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PavlosStefano
(@pavlosstefano)
Active Member Registered

Hi All,

I just wanted to tell my story a bit and offer to help others in the logic of what I now understand.

I broke with ex March 2019 and was manipulated and controlled - mostly out of guilt for the two children (4 and 8) we share.  A young boy and his older yet beautiful sister.

She gave me Wednesday from school until school (4 hours of effective awake time) and Saturday-Sunday 4-4pm.  No holidays and refused xmas/birthdays etc.

I simply thought I was lucky to see them having given her £30k to make her house comfortable for children and £1k per month maintenance.

This went on for 2 years with every request for a balanced schedule refused.  Simply made the right noises (we even agreed May 2019 we would revised legally) but kept refusing.

In this time I covered the children costs, did all logistics and pick ups/drop offs and pretty much everything else.

One Saturday night my son said "Dad, why can't you have one day and mum have one day; you have two days and mum have two days".  Broke me.

In December 2020 I went for mediation for her to listen - but all she did was try to arrange Xmas schedule.  

So after Xmas I told her because she kept refusing to be fair I would have to go to court.  She said fine you will be the one who loses.

So I submitted the C100 in January 2021 - then the fun began.

She submitted a C1A stating domestic violence, child manipulation and abuse; controlling and coercive behavior. 

I thought she was a good mother and in the next 9 months this view has changed.

I responded to the court highlighting that in the previous 2 years there had been no incidents, no social services, no police, no nothing.

First court arrangement was directions which ended up with me having no contact as I would not agree to the schedule she was providing - 4 days over a fortnight.  The gaps between seeing my children was too great and children too young.  She had simply put in a long weekend then expected a day in the fortnight to see them again - and then repeat forever.

I wrote an appeal/complaint and submitted it at 4:00am that night.  I was completely shocked, upset and emotional. My world just fell apart.

But I knew it was wrong and I knew I had to keep strong to keep going.  2 years had tired me but not enough not to see my children.

Days later I received a letter stating they had listened to the hearing and agreed and that an emergency hearing was in place in 14 days.

I attended and my previous contact was reinstated.  My ex was happy for the kids not to see me in this time, and when they did the very next day they wwere excited, upset and clingy.  I was to them and we had a great night - then back into the routine.

The ex had by then recruited a barrister to fight me on contact.

Remember at this point I wanted some holidays, to share xmas and increase contact by just 1 day per week.  I didn't want custody or anything else.

This became real: I was going to court to see my children, she was going to court to stop me.

I then recruited a lawyer and went through a number of sessions to court; each time I won something extra.  Holidays 50%, Xmas alternated, birthday time and fathers' day.  I also had a court order stopping her changing the schedule.

She persisted in DV allegations and coercion yet her lawyer admitted a Fact Find was of no use as did the courts.

I willingly went on a single separated parenting course - which was pointless but useful in my advice to those in attendance.

A pen-ultimate hearing was about the extra day per term (3/7) and pick ups/drop offs.  She had agreed 50% then directly after court refused on the basis of anxiety and that she could "retreat" back into her house if I became aggressive.

The only incident in c3 years was her attacking my partner who had dropped by to pick up the children's teddies that they could not sleep without - because she  herself would not.  

She refused the extra day so it went to final hearing.  I recruited a barrister and lawyer.

It was a huge amount of emotion, time and cost - but the principle of being equal was important and the frequency of contact so important.

She tried to raise DV in the court, anxiety, psychological abuse of children, coercion and a odd argument on being subjective to DV even though there was no evidence.  I thought the discussion in itself was subjective myself. 

I actually thought I had wasted my time - a good dad, perfectly employed, great home for the kids, support network and no history of anything.  I thought if I can't do it - surely no one can.

The court recessed for about an hour - I panicked for about an hour. I convinced myself I had "lost".

I had not.

The result in summary: I was granted my wish and schedule and she has to pick up children in holidays shared, and provide passports.

In the whole 9 months I went through so many emotions - but I never gave up.

Their mother is not a good mother - she tried everything out of bitterness to intervene in dad-children relationships and it was seen through.  Throughout I was kid focused and wrote everything from witness to position statements with my lawyer. 

This happened last week and though I was elated the feeling of exhaustion and emotion remains.  I suspect it will take some weeks but I feel "lighter" today and though I don't have the children this weekend I know next from Friday night until school there will be laughter, fun and noise throughout the house - and extra cuddles from my 4 year old son.

My advice regardless of what is against you - is to be determined, stay cool, get someone to read stuff and stand by you (my partner I drove mad but without her I would have failed) and do not feel guilty about allegations which are simply not true.  Stand tall and believe in yourself and the system - there are many times I nearly faulted but it came through.  The bench read everything and they do look out for dads.

If I can help anyone please message me and I will give my honest opinion on the position and what I would do on experience. 

Good luck to you all and stay strong - nothing is harder where your children are concerned.

Kind Regards

Pavlos (not real name).

