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TOPIC: Post finding of fact advice, please!

Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 5 days ago #110734

  • paddyok
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Hi all
I recently came out of my FoF hearing and it didn't go well. My wife got findings against me for physical and sexual violence that she says our young son witnessed. I had terrible legal advice and never made any counter allegations.
I now await the Social Svcs risk assessment before the final custody battle. Trouble is social svcs are very biased towards mother and in the interim, mother is making continued false allegations against me for stalking etc.

Q is:

Is it too late to make counter allegations for her coercive and controlling behaviour and what is the best way to do this? I dont see how I can start a case in the family court if it didnt directly affect our son, even though it surely will in the future?

Any help gratefully received, P

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Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 5 days ago #110738

Hi,

can you give a bit of background? Did you make a court application at the the start and was it for child arrangements? are you seeing your child now?

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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or trained professional. I am not in a position to give legal advice. Please consult a qualified professional for legal advice.

Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 5 days ago #110741

The only way you are going to see your child anytime soon is to volunteer and attend a course that addresses domestic violence. Also on top of that a parenting course. Its best to accept the findings of the family court even if you think its unfair. Social services i agree are biased and they will sit on the fence and probably suggest all the above i said on the basis of the courts findings. The more honest you are with them the easier it will be at same time to dismiss stalking allegations and any other false allegations. A must is when social services is to be very calm and dont snap as they will be pushing your buttons. If you decide to fight it i will warn you its a very long road ahead as they wont budge an inch and nor will courts due to findings which are unfortuantely done on is likely to have happened or likely to not have happened . so 51% is enough to have findings against you

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Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 5 days ago #110742

I think I look at things differently and the wider picture needs to be considered here..

I'm not too sure things are that simple. Where there are allegations of abuse especially sexual then this is very very complex. More so if there are findings made against you.

It is not as simple as accepting the findings and then being able to do the course and then seeing the kids..

Admitting to sexual and physical abuse has so many knock on impacts/consequences..

Reputational - ex could go and say to everyone 'he's admitted abusing me and sexually at that', could result in loss of job, income, accommodation, family and friends walking away etc.

Empowers ex to delay contact even further as would then have to do DV course (takes 6 months to complete and there are lots of delays with Covid) and multiple risk assessments. She can also tell the school, other parents etc.

Most importantly if the ex really wants to prevent contact then once admitted she could then go to the police and report this and the matter would then become a criminal matter with devastating consequences.. The burden of proof in criminal matters is much higher however this is bridged if the OP admits to things. Denying things and having findings against you makes a criminal prosecution difficult due to the higher burden of proof.

There is also new legislation pending (domestic abuse Bill) that allows for family and criminal matters to be dealt with in parellel and some of the recommendations are already informally being put into place such as family courts and criminal courts trying to look at things together..

Consider changing your legal team to a firm that deals with multiple aspects of law eg family and criminal to get the best advice.

Personally I believe in your situation you need expert legal advice to make the correct and best decisions for you..

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Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 5 days ago #110743

There has already been a find of fact hearing and it went against father.
He will have no choice but to do the DV course if he wants to re-establish contact with kids.
It will be a long road , but there wont be any criminal proceedings. Accepting the findings is not admitting you are guilty its moving on because if u fight the system then you just wont get to see kids.
Social Services reports are a lot worse than Cafcass and are not very nice, with the FOF against him they will immediately without a shadow of a doubt be coming down hard. Only thing you can do is be calm and work with SS as thats the quickest way out of the mess

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Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 5 days ago #110746

Does the DV course require active participation and to talk about what you did, why you did it and what you could/would do differently next time?

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Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 4 days ago #110754

Hi, I am not sure if you have to talk about what you did. I imagine you wouldnt and if you did it would be cause you chose to.

I believe you are right in that it requires active participation , positive contribution and saying the right things. As whilst you are there reports are done which are shared with Cafcass ,courts etc.

No harm saying for example in a group i used to swear at my ex because she swore at me . Now i got a child i realise i shouldnt and if my ex does thats her choice etc and doesnt mean i have to.

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Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 4 days ago #110755

  • Yoda
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Hi paddyok

There have been some good points made above. At present, you probably don't have many other options that to go along with the court directions and jump through any hoops that are set.

If you believe that you've not had very good legal advice, you could consider taking some specific legal advice on whether there is room to appeal as it doesn't sound like you had a very fair hearing.

Was your hearing magistrates or with an actual judge?

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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.

Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 4 days ago #110774

Warwickshire, appreciate your response and I've benefitted from your advice on the forum.

What I would add is that I am just finishing off BBR myself (criminal court ordered course) which is similar to DAPP but has differences in content (im not a 100% on DAPP hence my original Q)

Once I've finished the course I am going to put up a summary so that it helps others when deciding what to do in general.

I had a good legal team who advised on both family and criminal law matters. One key thing to note is that the critical piece of advice is when admitting to anything in the family court to be mindful or how a criminal court could deal with it. Especially if it is something that is imprisonable. The matter becomes very complex.

Key factors are, what are the allegations specifically, would the ex go to the police, could the reputation damage impact job and therefore income and therefore ability to look after children.

On both BBR and DAPP it is not a case of talking in general terms. The course facilitators will know the background and raise it in the group and expect you to talk about it in detail. They are experienced in raising not the low level stuff such as swearing but the more serious stuff such as violence etc. In the OPs case as there have been findings of sexual abuse there is also the possibility that they may have to go on a DV course with others who have committed similar offences as the general groups may not be suitable as they may categorise as a sex offender.

I was told at an early stage that if I couldn't admit to anything and be prepared to do the above (admit and do the course and risk criminal court action) to admit and accept that I may have to walk away from the kids.

These are just my thoughts based on my own experience and I appreciate not everyones is the same plus there are many on here more knowledgeable than me.

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Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 4 days ago #110778

very useful information here:

Can you challenge a finding of fact in a family court?
childprotectionresource.online/can-you-c...t-in-a-family-court/

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Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or trained professional. I am not in a position to give legal advice. Please consult a qualified professional for legal advice.

Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 4 days ago #110783

Hi Bill

That's great and useful for many of us.

As many have said the OP needs to take further legal advice and go from there.

In respect of his exs controlling behaviour potebtially they may need to report to the police in order to materially change the situation and thus challenge the finding of fact as per your link.

I think this thread highlights just how complex certain things can be.

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Last Edit: by Daddyup.

Post finding of fact advice, please! 2 months 3 days ago #110796

  • paddyok
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Hi all
Thx for all your valuable advice so far.
Findings were made in front of a proper Judge in family court. There are separate ongoing criminal proceedings but it is clear the police don't really take it seriously although it has to go to CPS becasue some of her allegations are borderline sexual.
Most importantly however is that the police file going to CPS contains my counter allegations of her coercive and controlling behaviour.
I have to swallow my pride and cooperate- to a point. I dont think I can smile sweetly on a DV course for 6 months and talk about things I havent done. I would therefore far rather get the court to insist she does some parenting courses etc too and hope that she will then negotiate to save herself the bother.
It's a minefield I accept but I just cant bring myself to go thru the whole lawyer process again and pay all that money for poor advice.
We are back in court early Dec to review and reinstate interim contact. I will be asking for counter allegations to be considered and pushing hard for her to face up to her lying and coercion and the risk of harm that causes to our son. It;s an uphill struggle of course since the finings are now made against me.

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