First Hearing Any advice
Hi, Guys love the forum super helpful; little history. My ex-wife and I split up last year. I cheated she pissed hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. I have no criminal records or domestic abuse accounts. She left the family home, went back to her parents, took our son. She limited the amount of contact by not allowing my son to come home and forced contact in the park and soft plays for a few hours once a week. She believed it would confuse him if she let him come home; that's the text I got. Nope, it was just so she and her mother could control the situation. My son is 4.
I tried to be civil and speak to her directly, she made communication difficult by not meeting or responding slowly to text messages, then I suggested mediation she agreed, week after she told me that the mediator said to her that the two us needed to speak about an arrangement first before mediation begins, I said no you've caught me off guard I'll instead prepare something when I'm here again it all kicked off, her mum started the argument then the ex got involved but her dad was civil enough to see sense, I said look next week, me yourself and your daughter can sit down and talk, I spoke to the mediator after the following week, he said he never mentioned anything like that to her and was waiting for the funds from both parties, I turned up the week after to discuss things and noticed my ex was behaving odd turns out she was recording me, so we sat down and I said if your recording me, I'm not having this conversation next thing she said was anyway doesn't matter I applied for a C100 to the courts and the mediator signed it off, and boy did another argument happen so I just left and thought what's the point I'm never aggresive in these confrontations they normally are they try to get a reaction out of me.
I got a solicitor. I admit I moved pretty slowly because I don't believe families belong in the courts. She applied for a C100 and a C1A, so now I have my First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment (FHDRA) at the end of the month.
I prepared a position statement with my solicitor to respond to her applications and respond to the allegations. I couldn't believe she went down the road of DV and Emotional abuse typical. She claimed I had mental health another cheap shot because she had a conversation with my mother after we split. I was upset and depressed; who wouldn't be? She took everything my mum said out of context. My mother is happy to be a witness to this. The crazy stuff she put down, that I locked her and my son in the house, I called her a dumb and worthless mother. I told her to have an abortion, I threatened her with my body, without touching her, I threw a phone at her, which bounced off her and hit my son never happened. I always peed in my son potty, which was disturbing to her and my son, and I can't look after his needs because he is a non-verbal autistic child which I did when we were together and still do now. Before my son broke his leg she would drop him off me at the location, she allowed unsupervised contact in the park and soft play; no concerns then ?. The worst two, I watched porn in front of our son and physically broke his leg. Even when my son was in a wheelchair, she still allowed unsupervised contact; she wanted me to take him to the farm to feed the donkeys at his most vulnerable state. I suggested to her to come along she said no. Instead, I said I'll spend time at your parent's house while he recovers; once my son got better, I switched it to my parent's house.
Locking her in the house is ridiculous; why would you let it keep happening and not call for help. I admit I wanted an abortion, but I apologised, and then we had a photoshoot while she was pregnant; she had pictures on Facebook, which I saved before she deleted them, saying I love this pic of my self my boo, and our bump I'm so happy. The peeing in the potty was her I took a picture of that. The porn and the broken leg are the worst ones. I never watched porn in front of our son. Her saying that makes her sound just as guilty because she allowed it to happen without intervening. I took our son trampolining he broke his leg; kids have accidents at these places. Her accusation was that I brought him back to her house, and the reason wasn't plausible of how he broke his leg. That's a lie; she and her parents met me and drove us to the hospital. The doctors and surgeons even said this is common and mentioned no cause of physical harm. I have evidence of us together at the hospital. She called my mother and seemed happy by the call.
Sorry about the long story, guys. My main questions are
I figured you at least had to attend mediation before anyone could file a C100. Is that not the case?
Has anyone ever had a non-attended First hearing where both parties attendance are required at short notice? If so, how did it go, or Is this a normal thing?
My CAFCASS call is next week any advice on what questions they normally ask?
And any advice on how this all might play out in court?
yes it's very common to be bombarded with all kinds of allegations when things go to court. Try and remain calm. Their purpose is to stress you out and get you to react. Before applying with c100, you have to attend mediation, a MIAM (mediation information assessment meeting). It does not mean you will always be invited for mediation with your ex. Some mediators decide there is no point in continuing mediation, so they just sign you off with the paperwork and then you can apply to court.
Your 1st Cafcass call with be basic. They will want to know what the issues are and what you are seeking for childs arrangements. They may mention some allegations your ex made and they would might want you to respond. The 1st hearing will be similar nature. They want to know what issues are and the next steps to take. They will likely order Cafcass to do a welfare report (section 7). takes 8-12 weeks, then you return to court for 2nd hearing to discuss report.
