How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34280
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
13262538
Type Your Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

I need someone to speak for me in family court. Since my

Resolved Question:

I need someone to speak for me in family court. Since my daughter has been born 3 years ago I have been fighting. I have been given access everytime in court but it's been difficult to establish a relationship because my ex girlfriend uses every delaying tactic she can. Doesn't answer calls give long list of dates she can't make. Always has hospital appointments is going on holiday she's I'll baby I'll etc etc. Every time we go to court she agrees with the judge that the child needs to know her father but the truth is she doesn't want me to have any contact. I had supervised contact due to my age and inexperience no safety concerns. The first year she rarely showed. Judge got a bit more strict with her and I saw a bit more of my daughter but soon reverted to type and when I went to supported contact on my own in the centre she caused a 5 month delay meaning I was theoretically a stranger to my daughter who was only 2 at the time so I went back to supervised to help me and baby start again which was fine as long as seeing my daughter. That went really well. Cafcass have done as much as they can and they see the situation for what it is and so does the judge but he gives her chance after chance everytime we go to court and although she improves and I now see my daughter regularly for two hours a week she still tries to stop me any way she can now of having my daughter in the community. She is pregnant agin and has cancelled the last two court hearing booked since August saying she has antenatal appointments. She doesn't go through Cafcass before as they put n a report that showed her behaviour from two contact centres as well as what they have seen so she ignores everything from Cafcass she contacts court directly so by the time me and Cafcass know she's cancelled its to late. We were due in court Tuesday but just got a letter cancelling it because she says she might have her baby early, she's due in 24th October, and has a hospital appointment on court day so court have cancelled until 13th December. I told Cafcass who knew nothing of the court being changed for the 3rd time now and she is has written to the judge asking for urgent clarification that my contact continues as is, I have my daughter every Saturday at the local library for two hours. It was supposed to be for 6 weeks then a directions hearing but as it stands at the moment I have been going since 15th July and have to go until next hearing December 13th. A little more than six weeks due to her success at cancelling the court hearings. This has all been engineerd to stop me getting proper contact. The closer I get the worse she gets. In another atempt to stop me in the last month alone she has reported me to the police for harassment and now social services for abusing my daughter. Both didn't believe a word she says neither do Cafcass. I need somebody to speak up for me in court. I don't want a solicitor for anything else just to come to court with me on the 13th and speak for me. I had a solicitor for the first year at a cost of 6k. Had to let him go as A. He wasn't a force in court and B. She didnt turn up at contact so it was just an endless round of letter writing. The report from social services and the police saying no evidence and they've spoken to her about making false allegations and no further action were all to be discussed in court Tuesday with Cafcass. Now yet again she's got away with it for another 3 months. On top of all that she has broken the contact order every week. Supposed to have two hours I've never had that she always collects her up to 20 minutes early and none of her family are supposed to be within 100 Mtrs of my contact because of difficulties they have caused in the past yet every single week her new partner comes right in and stays up to 10 15 minutes some weeks holding my daughter when she is supposed to drop her and leave straight away. My daughter often crys when mum leaves and she often stays and reinforces negativity by saying "I know I know it's not fair is it its just not fair" like being with me is something bad. When she's gone my daughter is great. She also refers to her partner as Daddy which must be confusing for her it's just so unfair what they have put me through not to mention my daughter. The judge never seems to address anything that sternly yet this is the 5th court order not stuck to. With the police and social services marking her as trouble I'm hoping this time the judge will come down hard on her but who knows. I don't have the confidence or memory to stick up for myself in court I get so nervous but this has been a nightmare and I really think I need help in court someone that will say to the judge enough is enough and tell him what she's done and report everything for me. I have the support of Cafcass but half the time it's a duty officer who really couldn't care less. My officer is great but often can't be in court. Can I get a solicitor just for the court hearing.
Many thanks
Dan
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you

I am sorry you have had such a torrid time with your ex and the courts.

You can indeed instruct a solicitor to simply represent you at a hearing OR you can use a Direct access Barrister

as you are now allowed to instruct them directly

You can read more here

http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/using-a-barrister/public-access/

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for that but was looking for a little more. Given the background I gave you what can I now realistically expect the court to do for me when my solicitor has spoken to them..thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Especially concerning the allegations she's made that nobody believes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HELLO
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

I would opt for a Barrister rather than a Solicitor with a view to speaking on your behalf.

It is time to stop settling for less than you and your daughter are entitled to.

As a minimum at this point you should be having all day - with clean handovers and with the next stage overnight contact

Enforcement in these circumstances is always an issue as imprisonment is not a realistic option - although you should consider whether your lifestyle could accommodate a change of residence so that the child lives with you as that could be the ultimate threat.

I have a suspicion that you are a nice person who has tried to so everything properly - including going back to supervised when there no real reason to do so.

You need not only someone who will be robust in court - but who will also encourage you to be robust - including not handing over the child until it is time to do so

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have a choice at handover. My ex and her partner walk right into the library and my little one runs over to her mummy. It would involve me going over and physically taking my daughter off her mum and as she gets upset when mum leaves it's not fair on her. It would cause her more upset but totally hear what you are saying. Yes I have tried everything to do it friendly but they won't even meet me half way. All this in truth will be more my exs mother. She has long been noted as the main problem and instigator of it all my ex just follows her lead. Is there anything in court I can do about the maternal grandmothers interference.
Thnks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Do you have to remain in the library the whole time?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do. As I said it was only supposed to be for 6 sessions. I've been there for 12 and by the time we go back to court it will be 22 sessions. She is playing the pregnancy card to get out of this hearing then allowed two months after the birth and I get stuck in the library. They come in force to my contact and I have to take my girl away from them all so I look like the bad guy. Nobody is supposed to be within*****order says she has to leave immediately. She never does and never comes alone. It's really hard for me. I can't say or do anything because it's all in front of my daughter and my ex is quite volatile. It doesn't help that I'm 6ft 3 and she is 5ft 4. Do you see what I mean. I wouldn't put it past her to start screaming mind at me and I'll look like a big bully and she'll look like a poor little victim in the middle of a kids library. It's really hard and really upsetting. I feel the system just doesn't help me they don't seem to be able to make her do as she is asked. There are no local barristers in Weymouth where I live only a commercial law one. The next nearest is 59 miles away. Solicitor?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Do not worry - Barristers are used to travelling for cases - often all over the country - look at Dorchester of Bournemouth.

Have you considered separate enforcement action?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do i do that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why do you recommend a Barrister over a solicitor?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The courts never seem to enforce the contact orders. My ex breaks them time wise and by who and who can't be there but at the moment she is not breaking the contact i have with my daughter just making g it unpleasant if she can and just using her pregnancy, illness, appointments etc to delay moving on from the library. As I've said on top of that she's making false accusations which thank God nobody gives any creed to but by the same token cafcass officer takes no firm line. The courts seem powerless if I'm honest. 3 years and still all I have is two hours a week In a library and court have allowed her to cancel the hearing 3 times. They must know the delays she puts on but still allow her to cancel. How can she get away with it?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

How many times have you made enforcement applications on a C79?

I suggest a Barrister as court work is their bread and butter

Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you