COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93326

ok guys sit back this is going to be epic

So i have a 4 year old son with my ex partner. We broke up 12 months ago after i found out she was seeing other guys behind my back.

I moved out and currently live back with my mum until i can get sorted.

My partner had 2 daughters to a previous relationship.

One of the daughters 11 months after i moved out made a claim to police that i sexually assaulted her.

First thing i new about it was police turning up seizing my computer and phone and the next day a non-mol came through too.

I have been interviewed by police, not arrested or bailed. I obviously denied all the claims against me. Zero evidence has been submitted against me.

i have no criminal record at all.

Non-mol was heard and then passed with out change today, i had solicitors she self rep.

I lodged a child application which it looks like now will go to a full court trial with her daughter been called to account.

This really surprised my ex.

Back story is my ex has had a contact order out on her previous partner with whom she had the 2 girls with, the father and 2 girls have no relationship now as he broke and finally gave up.

My ex was also married to a different partner but that ended in divorce.

All 3 partners have had police called to them or allegations made against them and she has a long history with social service and cafcass.

I have no history with either.

Child who made the claim against me has had therapy for eating disorders and counselling for other issues .

My ex is super controlling, very underhand and manipulative. She hates me having any control or influence over my son.

The tipping point was an argument about my sons passport for a trip i have booked. She with held it for months and just 3 weeks before the holiday the allegations came out of no where.

Sure you can join the dots up and see the picture.

i currently have no contact. Social service recommended supervised contact with my family , my ex has said no contact.

My ex has also contact my sister saying she doesn't want to fight at court and that she wants my mother, sister and me to have contact with my son.

So questions what happens in this trial?

Whats the worst that can happen? Whats the best?

What will cafcass do,? Am i on a hiding to nothing?

I am frighted to death i will be erased out of my sons life. My ex is doing everything possible to keep me out of his life.

We have a really good relationship and i love him to bits. All i want is quality time with my son and to be a good dad to him.


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COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93333

It's not a trial, it's a process, a series of hearings over months or even years.

The first thing that will happen is that CAFCASS who are the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service will call both you and the ex.

They will do police and local authority checks on you both. Primarily, their role at this stage is to highlight any safeguarding issues. The allegations made by your ex partners daughter will be seen as a risk until disproved. Having evidence you are innocent will help but this isn't cut and dried, you are going to have to work hard at this. Your solicitor in a case like this will likely cost anything from 10-20k to cover all hearings.

There is a lot of help here on this site and you have representation (although I am surprised you have not been given the full sp by the lawyer you are paying!!! Mostly they are not worth your time).

Your case will probably go something like this:

CAFCASS safeguarding letter will recommend no contact until the allegations are investigated.

At the first hearing, the Court will likely just order an S7 report from CAFCASS (google Section 7 Report for more info).

At the next hearing, depending on the S7 report, there may be a fact finding hearing ordered or there may be interim contact ordered - don't bank on this.

You may then have a Fact-Finding hearing where you and your ex will be cross examined by each others representatives. Given she now has the non-mol, she will get legal aid and will be represented.

Depending on the outcome of that hearing there may be a series of hearings whilst contact is introduced slowly.

In the end you should have a final hearing where a final order is issued saying where your son will live and who he will have contact with.

You are starting out at a real disadvantage with the non-mol and the allegations. If you can prove it is all malicious it will help you immeasurably in Court.

This arena is full of dishonesty and dirty tricks. The system can work well at times but like everything, there are good judges, bad judges, good courts, bad courts.

Sometimes it comes down to the luck of the draw.

Don't be cockey, be polite and respectful of everyone - your ex included. For the duration of this case, just imagine that the judge is sat or stood beside you every waking hour. They do have eyes and ears everywhere anyway.

Good luck - many of us have been through this and come out with decent contact. Some have failed and lost everything.
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Last Edit: by justdad.

COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93341

Thanks for the reply

Ex does not have legal aid, that was established at the non-mol.

The hearing is to establish if the allegations are true. To help inform the contact order.There is zero evidence other than the child's statement.

