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are recordings admissable in a family court?

(46 Posts)
sobloominscared Sun 21-Oct-12 23:08:52

ive posted this on aibu as well. I know it sounds really paranoid but I am paranoid that my ex has planted recording devices in my dd's clothing. We are in court soon over access issues and he keeps saying he will ruin me and smirking at me every time he leaves dd back. I have read a case online in america where a parent did this by planting a recording device in the childs teddy bear. I have not done anything wrong, but i am not a perfect parent and have made mistakes, shouting, swearing etc.

if ex has done something like this, would the recordings be allowed to be heard? sorry if this all sounds mad, i am feeling very scared.

mumblechum1 Sun 21-Oct-12 23:12:09

No they would not, and if there's any evidence of secret recording it will go against him.

I did a case last year where the mother planted a recording device in the child's toy, my client realised what was going on and took it from the child, gave it to the NYAS officer and the mother got a very severe dressing down from the Judge.

sobloominscared Sun 21-Oct-12 23:28:28

Gosh that is SO reassuring mumble - thanks so much for replying. I read online that recordings would be admissable if it was in the interests of the child. EX keeps saying he has something on me and will ruin me, so I have been worrying myself sick.

LineRunner Sun 21-Oct-12 23:35:14

Please understand that the family court does not like game-playing by either parent. And the family court wants both parents to able to be parents.

Please ignore your Ex; have as little contact with him yourself as possible; and that will help you to be able to de-stress a little anyway.

mumblechum1 Sun 21-Oct-12 23:39:07

I had another case recently where the dad, this time, was secretly videoing the children at drop-off time to show that they were happy to go to his house (pointless, really, my client wasn't saying they weren't), and again, I raised it at a directions appointment and the judge described the father's actions as reprehensible and also criticised his solicitors for suggesting that the dvds should form part of the court bundle.

mumblechum1 Sun 21-Oct-12 23:40:06

Haven't read your other thread, but it sounds as though your ex is trying to intimidate you.

Ignore him.

sobloominscared Sun 21-Oct-12 23:44:26

thanks mumble and linerunner, i really appreciate that, will try to ignore him.

LineRunner Sun 21-Oct-12 23:45:39

By the way, OP, during one family court hearing my ExH was extremely surprised that the real world thought very differently than he did about his opinions.

Sometimes some Ex Partners just need to hear about reality from actual real life people who are in charge of stuff - i.e. people other than their new girlfriend and their doting mum.

(At the next pointless court hearing he instigated even his own barrister told him to get real!)

I know it's stressful, but try to stay strong and that means staying focused and yes, chilling out a bit. smile

sobloominscared Sun 21-Oct-12 23:58:50

you're right Line, its just so hard with all this going on, he is taking me to court to increase access but wont discuss it with me or tell me the reasons why, the papers i was served are practically blank, so i am in the dark. He is also refusing mediation because he said it would be pointless, but i think what he means by this is that he might not be able to twist things in front of a mediator. In saying that, im not sure how he will get on in front of a judge either. The fact that he is being so quiet about it all and then telling me he 'has something on me that will ruin me' literally made my blood run cold.

I am not perfect and certainly havent always been the best parent i coujd have been to dd,- its made me feel sick to think he might have been recording that to use against me, but of course this is probably paranoia speaking.
I feel better already, thanks a lot

MrsjREwing Mon 22-Oct-12 00:04:39

My ex did that blank court stuff, cancelled cafcass so me and cafcass were there confused why I was being taken to court. My ex was an emotional abuser too.

LineRunner Mon 22-Oct-12 00:05:49

OP, have you put in your own statement to the court?

Mine was pretty much along the lines of:

'I am sorry that my ExP is going down this route as it is unnecessary and stressful for everybody, not least the DCs. I have asked him for a stable contact routine, but have yet to receive one. I genuinely hope the court can resolve this matter for the benefit of the DCs, who want to live with me but of course see their father, but with a proper routine, and proper notice, so that we can plan their school and social lives in a normal manner. I do have work and other family commitments so this is really important. I am sorry that ExP has felt it necessary to try to intimidate me and I would be prepared to speak to judge about this directly if possible. I wish to to be the best mother that I can be and this stress is best stopped as quickly as possible.'

sobloominscared Mon 22-Oct-12 00:11:25

yeah he was a classic EA when we were together, it was not a good relationship. I havent submitted a statement yet but yours sounds REALLY good. i have no idea why he couldnt just discuss the access with me rather than drag it through court but then i never know why he does anything.i cant complain about instability or anything because he sees dd regularly. he always accused me of making things difficult but i guess what he means by that is i havent let him take dd off me completely.
i will write down your statement linerunner, it sounds great.

