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Diaries for court?

(40 Posts)
pinguthepenguin Wed 21-Nov-12 18:54:49

My ex and are in court soon regarding access arrangements for our dd. He reckons he will be submitting a diary and a calendar to show the judge 'what I'm like'.
He says this diary with it's various accounts over the years about what I've done and said will be taken as evidence. The calendar will be to show how often dd goes there dating right back to her birth. The trouble is, I absolutely know it will be full of lies and the calendar will be full of 'false entries' as to when dd has visited. He is convinced though that he will show the judge what he has had to put up with (?)

Thoughts anyone? Can he just submit a load of tripe like this? Now I am worried......

Spero Wed 21-Nov-12 18:58:49

He can submit anything he likes. The judge decides how much weight he/she gives it - which may not be much if you contest it's accuracy.

My heart sinks when ever anyone whips out a calendar or a spreadsheet in court. It is often very confusing and hard to understand and usually indicates the person producing it cares more about being 'right' or 'in control' than what is best for particular child.

pinguthepenguin Wed 21-Nov-12 19:08:46

You've hit the nail on the head there spero, and thanks for the reply. He is a massive control freak and would think nothing of making false entries on a calendar to say she was there when she wasnt, or to say I had blocked contact on a specific day when I hadn't. The problem I have now of course is proving I didn't block/frustrate contact when he says I did because I've no proof to speak of- only my word.

Spero Wed 21-Nov-12 19:40:15

With any luck he will produce a spreadsheet with at least four different colours and in teeny tiny font and the Judge will automatically give you whatever you want.

Apologies to anyone out there who genuinely produces these kind of docs to be helpful but anyone who hoves into my view at court waving one is instantly mentally filed in a less than flattering category.

pinguthepenguin Wed 21-Nov-12 19:45:55

Haha, spero.
I so hope you are right. He is asking for a SRO and EVERY weekend. Yup, he wants every weekend of her lifesad
Also, if he found my profile on MN could he use it?

Spero Wed 21-Nov-12 19:51:06

I am sure the judge can think of no better use of court time than to spend hours pouring over your mumsnet musings.

Seriously, do all you can to encourage him to go down this road. Nothing says 'controlling weirdo' better than insisting the judge take account of this kind of stuff.

He won't get every weekend. How old is your child? Old enough to talk to CAFCASS?

pinguthepenguin Wed 21-Nov-12 20:03:31

She is 5. He is using very adversarial and upsetting methods to get the contact he wants- saying I don't feed her properly, give her a routine, leave her with people all the time, obstruct contact and make life difficult. Basically wrote on the court app that im a crap mother without actually coming out with it.

avenueone Wed 21-Nov-12 20:54:45

What contact does he have now and want moving forward? why has it ended up in court, because he wants every weekend? that is really not going to happen - it is not in the child's best interest unless suffering real harm to be away from you that much and if the child was suffering from so much harm they would them taken away from you full stop and I am sure social services would already be involved.
Hold tight, try not to listen to much to `his evidence' which is know is tough totally but agree with points already made about what the judge with think of it all.

pinguthepenguin Wed 21-Nov-12 21:01:18

Thanks avenue. He has two separate nights a week plus one full weekend per month. Basically, we split her free time right down the middle.
He now wants every weekend. There's probably a million reasons why- but none of them will be true or in dd's interests. He is indeed slandering my parenting to the max, it's very destructive and upsetting, but i have to have faith it that the judge will be fair otherwise I'll drive myself mad.
He is taking me to court, so it's him thats doing it all.

avenueone Wed 21-Nov-12 21:11:00

I think you will end up better off than you are now as a result of this I really do. Please try and use this to ensure he can't upset you any more. The contact arrangements will be in place and he just has to stop the upset. He just isn't going to get every weekend. He will prob get every other weekend and maybe one night in the week or two tops. it is very upsetting when false allegations are made but the truth always comes out in cases like this, the judge will have heard it all before.

pinguthepenguin Wed 21-Nov-12 21:39:51

Thanks a million

I will have to have faith in the judge. Ex will prob use lots of tactics such as his fabricated diary and calendar, so I'll have to wear my tin hat, and press ahead with what's right for my dd.
Thank you

Spero Wed 21-Nov-12 21:41:34

Relax. He may as well go into court with pointy shoes with bells on and a T shirt proclaiming 'I am a massive Tool'.

Avenue one is quite right - unless he is arguing that your parenting is something bad your child should not be allowed unsupervised time with you, all the judge will hear is an unpleasant tosser, bad mouthing the mother of his child. And judges don't like that at all. It is extremely damaging for a child to hear one parent being relentlessly negative about the other.

Sounds like he will quite happily hang himself with his own rope, so don't worry.

pinguthepenguin Wed 21-Nov-12 21:46:56

Thanks you guys , feels loads better

Laughing out loud at the pointy shoes and t-shirt. Love MNgrin

avenueone Wed 21-Nov-12 22:41:42

I am also laughing at pointy shoes and the t-shirt grin

RedHelenB Thu 22-Nov-12 07:20:32

He will probably get two full weekends a month the same as you and half school holidays.

chocolatespiders Thu 22-Nov-12 07:24:36

Having been through the court process twice..

