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TOPIC: First Hearing advice

First Hearing advice 1 week 1 day ago #97316

I have read everything I can here and elsewhere - bought and read the Lucy Reed book. I have a couple of issues I can't seem to find an answer to - really around strategy. I am representing myself although I have paid for two fixed-price sessions from a family lawyer before I issued the C100 form.

We have had the Cafcass interviews and Cafcass have shared their findings - they are saying there are no safeguarding issues and they don't expect to be involved beyond the first hearing.

I didn't get the C7 form until after the Cafcass interviews had been done.

Ex has ticked the box on the C7 that says "Do you believe that the child(ren) named above have suffered or are at risk of suffering any harm from any of the following:"

As I understand it, she'd normally be required to give details on a C1A form - but she hasn't submitted one.

I wrote to her lawyer pointing out that I haven't had the C1A - they haven't replied although they did confirm receipt of my e-mail.

I called the Court - they haven't had a C1A - they seemed very lax and said they don't always even get a C7 form before the hearing. I said I thought there was a 14 day deadline for paperwork but they effectively said they don't care about that.

I called the Cafcass person who was really surprised that Q7 had been answered yes.

We have one week to go to the first hearing - ex was trying to get it adjourned but so far has failed.

So (finally) to my questions -

Do I have to wait until the day to see the C1A form? It seems crazy to have a form and deadline and then ignore it - especially as she has a solicitor. It seems clear to me she is making these false allegations to try and delay the process and it looks as if the Court Service are facilitating that. I know they have to take any allegations seriously but allowing her to tick a box and then not give any details is really taking the Mickey.

Should I submit a position statement now (or soon)? The Charlotte Trace advice linked to in a sticky at the top of the forum suggests I should - whereas a lot of forum posts here and elsewhere suggest saving my position statement for the day.

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First Hearing advice 1 week 1 day ago #97318

Don't be surprised by her solicitors if they don't give you a copy until the day or a few days before if they decide to, i've had things handed to me on the day of a hearing before. although on that one it is rather underhanded and will be frowned upon by the judge.

With it being a first hearing it's a directions hearing, they will hear your reasons for the application then her reasons for refusing contact etc... then they'll decide if they can make an order if you both agree or whether they then need to order CAFCASS to carry out a more detailed report on the allegations your ex dreams up.

You don't need to submit a position statement for a first hearing, but i personally would have one typed up with you on the day and when in court you could offer it to the judge if they wanted to see it. usually a position statement would be ordered by the courts for the next hearing where you both argue your case.
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i'm not legally trained....i'm just a Dad going through hell to see his child grow up and become a decent man and human being.....my goal is simple...to be the father to my child like my father is to me...my hero.

Started this battle 2010.....who knows when the fighting will stop!

Parental Alienation is real and is abuse!

First Hearing advice 1 week 23 hours ago #97332

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That is sound advice regarding the position statement. Keep it to 2 pages in length and just give a brief oversight.

It's not unusual for solicitors to send paperwork the day before or give it to you at the hearing. If that happens, please do tell the court you haven't had time to seek legal advice regarding anything they submit.

Cafcass have said they have no role here so hopefully the court will try and get the mother to reach agreement on a way forward.

Best of luck with the hearing and do let us know how you get on.
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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.
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