I wonder if anyone can help. To cut a long story short although precise. Me and my ex split up 18 months ago whilst she was 3 months pregnant. We have not communicated till this point as I would like to meet my son who I have not met. Applied for c100 and parental responsibility order, put forward very reasonable position statement that my solicitor drafted, got to court for first hearing, all the sudden domestic abuse & sexual abuse allegations made against me. Allegations of such that my ex said “if I don’t have sex with him he will leave me” “ I would go into a rage if she did not sleep with me” etc etc along with mentioning things like “ coercive behaviour and controlling” my ex is the one person on this planet you could never control and plays the victim card due to her past DV with her ex! ( not me ) the list is pathetic, and sometimes makes me laugh because I think it’s so redicilous! naturally denied all allegations as they are false. I did not put one allegation against her although I could of! I just wanted something drawn up, Legal so that I see my son and then we both know where we stand and contact can’t be broken. Now a fact finding hearing is taking place. I am self represented, and I am nervous as although her allegations are nothing but allegations this is all new to me and I am not sure what to say, how to say it, do I defend myself do I not defend myself?? I was shocked she had a solicitor as she wasn’t entitled to legal aid although playing the domestic abuse card has given her legal aid!
any help greatly appreciated if anyone has any advise or been in the same situation.
What a shame things have deteriorated so badly but sadly is a common problem. There are some very helpful guides to representing yourself in court and sorting out child arrangements on the advicenow.org.uk website. She will probably have been restricted to 5 or so issues for the fact finding and if you have evidence to refute these so much the better but it often comes done to 'she said/he said'. Be prepared that contact with your son is likely to be in a contact centre to start with but as he gets older and more used to you this should increase until he is able to stay over with you. You may even have to take a hair strand test for drugs/alcohol depending on the allegations. Good luck and hang on in there as it could be a long road.
hear is some information about Fact finding hearing:
it is high risk, as it's based on balance of probabilities. frankly it could go either way. if it goes against you, then it will likely become an uphill struggle for you. you may want to consider hiring a direct access barrister. they work on a fixed fee basis, so can be hired just for 1 hearing etc.
thank you for your message. I also believe it will very much be he said / she said. I mean domestic abuse has never been discussed between us, hence why when I found out she had a solicitor I was shocked as I was wondering how she could afford it. Then the judge asked if she was privately represented or legal aid, then the penny dropped as this is the only way she got legal aid and claims domestic abuse no violence at all. No police intervention or reports! just all very much, he said this to me, he said that. He ripped a phot up of us here’s the picture of the photo ripped up. It’s all very pathetic in my eyes considering we haven’t event spoken for 18 months. I feel she’s bitter and hurt that I left when she was pregnant, and I want to be honest and just say this to the judge she is a bitter woman and now throwing everything out there with a question mark to cause trouble. If I’m granted contact centre then I will of course take this, and go through the motions till more time is granted. I just feel with such high costs of a solicitor to help with I can’t afford it. I’m the sort of person who can’t spend days, weeks, months arguing with silly people so I walk away, now she’s showing all messages she’s sent me and how I’ve ignored them etc etc. it really is mentally exhausting and I’m tempted to throw the towel in and withdraw my application as the stress is affecting all aspects of my working life and she is really not a reasonable woman. It’s her way or no way, and that approach has never worked for me and won’t work.
hi Bill, thanks for your message. When you say uphill battle do you mean in terms of getting contact. I appreciate the courts have to take domestic abuse into consideration and I am behind that, however no police reports, no intervention. She’s a friend of the family’s etc. it’s going to be very much he said she said type of scenario bottom line. I wasn’t happy, left her, we never spoke as she was already blackmailing me about not seeing my son before he was even born because she felt I walked out on her. So I nipped it in the bud and didn’t respond to her and thought I wouldn’t get anywhere anyway so followed up when he was born and now 12 months later it’s only just got to court cause of time frames etc. she’s extremely bitter and 18 months back to recall every argument or mud slinging row we had is hard to remember I only remember some arguments. I just don’t get how someone can claim domestic abuse without anything being reported now she’s got the hump cause she feels I’ve controlled her going to court although she was ingnoring my solicitor letters it was the only thing to do next minute - domestic abuse, controlling behaviour it’s a joke - literally.
