to child was one to be made, given the history and the lack of the 'care time'. If you had a midweek overnight for a while and it was successful then such a change of residence can be viewed less 'drastic' and less risky so to speak.

Having said that there are various authorities on such change being ordered even in circumstances where father did not have 'care time' or even with after a long absence. Again, it is all in the details and how serious and likely the court accepts the risk of harm to the child by the mother to be, weighed against the harm caused by such a change.

Literally could write 50 pages on this so don't worry about it too much. Just be honest, calm, confident, look at a photo or think of your child before going back in, and remember you are there fighting for his absolute best interests...and you are there asking the court to agree with you that you child needs some protection form the behaviour which your ex is exhibiting and is harmful (accepted in law) on your child.

Try to obtain undertakings that the mother will not speak negatively about the father etc.. Your counsel will word appropriately. Then you can enforce any breach of such an undertaking as it would be contempt of court and can lead to committal application. This may act as a form of deterrent from such harmful manipulation upon your child .
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