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Family Court Hearing

(10 Posts)
ConfusionAndDelay Fri 15-Aug-14 22:40:10

Husband got an Ex Parte Prohibited Steps Order to stop his ex taking step daughter from his care after her alleging her Mother assaulted her.

Police have now decided not to charge sad Children's Services are happy it was a one off low level assault (hand mark left on back) and so are no longer being involved. However they have stated the current pattern of care and 50:50 residency is emotionally affecting step daughter and that she needs more continuity and stability.

There is a hearing in a month or so- this was set when DH got the PSO. We know the PSO will be discharged as it is no longer needed but are the Court likely just to simply reinstate the original Shared Residence Order?

At that hearing (listed for 30mins only) will he have chance to contest the original SRO and ask for changes to be made. It's a by consent Order if that makes a difference. Will a Judge be likely to reinstate the original SRO even if DH raises welfare concerns made by the Social Worker about the Shared Residency. I don't think the SW report or a Cafcass report will be given to the Court prior to this hearing.

Also- would DH be able to file a statement about these welfare concerns for the Judge and Cafcass to see before the hearing? The Order doesn't ask for him or his ex to file/serve statements- so can he still do so given he was the applicant..


vickylu1 Sat 16-Aug-14 15:09:46

You need to speak to a family law specialist. I think a lot depends on what your step-daughter wants assuming she's old enough to communicate her needs.

Are you self representing? If not the best thing would be to speak with your legal rep. The continuity and stability being questioned which way?

Are they saying the mother should have daughter more than 50% or the other way round? I'm assuming they're suggesting in the mum's favour. Assault is assault and should be made known to the court but I would definitely get legal advice for this one.

Hope it goes your way.

ConfusionAndDelay Sat 16-Aug-14 17:14:22

Thanks Vickylu1.

Step daughter is just 7. We have been told Cafcass are unlikely to do a wishes and feelings report and in any ADR she is likely to say that she wants to live with us sometimes and her mum sometimes as that's all she has known.

Children's Services have advised they feel she needs one main home, but won't make any hint of which home they feel that should be. Fair enough, that's not their job but it's rather annoying. Her Mother isn't being charged with assault and Children's Services state they have no serious welfare concerns and are happy this was an isolated incident- still doesn't make it right or ok though sad

Self representing so no legal representative..

vickylu1 Sat 16-Aug-14 22:46:58

I know of younger children stating their needs and wants to CAFCASS. Children are very forgiving of their parents. So yes makes sense that she'd probably just want the same setup.

If you guys want her to be at yours more than the mothers then you really need to put that across to them and have as much supporting information as possible. The fact that mum did that to her, leaving a mark once, doesn't mean she won't do it again despite what children' services think.

It seems weird that they are telling you all how you should bring up your step daughter when you aren't the ones who made a mistake. Is it too late to just do this without the courts?

They say continuity and stability, I don't know how you split up time with step daughter being at yours and at her mum's but I'm sure if you still want it how it has been and communicate that to the court and partner's ex also agrees to it then it will be the same as it has been.

If she were to make a fuss, I doubt it would be decided straightaway, these things take ages. The fact that an ex parte PSO was granted in the first place would stand in your favour.

Could be worth a trip to citizens advice? Best of luck smile

Greengrow Sun 17-Aug-14 10:42:14

In most court hearings you only get what you have made a formal application for backed up with a signed statement with evidence. Nor sure about family cases.
Is there an application notice for this hearing saying what it is about and who has asked for what? if so check that. if what you want is not on that then you may need to pay a small fee and put in an application for what you want - eg that the child is with you 5 nights a week and 2 nights a week one of which is a weekend with the mother.

Lots of children have 50/50 residency and it works out very well and suits the child and parents. Also there is a huge advantage in reaching agreement between the parents as then contact works. As soon as the courts start deciding things relationships break down and children often suffer never mind how difficult it can be to enforce courts' orders.

I would try to reach agreement with the mother before the hearing and find something workable which suits all parties.

ConfusionAndDelay Sun 17-Aug-14 13:19:45

DH was the applicant. He applied for a Prohibited Steps Order and a Child Arranements Order in his favour to replace the existing Shared Residency Order. The Pr

ConfusionAndDelay Sun 17-Aug-14 13:22:27

Sorry posted too soon. The Prohibited Steps Order was granted on the day, ex parte without notice. The Judge said he didn't need to amend the Residency Order right away as the PSO superceeds the SRO. However the reason for the PSO is no longer valid so it will be discharged at the hearing and DH wants to ensure the previous SRO isn't reinstated.

Greengrow Sun 17-Aug-14 13:23:06

So if his application sets out the child arrangements that he wants and that is what the next hearing about he should be fine. Presumably he needs to set out in writing why what he wants will work best whether that is 365 nights a year with him or 50/50 or whatever he is requesting. If things have changed - one off violence being ignored by social workers etc then he might need to change his application from 100% contact to a more reasonable request or else risk losing and getting less contact than he wants.

ConfusionAndDelay Sun 17-Aug-14 13:43:13

Thank you. Yes he will change what he wants from 100% (whilst investigation into assault was happening) to a pattern whereby she has lots of time with her Mother but where se has her main home here. He won't get less than 50% as her mother has said clearly she doesn't want her more than half the time.

Greengrow Sun 17-Aug-14 14:54:16

So if the application was for 100% then I would imagine you don't want that to go before the court in the same form now. Presumably he could file some kind of revised statement from him saying he wants to vary the application now that social workers say his wife is safe and to and then set out exactly what he wants, say he has asked the mother to agree but she did not (make sure he has asked her and in writing and tried really hard to reach agreement with her as that is better than a court imposing something neither side agree to) and then say what he wants and make it such a reasonable request few courts would disagree with it.

Perhaps he should have five nights a week with each of them having a weekend day and perhaps the same nights every week so the girl has stability. That would also make it easier for the mother to work full time which would help with child costs. May be he collects her at 10am on a Sunday and has her until he drops off at school on Thursday morning and the mother has her the rest of the time.

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