Thank you for your question
My name is Clare
I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What is the current wording of the draft order?
What is your objection to the wording (not uncommon under the newest rules)
In fact the term "primary carer" has no relevance in family law and in fact it is now usual in such cases for an Order to say that the child "lives with" one parent for such and such a period and "lives with" the other parent the rest of the time.
This is because the aim is to show that both parents have equal Parental Responsibility
This is a matter of semantics only and makes no difference whatsoever to what the Order means and frankly the court is going to view your challenging it as further evidence of your "being difficult"
The only legal difference is that each of you can take the child out of the oc**try DURING THE TIME SHE IS IN YOUR CARE without notifying the other - provided she is back in time for handover.
This is NOT about shared care - whether he sees the child for a few hours once a week; or for one night a week and alternate weekends, or for 50% of the time it s ALL viewed as shared care and you will need to work towards being able to parent together.
If there are important issues with the draft order then concentrate on the real issues - not this non issue - as otherwise they will get lost as the Judge will simply view you as being petty
I am certainly willing to look at the letter for you - but it will be with that approach in mind
I am sorry but whether the parents can work together or not doe snot change anything in terms of the Order
Indeed the fact is that if they could work together there would be no order
If you send the Draft Order and the letter I will deal with them fresh in the morning
Many of the points that you raise make no sense without seeing the draft order.
Others involve you trying to reopen the case
I am happy to help turn the letter into something that the Judge will take notice of - but I need to see the draft Order so that I can suggest meaningful changes
Which changes are of priority for you?
I have redone the letter :_
September 5, 2016
Re : Case no xxxxx in the matter of M xxxxx
I am writing with regards ***** ***** Final Hearing of the above matter on 11.8.16
The Representatives for the Applicant father (Paul) have produced a draft Order that I am not able to agree. I am not represented and the Direct Access Barrister I used is not responding my attempts to ocntact him/her
I took precise notes whilst the Judge was summing up and I do not believe that the wording within the draft Order reflects what the Judge said.
Throughout the draft it refers to the child (M) “living with” Paul instead of having contact with him. Whilst I understand that this is a modern practise it was NOT the wording used by the Judge and it is not wording that I am comfortable with.
Through out the proceedings Paul’s solicitors have made it clear that it is accepted that M lives with me and that this has never been in doubt - and I would feel more secure if this is what the Order says.
Indeed I recall that the words used in the summing up regarding the mid week contact were:
“One midweek is fine because it keeps the contact with father and with the combination with the weekends it is a perfect, acceptable and sensible contact”. –
I also have concerns with regard to the matters detailed under “Mothers Position”at (b). It is unrealistic to state that I will not enrol M in any school without Paul’s written consent. I will certainly consult with Paul and discuss matters with him well in advance, but this was not an Order made by the Court and should not be listed as if it were.
Moving on to specific paragraphs
1 c. There was no requirement that I provide Paul with written evidence of my schedule just that I notify him as soon as I know - which i am happy to do
1 d. I have a difficult relationship with Paul’s parents and would prefer the prodding “Or in an emergency the Paternal Grandparents” to establish that in general terms it shoudl be Paul - which will help him establish a relationship with the school
2. the Polish Embassy requires not only that Paul signs the forms - but that he also provides his written consent
3. This refers to 21 days in Poland. This should be subject to the addition that after 2017 it should be 28 rather than 21 days in accordance with the comment of the Judge (I lost this - please put it in)
9. I would ask that M returns to me on Boxing day since she did spend Boxing day with her father last year and it seems right that these alternate.
16. The move to 14 days in one block is scheduled for 2019 not 2018. There was also no reference in the Judgement to Paul have an extra 7 days in the Summer holidays - not least because he does not have sufficient annual leave
The above points are the main issues within the enclosed draft Order. The other smaller points are also being highlighted in red with comments next to some of the paragraphs.
I have tried to address everything with Paul’s solicitor first. My Direct Access Counsel wrote to Paul’s solicitor and his Counsel on 22.8.16 explaining that the draft Order does not reflect what Your Honours conclusion was at the hearing. I was very disappointed to receive a response from Paul’s solicitor on 23.8.16 that I appeared to “retreat from matters that either were concerned by you [me] in court or were determined by the judge”, and that I “raised objections for the first time to matters that have already been dealt with “suggesting that the both Counsel have been in communication a while and no objections were raised until the 22.8.16.
I viewed every single e-mail that both Counsel exchanged. At no point these matters were agreed as the other party suggests. Both Counsel were very busy travelling and in meetings regularly and communicated properly with regards ***** ***** Order for only about 3 working days prior to my Counsel e-mail was sent to them on 22.8.16. Therefore, their ‘allegations’ are inappropriate and unnecessary. I did not withdraw from anything that I agreed to or it was concluded by the Judge. I have made very precise notes from the Judges’ conclusion during the hearing, and the above terminologies should be removed from the Order.
I recognise the critical importance of Pauls’ role in Milena’s life. The same with parental Grandparents. I will ALWAYS promote my daughter’s regular contact with them. I however find that Paul manipulates situations to attempt to prove his point and to get things his way, to the detriment of Milena.
I was hoping to get into an amicable agreement with Paul or/and his solicitors, and it is very unfortunate that the only response I received from his lawyer was that “these amendments will not be agreed “.
The interest of Milena would be best served by the arrangements that have always been in place, namely that she lives with her mother and have regular contact with her father.
I humbly ask the Court to please make decisions in terms of the Final Order based on a long history, facts and what is best for my daughter.
Do deal with your amendments to the Order -
Page 1 - this is standard wording - reinstate it
Page 2 - great changes
Page 3 - Pushing it but worth trying
Page 4 -remove your additional " it is Ordered that"
Page 5 - The only place you will be able to spend 21 or eventually 28 days is Poland. You can spend 20 days elsewhere - but at this stage re-instate the Poland part - it i snot reasonable to seek to spend such long blocks elsewhere whilst your daughter is so young
Pages 6,7 and 8 are ok - not great but worth a try
Page 9 father; day is always a Sunday - there is no need for the extra wording
Everything else - fine
Since you are acting for yourself you are able to file the amended letter and Order today.
It will make it easier for the Judge to check the issues and should increase the chances of your succeeding