Family Court(15 Posts)
My XP took me to family court for a contact order - I never stopped his contact but the court doesn't seem to be interested. I have asked various questions of his solicitor and the courts about the fact that the application was not filled out correctly and I have seen no evidence to back up his allegations. He claims in the application that we should be exempt from mediation as there has been domestic violence (which there has, against me) but then in the interview with CAFCASS he stated that there was no domestic abuse in our relationship. He claimed that I did not want to attend mediation which is completely untrue; I was never asked.
The application asks what contact arrangements were in place and why they are no longer working. It also asks why this s being brought to court - this section has not been filled out at all. Surely, this is a fundamental part of the application??
I filled out an allegations of harm form (C1A) but no-one has even mentioned it. The response to the allegations has not been filled out by XP.
I have asked for answers to these twice from the court and have had replies both times that don't answer any of these questions.
My eldest DS is severely disabled. The XP has used him to try to gain access to the former matrimonial home by saying that he has 'essential medical equipment' that XP has no access to. I took DS to the first hearing with me to prove a point and XP never even asked to say hi to him!! Does no-one in the court stop to think what that means???
I now take DS to XP's mother's house (having sent him details of specialist car seats that any number of charities would help him pay for and I offered the use of my wheelchair accessible vehicle, neither of which he wanted to do) XP spends 2 hours a month with him.
This continues while we are also going to court to sort out the financial matters. XP has got the judge to agree to write to the Hospital that DS attends to ask how long DS is going to live for - if I don't have him, I don't need the house. The fact that I have 2 younger children doesn't seem to come into it. How can this even be moral?? Does this not show how completely emotionally detached XP is and intent on destroying me?
Does anyone have any advice? I am so angry about this situation; I wanted to leave an abusive relationship but it seems that the abuse is allowed to continue through the courts! When he said that 'You don't know what you've brought down on yourself' when I filed for divorce, he was right!
I'd go to the papers if I thought for a minute they'd print it!!!
I don't really have advice but what a nightmare. So sorry to hear all this. Can you seek legal advice?x
Couldn't read and run.... I had a nightmare within the family court system as have many others . It certainly does seem a playground for abusers to be able to continue their abuse. This is a really good Facebook page if you're interested started by someone who has also been through it xx
Notes. Keep detailed, dated logs of everything he says and does, and point out why it's not in the children's best interests. There will be a point where you can raise all these things.
I'm currently about to attend my second court hearing. The initial hearing was regarding interim residence. This hearing is to look at the results of the CAFCASS safeguarding report. The next one I assume will be to look at the results of the Section 7 Report. Each hearing has a specific purpose. Do you have a solicitor? Does a barrister come into the court with you? I've paid for both so I am not alone and have someone present who understands the process intimately. I'm not sure where you are in the process right now, I'm guessing CAFCASS are doing a Section 7 report because of the C1A form?
I felt incredibly frustrated by the family courts. I felt no-one really cared. I felt blamed. My ex was able to spout a load of lies without repercussion and I got landed with a court order full of ambiguities which has caused as many problems as it has solved.
I'm sorry to hear that you are having a rough time and I'm sorry I can't say something more positive. The best advice I can give is to make sure you have a really good support network of friends and family around you while you go through this. Focus on what you want the outcome to be and try and ignore all the crap that gets thrown at you.
Writing to the hospital to ask how long your ds will live for when trying to sort financial matters is a disgusting thing to do and will do him no favours.
I can't afford to have a solicitor in the family court as well as the financial so I have to represent myself. Needless to say, I haven't a clue about legal stuff but it can't be helped!!
XP on the other hand has s millionaire of a father who pays all his legal bills and supports him now that he's out of work!! 😠
Social services are doing the section 7 and thankfully we have a social worker already because of my DS so at least she knows me and is as on my side as she can be!!
Thanks all for your replies, it does help to know it's not just me going through this! X
Actually asking for his life expectancy is perfectly reasonable, sorry. That goes for any parents trying to plan their financial future with a severely disabled child. Don't take any of it personally. Courts are not a forum for you to see him reprimanded for his behaviour. Focus on the best way your children can maintain a safe relationship with their father. Nothing else. Child focused and factual. It's not about you.
And don't ever ever ever take your child to court to prove a point again. Using your child so you can score a point does you no favours.
Do you have a disabled child? Would you be so 'Perfectly reasonable' if your ex wanted to know how long it's going to be until he can get some money out of the FMH based on how long your child will live?
It's hard not to take it personally as it is so very personal!!!
Saying this to encourage OP, although I know it could be annoying, but I mean this positively, just I had a very lengthy period of my life in the Family Courts (litigious ex - like OP I hadn't prevented contact but because ex was harassing me, the police advised me to go to court to lay down the boundaries).
My experience was - although stressful at the time - ultimately positive. Ex ended up not getting residency (he'd been shooting for that) and not even direct contact. He can mail them 4 times a year. He doesn't.
He has MH issues and one aspect of this was a fascination with courts and the law so he appealed, dragged me back over and over. The judge reserved any cases involving my kids to himself - so he then could stonewall every trick ex tried. He was brilliant. The kids' guardian ad litem was brilliant. My solicitor and lawyer were paid for by Legal Aid (I'm guessing from OP's post that's not an option?) They too were brilliant.
Just saying this so OP knows it may well turn in her favour as more info comes out.
Ex tried representing himself at the early hearings but later had a lawyer. On the day, he sacked the lawyer on the spot. His lawyer, as he walked out, put his hand on my shoulder and in front of the entire court - wished me luck!
I never took the kids to court. If you look like you don't have their best interests at heart, the court could rule in his favour, so whatever you do, always convey the fact you put them first.
Could you get some free legal advice from CAB or similar?
Okay, I agree with not taking your child to court. My legal advisors said not to do it when I asked if I would have to take her.
I know it's difficult to not react emotionally to things, especially when you feel like you are dealing with someone who is being completely unfair, unkind and even dishonest, but legal matters deal with facts not feelings. I have my emotional reaction with someone like my mum or my best friend to get it off my chest, then I talk to my solicitor for legal advice, then I note it down in my diary.
If you need to understand things better, there are a few places I found good, free information.
CAFCASS itself. www.cafcass.gov.uk/
Really useful for understanding how they work and what would be expected of me as a parent.
Court information. www.judiciary.gov.uk/related-offices-and-bodies/advisory-bodies/fjc/guidance/familycourtguide/
Coram Children's Legal Centre www.childrenslegalcentre.com/index.php?page=shop_products_all
I called these people initially and they explained all the things I needed to do and what the processes were, it was very useful. I paid for a time slot call, but you can talk to them free, they are pretty busy though and it was quicker to pay the £20.
It's not easy to stay cool, I had to sit there while my ex lied in court to the judge, and I wanted to object there and then, but that wasn't the way things went at that point, he had a right to reply to my allegations, which would be looked at by CAFCASS, but the hearing wasn't about getting down into the nitty gritty, so I couldn't reply to his replies, not yet any way. I brought them up with CAFCASS instead, and they will be in the report going forwards, so not forgotten.
Any issues you have with the Order, you can bring up next time and ask to change to suit the children better. I have an A4 page of suggestions due to the current Order not working between us.
Be organised with what the issues are, right now they are a bit confusing to read, so try to bullet point each issue, keep it to the point and factual, try not to talk about how it makes you feel or react, but about how it doesn't best suit the children and why.
Thanks muchly for the info, I'll have a look at the websites. I find it so hard to stay calm and not bring emotions into it - I sometimes wonder how it ever came to this!!
Fingers crossed it will turn out ok in the end!
Alos have a look at this
A very useful website for those self-representing.
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