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How to appeal family court rulings by Holly Lamb

It will come as little surprise that judges’ decisions are often questioned. A spouse may feel that the financial settlement was unfair, or a parent may believe they deserve more time with their children. Feeling like an injustice has been done is understandably very stressful and can lead some people to question the fairness of the family law system.

While I would argue against those who blame the system itself for incorrect decisions, of course judges do sometimes make mistakes. They are only human, after all.

If you genuinely believe that a judge has made a mistake in law, you can try and appeal. However, there are rules to the process you must follow which are set out in the Family Procedure Rules 2010 or the Civil Procedure Rules, depending on the level at which the original decision was made. The sections of these rules which relates to the appeal process – Part 30 of the Family Procedure Rules and Part 52 of the Civil Procedure Rules – set out the procedure to be followed. They are designed to weed out frivolous cases. After all, if simply not liking a judge’s decision was all that was necessary to launch an appeal, there would be no end of them.

First of all, you need to know which court you should appeal to. This depends on the level of the judge who made the original order and you must be careful that you lodge your appeal notice with the correct court.

Timing is also important. Applications for appeal must be launched within a set amount of time. For both County Court and High Court rulings alike, the time limit is 21 days, unless a shorter timeframe is set out in the original order. If you do not begin proceedings within this timeframe, you may not be allowed to continue. If you do not lodge your appeal within the timeframe but still believe your case has merit you may be able to apply for permission to appeal ‘out of time’ but will need to provide a thorough explanation for the delay. Even then, there is no guarantee that the court will accept your reasons and grant you permission.

Permission to appeal

If you begin the process within the allotted time, there is still no guarantee that your appeal will automatically be allowed to proceed. You must first receive permission to appeal from the court.

In order for this to happen, the court must be satisfied that your appeal has “a real prospect of success” or that there is “some other compelling reason why the appeal should be heard”. An appeal will have no chance of success whatsoever unless the person who is applying – the appellant – can demonstrate that the original judge on their case was plainly wrong under the law. This is no easy feat. If a judge rejects your application to appeal, you can ask the court to list a hearing to determine the issue.

The judge hearing the application for permission to appeal has several options available to him or her. They can grant or refuse the application for permission. Alternatively, the judge can list the subject for an ‘ex parte hearing’ – which does not require every party to be present, or an ‘inter parte hearing’ – which does. If your application for permission is successful at this stage, your case will be listed for a formal appeal hearing.

The appeal hearing

It is important to note that the role of an appeal judge is normally limited to a review of the original decision, unless the facts of the case require a re-hearing. The appeal court will not generally hear any new evidence from the parties that was not heard by the lower court.  The appeal will be allowed if the court decides the original decision was wrong or unjust because of a “serious procedural or other irregularity in the proceedings in the lower court” – that is to say, if something major went wrong during the original hearing.

The court may also restrict their review of the original decision to the grounds of appeal set out in the appeal notice, which must be filed at the beginning of the appeal process. It is therefore important to ensure that your application covers all the aspects of the decision that you wish to challenge.

This system is designed to give people a way to officially challenge judges’ rulings, but not to allow anyone with a gripe to clog up the family courts. So if you really want to challenge a decision, make sure you have legitimate reasons for doing so. You must also bear in mind the question of costs: an unsuccessful appellant may be ordered to pay his or her opponent’s legal costs.

And finally please note in particular:

The appeal process is complex and full of potential pitfalls. If you believe you have genuine grounds for an appeal, consult a specialist family lawyer at the earliest opportunity to avoid prejudicing your prospects of a successful appeal. Due to the technical nature of the process the above is a summary only and is no substitute for detailed legal advice.

Holly is our Head of International based at the Tunbridge Wells office. She has experience in a wide range of family law matters ranging from high net worth ancillary relief and prenuptial agreements to international child abduction cases. While her work is primarily based in England and Wales, she has also advised international clients in Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Finland and the US.

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  1. Name Witheld says:

    Thank you for the information. It made interesting reading. I have just finished a 5 year case with the Judge delivering the wrong Judgement even though my case was water tight and there was huge tax fraud with the respondents (even though he allowed us an ex parte order to request bank accounts). The Judge saw the bank statements and even said ‘They are bleeding the company dry’ but ignored the evidence after that (all 6 respondents) were unrepresented and the Judge acted as their advocate putting words in their mouths.

