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TOPIC: fact finding advice

fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111849

  • Vik2001
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Hi
Quick background:

Wife left the house with kids and re-schooled them 50 miles away from where we lived. I applied for a prohibited steps order for the kids to return, and it got dismissed at the first hearing. this is when she now claimed false allegations against me of abuse and put a child arrangements order. we now have a fact finding hearing in a few weeks. we have both submitted our statements.

issue i have all her evidence against me is whatsapp messages, but it looks like she has reformatted them in a notepad editor and they can have easily been manipulated, reformatted and edited by her. alot of them dont make any sense and there are big gaps in my responses which is why i think this. she also hasnt shown the full transcript just snippets of little arguments between us over the years.

how do i best prepare for the fact finding??. i got 15 allegations against me because they have allowed a course of conduct, so ie 1 allegation contains a course for 5 allegations etc. shes basicily listed every type of abuse under the sun, including financial abuse when i paid for every bill in the house, and didnt take a penny from her.

ideally also in the long run i want shared parenting of the kids, i always been a major part of their lives and my own life evolves around them, she just wants to cancel me out. what are my chances. im willing to move nearer to her where the kids have been reschooled if thats what it takes?
im also currently in a contact centre, because she claimed i was a alcoholic, but my dna tests for alcohol come back fine saying i was a average social drinker (like most people)

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Last Edit: by Vik2001.

fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111855

  • Bill337
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hi,

I don't have experience of fact finding, but here is some info: childlawadvice.org.uk/information-pages/...Fact-Finding-Hearing

if she has made any ridiculous allegations, then hopefully these will be ignored by court. They are pretty selective with allegations.

if it's possible for you to move closer to the kids, then that should help with arrangements, as I don't think kids would be able to stay overnight with you mid-week, as you would have to do school run. If you are happy with seeing kids every other weekend fri-sun, then you shouldn't have to move house.

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Please consult a qualified professional for legal advice.

Whatever your situation Zoom counselling with qualified counsellors can help. You might like to be in touch for your secondary school aged children, or it could be you need support for yourself. To find out about costs or whether you qualify for funding (for example if you are on a low income or benefits) leave your details on this link and we will be in touch:

www.dad.info/online-zoom-conselling

fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111856

Do you still have the whatsapp messages that were exchanged between the pair of you. Its likely they will be dismissed and if printed out in the format she has done cant see a judge been too interested in 2 people going off at each other.
only time they may be concerned if its 1 way messaging making threats and been extremely abusive.

Its likely you will end up with every other weekend , half the holidays and a midweek pick up from school for play and supper if you can do it . If you move closer i imagine midweek could become an overnight and every other weekend drop off could be to school on monday rather than drop off on sunday. if fact finding goes against you there could be problems. How you come across will take u long way as well. a good impression would be left with judge if u are calm, child focused and not engaging in tit for tat .

If you can clearly disprove at least some of her allegations that would help as that would make the rest possibly unreliable. did judge actually allow 15 allegations or is it your ex and her solicitor listing 1 with 5 along side each one

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fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111859

There is also some guidance on fact finding hearings here: rightsofwomen.org.uk/get-information/fam...ct-finding-hearings/
You can use your own evidence to dispute the allegations and attach them when you respond to the Scott schedule. Courts are now more frequently giving 50/50 shared care of the children so you should be able to work towards that. Logistics will play a part in that though. Remember that you have parental responsibility so whatever the contact arrangements you have the right to be included when important decisions are being made about the children's lives: www.gov.uk/parental-rights-responsibilities

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Please consult a qualified professional for legal advice.

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fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111864

  • Vik2001
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i no longer have the whatsapp messages. some of them are between 1-5 years old, so they have been deleted from my phone.. but she doesnt show the original screenshot of the whatsapp msg, its like it been put into a word document where it could have been edited, with dates times etc. I cant confirm i actually had some of those conversations as i dont have any copies in my phone. in the worst of the messages i probably say F U, where we had arguments. but most of it is her chatting and rambling this or that happened, but im hardly saying anything in the texts.

im happy to move location if i can continue to share the child care. my job even allowed for it previously when we was together.

the judge allowed 7 allegations with a course of conduct. but in the scott schedule they are under 1a, b, c, d , (physical abuse) 2a,b, c, d(emotional abuse), 3 a-f(verbal abuse and control), then 4(financial abuse) and 5(isolation). so theres like 16 in total, and they are all separate incidents. some silly pics included which i know she has made up saying i grabbed her arm etc. one of the allegations is i blocked her from going out, and the other is i didnt pay to change the tyre to name a few. the most serious being when i called the police on her for being verbally threatning to me 5 years back. but shes trying to turn that around on me.