There is absolutely no proof required. Your x can drag you for months with no evidence. I have been in court for 7 months with not a single evidence presented. I believe they get advised to delay the process as long as possible and then when there are no more lies to tell, they argue that you don't have a connection anymore with your child. That is what has happened to me.
thank you. Do you mind me asking where you are with it currently or has it finished? Was you self representing? The whole thing is just a joke she is extremely bitter that I left her, and then mentioning coercive control I haven’t had anything to do with her whilst she was pregnant she wanted to go her own way so I left her to it as she was using my son against me before he was even born then I went to court and now all this. I didn’t even know what coercive control was I had to Google it. She knows the system as she went through DV years with her her ex.
@Lave35 Still nothing has happened. Many hearings for nothing. The whole system is collapsed and a bitter ex can abuse the system to delay the process for years as nobody will make a decision. It is so clear that my ex is lying but it would take an honest judge to tell her to stop making things up. They just pass the ball to Cafcass and Cafcass back to the judge (3 more months each iteration). In the end, I am sure I will have access to my son but it will be a couple of years and then she will start obstructing the contact. She has now destroyed my bond with my little child so when I finally get access it will be probably a supervised contact centre. My son will be scared to death of having to meet a stranger in the presence of another stranger in an unknown room. I am sure she will prepare him before the contact. In the end, I will give up if I see him suffering. I just want to make sure that he knows that I tried everything to be in his life. I am writing a private blog he can see when he is older if he ever contacts me.
I am a litigant in person. Don't waste your money on solicitors and barristers. You are the best person to run your case. At most, use a solicitor to check your statements and for guidance. I cannot really see how a barrister can charge 2000 pounds for doing nothing for an hour. I haven't been in a final hearing so all my experience is based on other types of hearings. I have heard that a barrister is important for a final hearing so I may use one. Probably 6k.
thanks for your message and sorry to hear it hasn’t been the best experience my ex is forever a “Victim” she uses her past a lot and constantly goes on and on it’s boring now and after 6 months I was done. Now she’s like I would just ignore her or leave her and go home. Yeah because I’m sick of listening to her past dramas 12 hours a day it mentally draining so I would just go back to my place I wanted out of the relationship she was a drain to say the least! Thing is, it was just arguments about rubbish, nothing ever serious no police, no intervention nothing she’s very very bitter and loves everyone feeling sorry for her yet I was just bored of hearing the stories she would tell anyone and everyone her past and it was draining after a while but I feel she’s got it in for me I was shocked at her allegations and denied all at the first hearing, now the judge issued a fact find, because I denied the allegations it’s pathetic. I’m tempted to withdraw my c100 application and move on, because I’m not represented and I don’t know what I’m doing to be honest. I know I’ve tried my best and so do my family I spent a fortune on solicitor fees on calls, letters, emails, help with applications and she throws a spanner in the works I was like what on earth is going on about.
It's also worth noting that it's usually the lawyers that are knowledgeable and experienced with those terms. so if they want to present a strong case for their client, terms such as coercive control, financial abuse are brought up often. same were mentioned in my case. no evidence to back up those claims. courts weren't interested to look into it. was more or less ignored.
thanks bill, I did think that to be honest, I did kind of feel the solicitors and adding to the fire. When it was mentioned I said to the judge, ( knowing there wasn’t ) I presume there is a police report of this abuse? The judge asked caffcass and the solicitors and they said no there isn’t. I just said - well that says it all then doesn’t it because given her background with her ex she would of called the police nothing got said after that, but all I read about coercive control is prison sentences and it’s not positive, from what I’ve read. But I’m not sure if that’s criminal proceedings, or family court which I think are both different.