1 February 2021 at 7:08 pm #48916
First time posting on here, so please be gentle !
Am hoping you can provide me some advice on my situation.
Summary of events:
My ex partner left unexpectedly in July last year.
Mediation was tried, but broke down due to my ex not wanting to move things forward in any capacity.
Ex was said to be claiming abuse, violence, control, manipulation etc, etc, etc….
I engaged a solicitor and managed to get access to my daughter via a contact centre for 1 hour a week. (this has been in place since end of september)
This took 3 months to arrange from when ex left….
6 sessions were initially agreed.
Following positive completion, my ex then refused further mediation and insisted that supervised contact was to continue indefinitely.
I submitted a court application following this news at the start of Dec.
Case was directed to safeguarding checks. 1.5 months later I had a 10 minute call with an FCA to discuss application. 10 days later I received the safeguarding letter.
As expected ex is claiming hardcore child abuse, physical, mental and emotional abuse, financial manipulation, coercive behaviour, isolation and mental health issues, she is even claiming that i have been medically drugging our daughter….
Ex is claiming that I’m far to dangerous to have any unsupervised contact with my daughter ever.
Safeguarding letter states my ex’s allegations and backs up her position that there should be no contact. but is accepting my ex’s wishes to allow limited supervised.
Naturally these allegations are a complete load of rubbish, and have never had a question raised over my parenting, let alone my personal character or nature. We have had 4 years together as a lovely little family with no major issues.
None of my ex’s allegations have ever been raised to the police or social services at the time of alleged offence. They were only raised the day before she walked out. She claims that she was to afraid for her life and our daughters life of raising them before….
I have an unblemished police record (except a minor speeding fine).
Safeguarding is stating that a full fact finding hearing is recommended.
My solicitor is now indicating that the allegations are that serious against me that they may no longer be able to represent me.
Solicitors advice is that I’m unlikely to get any unsupervised access to my daughter any time in the near or medium future. Crown court fact finding hearings can last months in such cases. Estimated costs are in the 10’s of thousands to defend myself. As I’m sure you have guessed I’m not a premiership footballer and simply do not have that kind of cash.
So far I have spent around 7K on solicitors fees and contact etc and seemingly got nowhere.
It seems very much like my ex is just fabricating whatever she can to not allow me access to my daughter, and the system is seemingly supporting her with this approach.
In your experience is this all just completely normal and what just happens when couples separate and when it get to court a judge would have seen it 10 times already that morning ?
Or is this an outlier and my ex is just that toxic and knows how to play the system ?
Finally, am I just better off walking away with my parental rights in tact rather than having them reduced or removed by going to court ?
There is no way I can afford the sums of money being discussed currently.
Is this just the way ex’s behave and will the system just support her seemingly unquestioned ?
It seems that my ex is claiming the worst of the worst possible so it goes to crown court, knowing full well that I cant afford to fight it. Then she just gets to keeps our daughter.
Does this actually happen or am I in a bad dream here ?
I’m really struggling with knowing which way to turn here.
All help and advice greatly appreciated.
Many thanks.1 February 2021 at 10:15 pm #48924
I dont think you have been getting very good advise. To go to a crown court you would need to be arrested by police and charged with offences. This would initially be in a magistrates court to start with. Firstly they would have to interview you and send it to the CPS. A fact finding hearing is in family court and if findings are made against you and they are serious the most that will happen is you will get indirect contact . However your ex is already giving you supervised already so i would carry on with that as soon as possible even if it is only a hour a week. It may be worth you representing yourself although you would need to come on forums and ask for advice . You could also ring support line this forum has for advice as well.
Generally as long as you are calm , child focused and not getting involved with mud slinging against ex your ex will need to back up all her allegations with evidence . Its a long process , but it will be worth it in end as you will work towards your end goal and that is seeing children unsupervised .
I am sure you already been told or know under no circumstances engage in any conversation with your ex unless its to arrange child contact and that would be better if she approached u. Perhaps u could set up your supervised contact the way it was organised 1st time around. Remember contact centre can or should be able to help you by writing a report if u ask as they observe you with your children. Lot of dads have been through this and if u havent done anything wrong you will see light at the end of the tunnel1 February 2021 at 10:27 pm #48925
sounds like your solicitor is mostly looking at this from a financial POV, and trying to cut your losses. you could stop using them and consider self-representing. since you entered that war zone, you might as well see it through to the end and jump through all of their hoops. if your able to rubbish her allegations and win the fact finding hearing, then things should start to turn in your favour. will just take a very long time.2 February 2021 at 2:21 pm #48948
I’m Michelle one of the moderators here in the forum. I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through a tough time. It’s important to get professional advice with the situation that you’re describing. Some of the following services may be able to help, or let you know which services may be relevant to your situation.
Civil Legal Advice helpline on 0345 345 4 345 https://www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice to check to see if you qualify for legal aid and for details of local family law solicitors that provide advice and representation funded by do legal aid
Child Law advice service https://childlawadvice.org.uk/ – they again provide legal advice on family law issues related to children, they have information on their website about this, and a helpline staffed by legal specialists 0300 330 5480
Family Law Panel https://thefamilylawpanel.org/categories/1 A free directory service for members of the public to access professional and independent family law information. Solicitors offer an initial free advice session.
Family Rights Group on 0808 801 0366 https://www.frg.org.uk/ They advise around options where decisions have been made by the courts or social workers around their children’s welfare
And if you are looking for some additional emotional support Family Lives provide general support to families on issues around parenting, emotional support and just generally coping as a parent https://www.familylives.org.uk/ 0808 800 2222
You’ll also find lots of information on their site.
I hope this helps