Posted this in line parents aswell. My dp is attending court tomorrow regarding access to his son. He hasn't been allowed to see him for over 6 months since he and his exp got divorced. (We have only been together for a month it was nothing to do with me)
His ds is 2 years old. There was no history of anything between them, she just stopped contact as a reaction to him divorcing her. He's really nervous and is worried that he won't get any further towards seeing his son. Can anyone offer any advice / support that could give him some hope?
This is just the starting point, what I would suggest is to calm down and hear what she has to say, try to reach a good agreement based on the needs of the child (not her needs or your DP's needs but what is best for the child) and remember that if no agreement is reached tomorrow, they will be asked to return with more proposals to a new hearing.
That will not go down well. (Unless there is an abuse allegation from her against him) Has your partners ex given any reason for refusal. ? (True or invented)
It is extremely unlikely that he will not get some form of contact. The family court starts from a standpoint that children have a right to a full and effective relationship with Both parents if it is safe and not detrimental to the child's health and welfare to do so.
As he was married to the mother then he already has parental responsibility. So he will not have to jump that hoop.
If this is a first hearing and she has made allegations against you DP that can or cannot be disproved today (alcoholism, drug use, inappropriate sexual behaviour with children/in front of children etc) then the court will 'direct' certain things to be done like drugs testing, liver function tests, social work (CAFCASS reports) and they will both be told to return to the court later (a few weeks) for the result. Depending on the result, the Judge will make a decision if the parents have been unable to reach a compromise. If their are substantiated allegations of possible harm coming to the child if contact is unsupervised, then contact at a 'contact centre' will be ordered. This is a place where the father will be observed whilst he spends time with his child. With supervisors on hand to step in, if required. If there is no substance to the allegations then contact with overnights would be the norm.
Be careful OP. You have been with your DP a very short time. It's very easy to believe that the 'evil ex withholding the child' story - while he paints himself as blameless. This is not the norm ! Most divorced women are no that selfish and want their children to have a good relationship with their DF - not to mention some time to themselves in which to do all the stuff you want/need to do but can't with sole care of a child. The ex may have VERY valid reasons for withholding contact. - which he has not told you about.
Very occasionally the crazy ex wife story is true. In our case it was exactly that. But what followed was a decade in the courts with an increasingly unhinged ex treating her children as missiles against ex husband for remarrying . (Despite remarrying herself).. It is a very unpleasant emotional roller coaster that you may like to reconsider before staring !. luckily family courts have seen it all and can see through the majority of manipulations.