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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I work as a teacher at my sons school. I am involved in a

Customer Question

I work as a teacher at my son's school. I am involved in a contact dispute with my ex-husband as my son, aged nearly 13 has refused to see him, yet my ex husband brought a court case against me. My son has a guardian ad litem and she talked to my son for only 20 minutes at school where he stated his wishes clearly. The head of Year 7 also spoke to the guardian, or so she says, and gave her false information about me which I can prove with documented evidence was false.This caused me to spend 4 hours in court defending my position and unbearable stress. He wrote to me to say he never spoke to her but she claims the misinformation came from him. I spoke to our headmaster as a parent and had the conversation recorded by consent on dictaphone by a witness. I have requested a copy of this tape as I am afraid of inaccuracies. He seems not to want to give me a copy. Am I legally entitled to a copy? At the end of the interview, he stated I would get the transcript but it 'may not be verbatim.' This is what concerned me.It is crucial to me that it is verbatim, as it does support my evidence and the court may request it.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Claire and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Who actually recorded the discussion?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The recording was made by the headmaster secretary with both our consent. Also i believe was given off the taped recording.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Has the head said why he will not give you a copy of the tape?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The headmaster has not at this point outright refused, but has asked for a "chat" about it, possible off the record otherwise i have had nothing from him about this mater.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
The fact is that neither the tape nor the transcript are likely to be admitted by the Family Court as evidence so to a certain extent there is little point in making a major issue of this.
In addition whilst you could use it as part of a future complaint against the CAFCASS officer it will still simply be a he said/she said situation
However in principle since he agreed to tape the discussion there is no reason why you should not be given a copy of the tape
However there is no specific law you can invoke to ensure this happens although you could argue that it is an employment matter which could give you a littel more leeway
Sorry that I cannot be more positive
Please ask if you need more detail