Both mother and child have a long past with social service and cafcass, Will this make any difference to the end result.?

My main worry is that burden of proof in civil court is lower than criminal court.

I have not committed any crime at all but i feel like the set up is now complete and i am been prepared for the chop.

On a side note my ex recently text a family member of mine saying she wanted both me and my sister / mother to have contact with my son. But her actions are to cut off all contact at every opportunity. how will this action be viewed?

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COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93342

Once the Court have the context and accept it (her past) you should be on your way to a decent order.

The non-mol is one of the gateway orders for legal aid. Also if the Court find that her allegations are true, she has proven abuse to secure legal aid too!

It's a nightmare and does not make sense. Your best course of action is to get your evidence clear and straight so you can feed it to your lawyer to use in Court. They will not do the legwork for you unfortunately so you will need to gather everything you can.

The mother consistently denying contact won't really be looked into until you have been cleared - until then, they will think she MAY be justified.

I've said before it's a lottery - and it is!

Stay calm and be reasonable at every opportunity - if she shows herself to be what you say she is and you show yourself to be what you say you are, everything SHOULD fall into place.

I've been in Court more times than I choose to remember - both on the receiving end and assisting others - there is a lot at stake. It's very easy to allow your own emotions to overcome you and give the other side exactly what they want ..... "see he is a total mess"....nasty all of it.

Sorry if I sound negative - I'm not - I am just battle weary..

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COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93346

Justdad thanks for the replys

Hell 3 weeks ago i was just a normal dad, now i am a risk to my child and me been a dad has to be stopped at all costs!

Seriously you couldn't make this shit up.

I dont trust the systems in place to resolve this at all. I feel like my ex can say what ever she wants and everyone dance to her tune.

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COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93348

You said that your main worry is that the burden of proof is lower than in the criminal courts. To my cost, I've discovered that this "burden of proof" boils down to an opinion. In the criminal courts, evidence would be taken into account - in the family courts, it means nothing. This "opinion" doesn't even have to rely on facts - in fact the judge in my case completely ignored facts that were on official documents - his decisions literally contradicted those facts as if they weren't written in black and white.

I had recorded evidence that I had not done the things I was accused of. Recorded! It still made no difference - if the judge takes a dislike for you or simply sides with the mother, he can decide that you are guilty without any evidence. How is this justice? The British justice system is supposed to be the finest in the world, but as far as the family courts are concerned, it's a totally different ball game.

When my story started, I had no idea what was going on in the family courts. It's not the kind of thing that men talk about. I think for the women on the playground who discuss their relationships more in-depth, it's a different story. Had I known the stunts my ex was about to pull with all the lies and false allegations, I'd have started recording her much earlier. When we split up, she was actually trying to convince me that I'd done things that I hadn't - it was as though she was talking to another person, as though I wouldn't actually know what I'd done or said. When I pointed this out, I had suddenly developed memory and mental health problems, according to her.

But then, once it's happened to you, you start hearing stories, watching youtube video's, going on forums and realising just what's really going on.

There's this thing called the "no order principle" which basically mean that the courts won't get involved unless there is a dispute between the parents. At first glance, that sounds sensible. But then what that does is promote a fault-based system which turns parents against each other.

It's bad enough that the government are promoting this kind of system but it's even worse that mothers are condemning their children to live without fathers by taking advantage of it. And if you object, before you know it, you'll be seeing your kids "supervised" through a contact centre. And there's nothing you can do about it.

So my advice to every dad going through a rocky relationship, or has just split up, record everything. Keep as much evidence as you possibly can. Because you can almost guarantee that your ex won't give a damn about you in 6 or 12 months when it comes to things like custody, child benefits, maintenance, etc. You never know what you're going to be accused of and before long you'll be in a fact finding hearing with a judge that is biased in favour of the governments policies that support mothers no matter what they've done and condemn fathers no matter how innocent they are. And throughout it all, your children will suffer, because now they've only got one full-time parent.

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Last Edit: by Paul_6611.

COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93349

How likely is a no contact order? and can i appeal it or fight it?

My ex was recording our hand overs from the start and me been naive to all this i had no idea why she was doing it.

She has been through this before so new exactly what she was doing, like one big set up.

I was upset because of the things she had done cheating, lying etc so acted with aggression some times not that i every hit out at her but i know it will be used against me.

I dont trust the system that i am about to enter one bit,

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COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93350

I really don't know. Every case is different but I've just appealed the "decisions" the judge made in my finding of fact case. You can only appeal if an error has been made in law. Now how is the average father supposed to know about errors in law? By stopping legal aid, unless fathers can afford solicitors and barristers, you don't stand a chance because nobody will give you legal advice. Not the CAB, family rights group, childlawadvice, etc. The only chance you stand to win an appeal is with legal help - how convenient is that? A system set up to turn parents against each other, with a huge industry making fortunes from fathers who haven't got a clue!

And yes, your ex was already wise to how it all works - surprise!

My only advice (this was actually given to me by a solicitor who was kind enough to help) is to turn the tables - show why you acted the way you did. Explain that your aggression was because of her cheating and lying - and anything else you can think of. And get evidence if you can. You're right not to trust this system and the quicker you wise up and understand what's happening, the better chance you stand of being a part of your children's lives. Give her no excuse to make you look like the bad guy - be whiter than white. Better yet - have no contact with her at all and do things through a contact book.
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COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93356

When explaining my own situation I often say that I went to bed one night and woke up the next morning in the Twilight Zone. You’re right, it is all so unimaginably bizarre.

I had everything thrown at me, rape allegations included. The ex swore to the Court that I had never had any input in my children’s lives prior to the breakup and that I was incapable of changing a nappy.

I researched every waking moment, swallowed being arrested by pig thick police officers who seemed to think they were judge, jury and executioner and cried rivers of tears whilst constantly waking up in cold sweats eat night - for years.

Ultimately, fighting the system is not a viable option when you are in the midst of it. The best bet is to suss it out and make it work for you. Jump through all the hoops, expect the unexpected and above all stay calm.

It took me almost two years the first time. I will be going back shortly and it will likely take 6 months. These things drag and whilst everything seems biased towards the mother, eventually, if you are lucky and methodical, you can overcome it.
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Last Edit: by justdad.

COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93376

Yep i too have had the bad dreams, cold sweats and tears.

Had to stop my self going to the Ex's and punching the front door though to get to my son.

It mental torture and guess what because your a dad no one gives a shit, if your a mum the whole world stops to help you.

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COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93389

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When you're in the midst of it, it can often seem insurmountable, but we have many Dads that have gone through the process, feeling quite hopeless, but have ended with a good level of involvement in their children's lives.

The best advice has already been given to you... patience is your best friend and no matter how angry and let down you feel, don't ever let that show, rise above the pettiness and present as a calm and reasonable parent, keeping your child's well being at the heart of the process.

It can be a tortuous path, but there are people that care about you and your child's outcome and you've come to the right place to get some advice and support that hopefully will help you see it through.

All the best
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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

COURT TRIAL 1 year 11 months ago #93403

My ex partner is in a similar situation. It’s taken 4 years and numerous hearings to get to the stage of supervised contact with his three small children. Despite having no criminal record and the police not charging him when ex made her ludicrous abuse allegations Cafcass and family court treated him as if he was guilty. The ex has finally been proven a liar and a bad mother who has caused her children emotional damage yet she’s allowed to keep custody. If they had listened to him in the first place and taken his concerns on board instead of labelling him an abusive monster those children wouldn’t be as damaged as they are now and neither would he be. Cafcass have a lot to answer for as does family court.

My advise. Get all the legal help you can afford. She will get legal aid, the non mol guarantees it. She will lie, Cafcass will believe her. Gather all the evidence you can, even if it seems insignificant it might be useful. Stay calm, don’t let her wind you up into doing anything that makes you look bad. Keep posting here because the advise is good.
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