 

 

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 02/10/2021 3:52 pm
Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

hi,

 

thanks for sharing and glad it worked out well. Is court over now?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 02/10/2021 9:20 pm

top tips to support your child after breakup

PavlosStefano
(@pavlosstefano)
Active Member Registered

@bill337 subject to receiving final court order currently in draft - yes! I do wonder if she will appeal though both lawyer and barrister said she has no basis and likely to lose more!

 

P

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 03/10/2021 1:51 pm
PavlosStefano
(@pavlosstefano)
Active Member Registered

Update:  still no final court order.  Her barrister is trying to add new recitals which weren't discussed at court.  Meanwhile costing me further legal costs going around in circles.   I'm going to ask for costs if it continues.   Anyone any experience of arguing the outcome and not agreeing what was court ordered?

My barrister has sent in our draft order highlighting the issue.  Her barrister the same. They tried this in a previous hearing which was rejected. 

Bitterness much?

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 07/10/2021 8:37 pm

how contact centres work

Champagne
(@champagne)
Estimable Member

Its great to hear a success story.  You may consider whether you are paying too much maintenance but no doubt your solicitor can advise on this.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/10/2021 6:06 pm
Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

@pavlosstefano I would try not to get worked up about recitals. In my order its 2 pages long lol. Full of ridiculous and petty matters. Whatever is in recitals is not part of actual order/schedule for arrangements. They can not be enforced.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 10/10/2021 5:51 pm

PavlosStefano
(@pavlosstefano)
Active Member Registered

@bill337 thanks!  I thought same though it looks as if a prelude to appeal.  I'm going to ask for costs as current circle of negotiation between barristers to conclude order is still costing me significant legal costs.  Seems an odd thing to do otherwise....

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 11/10/2021 11:03 am
PavlosStefano
(@pavlosstefano)
Active Member Registered

@bill337 thanks!  I thought same though it looks as if a prelude to appeal.  I'm going to ask for costs as current circle of negotiation between barristers to conclude order is still costing me significant legal costs.  Seems an odd thing to do otherwise....

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 11/10/2021 11:04 am

top tips to support your child after breakup

Jnny
 Jnny
(@jnny)
Trusted Member Registered

Fantastic and pretty much word for word what happened to me during my court case, which lasted 2 years and that was 8 years ago and still she loves arguing and trying to get reactions from Me. I’m just loving my child and having loads of happy times, which for some reason also upset her.

We battle on more confidently. Good luck to you

ReplyQuote
Posted : 14/10/2021 11:06 am
PavlosStefano
(@pavlosstefano)
Active Member Registered

@jnny crazy and shameful isn't it.   Update:  finally recieved final court order yesterday with nothing changed and as expected.  They have ignored her barristers attempt to influence the recitals.   What is interesting is this one includes the judgement reasoning and she does not reflect well.   I was worried throughout the whole process they might miss the detail of her nastiness and attacks. Fear not they read absolutely everything and made comments though subtle were targeted at her.  It also refutes absolutely any chance of an appeal as the only thing she can appeal is I have too much time (6:14) which would show her for what she really is. 

The deadline for submitting an appeal was also yesterday though I'm doubtful she will be able to now seeing the final order. 

I've also contacted child maintenance service and await a new calculation which apparently takes up to 3 months.   Either way I'm content and since 24 September have followed the new schedule and seen my children with gaps of only 3 days. 

I don't see my children until Tuesday and then Friday to Monday next weekend and for the first weekend without them I'm happy as I know were sorted.  I slept until 9:30am today - the first time in 3 years without worry. 

You all keep going I truly believe the system works (I didn't prior) however biased it is (and it is) has improved and they do listen. 

I used to think she was a good mother but now see she is just bitter and that her view of me clouds her judgement.  This is the exacting point they saw and picked up.  Maybe useful to you guys. 

Pav

This post was modified 1 month ago by PavlosStefano
ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 16/10/2021 9:50 am

how contact centres work

Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

@pavlosstefano hi, I would suggest not to leave it all do CMS to sort out. If it takes them 3 months or more to calculate the maintenance, this means they are going to back-date your maintenance payments for 3 months or however long it took them to sort it out, so you pay considerably more over next 12 months. think you should ring them regularly, and message them if you have a self service account.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 16/10/2021 11:25 am
PavlosStefano
(@pavlosstefano)
Active Member Registered

@bill337 thanks already been through the process and understand the immediate arrears issue that occurs.  Another institution which appears anti-dad isn't it? On the issue my ex applied to them on the very date I paid her monthly maintenance (as per calculator) to which they've said it's a private arrangement.  Effectively facilitating double payment yet refusing to acknowledge it has such and creating as you highlight much higher payments because the immediate arrears are added to calculated monthly payments. 

Special travel payments appear to be calculated using HMRC rates on a business car and when applied appear to be a fraction of that applied for?  The process to reduce costs to provide for your children is simply astounding and as if their money.  I suspect an arduous battle with the CMS is next on the agenda. 

 

Thanks mate.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 16/10/2021 2:31 pm

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