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Need some advice (Child arrangements hearing with a manipulative ex-partner)

 
btjm1994
(@btjm1994)
Active Member Registered

Hi everyone, 

I am looking for some advice. I have never been to court and have no knowledge in law or legal babble (apart from things I have researched). C100 order.

I have been in a constant battle with my ex-partner regarding my 4 year old son. She has currently cut me off (so far it has been 6 months), but she has always threatened to cut me off if I haven't agreed to demands, some of which have been overly demoralising and violating (in relation to my rights as a father). 
I have always paid maintenance (even when I have been homeless and redundant), I have babysat so she could go on dates and nights out, I have almost paid 2 grand extra just for additionals she has asked for. So I believe I have been overly accommodating. 

She has stooped to very low levels to get me to abide by her rules, opening bank statements in order to get more money, making me request my partner leave my household (or risk her calling the police and taking my son out of my custody). In her latest demands she has even asked me to change my court statement to have some access. 

I have given into plenty of demands, whether they violate my rights as a father but there are some I just can't give in to.

I also believe she might have a personality disorder. I know a lot of Dads say this about ex's, but I am generally concerned. She can't control her emotions, she has forced my son into heated conversations, she locks herself in her bathroom to get away from him when he has a tantrum and has admitted to hitting (not extremely) when she gets too annoyed at him. 
I am scared to call to speak to him because of how she behaves. 

At the end of the day, I've had to block her and attempt contact with him through her family and his nursery. And am having my first hearing next month. Which is exciting but nerve-wracking! I just want to see my son.

I just want to know if I have a good case... all I want is my access, fortnightly weekends, alternating birthdays, the odd phone-call and 2 weeks during the summer holidays. 
Is there anything I should know? Any advise to fight better? Anything I need to be aware of before going to the hearing? 

If anyone could help. Maybe share their experiences... I know certain laws and things have been changed over the last few years so its a little bit different to how it was 10 or more years ago. 

Thanks everyone.

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 10/06/2021 1:22 pm
Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

Hi,

Hope your hearing goes well. Will you be self representing? You should prepare a position statement, giving brief background of the issues and what your seeking in terms of child arrangements.

Try to keep things 100% child-focused. As soon as allegations are made against other parent and mud slinging happens, then you could end up in the court system for several months longer. Trying to portray your ex as a bad mother does not go down well in those courts. If you have a clean police record, then it should be a fairly straightforward process.

 

 

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Posted : 11/06/2021 4:34 pm

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btjm1994
(@btjm1994)
Active Member Registered

@bill337 thanks for your reply. 

I will be self representing, I think I'm fairly confident that it should be pretty straightforward. 

I did research and saw I shouldn't really say anything about his mother but naturally when they ask questions it might lead to some things she's done to prevent access coming out. I'm hoping not as I don't want the trouble. I also have a spotless record so I'm confident over that. 

I will put together a position statement and hopefully it will help. Clearly preparation and keeping calm is key, I just hope she doesn't disagree with what court suggests as then I have to wait longer for a full hearing from what I've read? 

Can they push her to agree to their suggestions on a first hearing or might it take longer if she doesn't agree? 

Thanks

This post was modified 4 months ago by btjm1994
ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 11/06/2021 4:44 pm
Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

it seems it is rare for all the issues to be resolved at a first hearing, but it could happen. At my 2nd hearing, I was expecting it to go for a 3rd and final hearing, but judges saw no major issues, so it was all settled at 2nd hearing. all depends on each case and if theres any safeguarding issues etc. I would suggest you seek half of school holidays, as well as spending time during xmas etc. if you hope to travel abroad one day with child, it would be good idea to raise that and seek permission from court, as well as cover passport issues. if your work is flexible, you could consider a mid-week overnight?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11/06/2021 11:49 pm

btjm1994
(@btjm1994)
Active Member Registered

@bill337 

Ah, well I'll have my fingers crossed that she agrees to the suggestions and it gets done then and there. 

The concern is that safeguarding issues may crop up her side. So perhaps it may be 3 hearings. 

I have asked to have him over the summer holidays for 2 weeks so I hope thats standard, I would have him more but it wouldn't be too plausible with my work. I've also asked for alternating Christmas, birthdays hols etc. 

May I ask how long it took you to get your second hearing after the first? And what was the arrangements you recieved? 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 12/06/2021 4:30 pm
btjm1994
(@btjm1994)
Active Member Registered

@bill337 

Ah, well I'll have my fingers crossed that she agrees to the suggestions and it gets done then and there. 

The concern is that safeguarding issues may crop up her side. So perhaps it may be 3 hearings. 

I have asked to have him over the summer holidays for 2 weeks so I hope thats standard, I would have him more but it wouldn't be too plausible with my work. I've also asked for alternating Christmas, birthdays hols etc. 

May I ask how long it took you to get your second hearing after the first? And what was the arrangements you recieved? 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 12/06/2021 4:31 pm

top tips to support your child after breakup

Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

@btjm1994 my first hearing was around Jan 24 2020. court said a section 7 report must be done, that takes 8-12 weeks. my 2nd hearing was april 24, which turned out to be the final hearing. I don't know what situation is like now, maybe theres bigger gaps in between hearings because of so many court applications and due to past lockdown restrictions and a backlog building up.

arrangements I have are fri-mon and mon-tue every other week. slow build up to half of school holidays. 1 call a week.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 12/06/2021 4:51 pm

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