  2. ann says:

    What else is there to do if permission to appeal was not granted in second tier appeal. Can I request for a hearing to determine the issue. In my case there were 2 issues one was for shared care and the second was for recusal. The judge wrote that there was no prospect for shared care and failed to address the recusal issue. Please advice. I think I have been treated appallingly through out this case

  3. P says:

    I have been told by a judge that I am unable to have permission to apply to the court in my request to have contact with my granddaughter. I was told by the cafcass person, that I lack insight into the emotional harm that I am causing to my granddaughter by reporting concerns to police, and social services about the drug habits of my daughters numerous boyfriends, who all take drugs. The police indicate some possible use age of drugs when I informed them of explicit photographs which I had found, but they said they have found no evidence when they visited my granddaughter at her school! I suggested that the drugs were not at the school, but that fell upon deaf ears. I was not at any time given the opportunity to make a statement. I would like to appeal the judges decision, how do I do this?

    • Kate says:

      Sadly you have raised an issue which is really significant to your grandchildren and obviously yourself but to children’s services and cafcass and the Court it is just a pain in the backside and they just want to hear no problems and they have all done their job correctly regardless to the effect on the children, exactly the same experience I have had from local authority cafcass and family court and unfortunately now my children get to see their grandparents very limited which is such a shame because their grandparents dote on them as much as the children dote on their company. I am at the stage where I am waiting for my son to become of age in 11 months time to take it back to court himself which I am of absolutely no doubt that he will I am just really disappointed that the social worker involved didn’t have the courage to stand up and be heard and speak for my children best wishes hope everything ends up ok x x

  4. K says:

    Hi.I find your information very interesting.After my ex taking my 2 daughters from the south,where they lived,up to the north,7 hours away from me and their younger brother,I took it court through a solicitor,but by the time it got court,they had been there ages.The judge ignored a section 37 report saying they must come home and there were and still are many safeguarding concerns,including neglect,emotional abuse,and my daughters have been through 2 other babies being taken away from their father and his girlfriend who shouldn’t even be living with them.Terrible things have happened and I worry them all the time.The social services have said i need to go and get them but there is a court order ion place made by the judge as it was said they had settled there.this all started more than 2 years ago now,however it has been hell for me and my son.How do i go about appealing this decision as the judge said my son has to go there for christmas and if he doesn’t,then my ex can apply for custody.I cannot believe safeguarding was ignored,and this has been ongoing for ages but something needs to be done.

  5. Ardeshir Durrani says:

    “The appeal process is complex and full of potential pitfalls.” A system that doesn’t work, simply put.

    Judges get it wrong all the time and it is families who suffer as a result. This is unjust because a Judge may simply dislike you because you are opinionated and question the process and judgments. Family judges are predispositioned and suffer cognitive dissonance. A ‘circle’ of people who control family live, and ‘circle’ of people who have no answering body. Who watches the watchers?

  6. Philip Thompson says:

    I have had a hearing this morning regarding non payment of the balance of a wedding car! I had completed the booking details online & the customer confirmed the deposit & balance by e-mail. I was under the impression online, e-mails & texts were admissible in court? but the judge said even though I should have been paid, I never had a signed contract & as the other party said my car was dirty & I never had a bottle bubbly I had broken our agreement? if I cant win this because I dont have a contract signed but I have 100% corroborating evidence to support by e-mail etc!! they cancelled halfway through the booking!! how can I have broken a contract with the other party if there was no contract signed in the first place??!!
    common sense should prevail & these county court judges need to go back to school, sometimes you dont have all the details, but if they are minor like you never had a bottle bubbly in your car (which was free as per literature) then common sense must prevail?

    Please let me know if I am wrong or being difficult??

    • Tom says:

      Sounds like there was a contract, as you gave the car as consideration on your part, therefore having “skin in the game”. That is a key part of the contract formation. The other side is bound to their side if you keep yours. Surprised the judge doesn’t factor this in.

  7. W says:

    Totally bent, no justice what so ever! Especially the part that about not listening to any new evidence. If evidence wasn’t brought to the courts attention at the time of hearing which may have changed the final outcome then how is a decision to be made? If you had poor representation from your counsel at the time who didn’t submit the crucial evidence required then what chance have you got? Yes you can complaint to the company, ombudsman, but how is the courts decision to be overturned???????

