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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I am separated from the father of my daughter. There is a contact

Customer Question

I am separated from the father of my daughter. There is a contact order in place since March 2014 which cost a lot of money because he had applied for shared residence and in the end there was no residence order, only contact order on 3rd of March 2014.
Now he applied again before Christmas because he wanted one more day than I had agreed. I agreed that he takes her on 19th of Dec 2014 but I wanted her to be back for the 27th of December he wanted to bring her back on 28th. I had been asking since Sep mediation but he ignored and just did a court application which was heard on 27th of November 2014 at a magistrates court.
It was ordered he brings her to the airport so that I don't miss my flight on 27th as i had asked. However, his application, to justify it he had appended some general statement about having a general algorithm to determine holidays and that i am being difficult.
The court order from that first hearing on 27th of Nov not only ordered in favour of me that he brings her at the airport on 27th of Dec and not on 28th but also that we come again for a dispure resolution on 3rd of February 2015, in a couple of days.
I am self representing for the first time in my life in this court application.
Is there a risk taht the contact order from March 2014 which was from teh 2 day final trial is put at risk and gets renegotiated? Can we go to final trial from this?
Application made in form C100, under section 8..
It has ticked "child arrangements order" and "specific issues order".
------ Urgent Hearing, set out teh directions, orders sought:
"A direction that the respondent should alter her flight booking to allow an equal split oof teh christmas holidays. Directions within the existing child contact order to simplify teh process of making holiday arrangements (e.g. taking turns to choose) as well as clear definitions of school holidays".
---Set out reasons for urgency:
"A significant component of this application relates to arrangements for christmas 2014. I seek an order that will require teh respondent to alter flight bookings to a foreign destination. It is essential that this matter is resolved in time for her to be able to do that."
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What does the current order actually say?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The contact order from teh final trial, said alternate weekends to the father, there should be a weekend switch for birthdays, clean monday, greek easter. Half all school holidays and both we take her out of country without permission for 28 days.

THe order from teh first hearing in november 2014 make me win on all points

1)I wasn't made to move my flight, he was asked to bring child to airport. Actually in reality he was demanding clearly more than half of holidays hwile my flight was booked assuming like in the order he woudl get half (he asked for 19dec - 28 dec, i booked to fly on 27th of dec).

2)Order on the face just states sth like upon teh court finding that inset days are not part of school holidays. You see, to justify how come he actualy demands more than half the holidays (no matter what he wrote at the court application) he said that an inset day should be part of the school holidays.


Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
So what i she actually asking for?
An agreement that you each have a set part of each holiday?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not clear what he is asking.

I suspect he wants to choose holidays especially summer holidays the one year and me the next.

I can't accept that because his suggestion many times are unfair like this year where he didn't split the holidays equally so he was demanding that I change my flight and even applied to teh court for one single day.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
What is the longest time the child spends with him in the summer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

He takes half of school holidays so in essence 3 weeks. But after the order was made he said he doesn't want to take these 3 weeks as one block because of his work.

I went to the dispute resolution on 3rd of March. I was dumbfounded by the fact they just wanted to push the issue to another final trial.

I got up and asked why would hte child be subjected to thsi litigation once again?

They said fine then we will ask you to come again for another dispute resolution on 6th of March and a district judge will attend and decide if there should be another final trial.

In his application wording he states specifically "existing contact order" but in his note he went full blazing and started accusing me of all sort of things which were lies and already handled at the court in March.

Now I want to fight back and also ask for certain things in the order i am not happy to be reopened but I don't want another final trial and all the suspense and agony and expense. It is also incredibly bad for the child.

The existing contact order from March 2014 was by consent in its entirety so wasn't really ordered by a judge but negotiated between barristers.

Except one point : I objected to her bringing her back to school on Mondays of the weekend he has her. That is he would take her on friday from school and bring her back on Monday to school and hte judge in March ordered that this happens but from September 2015 because she was so young to be subjected to such a commute at a peak time.

My objection however stands and I believe this should never have been ordered. What is obviously bad for the child at 4.5 year's old is also bad for the child at 5 year's old.

I objected because it is not good for the child to travel 1h 50 minutes commuting from west hampstead to wimbledon.

In the cold, in the rain, most likely without breakfast as she woudl have to be woken up early and not insist on food to transfer her in peak time across london.

I want to now put this point up for challenge and this district judge at the dispute resolution on 6th of March 2015 to decide on this point but i don't necessarily want to go to full trial just for this.