@bill337 it's crazy it should be compulsory to at least finish Mediation, I just feel the system is broken why put that in place, I don't have many issues one is I'm scared my ex will refuse my son a blood transfusion because of her faith, so that's my only concern, do you feel Cafcass will think I'm being ridiculous by saying this ? I don't want to slag her off, with the allegations I've heard Cafcass normally side with mum is that true ?. The whole court process is slow honestly I had no idea if Cafcass do a welfare check I'm guessing there stop contact between me and son right?, thanks for replying mate.
Cafcass do take religious/health issues into consideration. look at the welfare checklist, they base decisions around those: https://childlawadvice.org.uk/information-pages/the-welfare-checklist/
when was the last time you saw your child? if you have been seeing him regularly, then it's unlikely court will stop contact, unless your ex makes crazy allegations. The system is weighted in favour of mother. Just be child-focused as you need to work with Cafcass and have them on your side.
Unless your child has a need for a blood transfusion now I wouldn't mention it as a concern. Should the time ever arise then that is when you would go to court about the matter if you and the mother disagree . That particular matter cannot be resolved now as each case is reviewed on its own merits at the time the situation arises. The court will not say from now that the child does or does not have to have a transfusion and therefore I can't see the value in raising it.
@Daddyup I agree, I think if the mother was refusing a blood transfusion and the childs life was threatened, the hospital is likely to step in and apply for an emergency court order, that's likely to be far more effective.
Hi Guys, so had my call with Cafcass didn't mention the blood you guys were right. She mentioned emotional abuse in the relationship and wanted to know more about it. I said there wasn't any, I admitted to having an affair. I said my ex was angry and arguments happened towards the end of the relationship then she left, the Cafcass agent said, oh, she never mentioned an affair. She also said do you know anything about your son's conditions lately, I said no as the mother is choosing not to involve me, she said that needs to change as well. Then she asked me what I'm looking for. I said my son is four years old, has autism and needs a routine with both parents; I said the arrangement at the moment isn't working, she agreed and said the contact should be longer. I said I want overnight stays. She said that wouldn't be in the best interest of your son at this point as it's been a year since you've had him. He's developed some new conditions that you're not up to date on, Cafacss women said, mum, not saying you're a bad Dad just that she doesn't believe you can look after him.
Your ex is saying two adults are required to look after your son (which is bullshit). If two adults had been around, he would not have broken his leg is what mum said. She recommended increasing the day I already had with him. I suggested two nights in the month at my parents' house and progress to having him on my own to the Cafcass lady she said that's a good idea.
What do you guys think? I wanted overnight stays with my son straight away. At least something like a 50/50 split or 60/40 split, heck even a 70/30 straight away. Is there any point in me fighting this? The cafcass women is right It's been a whole year since I've had my son; should I go against what's she saying.
It sounds to me like the cafcass officer is sympathetic to some extent. What you don't want to do is alienate her, so my advice would be to say that you want to work towards overnights, and work with her to achieve that. Don't forget she is looking out for what is best for your son (or should be) so if she sees you doing the same, hopefully you'll get her agreement to that sooner.
I'd agree with actd.. if you attempt to try and push for too much too soon the you risk the Cafcass officer thinking you don't understand or accept what she is saying, which considering the circumstances seems to make sense. In which case it could take you even longer to get to where you want to. If however, you work with her and demonstrate that you can look after son then potentially you will get over night and more contact sooner anyway.
It is so much more difficult to get cafcass back on board once you alienate them and then realise your mistake. In this case it appears she is trying to accommodate you whilst ensuring that son nd his needs are the priority.
All The best.
Hi Guys, so I've taken on board what you've said about contact arrangement with my son I received a letter from Cafcass basically explaining they will no longer be involved in our case, so I guess good news. My solicitor received the Order from the courts, nothing was mentioned about more contact with my son, all it said was the mother must send reports in regard to my son's additional needs to myself and the courts, And that both parties must send a written statement to each other, now we have a Dispute Resolution hearing which is 1 hour long with the chance of the courts hearing evidence if time permits. Seriously guys I'm so confused.
Why do I need a witness statement if I put together a position statement wouldn't I just be repeating myself ?
What evidence would the courts even want to hear ? They only think I can imagine my ex saying is that I'm unable to look after my son, so I shouldn't be allowed overnight stay because he broke his leg in my care.
Also, little info on the Cafcass letter, on record Children's Services Trust, the Ex made a call to the police last year saying I was emotionally abusive but couldn't give one reason to the police on why I was emotionally abusive, basically she said I would raise my voice and tell her I didn't want her working weekends lol.
And that my son fall down the stairs in her care when he was 3 and sustained a head injury. So it didn't really look good on her part.
Hearing evidence can simply mean the court asking you questions under oath and your solicitors asking you both questions too.
Your solicitor will be best placed to advise on what paperwork will need to be done.
If your ex maintains her allegations, it's possible the court would ask Cafcass to order a Section 7 report or have a fact finding hearing. Your solicitor will be able to explain this to you in more detail.
Best of luck