    • S says:

      I HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOUR COMMENTS AS PRO BONA FAMILY MISREPRESENTED OUR CASE, was sacked after 2 hearings claimed legal aid for 5 months I had to sign a adverdavid,to say we hadn’t seen them for 5 months. I paid to revoke the order myself.. its cost 7.000 pounds since,allowed misleading and inaccurate information to be submitted to the crown,by local authorities. Dad wasn’t partied in until 22 nspcc week of this silly time frame. The local authorities took her at birth and told us not to attend hospital to see the birth,we then found out she was in fact lying and maybe dishonesty played a big role. They went to court 3 times before we were partied in got a intrum care order/section 31,and placement order and twin tracked it. At no time did we know about this the viability assessment was shocking and 3 care workers are not registered as social workers??? Again not allowed in lac review kept mixing sex of baby up. Was denied a advocate and makensie friend. An appeal has just been knocked back with the judge saying did not appeal in 21 days which it was also tripped other judges up and tried justifying them letting this through. The family courts is a vicious circle and money and greed driven the baby we finally met at 3 months old.. used the test on first time dad no support offered, no pre- care plan nothing she was 3 months old.. she sustained 2 head injuries and denied medical treatment,trying to justify saying all babies gets bumps and bruises saying she was distressed. We’re looking for help to download appeal papers for higher courts under articles 3/6/7/8 being broken. In a viability assessment apparently dad gave birth to children.. 1 males can’t give birth 2: this is first child. There’s many grounds to appeal I was told eventually it will go to supreme courts as threatened my son in judgment. Dad was in the army and wasn’t good enough care, dad has never touched alcohol/drugs or haven’t got a criminal record… but social services say different and was told to amend papers twice by police but never did… it seems there’s a large demand for children. Cafcass causing friction to look bad in family secret courts. Can anyone help please.

  8. Yusuf Mayet says:

    My nearly two years first hand experience of Family Law is: (a) don’t wast your money with Solicitors’, represent yourself; (b) the lawyers try to drag the litigation as long as they can to maximise their income, profit from peoples misery and they inflame the issue; (c) some lawyers get personally involved or have financial interests . (d) Family issues are always complex, the judges try their best, many judges are blunt and they will make it clear if they like you or not, this is good, no nonsense judges are the best e.g HHJ Bartfield or RCJ; (e) of course judges are Human, they listen to many cases and carry all that in their heads, and yes, there is discrimination e.g if you are a ‘Asian Muslim Male’ then most likely you shall be treated unfairly due to media coverage and stereo typing. Overall, I say the UK judicial system is one of the best in the world, try to resolve matters amicably, fight for justice like Mandela and Ghandi, don’t give up, have positive people around you. Do not ever let children down by walking away, they are placed in Trust to both parents. Safeguard and Protect children from being removed from England.

    Any person out there who want to grab a coffee and share experience, contact me 07973 175303, sharing the experience helps. Remain positive.

    (*Comment edited by the moderators – please see policy here:

  9. unknown says:

    because my daughter and myself suffered domestic abuse in the last 2 and half years emotional abuse by my husband and his mum and her associate male friend. 19/03/2017 his mum impersonated me with an ISW that was ignored in court on the 11/05/2017. F has never bonded with our child never took up and parental responsibility as a father. He was supposed to arrange with an ISW and contact centres from the first court hearing on the 07/03/2017. nothing was done about it. just now 2 Saturdays he got in touch with a contact centre for 2 hours he got to see her he refused to touch anything that was provided for our daughter her nappy changing and food these concerns were all ignored by the court. Now 3 hours for 4 weeks and then 6 hours after that with his mum I have big concerns about these court order that was given my concerns that I had were totally ignored.

  10. Paul says:

    This system is UTTERLY MORALLY BANKCRUPT. Proceedures are deliberatly ignored. Verdicts are reached without any evidence at all. If you are a man you will be discriminated against and exploited. A closed court is a corrupt court. A court without jury or independant scrutany is simply working to a government agenda and should not be trusted.