Second time ex wasnt happy so tried to get an enforcement of contact and a non molestation against me. He produced 14 pages of lies and judge saw right through it all.

Hold your head up high

WhatsTheBuzz Thu 22-Nov-12 10:55:57

Pfft he can submit what he likes, my ex and his ridiculous mother did and it didn't get them very far. Unless he's got independent 'witnesses' to back it all up.

CremeEggThief Thu 22-Nov-12 11:04:10

Please less us know how it goes. Rooting for you smile.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 12:50:01

Hey pingu - still thinking of you, glad the experts here on legal are reassuring you - the courts aren't stupid and won't take his word without question.

I still think theres a good chance that your ex will try to withdraw his application once his DW he realises it won't go his way.

pinguthepenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 13:37:31

Aww thanks guys, I'll let you know.
Disney, he wouldn't be able to pull out now anyway as I've raised welfare concerns of my own, namely related to his DW and their obsessive concern with dd's healthsad

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 13:41:04

It's a good lesson for him choices have consequences.

If he'd been a bit less gungho and moderated his attitude before filing his application you may have been able to resolve things in mediation - he's set a sequence of events in motion that are now out of his or his DW control.

How's your DD doing? smile

pinguthepenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 13:46:45

Ah yes she is just scrummy- is absolutely wonderful.grin
She loves her dad and other family very much, in spite of sm's tacit criticisms of me, She loves them, and that's why it's such a crying shame that ex wants to take this road.
Still, I'm trying to see this process now as an opportunity to draw a line under their constant criticisms of me and leave alone.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 22-Nov-12 13:46:45

Tell the judge that you need at least every other weekend with your child otherwise he ends up being the fun parent and you're the drudge which is hardly fair.

Ask for a CAFCASS report, and have you kept record of all the dates he has had contact? Show him your list of dates, and say that right now your daughters free time is equally split between you and her father.

pinguthepenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 13:48:39

I have no official records fuzzy- much to my annoyance, although I'm sure my cm will have records that she collected by dad for her midweek visit religiously and i have lots of texts to show how we work out our weekend and holiday arrangements

Spero Thu 22-Nov-12 14:31:47

You aren't stuck in the court process if you both want to get out - judge would be delighted if you wanted to adjourn for mediation etc.

But same rule applies to both parents: unless you are raising concerns of a serious enough nature to merit ending or supervising contact, it is never a good idea to go down the route of criticising the other parent. We all have different ways of parenting and have to try to tolerate the other -unless of course the child is being harmed.

So my advice would be to row back from criticism of his wife, unless you are s worried you want her psychologically assessed or similar.

Don't lose the moral high ground! Don't detract from letting the judge see him as an arse.

pinguthepenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 14:58:59

Spero, I totally get what you are saying. I don't want to go down this road but these two harass me endlessly about my care of dd, to the point of taking her for unnecessary medical consultations, weighing her constantly, interfering in my cm arrangements, making unilateral decisions about her care. I have tried everything to reason with them both and it hasn't worked. The fact that he is now taking me to court means that I will (hopefully?) bring that process to an end. I feel as though my dd's self esteem will be in tatters if I don't stand up for her. sad

Spero Thu 22-Nov-12 15:48:32

But that sounds really unpleasant for her and verging on emotional abuse. This needs CAFCASS to investigate pronto.

I don't remotely criticise you for raising this - sounds like you must- but that kind of behaviour does not sound compatible with lengthy periods of overnight contact. So you need to think carefully about the logical progression of your arguments.

pinguthepenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 16:40:59

I must admit that I am worried about that as well. I was always scared to stop contact, it seemed so drastic and to be honest, I don't want to damage the relationship between dd and ex. I just want him to think about the effect his criticisms of me are having on dd. My sol however thinks this is an opportunity to get this all out in the open, but like you've pointed out, I have my reservations about it. I just want it all to calm down, but my sol thinks that if I don't bring it all up now, then I've no chance further down the line if there is another dispute. He thinks there is always a small chance that I could get unlucky with a judge who is swayed by ex's argument that he should have her every weekend. By not voicing my concerns now, i will be committing them to history.
What do you think Spero? Does he have any merit with this?

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 17:22:42

I know the feeling of being scared to stop contact so well.

But, when you know it's not right for your DD, I found that the fear goes away and your 'tigress-mother' kicks in. At least, that's what happened to me.

In your exH case, he seems unwilling, rather than unable, to put your DDs safety and welfare first and I get the feeling that deep down, you know that she isn't at risk - not withstanding the fact that she is subject to a lot of point scoring.
It's all got really hostile and your DD is caught in the middle - but a bit of common sense would resolve things fairly quickly.

I don't blame you for being furious that your ex has delegated care of your DD to his DW, who seems determined to fulfil an equal role to your own - but the current legal framework does not seem to adequately provide for these situations - which IMO, fails the DCs.

