Hi, I'm a single dad, two kids, equal access to the kids. My post is regarding a friend who lost their hearing for 50/50 access today. Obviously I won't go into detail of who they are, I'm just looking for a bit of advice.
The ex of my friend started the court proceedings. Stated they left my friend because of their alcohol consumption. Friend wore a SCRAM ankle monitor for 60 days and proved no alcohol was consumed. The ex has made allegations that friend has been in contact with someone who takes drugs. That person went to rehab and doesn't even live in the town anymore. The ex is with a new partner who drinks, and regularly posts on social media about their drunken antics and the fact they can't walk after 9pm. Apparently this is ok because the ex is there to look after the child whole the new partner is drunk.
Judge didn't read the information before the proceedings today, called the ex manipulative, and said the ex keeps trying to derail progress. The ex's solicitors keep trying to get more tests done about friends sobriety. Friend can't afford legal aid any more, ran out of money in the last week before the hearing.
Cafcass are doing a visit or report soon (surely it should've been done earlier)
Judge ruled in favour of the ex, despite not having all the information and knowing the ex is manipulative.
Friend has had unsupervised access to the child two or three days a week for months, and now the court said it has to be supervised. Angrily, friend told them to shove it up their arse and wants to just give up on the whole thing. Got another hearing in summer, even though this was supposed to be the final one.
What advice can I give my friend?
it must be very disheartening for your friend. Court can be unpredictable like this. I would suggest that he sticks with it and not give up. If he is going to have supervised contact, it will not be a permanent arrangement hopefully. He should argue that this supervised contact needs to progress to unsupervised as soon as possible. Court will probably like it to progress to unsupervised gradually, over a few months.
Thanks for your reply.
I was thinking of other ways I could help, and after reading some of the posts on this forum I came across "direct access barrister". Since my friend ran out of funds literally the week before the hearing, there is still a sufficient amount of paperwork that the solicitor sent over. Would hiring a direct access barrister be good? Considering all the paperwork is already done anyway. And that way the ex's solicitors actually have someone to fight against.
Wanted to pay for the barrister myself, without the friend knowing (I don't want them to think they owe me anything) but barrister said I wouldn't be able to do that as my friend would need to sign a contract