MrsjREwing Mon 22-Oct-12 00:15:16

If he is like my ex, he will tell people YOU are messing with contact. I read that for most of these cases one parent has a personality disorder, I think my ex was a narc, at the end his psychiatrist said he had an adjustment disorder.

sobloominscared Mon 22-Oct-12 00:22:13

i think you are right JR, he says i mess about with contact all the time but this is rubbish and i think he just means i wont give him extra at the expense of my own time with dd. He would happily have her full time and his approach is very passive aggressive, hence the court application without even telling me. In a strange way,although i am very scared of the idea of court and all the lies he will tell, i also welcome a court order because it will cut down or even stop the relentless negotiating, texts, emails and disagreements about contact. I just want dd to have a relationship with both of us, but ex seems to think that he can demonstrate better parentng by belittling mine. Its exhausting,

LineRunner Mon 22-Oct-12 00:24:57

If you write a reasonable statement, OP, and stick with it, stay calm in court, and keep saying that all you want is a predictable, stable routine, you should be fine.

I also used the court contract to have ExH agree to stay away from me. Bonus!

You ought to be able to manage by yourself and not have any court costs - but if you do have any complications then do get a freebie appointment with a family law solictor or legal advice centre.

LineRunner Mon 22-Oct-12 00:30:11

ex seems to think that he can demonstrate better parenting by belittling mine. Its exhausting

Never a truer word said ... hence I would suggest cutting contact between you and him, at least for six months or a year while you find your feet, your breath, and your voice.

Use this awful court business to help youself. Ask the court to write into the contact agreement that 'Both parties must be civil, and only contact each other in an emergency involving the child.' (a) Ex will have to stick to the written agreement, and (b) No extraneous annoying calls, texts, emails.

He may just have just have given you a very welcome gift.

sobloominscared Mon 22-Oct-12 00:43:36

'A welcome gift', lol I like the sound of that!
Ex is very awkward about letting me speak to dd when she is with him, he doesn't say 'no' outright as such but as I say is very passive aggressive and will 'forget' or doesn't have reception or dd is asleep, it's all bollocks but I hate it when she goes on a two week holiday and only get to speak to her twice sad

MrsjREwing Mon 22-Oct-12 00:45:28

If he is like my ex he will use the court to hurt you and justify eventually not seeing your dc by telling people he did all he could you were evil, blah, blah, he is poor man, you evil woman and everyone will hate you.

sobloominscared Mon 22-Oct-12 00:50:21

Line- i've got myself a solicitor because I just know I'll get tied up in knots about ex's lies. He keeps saying im awkward about contact and don't care for dd as well as he does bla bla but if I was representing myself I would probably just blubber all the way through! Im pretty sure ex is going for more contact and will charm the court about why he thinks he deserves it (never mind dd) so I would come unstuck in the face of such twatiness. He is actually very reliable, has never let dd down or anything but he bullies me into things then says he im awkward if i say no. He works loads of hours so can't even see how he can justify asking for more contact

sobloominscared Mon 22-Oct-12 00:51:42

God don't scare me JR lol, will the judge just believe everything he says? I hope not cos he is a manipulative wanker

sobloominscared Mon 22-Oct-12 00:53:51

Sorry Line - meant to explain in last post, he is bad with phone contact for dd when she is on holidays with him, can I get it written into court order to have telephone contact?

LineRunner Mon 22-Oct-12 00:54:08

OP It honestly gets easier at the DCs get older. They really do vote with their feet / mobiles / facebook.

In the meantime ask the court to help you set an agreed limit for calls. If you make a reasonable suggestion - for example, each time the child is with one parent, the other gets a once-every-two-days phone call, with no interference from the other parent at 6pm (say), that would be seen as a positive suggestion.

LineRunner Mon 22-Oct-12 00:59:45

OP I think MrsJ means that some fathers pretend they are having 'contact issues' precisely to get away with never bothering to maintain any effort with their own children.

It's a classic when anyone new in their life, or from their family, asks why they are not exactly doing much obvious fathering. 'Oh my crazy Ex won't let me have contact with the kids'. Sad but true.

You are not in this category, it would seem. But you might still get the while 'She's crazy' nonsense. Just rise above it. Keep sensibly offering sensible solutions.

sobloominscared Mon 22-Oct-12 01:00:23

I find myself wishing her life away because he treats her like a possessionangry
That's a great idea about phone contact, will ask solicitor. Also he insists on having her in school hols but then dd tells me he sends her to family which is crap cos I am here and willing, would this be something I could push for?

LineRunner Mon 22-Oct-12 01:11:41

The school holidays thing is probably something you'll have to look at like this. Your DD is entitled to a relationship with her dad. That includes knowing and being part of his family. Unless you have clear evidence to the contrary, this is could be seen to be beneficial for her - sense of belonging, place in the world.

And you get to have some time to do stuff.

I know you will miss her like crazy, but if you can agree phone calls, maybe Skype or FB when she's old enough, it won't be so bad. Crap, but not intolerable.

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