    • Helen says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

      My case has been rolling….from judge to judge and hearing to hearing…. for 7 years…and the last one, being at the appeal court in London, the judge has made an even bigger mess of what was already a dreadful mess. This has now become a total of 25 hearings and 6 judges making mistake after mistake, after mistake, after mistake.

      Give them a simple case….and there is a small chance they will get things right…but throw in a few complications and they can’t cope. They just minimise everything…and that is disastrous because the most important details get scimmed over, given no more than a scan of the eye and no attention or consideration at all.

      I have now asked for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal….goodness knows if the judges reading the case THIS time will give the details more than 10 seconds of attention, or not. I’m not holding my breath!!!!!

      • Louise says:

        Thanks for your post. It echoes my experience as a reasonably intelligent person, I continue to be disappointed by the family law system: it is not fit for purpose. In order to succeed you need to ‘play the game’, in that if you are a woman you need to cry, play frightened, be demure, and never respond to flagrant criticism. Judges need grounding and lessons in respect to those whom they ajudicate for.

  11. e smith says:

    I am desperately seeking a solicitor that knows how to appeal a very out of time case.

    We have unearthed suppressed evidence which the court needs to hear.

    Please Call me if you know how to get permission for an out of time case heard in an Appeal court.


    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello – it would be useful to know what type of case it is

    • Rifat says:

      It’s not true, I personally feel I am a woman that why I have not been given justice but the other party who wasn’t a man and have no visa to stay in this country have granted my son’s custody to let him use my my son to stay in this country.

      Court personnely send all the paper to home office by saying we are going to give this child to this man what visa you can give him.

    • Rifat says:

      It’s not true, I personally feel I am a woman that why I have not been given justice but the other party who wasn’t a man and have no visa to stay in this country have granted my son’s custody to let him use my my son to stay in this country.

      Court personnely send all the paper to home office by saying we are going to give this child to this man what visa you can give him.

  12. Sam says:

    I have been through a two year court case regarding a child arrangements order . I have sought advice through mckenzie friends and have been given conflicting information regarding the best aporoach to my case . The judgement was discriminatory ( under the equalities act ) and the children’s wishes and feeling not heard . I have been told I should appeal , however it is significantly out of time . It would be useful to get some quality legal advice around this

  13. Janet says:

    I took my partner to court for an occupation order and won my case but his Barister asked for costs which the court said I had to pay but when I received the order it wasn’t mentioned so can his solicitor go back to the court and ask for a new order because they are saying there is an Error in the order will I still have to pay his solicitors costs

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello: if you can let us know which part of the country you live in, I’ll ask a solicitor at our nearest office to drop you a line

  14. dchnusahdsoauidhE te4trevfe says:

    I am reading all the heartfelt stories and realising its not just the men that get hard done by. For women of African heritage, we have it REALLY bad! I pursued divorce proceedings against my Nigerian/born & bred ex-husband in 2015 (now British through marriage) as I had enough! We were married for 22years (November 1993 – March 2016 when nisi was pronounced). All assets (properties – all but 1 in his sole name) were acquired during the duration of the marriage. During financial remedy hearing in March 2017, we both has legal counsel and agreed to a consent order (signed by both parties) and he had (at his request) 6 month to pay my lump sum ((49% (me) – 51% (him)). Prior to March’s 2017 hearing, back in August 2016, he claimed his mother loaned him £200,000 – this was NEVER raised in earlier forms filled out and I have no recollection of this so-called loan EVER happening as his mother cannot afford to give him £5!. He went on to produce a badly forged document as evidence (flawed simple arithmetic – according to the document; mother’s loan is £205,000. So far mother has been ‘repaired’ back £1,500, therefore leaving outstanding balance of £198,000). Fast forward to July 2018, decree absolute was pronounced. Now almost 18 month on, he has still refused to pay a penny and we are both still in the same house! He has refused to move out into one of the other properties! I am not receiving child or spousal maintenance. Final hearing on 20th August gave him 3 months to pay my lump sum or the court will have to sell the properties to realise my lump sum. He is now seeking to appeal the judge’s ruling (in his words, “she does not know what she is doing”) as his mother’s loan – £198,000, children’s educational needs of £312,000 (sons – 24, 22, 14), £80,000 for new wife’s future marriage/training in the UK (she does exist) and litigation loan of £15,000 (totalling £605,000) should be deducted before I receive any money. Question. Is he able to appeal on the grounds mentioned?

