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Anyone successfullly defending themselves in Family Law Court?

(9 Posts)
Gizmo100 Mon 08-Sep-08 09:53:49

My ex is taking me to court as I have said no to let him have her for a week in October. I have good reasons and he only had her for a weeks holiday 5 weeks ago. He sees her every weekend for 24 hours. I am in Scotland so I know other UK law is different. I am looking at £5k per my lawyer for her to defend it and she has advised that I do not qualify for legel aid as I earn just over the threshold.

Surfermum Mon 08-Sep-08 10:01:49

I haven't but dh was litigant in person when he got his contact order for dd. But to be honest, his request for a week in October doesn't seem that unreasonable to me. Why are you against the idea?

And have you thought about going for mediation rather than Court? I'd certainly advise sorting it out out of Court if you possible can as it's such an awful and stressful process to go through - and although for dh the benefit was that he actually got to see his little girl on a regular basis, it really polarised him and his x and it took them ages to get things on a more civil footing again.

hecate Mon 08-Sep-08 10:04:27

I haven't but he's the father and he's got the right to be with her, so I'd guess that you'd need a damn good reason (violence, sexual abuse, substance abuse, alcoholism, previously left child unattended...) and be able to PROVE it, in order to win, otherwise you'll just be seen as unreasonable and you'll be throwing your money away.

Gizmo100 Mon 08-Sep-08 10:18:31

Hi my exh was and still is an emotionally abusive person who is very controlling. He tries to change his access times at the last minute although he has know about his new arrangements for months. I have given my exh extra off the record so to speak access to my daughter and i am friendly with him which is more than he deserves but he is very sneaky and comes back with more demands. Unfortunately he is one of those people you give them an inch and he takes a mile. My exh has mental health problems too. His family are very rich so they have the money to keep taking me to court to get their own way. When he left us he told me twice he was not ready for IVF nor to be a father!At present he is trying to make himself look the good guy and myself the villain. My ex husband is a bully and always will be. I am treated like his nanny and he only wants his daughter now because she is a walkig talking toddler who is cute and very bright everything he isnt! He did not care for our daughter when we were married and was also negligent when he did care for her. I have a friend who is a police officer who is my witness for court to this behaviour. I know court will be awful but mediation will not work with an emotional abusive person who its his way or the highway. I have a male friend who is having the same problem with his ex wife so I see it from both sides!
I told my ex husband I would think about the week break but as I was losing my job and there are no jobs I needed to find a job first. He also knows I havent been away on holiday this year wth our daughter because I have no money, I am losing my job. I have asked for one Saturday to be changed this year to attend a family function and he casts this up week after week - I just cannot win!

Tinkerbel6 Mon 08-Sep-08 10:24:33

I hope your ex realises that every time he takes you to court he is in fact taking money away from his child, just write everything down clearly and calmy and present the facts, good luck.

MadameCastafiore Mon 08-Sep-08 10:30:24

You need to get a statement of arrangements put into place where it is clearly written whn your XH has access to your DD. It is likely that he would get every other weekend and half of the school holidays unless there are extreme mitigating circumstances - my XH was a sad abusive drunk but he still got that when we went to court - it cost a ridiculous amount of money so if I were you I would do everything possible to not take it all the way to court.

Mind you if you have lost your job you should be able to claim legal aid.

titchy Mon 08-Sep-08 10:49:38

I have to agree with surfermum. All the reasons about him being a bully etc are to do with how YOU feel about him. Contact is about his relationship with his dd. The two are completely seperate and courts view it like this, so unless this extra week puts HER at physical or emotional risk I doubt a court would stop it, particularly as he has had her for a week already and presumaby no harm came of it. Whether you feel he treats you like the nanny is irrelevant. And tbh if he regards you that way so what? He's your ex his opinion should mean sweet fa to you.

Surfermum Mon 08-Sep-08 11:10:25

And I'm with you too titch! Put aside your feelings about him and how he treated you. They're perfectly valid feelings and you have a right to feel angry with him. But don't let that influence the relationship your dd has with her dad.

From his point of view he will see you as the one who is controlling. You are controlling whether and when he sees his daughter. He wants to spend lots of time with her - and why not? Put yourself in his shoes and imagine only having 24 hours per week with your dd (and for nearly half of those she is asleep). It isn't any time at all. If that was the only time I saw my dd I'd be fighting tooth and nail to get to see her as much as I could, so I really don't blame him for asking for more contact and I don't really understand how that can be perceived as "making demands". Can you view it like that, and that it's all about seeing his little girl, rather than about you and wanting to control you?

Harra Mon 08-Sep-08 15:18:36


Sorry to hear your situation.

Mediation did not work for me and my xp. We ended up in court and I had over £11K legal bill. Think the worst case scenario is 50/50. If you can negoatiate any better then avoid court. I will represent myself from now on. Currently being taken back as my xp wants to change the court order and I am representing myself.

From my experience, you know your case so much better than anyone else and you care.

A friend represented herself, but her xp didn't even turn up to court so she got more access that she had already.

Try and really think of your dd first - it is so hard. Unless he is throwing her across the room, then the courts seem to ignore other behaviour and go for middle ground. But I do understand. My xp is hugely controlling and just does stuff to try and get a reaction from me as opposed to having ds's interests at heart. He says that I am controlling.

If you do end up in court you can write to the court and ask for a McKenzies friend (google it) who can sit with you, write things down, prompt you and support you. They can not speak for you though.

Also if you are concerned about xh looking after dd the court can organise a Cafcass report.

Happy to answer any other questions. In a nutshell, my xp was having ds 2 nights a week. The court ruled that xp has ds 11 nights out of 28 and 4 weeks holiday per year. He is still abusive to me and my mother despite me setting handovers at the CM's and minimising contact.

Hope you can avoid court as it is horrible, but if you can't, I would recommend you do it yourself with as much support as you can get. HTH

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