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First directions hearing - feeling nervous

(7 Posts)
kittycat68 Wed 12-Dec-12 09:07:04

cafcass are there supposedly for the childs best interests, in reality they are there to promote the contact requested by the non resident parent. Cafcass are over worked and want parents to sort it out themslves rather than in court. Unfortuanately some parents wont do this ,usually one of the parents. You get good cafcass officers and some bad ones. its pot luck who you get.

Cafcass will submit there opion and the judge will most likely implement it whether you agree with it or not. Contact will depend on the childs age.

Unfortunately you pick the man and had a child with him so you are stuck with him for the forseeable.
i wish u luck.

prettycity Tue 11-Dec-12 21:01:13

Is solicitor in waiting room and cafcass meeting with me?x

struwelpeter Tue 11-Dec-12 20:46:30

Not a legal person, but while friend may be there in the waiting room if there is any request that person other than sol/barrister goes in you will be asked and if you say no then that's it. Ex's wife doesn't have PR for your DD so the case is between ex and you.
Ask for separate waiting areas - most courts are quite big - so phone beforehand and when you go in check again. It is very stressful waiting around so if you know you are not having to stop yourself catching someone's eye then its good.
Anything distracting - trashy novel, knitting, crossword whatever works for you is good. Perhaps have a friend to phone you if needed while waiting. You can bring a friend to wait with you.
Idea is to find agreement and unless huge welfare concerns Cafcass will try to treat you equally.
Come up with some compromise positions/areas for negotiation/know the bottom line at which you are prepared to go back to court again and again and remember frame everything through the eyes of your DD. Being reasonable wins respect. Don't allege anything you can't back up with evidence/witnesses/police reports etc and if your ex tries that then the same applies to him.
It may be that nothing gets decided and it is all over in less than half an hour and you have to go back for more reports.
Good luck

prettycity Tue 11-Dec-12 20:29:34

Does it take hours? Oh god...i feel sick at the thought of hanging around all day. Im glad you think his wife won't be allowed in. I wonder if she will get to speak to cafcass in the waiting room though:/

Greenoes Tue 11-Dec-12 19:13:44

It's a couple of years since I went through this but exH took OW with him and the Judge wouldn't let her in so don't worry about that.
Good Luck - try to keep calm (I found it very scary being in court so take a book, tissues and something to drink)

peppapigpants Tue 11-Dec-12 19:04:54

I don't think you have to have anyone but your ex present. DP went to court with his ex, and she took a friend along but he was asked if he was ok with said friend coming into court, he said no and that was the end of it.

I wasn't in court myself so can't answer the rest, but hope it goes well for you.

prettycity Tue 11-Dec-12 17:09:28

Ex is taking me to court this week for access to our dd every weekend. ( she already goes there twice a week overnight) I have namechanged as I dont want to out myself. I've had some advice on here regarding the case itself and grateful.

I'm feeling really nervous about the actual hearing itself and how it will go. Ex has raised welfare concerns about my ability to care for dd and so Cafcass called me the other day for the pre-court phone interview. I have to admit to feeling pretty shaken after the call. The lady was basically asking me if there was any truth to what ex was claiming. All I could say was er...'no'. What more could I say without going on a major rant about him being a liar? I had to really hold myself together. She asked me if I had any concerns myself, which I do - but when I was relaying them to her, I dont feel I came across very well - like I was mudslinging, and actually, she had to 'bring me back' to the orginal point several times. I could have kicked myself, but there seemed to be so much to convey in a short phonecall and I couldnt get it all out coherently. Is it true they read this call out out to the judge?

I asked the cafcass lady if ex had any chance of be awarded every single weekend, and she said 'it happens'. sad

Regarding the actual hearing itself, will my ex's partner be allowed to talk to cafcass before we enter the judge? I have reasons to believe she will try to.Also, can she ask to be made party to the proceedings? I will be rasiing issues regarding her and her family, so suspect she may ask to be made party.

How do I keep myself straight in front of cafcass? Will my sol be there when they are talking to me? I've read so much about cafcass being awful that I feel like the whole thing rides on how I present myself to them. How long will we talk for? I feel like I have so much to say, but how much willl they want to hear? I am torn between feeling like I should say very little - with a view to letting ex show himself up, or going for it full throttle to get it all out in the open.

Sorry for all the questions, any advice appreciated.


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