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Should I attend the CSA Tribunal?

(18 Posts)
ATourchOfInsanity Thu 08-Nov-12 02:47:03

I can't sleep for worrying. What seemed a very simple case -he isn't even denying this is his child, but saying he was merely a donor - is now stressing me out. I keep thinking about how he has spent 5k on solicitors fees and what I have missed to prove we had a relationship spanning over 20 months...it's driving me a bit bonkers.

I sent in 3 bits of evidence; one to show email from him to me asking what was for dinner and saying how much he loves me and his DD. Second from his father to me 'begging' me to draw up paperwork for his son to sign releasing him from financial responsibility and he will never see DD again (went on to admit his son has been changeable and had issues with drink and other addictions - he is currently claiming he has liver failure due to stress I inflicted) - this email highlighted their bullying tendancies and I explained in detail how long we had been together, that his son has been very disruptive and I have given him every chance possible before finally throwing him out of my home when his drinking became a danger to me and my daughter. Last email was from my ex asking what happens to DD if I die, although not wanting custody he goes on to say he will give his job up to look after her if necessary (all quite dramatic but I can assure you no such thing would ever happen if the even should arise). Here I was trying to show how he cared about her before he took us to tribunal - he hasn't seen her or asked after her in 11months, apparently on the advice of his solicitor. I have emails from his mum recognizing we are in a relationship - I now wonder if I should have sent EVERYTHING I have in, rather than trying to be selective?

Am I worrying over nothing or should I make a last ditch attempt to get legal representation to prove this further? I can't really afford to hire a babysitter for a whole day, train ticket to London, and eat etc, not to mention the main fact that I really don't want to see my ex again.

Is anyone awake out there that can help? I have about 3hrs until DD wakes up!

ATourchOfInsanity Thu 08-Nov-12 10:33:00

No one out there? I think I am going to call CSA and speak to someone. They have told me they are taking payments as he isn't denying he is the father, which I think made me think was in my favour... oh well.

Collaborate Thu 08-Nov-12 10:35:22

You really ought to go. You shouldn't need to be represented, but if you're not there, anything might happen. Take all your evidence with you (5 copies of each).

That sounds good enough to me. You've shown you were in a relationship and that he is trying to get out of financial responsibility. I don't think you need the stress of the hearing. He sounds like a total git btw - good luck making your own life for you and your girl.

ATourchOfInsanity Thu 08-Nov-12 10:43:33

Oh thank you! It has been mind games all the way unfortunately. I had to threaten him with getting a harassment order a few weeks ago as he was continuously texting me to get me to drop the CSA claim. If he had been asking about his daughter it would have been a different response, but unfortunately he seems to think he will just be able to pick her up again if he looses. He actually said that if I 'win' he will be granted access every other week and will'educate her' in my absence... whatever that means. All just a big ball of stress really.

ATourchOfInsanity Thu 08-Nov-12 10:45:23

Collaberate do you think it makes a massive difference if I am there? I did put in my covering letter that I wouldn't attend as I will be looking after my daughter and haven't enough money for legal representation. I am now wondering if I should get free legal aid and turn up? It's all a bit last minute though. If I just turn up I can't say anything anyway without a representative, or can I?

ATourchOfInsanity Thu 08-Nov-12 11:50:13

Just tried to ring around and no one seems to be able to help! Cafacss don't deal with anything unless Court has asked them to get involved, am not entitled to legal aid as have savings and Childrens Legal Centre don't have any representatives at the moment to help. Any other ideas? I have to go out soon but will be back later.

Collaborate Thu 08-Nov-12 12:16:46

You don't get legal aid for CSA tribunals anyway. You shouldn't neeed representation.

Go. If you don't and he gets the result he wanted, you can only blame yourself.

ATourchOfInsanity Thu 08-Nov-12 18:22:13

OK will save this week to make sure I have enough for the train fare, her child care, etc and print out all of the emails and take all of the photos of us all together doing things, as this is all I can realistically do to prove we had a relationship if they need more evidence. Friends have even offered to come to confirm that he introduced himself as my partner and talked about marriage etc. It's just a hard one to prove without video evidence!

kittycat68 Sat 10-Nov-12 12:03:17

tribunal is not a scary thing. you are in a normal room with exp and yourself and a panel of between one and three other people all sitting around a table.
they are quite friendly.
they will fire almost all questions at your exp! they will only ask you the odd one or two.
I found it to be quite frought before i went but ended up feeling very smug by the end of it as these panels deal with exp's all the time and at my hearing they absolutely made my exp out to be a complete prat!! and i found it quite funny( although i did not show it) how they made him skirm!! and proved him to be a complete liar and an arse of a father!! smile which he is!!!
THEY WILL ALSO REINBUSE YOUR TRAVEL COSTS AND CHILD CARE COSTS TOO. TAKE THE RECEIPTS WITH YOU AND HAND THEM IN TO THE USHER.

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 11-Nov-12 13:34:16

Oh really Kitty! That is so good to know! If they reimburse you then that makes everything a little easier and almost worth while. Only thing I was worried about was wasting money and seeing him again (he hasn't been very nice via texts/emails as I mentioned). I just have to wait for the date now- it's been months and I think that is why I have been nervous, not being able to settle it.

I'm inspired now to print out a load more emails and copy all of the pics of us pre-birth, at the birth and after the birth, just to show them how he really was part of our family for a good few months.

Did you take a friend with you at all? I have a friend who has said she will come and was wondering if they are allowed in or have to wait outside. If they can't come in, how long roughly does it take?

Thank you so much - even the Court couldn't tell me much about how it worked as the lady I spoke to had never been in to see one.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 11-Nov-12 14:58:42

I can't help you with any personal experience, but this recent case may give you hope; man really was (unofficial, private arrangement) sperm donor for a lesbian couple, but was ordered to pay maintenance.

nkf Sun 11-Nov-12 15:03:34

I thought he was judged liable to pay if he was the biological father. Nothing to do with whether or not he loved you or you cooked him dinner.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 11-Nov-12 15:11:20

Yes, it's a pretty stupid argument to spend £5k on!

ATourchOfInsanity Sun 11-Nov-12 15:57:23

I know, sure I shouldn't be worrying so much.

kittycat68 Sun 11-Nov-12 20:40:24

chase them up for a date if they still havent given you one and a venue place. its only a phone call, the more you push for a date the quicker you are likely to get one. If they still havent giv3en you a date send in as much information as you can highlighting the relevent peices in a covering letter.
You can take someone with you but it is up to the judge of the panel if they let them in or not.
Each case is different you could be in ther anywhere from half an hour to all day it depends on how much evidence is submitted etc if hes self employed and they are going through his accounts its likely to be most of the day. If its just about shared care it wont be too long. please let us know how things went . good luck and dont worry he will be under the microscope not you.

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 13-Nov-12 18:50:22

Ah the plot has thickened today. He just sent me another text...asking about his DD! I was expecting the usual abuse about me and how I have a hole in my soul yada yada, but he is actually now asking for pics and info on her with a possible view to seeing her again!?

What does this mean? Can I somehow take a pic of the text and show it to the Court to show he intends to see her whether he pays for her or not?

I think he has realised he is going to loose and is changing tack so that he doesn't look so bad for ignoring her for 11 months? Not sure what to reply tbh.

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 13-Nov-12 18:51:32

Sorry Kitty - I rang them the other day and they apologised but said no date. I also got a letter saying he tried to change the Court (again) but they have refused, so it is still at Fox Court.

He is employed, so hoping it won't take too long as no accounts to go over.

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