child arrangement order tecnicallities

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  • #63159 Report


    Hello everyone,

    today it is my turn to seek advice. Against the declared wishes of our 11.5 year old son, his mother is seeking 50:50 custody and has begun court proceedings. At the moment, she has every Wednesday and every other weekend. She is on her third boyfriend within five years, met the current chap about 14 months ago, and is due to give birth to their child in January. Our son doesn’t get on with him at all, fears him almost. Seeing his body language when I drop him off makes me feel very uneasy. So for weeks now, our son’s mother is trying to force him to stay at her house on a 50:50 basis. She even went as far as trying to forcibly picking him up after school. Which did not go down well with the school. She tried blackmailing him by withholding his school and rugby equipment. So I bought all the school stuff twice, which is such a waste given the pace at which he is growing at the moment and the prices you have to pay for all the grammar school uniform articles when it comes to sport. For the books and sheets, we arranged a safe place for him at school where he can leave everything he doesn’t need the day after he stays at his mother’s house. He now only takes the books he requires the next day to her house. So far, so bad.

    We already had the cafcass interview by phone and the court case is scheduled in early December. Obviously,  I don’t want to spend money on a solicitor just to please the whims of a controlling mother. So my question is, can someone please update me on what exactly will happen at the first hearing and what the next steps will be. She has of course made all sorts of allegations against me, and cafcass has withheld some of those from me and suggested a fact finding endeavour to the court. I know there is nothing substantial at all, I also had the elder brother, who just went to Uni in September, here with me for the last five years, so I am quite relaxed, but on the high seas and at court, we are in god’s hands. So what are the proceedings in court, and how does the first hearing play out?

    Thank you.

    #63160 Report



    I can not give you legal advice, but can only mention my own experiences. After you apply, at some point the courts social workers CAFCASS will call you to have a brief call, to find out what the issues are. They send a brief safeguarding letter to court, and advise them on next steps. The first hearing is not very long. They want to find out what the issues are. If you will be self-representing, just raise your hand when you want to speak. Would avoid giving long speeches or reading huge paragraphs. CAFCASS may say theres no risks to children. If they have concerns, they may tell court that a welfare report (section 7) needs to be done. If so, that can take 8-12 weeks. They would be scheduling a 2nd court hearing, and that S7 report will be out by then. There’s something else called a fact finding hearing, that may or may not be done. Again a lengthy process if it happens. Would suggest that you be 100% child focused, and avoid slating your ex.

    you mention Cafcass are wanting court to do a fact finding hearing. I think that will likely happen. very high risk. it’s based on probabilities of something happening and whether an allegation is true or not! I would suggest if you can try convince them to not do a fact finding.  think next couple of months will be rough for you. look after yourself and hope it goes well for you.

    • This reply was modified 3 days, 21 hours ago by steve3334.
    #63168 Report


    Thanks Steve,

    I will try to find out about the fact finding stuff.

    #63260 Report


    P.s. I never slate their mother. She is her worst enemy. It is so sad to watch. I think there is nothing to fear in the wake of the fact finding. I don’t drink at all, no drugs, and we are separated for over five years now. I have nothing at all to do with her life for over two years, don’t enter her house any more since I had to compliment her out of mine, because she was behaving as if it was hers, and had arranged everything in a way, that there was almost no personal contact between us. I even had to have separated parent evenings because the children didn’t want the show any longer. Little one knows exactly what he wants, and in my opinion, this is just her last try to exert control over my life. It is not about her wanting more time with him.

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