  15. D. says:

    What are legitimate reasons for a family court order in regards to custody be placed on “stay” while immediately being filed for an appeal?

  16. Peter says:

    I have had appeal refused by the court of appeal for a family law matter involving my two children.
    LJ King who refused didn’t outline any plausible reason why she would refuse, I pointed out that there was severe professional misconduct that my original solicitor and barrister wouldn’t mention in court.
    In a case of nothing else will do, I am confused as to why the question of, what have the LA done to help, was not asked…

    What steps can I take next?
    I have a meeting with the LA to point out there failings under various acts of law but I just dont now where to look judicially now…

    • Kate Nestor says:

      Thank you for your question. I have passed your details to our Client Care Team who will be in touch. Kind regards

  17. Paul Kirby says:

    ” the time limit is 21 days unless a shorter timeframe is set out in the original order”

    It is very important for people who will file an appeal to take not of the timeframe to ensure that the higher court that they apply for will grant their request.

  18. Lee says:

    Hi Holly,
    What stance do Stowe Family Law take regarding parental alienation? Do you have expert witnesses that specialise in parental alienation and are fully appraised of the work of Gardner, Kelly & Johnston, Clawar & Rivlin, Bernet, Warshak, Sauber, Gottlieb, Reay and Baker? At what point in the proceedings would you be requesting the input from such an expert witness?

  19. P Latham says:

    I am 2 days away from having my daughter taken from myself and my partner via the final hearing of a family court decision.

    The two independent Drs will not open their eyes to the fact there must me a medical reason as to how my daughter has received her skeletal injury. She has been in care for nearly 9 months!! And I believe the judge has already made his mind up!!
    I WILL NOT STOP until my little girl is home with me and her mum!!!

    I need someone to offer me advice on the next steps after Friday!!


    • Kate Nestor says:

      Thanks for your query I have passed your details to the Client Care Team who will be in touch. Regards,

  20. terry james scales says:

    My divorce final hearing concluded on Thursday. I represented myself. The judge awarded my wife of three years 90% of our shared equity. We have a four year old son, our incomes are similar. I put a decent lump sum into buying our home with money i had built up throughout my working life.
    The judge cited my conduct as the primary reason for the disparity in equity share out. No evidence was delineated to substantiate claims of impropriety.
    Im left stunned by his decision.

  21. marie says:

    I have been to court today for judgement. My husband was abusive for which I received a MARAC for, just completed a Freedom course for women of domestic abuse and I obtained an occupation and non molestation under taking late last year. (not order) I have shared care with my ex who never disclosed his income, savings and shares to me during our marriage. He never disclosed £14,500 he received in May 2018 on page 16 of his form E. And has withdrawn £15,000 from his bank in 12 months and not disclosed it. Yet in court the judge would not allow my barrister to question him on anything. She kept shutting down my female barrister. Yet my ex’s barrister could repeat himself dozens of times and was allow to do so. It was very clear from the start the judge was irritated and said she wanted to speed things as she was on holiday next week. Today we went back for 30 mins for the judgement. She awarded me 47% equity and no pension share. We had been together 12 years married 9. I popped in and saw 2 random solictors from different companies as so upset and both said that they are shocked. The judge and I told the solicitors that I had always worked part time to fit around our son school run and husband because even though he worked from home he would sometimes work in London and overseas. I was off work for 18 months with cancer and was laid off my job in January. I have no mortgage capacity despite trying my hardest, but all brokers I’ve used can’t find me one. My ex earns £56,000 gross plus benefits. I get DLA for our son and £57 per week for child maintenance. My gross income is £13,500 including part time work. My ex has been awarded to move back in the house. To keep 100% pension and when my barrister got half way through saying spousal maintenance the judge stopped her and had a real go at her to the point she was ranting and looked like she was losing it. I was shocked.
    I know each case is different and I was not the one who took the divorce to court and never wanted spousal support, just what’s fair. I’m gonna be homeless and have my son 50% of the time. The judge herself said there was nothing to buy or rent in my area and didn’t want our son to leave the area. However that is the only time she referred to his welfare. I want to appeal. I need some advice ASAP please.

