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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 979
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My ex is taking me to court for the second time asking for

Customer Question

My ex is taking me to court for the second time asking for shared residential order (last order granted me having residential order & him one night a fortnight overnight visit with cafcass deeming him safe to have out so. As long as abstains from drugs & alcohol for 24hrs prior & during contact & ex living over 2 hours away). We have since been to mediation & this extended to 2 nights every fortnight & a mid week tea (since March which he has failed to keep to 8 of...) with ex moving to local area since January. He has also had 5 day holiday & 3x 3 night visits for special occasions. I have since had another child & he has been physically verbally abusive & intimidating behaviour resulting in me reporting him to police twice but not pressing charges. Court hearing on 3rd July resulted in me disagreeing to joint resident order & his plan of 5 nights with his dad 9 nights with me (son is 4&1/2 & starts school September). I have to come up with counter statement before final hearing M on 28th July. I am wondering if Friday- Monday every fortnight & resident with me order with a mid week tea or possible overnight would be good counter offer. Various concerns re alcohol /drug use still stand despite cafcass condoning this. Fail to see how he could maintain his proposed schedule when alone in local area & working full time (often working away for periods of time)? Where do I stand? Oh and he has parental responsibility as is on birth cert. Thanks.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 months ago.

Hello

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will assist you.

Please may I ask:

- when was the last order made?

- how old is your child?

- have Cafcass prepared a report (and just to clarify do they still have concerns about drugs and alcohol - also what have they said about his behaviour towards you)?

- are you represented in these proceedings?

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The last order was made in April 2016. My son is 4&1/2 years old. Yes cafcass have made a report & no they do not have any concerns & didn't seem to care about drugs alcohol or his behaviour towards me.
I am not represented as can't afford it.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 months ago.

Hello

Thank you for your response.

I'd just like to ask a few questions to establish your financial means for legal aid - if that's ok.

Do you have a partner now? If so what is your combined income?

- do you receive either income support, income based job seekers allowance / employment support allowance or universal credit?

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No to both I'm not elibable for legal aid
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 months ago.

Hello

Thank you for that. I wanted to enquire because legal aid is still available when you have been a victim of domestic abuse. The legal aid agency classify this as physical, emotional or financial abuse. Given what you had stated about the fathers behaviour towards you - this was worth exploring with you, although you do also have to qualify in respect of your financial means.

Can I just clarify - in your first message you suggest that it had been proposed at the last court hearing of 5 nights with the father and 9 nights with you - has this been happening since the last court hearing? if so, how has this been going? If not, what is the current routine?

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My ex has proposed it I said no & have to come up with counter statement. As I said before he's had extended contact to two nights a fortnight & a mid week tea that he hasn't managed to do many of - this was through mediation. He has also had 3 X 3 over nights & a 5 day holiday as I said before. I don't think the 5 nights is good for my son as every time he returns he's exhausted, hits kicks etc & has to take a few days to settle back. My son has also just become a big brother & I feel this would damage his bond & relationship with his little sister & is too long for them to be apart. I would just like to know how likely I am to get court to agree to me have residency order & to my suggestion of fri- mon every fortnight with a mid week contact?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 months ago.

Hello

Thank you for your response.

You are more than aware that if an agreement cannot be reached then the court will have to make the final determination.

It is the position of the courts that children are entitled to a really good relationship with both of their parents.

The courts final determination is based on your son's best interests.

From what you have said there are lots of reasons for the court to order in line with what your proposals are. There is certainly no crystal ball as all courts/ Judges are different but from what you have said there are numerous factors in your favour and you need to make sure these come across in the statement that you are preparing.

I would set them out in headings as follows:

- You are not opposed to promoting contact but you consider that the statue quo of your son living with you needs to be maintained as you have always been the main carer and you have always met your sons needs. You are concerned that the fathers proposals do not take into account his work. You question how he will be able to meet his needs such as dropping off and picking up from school due to the fathers work. You also understand that the father works away and you have no idea what his proposals are for such periods and that this doesnt provide your son with stability.

- You are concerned about the lack of commitment from the father. There are very recent examples of the father just not being able/ willing to turn up for. You question that if he cant even make the evenings how is he actually going to care in line with his proposals.

- Your son has a sibling and this relationship needs to be promoted. If the father was to have every weekend then this would leave no quality time for the siblings to bond, especially given that your son is at school at therefore the midweek leaves little quality time. That your proposal are therefore based on a sensible solution of your sons best interests.

- There has been previous concerns in very recent previous proceedings regarding the fathers drug and alcohol use. That you are not convinced that the father has actually addressed these issues.

- That the fathers behaviour towards you has been intimidating and you questiion his motives for continuing to make applications to court especially since you are not clear on how he actually intends to manage and facitilitate his proposals.

- Yours son's routine and how this may be affected when he is with his father as your son is returning from contact exhausted.

- That you have promoted lots of additional contact from the last court order which demonstrates that you are not being difficult but willing to promote the relationship but that you consider that the routine moving forward needs to be in your sons best interest and not just proposals that you do not think that the father can actually meet also being proposals that you do not think meet your sons lng term.

I do not think that you proposals are unreasonable given everything you have said. You could say that the midweek tea could be extended to a midweek overnight if the father is able to show commitment to the midweek tea time contact. You also put forward holiday contact and special occasions. This might well be based on the fathers annual leave.

Let me know if I can assist you further

kind regards

Caroline

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Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 months ago.
I note that this question remains unrated - Please do kindly remember to star rate. When you star rate your question remains open and I can answer your follow up questions for free.