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Ex is claiming to have Legal Aid re Child Contact

(16 Posts)
Misfit13 Tue 16-Jul-13 14:26:23

My ex partner withdrew his application during the final court hearing. No contact order was made and I was granted full residence.
He has since told me he was to appeal, then that he had a new and better solicitor and had Legal Aid due to previous poor representation. He is now claiming to have ' kept the case open' thus retraining his funding.
I think he's just trying to frighten me as he knows I cannot afford to do it again, and that I found the whole ordeal terrifying.
Does aanyone know if this is possible?
Thanks

belatedmaybe Tue 16-Jul-13 14:41:09

If the case was closed with no order then it is the same as closed with an order I.e. either parent can revisit however for you to be awarded residency in a sole capacity the court have made a judgement and must have felt the need to.

Yes he can go back but you can self repret. Courts are very very good with this as so so many people have to since the la changes. So long as you strive to be reasonable and do not get caught in his bull poopy they will be well aware he is using this to bully you . They know any father worth his salt would fight not step down because of a bad lawyer or anything else.

Court is scary but they are on the side of your kids and he has form. Call his bluff - no problem mate, see you there. Odds on he won't turn up sad

Misfit13 Tue 16-Jul-13 15:19:32

Thanx for replying, tho that's not what I wanted to hear.
I do not want to go back to court.,
If he can get LA, he will do it. He/ his family are veterans of the court system, of using it to intimidate and bully anyone who doesn't give them what they want.
After 2 1/2 years of bullying, of verbal. physical and mental abuse at the hands of this family, whilst single handedly raising and supporting our son, I am just too exhausted to represent myself in court.
:'(

belatedmaybe Tue 16-Jul-13 16:01:02

No you aren't. I don't know you but you do not come over as someone who will give up at the threat of bullying. Finding the reserves is awful but they are there somewhere. This person is a bully, courts hate that. They see through it. Honestly being calm, reasonable and consistent gets you much further than a shit hot lawyer. I would be shocked If, under the new rules, they qualify for la (remember they have to reapply regularly now) - however even if they do that does not mean they will win. The fact that they were sooo bothered to get contact they didn't even turn up last time will do them no favours at all as it makes it pretty clear it is about intimidating you not the good of your child.

familylawyerlouise Tue 16-Jul-13 16:05:30

If there was a final order then it is unlikely that the case would be kept open. there are very strict time limits and grounds for appealing so this seems unlikely. However there is nothing to stop him submitting a new application for a contact order.

belatedmaybe Tue 16-Jul-13 16:06:05

Recently I had the misfortune to be up against a court "veteran" in a matter about money. She kept on to anyone who would listen that I was "sooo naive to take her on" blah blah citing all her victories etc. When it came to court the judge went to town. She was an out and out bully with no clue. The courts see this day in day out, they know the difference between someone who cares and someone who pretends to care.

Misfit13 Tue 16-Jul-13 19:44:03

Thanks for the responses.
The whole experience shook me up, made me doubt everything, including myself.
My solicitor and the barrister I had for the last two hearings were great. Ex walked out due to being challenged, first by a female magistrate, then the clerk, then my barrister. I don't have their self assurance, never mind their education/knowledge.

Misfit13 Tue 16-Jul-13 19:45:33

Magistrate or judge? See, I don't even know that :$

Misfit13 Tue 16-Jul-13 19:46:12

Magistrate or judge? See, I don't even know that :$

belatedmaybe Tue 16-Jul-13 20:25:33

You don't need it, honestly self rep is scary but very possible. His previous behaviour in court shows just what a bully boy he is if he cannot even take being questioned and it sounds like the court team may have had his number if they were confronting him like that. I really think he is brazening this one out thinking you cannot afford representation and wouldn't do it yourself so you will run scared if you think he has support.

If you don't feel up to committing to self rep just yet how do you feel about calling his bluff? Tell him you are happy to go back to court seeing as he made such of a hash of it last time you are sure this time won't be any different (or something equally confident sounding)

MooseBeTimeForSpring Tue 16-Jul-13 20:31:38

If he does make another application, see if it can be heard by the same Bench (of Magitrates) or the same District Judge.

betterthanever Tue 16-Jul-13 21:59:09

misfit I feel your pain - I am running out of money and my exp has legal aid. I read the very supportive responses from belated but I can tell why you say what you say, I would feel like you. I don't think he would get legal aid for a) an appeal or b) to start a new application - I wonder if you could ring the legal services commission and ask if he still has it? probably not. there are some very experienced lawyers on here, I hope one comes on that knows more. Can you ask for the same Bench or Judge? have you got a good friend who could go with you? they would not be able to say anything but they can sit with you - I just hope it doesn't come to that for you. And just one other thing if it is no contact then why is he contacting you to tell you this? that is harassement. Get an injunction that is only £60 and WA or Barnardos could help. He can't keep a case open - the court decides, I am pretty sure of that.

Misfit13 Wed 17-Jul-13 09:20:24

Thanx for your replies and, yes, for the support :-)

There's no court ordered contact, but I agreed to continue with the interim arrangement, which is 2x6 hour afternoons a week. He keeps asking for overnights, which would be 30 hours at a time and giving me ultimatums, ie, more contact or he'll stop seeing him altogether and/or go back to court for joint residence. He convinced himself he was having our son this weekend and was furious when he phoned on Saturday and ds told him we were off to a birthday party. So, he is now bombarding me with messages offering me one final chance to agree to weekends, or else he will go back to court.

I'm very worried, as I think he may have got more had he not walked out of court.

I am in contact with WA and was referred to the NatDV helpline for help with getting a non molestation order, but it's not urgent enough as he hasn't actually threatened me.

Collaborate Wed 17-Jul-13 09:36:22

When the case concluded his legal aid funding will have come to an end unless he amends it to appeal the order, although as familylawyerlousie points out he'll have to appeal promptly and it sounds like he hasn't.

Also he wouldn't get away with appealing an order whereby he was given permission to withdraw his application.

If the case ended before 31 March and before that date he applied for LA to bring it back to court he might have LA again, but it's highly unlikely that they would fund his case so soon after abandoning his previous application.

If he hasn't taken it back to court by now, he hasn't got LA.

namechangeforaclue Wed 17-Jul-13 11:06:38

Can I just say that self rep, is not a good idea unless both parties are.
Unless you get a great judge who is happy to give you the same floor space as a barrister (in my experience)
You and you opinions will be side lined and generally ignored.
As I understand it when a case ends so does you public cert. He would not have an open certificate any more.

Misfit13 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:15:27

Thanx again for the replies.
From what you have said it does seem unlikely that he still has LA, as the case ended in February. My solicitor phoned me after the hearing and we agreed to extend for 6 weeks, in case he had tried to appeal. She phoned me again in April to end things between us (I'm guessing there's a proper legal term for that!) and she advised me to report all attacks/harassment and also to stop trying to see any good in him; to accept that some people are just bad, which I have done.
So, unless his famiy are planning to pay for legal advice (possible as they're nowhere near ad poor as I am) or support him to self represent, then I can probably relax a bit - on the LA/court front, at least!
He didn't turn up for him yesterday though, and hasn't contacted me. Which makes me nervous...

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