    • Kate Nestor says:

      Sorry to hear of your situation. I have passed your details to our Client Care Team who will out you in touch with a lawyer. Best wishes,

  22. Michelle Storr says:

    I attended a directions hearing on Friday in family court, this being the 25th application that my ex husband has returned matters. My 6 year old daughter and I have had to relocate due to coercive control. Before I even had the chance to apply to vary the order, it was returned to family court, infront of the same judge who clearly doesn’t like me. My daughter refused to go to her father (previous contact order) for the last week of the holiday, telling him on 2 occasions that she didn’t want to go. I emailed him to suggest sitting down to discuss this, but he put in his application for enforcement. There is a history of my daughter not wanting to go and more recently Safeguarding at the authority became involved and advised to not make her go as this was emotionally damaging. We have a shared residency order but my daughter did reside with me during the week, and was with her father on a Friday, sat, sun and half holidays. The judge decided to remove my daughter from me for 6 weeks to enable Cafcass to prepare an interim report, remove her from her new school and place her back in her previous school (one where I was employed as a teacher) 2 and a half hours away from where we reside. I am only allowed contact only on a Saturday from 10-4, no overnight and no phone calls and only within 5 miles from Father’s house, the area we have had to escape due to coercive control. My daughter lived with me and the emotional effect and trauma that she has now endured is horrific, handover was like a kidnapping where she ran away through a busy car park to escape having to h=go, No reason was given, merely punishing the child and myself for not seeing her father.Evidence was not heard from Police or Safeguarding. The welfare checklist was not adhered and I believe I have ground for appeal. Please help!

    • Kate Nestor says:

      Hi, I have passed your details to our Client Care team who will put you in touch with a lawyer who can help you. Regards,

  23. Tim says:

    Hi to anyone who could help or just advise me please.
    My child was in child proceedings but now the honor judge as said nothing more will do.
    And as agreed with the LA for my child to be adopted.
    I’ve ask to appeal on the grounds that at the final hearing. When I was called up to witness. I ask the honor why cant you look at the first Pam’s assessment as I scored 95 and had the ability and I could do my partner defects.
    Instead of just looking at the second Pam’s assessment.
    He said firstly because he does not have the first Pam’s assessment in is bundle.
    My partner solicitor as told her that the LA solicitor had taken it out of the honor judge bundle.
    How so unfair.
    Why would he do that.
    Anyway . I’ve ask for appeal in the higher court I’m really hoping for this for me and my little daughter.
    I feel the judge made an error or mistake.
    Also I have evidence of attending contact centre pictures of our daughter and location to say we was there.
    But they put it down to say I had a headache. The thing is see the guardian should of been there.
    We turned up waited contact room for the contact worker to come and tell us that our daughter is poorly. But we phoned up centre and came 25 miles to see our daughter for just to turn up to nothing and to put in contact sheet to say it was my fault.
    I had a headache see although I was there.
    And in the community book the carer saying shes sorry for not bringing our daughter.
    Anyway I’ve screen shot it .
    Put in our evidence as the guardian as said I ain’t showed commitment towards our daughter.
    And we did mistakes have happened so unfair.
    Also the social worker telling us that our child is poorly on other days and we have her texts but says in the contact sheet again our fault.
    Mistakes is there.
    Solicitors as told us I dont need any domestic courses as I have evidence of my ex partner admitting of what she did to me and she was the perpetrator and I was the victim.
    But the LA still wanted me to do the six month course.
    I decided to sign there course and just do it.
    That was before court in January.
    Final court was February.
    I went to see a domestic course lady and had a assessment with her.
    In the assessment she states I dont need do this course as I dont meet the criteria of this nature.
    Shes tried to contact social worker but no reply.
    I’ve also sent in a supported letter to the high court with all my evidence off the domestic course lady.
    So changes as also happened I feel as 8 dont need the six month course.
    Will i get a chance at all anybody know.
    I’ve been through alot in my life with love ones dieing so sad.
    Also need to add I have six other children but with ex partner and i have rights to see them all like I do .
    Lies , mistakes, changes.

    Please advise me anyone hope my appeal is expected.

