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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34479
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Is there any point appealing against a court order for a

Customer Question

Hi. Is there any point appealing against a court order for a child contact order wothout legal representation. I.e. Barrister?
I cannot afford that and I know it has to be 'on a point of law' and not just that I disagree with magistrates opinion, but realistically will my application be considered? My lawyer initially said our case should never have been heard by magistarates but by a district judge who would have more experience and knowledge of special needs etc
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 16 days ago.

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 did your lawyer say about an appeal?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I don’t have a lawyer now ..that was just a lawyer I sought advice from before the hearing who could not believe it was being heard by magistrate instead of district judge. That is why I’m asking you.
Expert:  Clare replied 16 days ago.

Ok

What was the outcome of the hearing and what is your concern about it?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
My husband has been allowed to take my disabled son every fortnight for contact 4 hours away . He told magistrate it was only 2 -2half hours away. It’s not.
Also on application he said he’d take him to one address ..( his Dads house where he’s currently living) but is now telling me it’s another. (His moms) about same distance.
I want stability ,routine, familiarity, and preferably to wait til he’s got flat of his own before son stays overnight. Not sofa surfing.
Also magistrate clearly misunderstood as she said I had not allowed my husband to see his child in 18 months and he will benefit from regular quality contact. Of course he will.. which is why they have been spending 2 days together per week here but never overnight as he travels home, which even husband didn’t deny. She actually reduced that contact by stating on order we start from 2 hrs a week once a week for 4 weeks!! Then straight into fri to Sunday . At least 4 hours away in rush hour traffic for a child who hates car journeys and has never spent night away from Mom, is anxious, and all health professionals stated in evidence should not happen at this time. But magistrate thought she knew better. So address was not stated in very rushed court order but I know she presumed he’d be taking her to address on application which is why she asked how far it was but husband now being really Cocky and saying he can take him wherever he likes. She would not allow me to speak and was in a terrible rush. In my opinion she is not qualified to make such a decision as she clearly has no understanding of the implications of it for my child. She has treated him like a typical child and me like a ‘usual hostile mom’ that I’m sure she convinces herself women who’s husbands have regular affairs are. I am not. I just want him to carry on living the life he has chosen but without disrupting my disabled son’s life which is complicated enough.
Expert:  Clare replied 15 days ago.

How old is the child and what is his disability?

Was this a final hearing?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
13. Down’s syndrome. Yes.
Expert:  Clare replied 14 days ago.

What contact did your son want?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
He doesn’t understand what contact is nor does he have the ability to express this as I said before. But I know him best as do all the professionals who sent clear evidence saying not right time to do this . Dad never involved in care or spent time alone up to now. Too busy having affairs. He can’t be alone with my son as doesn’t know what to do.. which is why he’s now panicked and is saying he’s going to moms so he can ‘share the load’
I’m sure as a trained solicitor you might think to ask a few questions at a time rather than one liners which drags our the process ... I only have 21 days to appeal! Thanks .
Expert:  Clare replied 13 days ago.

I understand your frustration with the process and I will endeavour to ask further questions all at once - I usually take the linear approach as it is easier for most people and things do not get overlooked

I am sorry to take it down to basics but to be clear

This was a FINAL hearing but you did not get a chance to cross examine your ex nor he you

You had clear evidence form professionals that your son's needs meant that overnight contact might not be appropriate - does that summarise it?

Also - did you actually ask for permission to appeal at the end of the hearing (no worries if you didn't)

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you Clare. Yes that summarises it well. Final hearing. No opportunity to cross examine or even challenge magistrate when she made errors.
I asked if case could be heard by District judge due to its complexities. Clerk said no.
I asked at end if there was an appeal process and mag said yes but it’s not her job to tell me what it was she was just there to make an order. I don’t think she had read evidence or report as if she had it would have been evident my son could not cope with a long car journey twice in a weekend every fortnight . He will be very anxious away from me and his adult siblings. (They no longer see their see Dad)
Expert:  Clare replied 12 days ago.

In that case you have excellent grounds for appealing.

I do not agree that it shoudl have been a District Judge - I have known very very competent Magistrates Benches that I would have trusted with a case such as this (and a few District Judges I would not)

However it is clear that there was no proper consideration of the case - the evidence was not tested and it is arguable that the result was not reasonable on the facts.

Start the appeal and consider using a direct access Barrister to assist you with the hearing

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details