What do I need to do ? Do I also need to counter apply ?

Is it a minor enough point this Monday morning to allow me to ask that it is decided at the dispute resolution in March ?

Which form and how do I fill this in?

Can I also do two applicaitons, one for this amendment of the contact order and the other that rare applicaiton to stop him from doing a court application for a year for instance?

He is launching court applications whenever he doesn't get what he wants because it is cheaper than paying for mediation. Actually there is one for every year at Christmas and the shared residence was despite he had ample contact anyway.

So he did one session of mediation on a completely different matter and this gives him the right to court application without mediation on the subject of the court application.

My questions to summarise:

1)How do I go about opening that one single ordered point from the March 2014 final trial about him bringing the child on Mondays to school from West Hampstead to Wimbledon. To also be addressed by thee same dispute resolution.

2)How can I stop thiis madness where he brings me to the court every time he doesn't get what he wants?

I would appreciatee links on the forms and what to read about how to fill them

Many thanks clare

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Over the past four years how often gas he dragged you into court about contact?
How far is the current trip to school?
Have you actually timed the journey one morning (without your daughter of course)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Attachment: 2015-02-14_155559_04_03_14_order_of_dj_aitken.pdf

Attachment: 2015-02-14_154947_20141127_respondent_note.pdf

Attachment: 2015-02-14_154612_20141107_courtapplication_applicant.pdf

Attachment: 2015-02-14_154727_20141127_courtorderfrom_fhdr.pdf

Attachment: 2015-02-14_154748_cafcass_note.pdf

Attachment: 2015-02-14_153853_20141127_farebrother_note.pdf

We separated on January 2012 so it is 3 years since separation.

His court applications include

1)shared residence in 3 April 2013 heard final trial 3 March 2014.

2)Christmas application for 2013-2014 despite there was an interim contact order in place from the court and didn't allow for christmas contact and despite I had offered one week the week including the New Year out of good will. He applied because he wanted christmas week instead despite having no legal right. he later withdrew the applicaiton as I threatened with costs as it was set to be heard after christmas (end of fe 2014) and 2 weeks before the final trial on teh child so completely an intimidating act.

3)Christmas application for 2014-2015- emails,evidence showed we had a disagreement over a single day about splitting the holidays in half even since september 2014 when we discussed the christmas days. he refused mediaiton and went and launched court application just a week after teh final trial on finances for that single day without mediation. He was asking the court to force me to change my flight for one day. The court agreed with me and asked him to bring the child back in time for my flight.

For me the most important is to address the points of the existing order I am not happy with

1)monday mornings. Journey planner shows for an adult the commuting is 1h and 50 minutes. But this is not allowing for peak terribly tough period with all commuters going to city for work. A child's slower walk, in the winter this walk is in the rain, cold, darkness while she is tired from waking up so early, unfed most likely and is this a good start to her week at school?

From my place her school is 2min, 140 meters according to the entrance criteria as it is state school.

Also, what are teh chances of renegotiating of this half of holidays and all half? I kknow it is standard but am full time working mum.. And this half business creates conflict and makes us focus on who gets more or less.

It should be I want and need time with my child and I have 1 week christmas, 1 week easter, 1 half term week and 2 weeks in summer.

Do I have hopes for getting that ? People have intimidating me that since april 2014 just a month after our final trial the law changed adn became against mums and that contact order I got is the best i could have got..

Many thanks Clare,


PS: Clare, sorry for this unusual question but am paying more than 80 pounds a month for 3 -4 mmonths now at justanswer and I only use and value you. I just ask for info on how it works, can I switch out of this monthy fee and pay you directly as I feel you don't get the credit of all this. You are the only reason I have the monthly fee for and I would rather if it goes maybe to you directly but not sure if this would be the most efficient way financially.

Also I upload :

1)Sealed contact order in place for the child

2)Court application he made on 7th of November 2014 for in essence one single day of difference in teh christmas split

3)My note for the FHDR on 27 Nov 2014

4)His note for the FHDR on 27 Nov 2014

5)The order from 27 Nov 2014

---Dispute resolution on 3rd of february

-My note

-His note

-The order

The magistrates on the dispute resolution on 3 feb wanted to push us to anotehr final trial and I got up and asked why is the child being submitted afresh to new litigation.. They then changed it so that we come back to teh court on 6th of March for another dispute resolution in front of a district judge now..

