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TOPIC: Final Hearing Statement Guidance

Final Hearing Statement Guidance 2 weeks 5 days ago #101401

Hi all

Not sure if ive picked the correct category so apologies if I have.

Bit of background on my case.

Split in December 2018.
Attended mediation and ex wife would not mediate on child arrangements so I filed a C100 for 50:50 care.
Currently I have the children (2 girls, 3 and 6yrs) every Monday and Wednesday from 4:30-7 and every other weekend from 8:30 sat to sun 7pm so 1 overnight a fortnight.

When CAFCASS called she raised a concern about my step father who was once on the sex offenders register for a minor offence and was removed years ago by a magistrates court. She knew about all of this and never raised any concern whatsoever.

At the first hearing it was solely on this issue despite my application having nothing to do with him, he is not part of my care plan but they fixated on it.
CAFCASS ordered to do a Section 7 report.

CAFCASS came out and met with me and my family and also the ex. He spoke to my eldest at her school. Ex came out with some crazy statements such as I have no relationship with my youngest as I am out triathlon training for the first 2 years of her life. I have competed in Ironman event for GB but most training was done when the kids had gone to bed. She also claimed my life is dominated by work - I have a 35 hour full time job - the standard. I am certainly not a workaholic. There is no allegations of abuse because there wasn't any!

When the report came back the CAFCASS officer has pretty much agreed with everything I said and has recommended 5 nights out of 14. While this is a positive step in the right direction I still want closer to 50:50. I would settle for 6 nights out of 14. He also said that there is no risk from the step father and that even if there is it can be managed. However my step father has submitted a statement that he will have nothing to do with the children so that it wont affect my case.

So that brings us to yesterday - the second hearing DRA. So there was magistrates and legal advisor. She had a barrister and a solicitor and objected to me having my mum in as McKenzie friend. She also had barrister and solicitor at the first hearing. I am going it alone as I don't have the money for legal support. Her mum is funding her case completely as she has no money and wont work (extremely lazy and on benefits). Again their focus was mainly on the step father despite his stepping away from any involvement. The magistrates and legal advisor said that we can put a prohibited steps order in place to mitigate the risk from step father. However, this did not seem good enough for her. She even stated that I should not have overnights in the term weekdays because I don't have their school uniform at my house or able to do their hair! I am pretty competent at braiding and ponytails so this is extreme clutching in my opinion.

So finally they have said that we need to produce statements for the final contested hearing which will be next available date after end of October. I sincerely hope the magistrates can see what is going on here.

So my advice to you knowledgeable bunch is what is a statement, what do I include, how is it laid out? Is there anything to avoid putting in? Does anyone have an example I could look at? Happy to liaise over private message to give more information if required.

This site has been a great help over the last 10 months so any advice would be most welcome.

Thanks

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Final Hearing Statement Guidance 2 weeks 5 days ago #101424

hi,

your case sounds a bit similar to mine. it was 3 rounds. 2nd hearing DRA (should just call it BS hearing as judges just take back seat and don't make orders usually).

i hope you dont get Sat-sun overnight on permanent basis. my ex tried that on me. she said fridays are special for them, all their family/kids gather, so thats why i should only get sat-sun. load of nonsense and i got fri-sun. i bet their lawyers would prob advise them to keep overnights to a minimum, in order to claim more child maintenance.

i am assuming for your final hearing, they have asked for a witness statement?

its basically a more beefy version of a position statement. All the issues you could not agree on at your 2nd hearing (DRA), you should address these one by one in letter/bullet-point form.

examples from my one:

a.- location and progression of contact with the baby?

my barrister advised me on this point: There is nothing in your statement about this. Can you add something? Do you have any suggestions for locations in the short-term? Do you have a suggestion for when contact progresses to 2 hours/overnight? Also, you can add something about your parents not having seen baby and not being able to travel due to their health.

b. malicious behaviour. i wrote about all the nasty crap that led up to me taking ex to court. this is what barrister replied:

I have removed a lot of this section as it will not help our case to argue that miss x is malicious. We are not saying that she is a bad mother, plus the court will see that she has allowed some level of contact. This issue is just what is the appropriate level of contact.

c. Seeking to spend bank holidays with kids
* Please elaborate on why this will be beneficial for the children.

i kept notes on the dates and times i collected kids before this went to court, to show picture of how times were getting restricted on weekly basis and why it was justified to take this to court. i put this down on statement:

e.g. 01/01/19 : 9am - 6pm
07/01/19: 11am-6pm
14/01/19: 3pm-6pm

hope you have some idea now.

witness statements: childlawadvice.org.uk/witness-statements/

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Final Hearing Statement Guidance 2 weeks 4 days ago #101437

Hi Bill337 thanks for the message.

It sounds as though it is what I was thinking. They said to keep it less than 4 sides of A4 so that should be quite simple to do. I won't be slating the ex as much as I want to! I can't believe how hard they work to try and stop our children having a settled, loving childhood involving both parents!

CAFCASS are on my side so hopefully when he's there in the final hearing it will give my case some clout!

Thanks

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Final Hearing Statement Guidance 2 weeks 4 days ago #101441

oceanlava wrote: Hi Bill337 thanks for the message.

It sounds as though it is what I was thinking. They said to keep it less than 4 sides of A4 so that should be quite simple to do. I won't be slating the ex as much as I want to! I can't believe how hard they work to try and stop our children having a settled, loving childhood involving both parents!

CAFCASS are on my side so hopefully when he's there in the final hearing it will give my case some clout!

Thanks


yep hope it goes well for you. please keep us updated. its ridiculous having to justify why you want to see your own children. but this is the game of the family courts. child-focused. its meant to revolve all around the children and whats in their best interests.

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