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, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34123
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Type Your UK Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi Claire, hope youre well. I may have brought up this issue

This answer was rated:

Hi Claire, hope you're well. I may have brought up this issue with you previously, can't remember. Either way, my 2 children (9 and 11) are still unhappy, since last June when we had a consent order about the shared residency and contact times. They want more time with me, you advised to wait until the financials are over as it could be used against me. My children are unhappy, they are now asking if they can speak directly to the judge as they feel "cheated with trick questions" at the previous (first) Cafcass meeting. My 2 questions regarding this are:
1. under what circumstances would a judge allow them to testify in court (even in the judges office)
2. it may be risky to start a procedure because the financials are not over yet, ok. But how risky? If you were my solicitor in court, what argument would you use against an accusation that I am "starting the children issue to gain financially"?

I really think I cannot wait until next year. Help me, give me some ideas. Think "devil' advocate"..please ;)
Thank you for your question.
Please make it clear to the children that they will not be able to speak to the Judge directly full stop.
The type of cases where a Judge will agree to see the child are very few and far between - and only in those cases where such damage has been done to the children that the Judge needs to assess it him or herself before giving a Judgement that is likely to accuse the parents of failing to place the needs of the children before their own.
You do NOT wish to be one of those cases.
I cannot be Devils Advocate simply because if I was acting for you I would not let you do it (yes I am VERY pushy like that)
My view is that making an application and failing does more damage to the children than waiting (bitter experience over 25 years) because it automatically makes the other parent feel invincible and that is usually taken out on the children.
You have reasonable contact with your children and a close relationship which you are nurturing well. So make the sacrifices regarding travel arrangements continue supporting the children and do NOT discuss CAFCASS or court proceedings with them - it will be used against you
I know this is not what you want to hear - but I can simply see how easily you would be taken apart by your ex and the grief that would cause to the children if you go now
However if your are determined you can find advise on the websites and
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Oh believe me I have told them they can't speak to a judge "just like that"..I try to avoid the subject, it keeps cropping up! :(

Its sad that because of the biased system as it is, my contact is seen as "reasonable" and I guess it is, but because it is not near equal, i feel I am letting my children down, I am not fighting hard enough..I try to explain this to them, it seems to make them even more determined with what they want to say for the court and I am NOT, absolutely not pushing them or giving them ideas.

1. The financials Claire - how much can that get in my way as the "excuse" I could be accused of?

2. The atmosphere doesn't seem to be so good at mums because they said they were close to running out of the house to come to me.

IF that was to happen and I wouldn't be surprised, what am I to do? Keep them and nt let them back? Just take them back myself? Call the police, social? I don't know... I am asking so I can be prepared for anything that might come up and stay within the law.

3. We are to go on holiday this year again, abroad, to the same country where both our families come from originally. We did it over the last 2 years and it just was a coincidence that we were both there and I picked them up from her both times in my car. Both times we were supposed to meet half-way to handover the kids, but both times she "didn't have transport" and asked if I could just pick them up as I did. Now, this year I am having them first and she should be responsible for picking them up from me if she goes there. If she doesn't, who is responsible? She should pick them up from me as I did over the last 2 years I believe! Or am I responsible yet again and to the taxi service for her, drop them off wherever she is, or bring them back to the UK? We have not built this into the consent order and if I continue as you advise the travel arrangements, she will just take it for granted and just "order" me to bring them wherever she decides? For all i know she might say its Australia? There's got to be a more simple, practical and logical way of doing this? What would you advise?

1. So far as the Financial side is concerned your ex will claim that you want more contact to enhance your financial claim
It is impossible to prove that it is not - the allegation will underscore your entire application and may influence the decision of the decision is otherwise well balanced.
Please also never ever use the argument that there is something magical in the fact that the children's time should be shared "equally" - the Australian Research has shown that in fact this is not in the best interests of the Children - after all in your case it would in fact be better if they spent more time with you than their mother - and indeed eventually this may be what one day happens.
2. If the children run away to you then you keep them safe for the night and return them the next day.
You may wish to discuss matters with the school - who may have counsellors who may also be able to support the children.
3. If you are having them first this year then the matter is solved - she meets you half way or she collects from you - end of story
Please please stop letting her wind you up.
Relax - stop giving her this power - so far you have got more than she ever thought you would - so enjoy the victory and stop letting her undermine your confidence
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you