  24. Emma says:

    Hi my name is Emma I live in Hull I have 6 children 3 placed on care orders long term, one who is now with adopters and and my youngest who’s is on a child arrangements order with his dad but sees me regularly with increasing unsupervised contact the local authority have closed his case. My 6th child is to a different partner but my previous 5 was to my ex partner who I was with for 15 years and were removed for domestic violence and neglect in 2019. I’m looking into a judical review as I have been through the complaints procedure and ombudsman with regards to the local authority decision making and how they treated my family etc . I have received an apology and the ombudsman is writing up her report an there has been mention from her of awarding me compensation but I still remain very dissatisfied. I had put in around 12 complaints for eg I had asked for an advocate but refused due to not having learning difficulties etc. Only 3 of the complaints were upheld due to the others been the decisions of the court so I’m extremely determined to look at this again. Thank you

  25. Sue says:

    The whole family court system is designed to disadvantage litigants in person, who are then bullied by other party’s solicitor; a solicitor that has direct access to the judge when the LiP does not. How is that not one sided already.
    In my husbands recent case, the judge tore into social services for ignoring the child when he said he wanted to live with his father, for leaving out of reports the child saying he wanted to live with his father, for omitting to disclose the visit report of a SW vising the child, who stated that he wanted to live with his father. The child has disclosed abuse, both physical and emotional, that social services have ignored, judgements of abuse and alienation against the mother that have been ignored. Instead the judge has already once ordered that the child be returned to his mother “kicking and screaming” and has again last week stated that despite all of the errors made by social services, that the abuse disclosed by the child is the fault of the father and the child will remain in his mother’s care. Not one person listened to the child’s voice. We so badly want to appeal, but after 22 years of abuse by the mother (DA through the relationship and now carried on through the children) my husband’s mental health is destroyed so he can’t work and we can’t afford legal help. So they system wins again and the child loses.
    I think an appeal, under the circumstances, should be allowed, but without funds the system knows that LiP can’t appeal. It is a defective system where only the rich get richer and the poor are abused.

    • David says:

      Sue, you have my utmost sympathy.
      I have been through the courts for nearly five years contesting a biased magistrates decision made without hearing either side , because they ran out of time! 60/40 in my ex-wifes favour although there we no safeguarding issues. It has cost me a small fortune using solicitors and barristers.
      My son has always wanted to s0pend time with me, but me ex wife has always prevented it. Locking my son in her house.
      My son started to run away from her house to mine, she accused me of alienating and coercive behaviour. He started self harming and threatened suicide – hestarted to stay at my house. A judge sided with my ex-wife and ordered him to return to her house for the weekend in line with the original court order. He stayed tow nights then ran away again, the judge relented and allowed him to stay with me and to see his mother subject to his wishes and wants.
      My ex wife then applied to take my 9 year old daughter out of the country to her county of birth the USA, although she had not lived there for over 30 years. The children were provided a court guardian, and we had to see a family psychologist (at out expense). The guardians report was in favour of the children staying with me in the UK, the Psychologist report was some months before her application but suggested the statement she provided was not totally reliable and refuted her claims of me being a sociopath and a narcissist. She claimed she could not find work in UK and had to return to the US. At the court hearing my ex wife used the tears, and regret, claimed she was the victim. The judge agreed and granted her to take my 9 year old daughter to live in New York. At 9 years the child is not considered able to make uop her own mind. This was deliberate and vindictive by my ex wife, as she knew in another year or so mu daughters feelings would have been considered. I tried to appeal, but it was refused – it is very difficult challenge a judges decision as they have wide range of options to ensure that whatever they decide they cannot be challenged – the catch all statement that even though items were not specifically reference all items were considered. No judge will allow that to be challenged or appealed.
      My son has refused for over two years to see my ex wife and will not even return to her house to collect some personal items he wants. Items of memories he cherishes, but me ex wife will not allow him without her being there. This upsets him, the decision upsets him and it has impacted his school work this term.
      The system is broken when two court appointed experts can be disregarded is such a away, and disregards a child’s extreme behaviour towards his mother – surely there is an issue to be considered when considering the removal of a sibling from the UK. The logical answer would have been to allow my ex-wife to further her career, and leave the children together in the UK.

  26. Georgina says:

    Last week my son was in court and the judge agreed LA should look for adoptive parents for my Grandchildren , basically what I see as in the terms of future harm , which I totally disagree with as they have never come to any harm , yes I agree their are issues , but think the LA did not do anything to help , my son and grandchildren have a loving and supportive family behind him , so I need to know what he can do.

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