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Last Edit: by Vik2001.

fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111871

I always back up my whatsapp messages, If you have done the same you should be able to access them from your iCloud or whatever device it is you use. IF you can get hold of these old messages and it you can show that she has manipulated the ones she is showing, this should work in your favour.

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fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111873

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Ferfer wrote: I always back up my whatsapp messages, If you have done the same you should be able to access them from your iCloud or whatever device it is you use. IF you can get hold of these old messages and it you
can show that she has manipulated the ones she is showing, this should work in your favour.


thanks tried all that, i have no backups so cant prove it, but i guess i could make up a word document like she has done and type in the time and date and say heres my messages lol

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fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111880

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Do you still have the message in the WhatsApp app itself? If so, you could go through and screenshot the lot - can also do this on a PC/Tablet by using web.whatsapp.com - that might be quicker and easier.

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I am not qualified and any information given should be checked with a professional.

Whatever your situation Zoom counselling with qualified counsellors can help. You might like to be in touch for your secondary school aged children, or it could be you need support for yourself. To find out about costs or whether you qualify for funding (for example if you are on a low income or benefits) leave your details on this link and we will be in touch:

www.dad.info/online-zoom-counselling

fact finding advice 1 month 5 days ago #111883

You can point out that the messages are not the originals and you believe they have been doctored in your response to the allegations in the Scott schedule. You could admit to bad language on occasions but that won't make the rest true if they are not. Be honest about what is true and if you have allegations to make include those. Keep it factual and simple. You can deny anything you do not agree with

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Please consult a qualified professional for legal advice.

Whatever your situation Zoom counselling with qualified counsellors can help. You might like to be in touch for your secondary school aged children, or it could be you need support for yourself. To find out about costs or whether you qualify for funding (for example if you are on a low income or benefits) leave your details on this link and we will be in touch:
www.dad.info/online-zoom-counselling

fact finding advice 1 month 4 days ago #111886

I would be arguing that theres 16 and the court ordered 7. You cant just write 1a, 1b , 1c ,1d etc. Whatsapp messages will probs get thrown out as a word document isnt good enough and can be doctored. All it will show is 2 people having a slanging match. The tyre incident and she cant go out is absolute nonsense. You should be fine .. worst they can do is say you swore in a couple of messages and u could say yes cause she was harassing you but you dont face to face to avoid confrontation and young children witnessing it etc

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fact finding advice 1 month 4 days ago #111899

Hi

To get legal aid she has to accuse you of abuse. Often solicitors get into their heads and encourage accusations of all sorts to enable them to qualify for legal aid. Its easy for a solicitor to go through a check list and to say has he ever done xyz and your ex to agree.

Lots of accusations means that the case becomes more complex. This means the case will take longer to resolve and thus more money for her solicitor. If she has a non molestation order then do not breach it. If she hasn't be aware not to contact her otherwise she will get one and it will impact your access to kids..

Re WhatsApp messages,only screenshots should be accepted , not word documents. Feel free to respond with that you don't believe they are the original messages and that they are doctored and also without lying you can say that you believe in response to x message you actually replied with y but that she has doctored the response and request that she provides screenshot originals.

In relation to the alcohol, if it is likely you are going to have any more tests then actually go tee total (if possible) to ensure there are no mis readings etc..

Also although you have paid the bills, this example is used to demonstrate controlling behaviour, I.e you did it to exclude her from the financial decision making and from ready easy access to money and that you did it so that you knew exactly what she is spending, when and how. Allegations of any sort along the lines of financial abuse and controlling and coercive behaviour are really serious. You have to take your response seriously otherwise if there are findings against you then it can impact seeing your kids etc etc.

You can get loads of advice on forums like this, however also give thought to seeking legal advice if things get more serious.

All the best.

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Last Edit: by Daddyup.

fact finding advice 1 month 4 days ago #111905

  • Vik2001
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in regards to me paying all the houselhold bills, i did it from my own money (from my monthly wages) i never asked her for any money , nor did i take any money from her for anything.
i paid all the bills so she could actually have enough money to spend on herself and kids clothing, while i took care of the rest. surely this cant be financial abuse? as i did not take any money from her or her bank account, she was in full control of her own finances.
she actually accused me of financial abuse by saying she had to pay for the change of a car tyre, because i wouldnt do it. however i always paid for all the car insurance/servicing. but on this instance i didnt change the tyre because i was busy at work.

at the first hearing she made serious allegations about alcohol which landed me in a contact centre. im still there. but when my dna results come back fine she toned down the alcohol allegations for her fact finding statement, and only mentioned it briefly. the solictor asked i now be removed from contact centre but she wouldnt agree

in regards to whatsapp messages you are able to delete messages by holding down the line and pressing delete, the message from you or her will delete, but the rest of the conversation will remain. you can then even screenshot. so its a tricky one and can easily be manipulated. however she has not provided any original screenshots.

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Last Edit: by Vik2001.
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