For some parents and children this year there will be a gaping hole in their lives while others enjoy the festive season. They won’t be seeing their children. For some, they won’t have seen their children for a while. Some will have no court order or arrangements in place. For others, arrangements will break down at the last minute, or they’re desperately still trying to get their ex-partner to agree dates as the clock ticks down to Christmas morning. It’s torture.
It’s natural to feel depressed and stressed when you don’t see your children, but please take that energy, and put it towards re-establishing your relationship. You’re not forgotten. Please download our guide to Coping with Stress.
While sympathy, understanding and empathy may help, it’s not enough. Practical help to change these circumstances is what a parent in these circumstances wants and needs. Stress and depression comes from feeling helpless. You’re not.
Our guides on our family law app will help. Our family law app contains 1.5million words of content, guides, case law, forms and more… all written for parents in your circumstances… and free throughout the year.
We also have downloadable “guide packs” in our shop, but it’s Christmas and in these circumstances sometimes knowing someone will help, for no reason other than to help, makes a difference. So until 6th January 2016, all of the following downloadable guides and resources are free. Continue reading Not seeing your child this Christmas? Some presents from us, to you
We have seen a number of cases recently where the courts are failing to follow rules in relation to case allocation. Some of the worst examples include:
- leave to remove cases (where one parent seeks to remove the children abroad).
- complex cases previously heard in senior courts ending up heard by magistrates who fail to examine case history prior to varying the existing orders (which came before them for enforcement).
In short, the wrong level of judge is hearing cases in breach of court rules and guidance. If your case is allocated to the wrong level of judge, ask for it to be moved to the right level by writing into the court. We suggest writing into the court where the application was made, and addressing your letter to the Designated Family Judge (DFJ) responsible for Gatekeeping and Case Allocation. If you can, take the letter into court, hand it into the court administration department and ask for a receipt to confirm delivery. After this, if matters continue to be heard at the wrong level, write a position statement including a request for the case to be transferred and deliver this to court two days before the next hearing. Raise the matter orally at the hearing and take a copy of that position statement and the letter sent to the DFJ into court with you.
Case outcomes can be put at risk when too junior a judge hears them. This is why the rules exist to ensure more complex cases are heard by more experienced judiciary. In this article, we remind people of how cases should be allocated and the rules which govern this. Please reference the guidance we cite when asking that the court move proceedings to the correct level of judge.
Continue reading Failures in Judicial Case Allocation and Gatekeeping
This morning I recorded an interview with the BBC World Service on ‘virtual’ or internet based contact. A parent who had spoken earlier in the programme had given examples of how his ex-partner frustrates Skype contact. It is not uncommon. It is however possible to gather evidence of the problems experienced if you intend heading to court for enforcement. The interview wasn’t long enough to raise the following suggestions in relation to gathering evidence, so I have included this here. I’ll post links to the World Service interview when I have the airing date confirmed. Continue reading Frustrated Skype/Facetime Contact – Gathering Evidence