Your son has done well so far!
1. Before the hearing your son will get a call from CAFCASS asking what the issues are - they will also call his ex and write a short report for the court identifying the issues and any safeguarding concerns
At the first hearing the court will see if there is any agreement between the parties.
Uf there is then the final order can be made
If not then the court will make directions about what is to happen next and will list the date of the final hearing.
2. It is unlikely that the court will act if she doe snot attend - but not impossible. It may well be a move at half term I am afraid if no agreement can be reached - although the court will try and progress matters swiftly
It would be much more damaging for your son to give up than it is for your grandson to move at half term - so do please try and make your son understand that
The court will only give the mother so much rope - if she ignores the court then the court can if need be go ahead without her
has he actually been ordered to provide a statement?
before the first hearing your son will get a phone call from CAFCASS asking what his concerns are
It would indeed be wise for him to have a list of bullet points - his main arguments for the change so that he has a prompt during the call.
At the hearing he need sto go in with a clear idea of how the arrangements would work if his son came to live with him - including the Contact arrangements so that he knows what he is aiming for - and what areas he can be flexible on
At this stage it is not relevant - although he can mention it to CAFCASS.
If the matter goes to a final hearing then formal statements will be needed
I hope all goes well
Who has told him to so this?
Just to clarify - your son was basically bullied into withdrawing the application?
Was he represented at all?
Can your son remember exactly who said what.
I know that the CAFCASS officer obviously put pressure on - but once they were in court what happened?
This is unacceptable behaviour by CAFCASS and by the Court.
Of course at this stage they do not know the facts - all CAFCASS have done is spoken to the parents so there will be two widely different views.
However that is NOT a reason to bully the applicant into withdrawing the applictaion
They have a duty to the Child and this has been manifestly ignored.
Even if he does nothing else your son should make a formal complaint to the CAFCASS manager in the area - they abdicated their responsibility and have no way of knowing if they have left the child at risk.
If he feels strong enough I would be minded to write to the Court immediately and inform then that he wishes to have his application re-instated and ask for confirmation that they are working towards the new 14 week rule (all cases from application to final hearing should take no more than 14 weeks
I hope this is of assistance
PS I know Wareham - my grandmother is buried there
He could instruct a "Direct Access" barrister - you would need to phone a few for a quote
His point is that of this IS what the child really wants then he is of an age that his wishes shoudl be respected
From the date of application
He must make a formal complaint about the behaviour of the CAFCASS officer