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16/10/2013 at 13:45
We have been in and out of court and are sceduled for a final hearing this Friday. It is about residency of my step-daughter, The social qorker has written that SD is to continue to reside with us, and have contact with her mother, (subject to SD's wishes and feelings) once a month (not staying contact).
Each Judge has said that SD will continue to reside with us, and we have an interam court order. We are going to court for a final hearing with a veiw for us to get residency (Hubby's ex is disputing the social services reports, CAFFCASS reports, school reports ect) which is why it has got to a final hearing.
What I was wondering is what the protocal/procedure is. We have a solicitor and know that my H will be cross examend by his ex (she is reprisenting herself). What order does everything go in?
Would really appreciate any replys.
16/10/2013 at 15:24
I am really sorry to hear you are going through this - it is an awful situation to go through with any child. How old is your SD?
We went through court with my SD when she was 8 and we were awarded full residency and her real mum has no access to her at all other than to email through my OH, I wont go into major detail on here but there were very good reasons for this restriction and it was actually following my SD wishes. Like you CAFCASS, Social Services and the school were very supportive.
We were represented by a solicitor as was SD Mum, however, there was no cross examination by anyone. the judge asked questions of both parents, listened to the report on SD's wishes (she went through a process with Social Services similar to being adopted), the judge then made his decision and followed the recommendation of CAFCASS (it is very very rare that they dont)
Why do you think your H will be cross examined? judges do not particulary like it to turn into a slanging match at this point, prior to this would be the time for her Mum to be arguing her case with the professionals, not whilst at the final hearing
A lot will depend on the background, age of child, feelings of child and the support network available to the mother/father on who the judge will think the child is better placed with but I am sure you know a lot ofo that already.
If I can offer any help then please let me know, these situations are never easy.
16/10/2013 at 15:49
Hi Curly Wurly,
Thanks for replying, my SD is nearly 12, her wishes and feelings are that she lives with us, and occasionally sees her mum, but she wants to be able to change her mind and doesn't want to HAVE to see her mum, as her mum neglected her, and her sister abused her.
We near enough know that we will be awarded full residency of my SD. Our Barrister last time said there would be cross examining at the final hearing, however, I think there may not be as it is so clear cut. I'm not 100% sure and it's really getting to us all. I'm not sleeping, and SD is really struggling with the stress of it all as is Hubby.
It's sceduled for a full day hearing. Did you get any retaliation from the ex after the final hearing?
16/10/2013 at 16:15
It is a very very hard situation for all those involved, I cannot tell you the sleepless nights it caused us, but in the long run it was the right thing to do. At your SD age there is little chance of the judge not following her wishes, the only thing he may recommend is the contact situation i.e. times/how often/ at a contact centre/public place but again these are just recommendations and are not written in stone with a child of this age
His Ex went on the run with her other child after the hearing (not my OH's I will add!) as the kids were put on the at risk register, she has attended 6 schools at the age of 8 and now has a little brother by the same man who is a registered sex offender ....... Jeremy Kyle anyone!?!
if you want to email me offline then feel free to
best bit of advice - if your SD has not yet spoken to one arrange for her to have some counselling, it helped my SD so much
16/10/2013 at 17:20
Thank you, fab i'll email you a reply in a minute :)
You can delete your email addy thanks
16/10/2013 at 21:20
Hi there. I'm a bit of a lurker on these posts, but a regular on hitched and a newbie on the TTC boards.
I'm a family/divorce/children lawyer.
There will be examination and cross examination at a Final Hearing - that it how it is set up. The Applicant will give evidence first. The idea is both parties give evidence, examined by their own lawyer and then cross-examined by the other party's lawyer.
Get you H to sit down with his solicitor and have her explain all the procedure and how it all works
16/10/2013 at 22:03
Thank you CeeJay. The other party is representing herself. Is the evidence only allowed to be about residency and contact? We have 1 full day untill court now, so with regards to cross examination I have no idea what will happen. Our barrister is getting to tbe court early for us to talk to, so could that be done then?
17/10/2013 at 10:50
Late to this and nothing new to add but wanted to wish you and your H the best of luck x
17/10/2013 at 12:05
Thank you Belle, got our fingers crossed everything goes our way tomorrow x
17/10/2013 at 12:16
For us the CAFCASS report was paramount and as soon as we saw joint residency in print that was itt, game over for the ex. It wasn't long before H won full residency. Now youngest hasn't seen her mum in 3/4years.
17/10/2013 at 12:27
How old is your youngest SD? And did you just listen to her when she said she didn't want to see her? As we get H's ex saying that we should force her to see her mum. There's no way she'll get joint residency. We have the SS report reccomending my SD remains living with us and has contact once per month dependind on SD's wishes and feelings.so just hoping that the judge sticks to that reccomendation. It's all so stressful, this has been going on for such a long time, really worrying about tomorrow and juat want it over with now, its not fair on SD.
17/10/2013 at 12:49
Oh God P my story would run into pages and pages and pages. We first went to court in 2006 when kids were 6 & 9, they are now 14 & 17. At first we were the NRPs then when we became the RPs we encouraged contact but time and time again she let them down then eventually mum just stopped contact. We've not been back to court since as there was no point. She pops her nasty head up now and again with promises of this that and the other then the obligatory sob story but it never comes to anything. It's the kids birthdays soon so we'll be hearing from her no doubt - alothough she didn't make contact with eldest over her GSCE results....
17/10/2013 at 12:57
Oh that's so sad, SD gets so many mixed messages from her mum. my SD's mum only really wants contect when it suits her, and then she quizzes SD about everything we do ect. We've encouraged contact, but time and time again she upsets SD, it's horrible to see and totally not fair on SD.
17/10/2013 at 13:06
Yup been there seen that. It's so terribly hard for them to break the cycle of seeing mum though - imagine being 12 and thinking that your mother doesn't love you or just lays into you when she sees you, yet if you say you don't want to be upset by seeing her then allhell breaks loose and the tears flow and the guilt overcomes you..awful, just awful.
I swear my girls are the strongest kids I've known. To not be complete and utter fcuksups because of their mother is a testament to their father (and me). I moan about them but that's because i'm their mother and I'm allowed to.
17/10/2013 at 13:17
It's just heartbreaking isn't it, seeing them hurting so much but being able to do little about it. Thank's for the advice and chat, i'll update tomorrow and let those interested know what happens x
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