A few months ago, I sought legal advice because my ex was trying to replace me with his DW in DDs life. It was clear that my only recourse was applying for a residency order - but we have reached a satisfactory compromise after very difficult and honest mediation; I felt I had nothing to lose and surprisingly, it finally seemed to get through to my ex.

It was also very liberating to say to my ex's face that I didn't like him - he had mistaken my civility in front of DD as genuine friendship confused

pinguthepenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 18:39:00

I amazed you managed to finally get through to him Disney- he sounds impossible. Mine wouldn't care less if I said I didn't like him:/
My issues regarding risk are tricky. I am caught between knowing dd isn't at risk of immediate harm and feeling incredibly worried for her well-being as she grows and realises the people she lives with think she is a liar, (an overweight one to boot)
I absolutely don't want to embark on an adversarial and destructive process, in fact I am positively dreading it, but the truth is I just don't know what else to do. He is taking me down this road, and while I could happily sit back and let him say what he wants about me to a judge, there are things I need to say to him as well to make him realise how his (and her) behaviour will affect the child who right now- loves them unconditionally. sad

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 20:00:29

I'm fairly sure that a court can order that you both attend a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting - I doubt it will go down well if your ex continues to refuse mediation given the circumstances.

pinguthepenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 20:06:21

So are you saying that I should ask the court to order this?

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 20:20:49

I don't think you can 'ask' the court what to order, but if you've made it clear that you're willing to mediate, then perhaps they might?
Has your solicitor mentioned this at all? I thought it was a court requirement now?

Have you been told about the Separated Parents Information Programme, which is a course/programme that the court can order parents to go on?

pinguthepenguin Thu 22-Nov-12 21:01:25

My sol did mention mediation but he said courts are still accepting applications even though people haven't attempted mediation. My ex blatantly wrote on his that 'there's no point' to mediation and they still accepted it! ( its been transferred to a fam proceeding court now though which sol said indicates that they don't think it's too big of a deal)
I think ex just thinks a court will do what he says and that I'll be publicly proven to be the person he says I am.
Ex would balk at being sent on a course!

Spero Fri 23-Nov-12 10:14:53

Just be as open and honest with the judge as you have been here. You know your daughter loves her dad and she needs a relationship with him. However there are aspects of his behaviour that worry you and he needs to stop or modify that behaviour or yo are concerned ot could harm your daughter in the long run.

Mediation is often touted as the magic wand in dispute resolution but it ONLY works if both participants want to do it. It does not to me sound as if your ex is the mediating type. Howeverit may not hurt to try, so make it clear to the Judge you are willing to give it a go.

If he gets every weekend, I will eat my copy of the Family Court Practice (which is the size of a brick). Tha would be totally unfair for your daughter and you, as another poster said, leaving you as the 'drudge parent' while he has all fun times.

I would be shocked if the judge made that order and I would conduct your appeal for free!

pinguthepenguin Fri 23-Nov-12 13:30:16

Thanks so much Spero! Hopefully I won't have to call on you for my appealgrin
I feel loads better, so thank you.
I do hope I get the chance to speak to the judge, I was under the impression that as it's a directions hearing there won't be an opportunity for that. You've really encapsulated what I want to say- that dd loves and needs her dad but he needs to be aware of damaging his and sm's behaviour is :/
Thanks again- I'll keep you posted!

Spero Fri 23-Nov-12 14:52:55

You may not get a chance to speak directly to the judge at a directions hearing, particularly if you have a lawyer present, but make sure your lawyer drafts a short position statement - if this is not already set out in a statement - to say what you want to say.

pinguthepenguin Fri 23-Nov-12 15:06:41

Thanks, I will get him to that. He wants me to file the court papers next week with what I want to say. My sol wrote a draft version on my behalf ( you know, the conciliation forms etc) and they sound quite 'harsh' IMO- although no less so than what ex said about my parenting in his original court app.
I will get him to edit it though. Cheers Spero

Spero Fri 23-Nov-12 17:19:09

Try to avoid 'harsh', much better to be 'more in sorrow than in anger'.

However much of a giant bell end he is, he is her dad, the only dad she will ever have so unless his problems are so great there is a serious argument about no contact or greatly reduced contact, concentrate on how the currentproblems could be solved or at least made better. The judge will ne pleasantly surprised if you adopt this approach - so many people think they have to respond in kind to ex's nonsense and the heat just goes up and up and no one really benefits.

Remember that even the lowliest deputy district judge has to have been in practice for seven years, so they really will have seen it all before.

pinguthepenguin Fri 23-Nov-12 18:04:01

Spero you've been massively helpful to me- thanks so much.
It's been referred to a magistrates court, which scared me initially as my sol said they can be crap and loathe to make decisions but I've had to stop driving myself mad about all that kinda thing and this thread has helped me with that.
I am def going to speak to my sol about the statement. It is in sorrow that I raise my concerns, and not spite. Ex has IMHO lost his way completely and is being driven to be so hostile by his DW ( that's not to say he isn't happy to support her in the hostility) I just need him to stand up for dd and remember who the parents are here. I will keep your wise words in mind when trying to relay that to him.

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