Hi everyone. Firstly apologies if this is not posted in the correct area - just joined but have read some really useful things on this site to date. I was wondering whether anyone else on here has had experience in ex partners making wrong important decisions out of spite i.e. on a child's education and how this is viewed in Court.
I have the FHDRA hearing tomorrow morning. I have been representing myself to date. The dispute over contact came about once my ex partner found out I was seeing a new partner - this was after Christmas and she blocked access for 2 weeks. Since then regular contact has been in place but she now wants to amend contact arrangements hence her application to Court. She wants to continue weekend access but cut mid week over night stay to one hour which goes against the current routine.
The Cafcass report paints me in a good picture and the ex partner not so much (history of violence, convicted for battery to an ex partner and ABH to the same ex partner before we got together - all of which I had no knowledge of). She also has a history of depression and I remain concerned with her anger in front of the little one and overall ability to make the right decisions. I have so much evidence to support the allegations contained in my C1A following her own C1A which was examples such as I turned up late one day - pathetic. I've witnessed on many occasions her shout and swear in front of the little one. She can't control her temper.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have today been notified that the ex partner has changed school preferences behind my back. We both agreed last year that the number 1 choice was the best school (rated outstanding by Ofsted) in the catchment area. To my surprise this morning I ring the Council and school to find out the ex partner changed preference (after the deadline for doing so) but gave no reason. The date she did this coincided with the date I reduced maintenance payments following advice off the maintenance service. I have for 3.5 years paid much more then the entitlement of note.
My issue here is that its obvious for all to be seen that she has changed schools out of spite to get at me. She knew the number one preference was the school for the little ones best interests but has now gone against this without consulting me. I should add that she ceased all communication with me and I now have to communicate and arrange drop offs and pick ups through her difficult mother. Another reason she has changed schools is that she knew we agreed for me or my family to arrange pick ups from school in future. The change of school now makes this more difficult.
I was wondering how the Court will view this decision without consulting me. We have joint custody and I have cared for the little one for 2-3 nights each week since we split 3 years ago (he is nearly 4). It proves, along with various other incidents, that she does not make decisions in the little ones best interests and I hope a Court would see this.
After this decision I am seriously considering going for full custody tomorrow and to a final hearing on this. Her unstable mind and anger issues coupled with poor decisions such as his education makes me realise that the little ones future and decision making would be more suited to my care.
I understand that this will be a long road if I do, but her decision to affect his education is massive in my view and is another example of her not putting the little ones interests at heart.
Apologies for not responding before, as you have court this morning.
Important decisions about education, health and religion should be reached after consultation between both parents, that's the principle of parental responsibility, but it's a difficult one to police. I would certainly bring it up in court, as the decision had been made and she went back on it, but knowing how it will be viewed by the court is an unknown I'm afraid.
As far as applying for your child to live with you, generally speaking, unless there have been serious safeguarding issues, residency isn't usually transferred, but again if you feel you have enough reasons to make the application, you have nothing to lose, apart from further deterioration of your parenting relationship with your ex.
It's good that you have a favourable CAFCASS report, if they've made any recommendations, it's likely the court will go with them. Outcomes are impossible to predict I'm afraid, but best of luck for today.
The Specific Issue Order went in my favour. The District Judge (so much better than the Magistrates who showed bias at the previous FHDRA re the separate contact dispute) seen straight through the ex partner when she was giving evidence. He was fairly critical of the decision to change such an important decision (school choice) without consulting me and made the point of my legal rights being infringed upon when passing down his Judgement.
The DJ also felt that Mothers motives were questionable and that every point I made was valid. I felt the application was against the odds to be overturned to be honest, so I was over the moon with the outcome!
Having good DJ's out there certainly gives me more faith and confidence whilst the child arrangements dispute is ongoing and I'm convinced the lies will be unravelled when the ex partner takes the stand again at future hearings. Unfortunately, however, from the research I've heard lies in Court seem to go unpunished at times
I have put in a letter to the Court for the contact dispute to be heard in future by a DJ and not the same Magistrates who were present at the initial FHDRA and who fell for the ex partners waterworks in Court hook line and sinker! Not sure where I stand with this request?