Now for this dispute resolution I think of reopening the issue about monday and about specifying the dates he has her rather than leaving it to be all split in half.

What form do I need to fill in so I apply to the court as well to deal with my issues. So far I didn't respond to the application with any form filling or anything, I just showed up.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
I am going to spend a little time on this so will respond later today
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Attachment: 2015-02-16_223035_applicant_note_3feb2015.pdf

Attachment: 2015-02-16_223053_courtorder_3feb2015_onchild.pdf

Attachment: 2015-02-15_090901_20150203_respondent_note.pdf

Attachment: 2015-02-15_091110_courtorder_3feb2015_onchild.pdf

thanks Clare,

I also attach now most importantly the actual order from 3rd of february where they are in essence sending us to another dispute resolution on 6th of March.

I need urgent guidance on what forms I need to fill to allow for the monday and the issues belwo to be handled.

The dispute resolution on feb 2015 was lay magistrate's and I think they just wanted to not deal with the case or were really alarmed by the full blaze and full of complete lies the applicant put in his note .

They got in and immediately said this will now go to final trial. We couldn't say anything but I did get up and say "The law is clear that litigation is NOT in the best interests of teh child. Why is this child being put back into the litigation process when it just less than a year ago had a final trial in front of a district judge ? What is really this overwhelmingly important issue? Actually, what is the issue in teh first place as christmas has now been agreed."

They then changed it soon after checking that the application was sent to them by a district judge allocating it to lay magistrates that yes you will come for another dispute resolution in front of a district judge this time who will decide if this will go to final trial.

His note for that hearing was long and full of lies that can easily be disproved but is revealing of how he goes twisting facts to try to make a case so it is good to have it.

The way he goes about things is that he says many many lies where he puts very little of truth in them to sound plausible, he then tries to connect them or not or just because tehy are so many it makes it easy to sound convincing.

What I have found so far is that although I have evidence and is trivial to show all teh lies one by one for what they are false and twisted collection of small parts of truth fabricated to a lie, they are so many and the process of proving and showing teh truth requires some effort and time that in the end a judge would be more tempted to come up with a middle solution not well thought out.

This middle solution, because he is so aggressive and feels so entitled in his outrageous demands ends up being a huge victory for him. My more reasonable defensive and hesitant-fearful approach and very little demands has meant despite the sacrifices I haven't managed to safeguard the child's best interest effectively so far.

For instance, at the final trial in march, he gave evidence almost the whole first day. I wasn't even allowed to get on the stand as the lawyers were working out an order that was made by consent. He was suggesting things that I had offered months earlier and he had rejected. With the provision that i can take her out of hte country without permission for 28 days i didn't care about the sole residence and I agreed to half of holidays etc easily.

However, at his witness statement, tehre were so many lies, I was presented like a monster. Very easy to disprove lies but I didn't get a chance:

1)He quoted a number of overnight stays over the 2 year interval which made it seem as he was seeing very little his daughter. He was always seeing her as much as I do but for the first 6 months he was sorting out his flat with building work so she wasn't staying with him overnight. He would come to the FMH and I would be away and he would spend time with her, this was not overnight contact per se although he would put her to sleep in her own room.

2)He said that he didn't have long contact periods and this is why he applied to court. But she was only 2 when we separated, overnights started (because of his building work ) almost 5-6 months later and he had 4 day summer contact and the child got really upset as she was only 2.5 and had never separated from me for more than 1 day. Then he had 4 days christmas and I had told him that this was being slowly staged up. About two week intervals I felt were too much too short but once she became a bit older like in a year or so they can be started.

What the court ever ordered I had already offered it many months before but he wouldn't take it.

In reality the twisted lies are far more sophisticated and too many in numbers but each one is trivial to disprove and all evidence is available.

The problem is he makes it all like a very tightlly knit knot and it takes patience to start untying it one lie at a time when everybody is rushing to just get any agreement out.

The truth takes effort and time to discover so then the decision is really in the best interests of the child and not an emotional response to what someone reads about another person in a paper full of lies. If the mother is weak and feels insecure in a system and country that is not her and is a little of a pushover the child suffers.

The real truth behind all this, is actually money along with his abusive personality that is well hidden. He comes from a place of entitlement, superiority over me and that he has to get his way no matter what.

he doens't want to pay anything if possible and he hasn't paid over the 3 years.