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TOPIC: Just a word of encouragement (hopefully)

Just a word of encouragement (hopefully) 2 years 3 days ago #86459

Hi all Dads,

It's been a very long time since my last post so apologies.

As a brief outline, I had a final hearing Nov 2016 (which I was happy with), outlining shared care, overnights etc. Since day 1 of the final order, it was cancelled contact after cancelled contact culminating in an application for enforcement in Jan 2017 (over 200 hours of contact missed). The usual followed i.e. cross application to vary the order by mother, then a number of allegations of marks on the child - causing police, social service involvement.

Feels like I’ve had my life examined under a microscope by every professional under the sun, all the time knowing I hadn’t done anything wrong (or at least that warranted this type of examination). My bank accounts, my home, my history, all checked based on allegations made.

Long story short, I had a second final hearing last week (after 3-4 interim hearings/orders) and have had my contact increased again and an order that already takes into account schooling age until 18, meaning no need in principle to return to court for child proceedings.

Hopefully, this can be a word of encouragement that whilst the process may not be fast and it may not always seem (probably isn’t in fact) just, that we all need to stick at it. Dads - remember to be the following 4 C's throughout any legal proceedings, CAFCASS involvement and even in communications with your ex.

CARING:

This can be hard(er) one to achieve if you aren’t on the best terms with your child’s mother. Nonetheless, reaching out periodically in your child’s interest is always a good thing. This could be as simple as enquiring about a favourite meal, toy or game so that you can be consistent when you have contact all the way through to checking in when you know your child has had an injection, recent bout of illness etc. You may not always get a response, but walk with your head held high that you try.

CONCERNED:

If you are worried about a point or issue, share it! Remeber that CAFCASS, the family court and every other party should take on board every genuine concern, regardless of where it comes from and weigh that into any decisions being made. It could be any type of concern from logistics at handover to something more emotive or less tangible.

CALM:

In (almost) every example I see, you’ll be pushed to the very limits of your ability to stay calm and not resort to anger. It may well feel like the process will punish you when you do wrong, but go easy on mother in a similar circumstance. You may find contact progressing at a slower rate than you’d expect or maybe even not at all. It’s your ability to keep a rational and level head in these trying times that can help us be deserving of the title ‘DAD’.

CONSIDERATE:

If we’re all being honest here, there is a bit of give and take we can all make, and probably a portion of blame we can share too. Keeping that mindset might also help to not just see things in terms of win vs loss, or dad vs mum. All things being equal, your consideration will be reciprocated i.e. being flexible on contact days/times.

Hoping for the best of outcomes for each dad and their child,
Concerned Daddy.
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Just a word of encouragement (hopefully) 2 years 3 days ago #86475

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Thanks for the post - it's always encouraging for other dads to see that there can be a good result, however hard it seems, and some good advice in there.
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Just a word of encouragement (hopefully) 2 years 3 days ago #86484

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Thanks for sharing.

Sounds like you have been right through the mill and come out the other side. Wishing you well for the future. Some good words of advice in there. People often get so entrenched in the negativity and their position, it's refreshing to read some of your points and hope it helps others stop and think too.
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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.

Just a word of encouragement (hopefully) 1 week 3 days ago #100977

Hi daddies,

Just a quick update and word continuing word of encouragement for the separated father's on the forum.

Firstly, apologies for being in absentia for a long period.

Following what I thought was my last hearing in late 2017 (in which shared care was awarded albeit more so in her favour - I was more than happy with the arrangement), my ex has sought hearing after hearing and raised relentless allegations against me.

For 3 years I have been the respondent (never the applicant) in just shy of 15 separate hearings, and in almost every case my time with my daughter has increased as a result of it.

3 years, 3 months and 1 day later - I now have a (new) final order with 50/50 Shared Care. This was a position initially endorsed by my daughter's nursery and further supported by Social Services. Of equal if not greater importance, I also have a barring order against mother for 5 years, greatly reducing the risk of having to go back to Court again in the foreseeable future.

I won't profess this is the norm, nor that it was an easy battle or inexpensive for that matter, but it was worth it.

My humble advice for those of us still actively involved in proceedings - remember this is a marathon and not a 100m dash. Continue to put your child first in all circumstances, even when pushed to your absolute limit. The professionals will pick up on which party is genuinely interested in resolving matters and which is focussed on continuous acrimony. When going to Court, try and come with a few options (printed) of how contact might progress. The Court in my experience is happy to see that you can be flexible and certainly show you are working to conclude matters.

With my own marathon now completed, I'll certainly be contributing more actively to the forum, and happy to share on my experiences on the various milestones throughout.

Let's all keep putting our children first (and wishing every success to each and every one of you),
Concerned Daddy.
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Just a word of encouragement (hopefully) 1 week 2 days ago #100982

hi,

thanks for your encouraging words. 15 hearings!!! madness. i have been unhappy that i had to go through 3 hearings lol. did you find a new partner/re-marry, and did your ex go nuts because of that???

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