Catastrophes, Courts, Road Trips, Rain, Rouen and Bakewell Tarts #4

I promise that I will get around to the Bakewell Tart eventually……..

So then the solicitor came and got me, and I had to leave Mr A behind and go up to see the judge. By this time I really was shaking, a lot. I was taken into a little room, where there was….. a judge and a solicitor. No husband. The judge then asked his solicitor whether he was coming. She mumbled that he had left an answerphone message that morning saying that he would not be attending, after telling her that he was the day before. Hmm I look at my solicitor and she looks at me. Evidently pissed again.

The judge then explained that this should be a conciliation process, with each of us giving our side of the story and our wishes. Then she turned to me saying

‘Madam, I understand that you have come from near the Scottish borders, and Monsieur had less that two kilometres to come. You had already written to me saying that you may not be able to attend on a financial level, and on an emotional level, yet you are here. He is not’

Then she got really cross and ferreted about in the Code Penale for ages, shouting things at his solicitor so she could only mumble back. Then she slammed the book shut.

She then asked me about what contact D____ had tried to have with his daughter in the last 4 years. I explained about no money, no contact, no birthday and Chrsitmas contact, and about M_______ refusing to speak French because she was so traumatised by her father’s behaviour.

The judge then explained that he would have to have a phased return…starting with letters and phone calls, and due to his behaviour, eventually in a contact centre. She agreed that there would be no question of me putting him up given his behaviour and the fact I have a new partner….She asked me how this would be arranged in the UK. I said that as I worked for Social Services, this could be arranged (which seemed to go down well). His solicitor claimed that he didn’t know where I was, didn’t have numbers etc……so I produced the emails between me and them proving the contrary.

Now the judge got in a really bad temper. She explained that as D_____ had demanded this case, and not turned up, he was in effect in contempt, and that no amount of excuses from his solicitor were going to get him out of this. She said that as I was asking for a declaration of incompetence of tribunal, I would get one, and declared herself incompetent to judge the case. So all judgement would have to go back to the UK.

She advised me to sue D_____ for damages for all the inconvenience of me turning up and him not bothering, and said that now if he wished to argue the point he would have to find HIMSELF an English solicitor and go and argue this in the UK.

She also finally pronounced on the Hague Convention ruling. She ruled that D_____had left it far too long to try and make a Hague Convention case, and that ha had run out of time, as she would consider M_____ now normally domiciled in the United Kingdom. So there would be no question of ‘returning’ her to her father or place of birth. Then she definitively closed the case, with a recommendation that it should never again be opened by a French court.

I really wanted to kiss that judge but thought it might be inadvisable as a) she was a woman, b) she was French, and c) she might just change her mind.

Came back down with the solicitors and talked to them for a while. Became evident his solicitor didn’t have a clue. Mine had whispered to me on the stairs on the way down ‘drunk again?’ His solicitor started arguing about contact. Told her he would have to have parenting and psychiatric assessments, as well as risk assessments before he was allowed anywhere near. ‘How do you know this’ she asked in a snotty BCBG kind of way looking down her nose……’Because I work in Child Protection’ , I said…..touche!!!!

We came out of the court feeling like a ten ton weight had been lifted from my shoulders……and around the sunny bay for a coffee……….


5 Responses to “Catastrophes, Courts, Road Trips, Rain, Rouen and Bakewell Tarts #4”

  1. Wow, he couldn’t even commit to coming to argue for the daughter he claimed he deserved to see. I have several nasty little names floating around in my head, but I’m sure you’ve used them all.

    Love a happy ending!

  2. I have resisted commenting until now – until the result was known to all.

    All I can say is WELL DONE – for fighting right to the line whatever the cost to you.

    (Bet you looked stunning in that outfit too!)

  3. She def looked stunning when she arrived back on the Sunday in her leather trousers and boots … the difference that load being lifted made to her, even though she was exhausted!

    Fantastic news hun, so well happy for you all.

  4. Wow, I was getting goosebumps towards the end of this post! This is absolutely great news, but what an ***** that he wasn’t even bothered to show up. It’s good in the end of course, but I can totally understand why the judge was so pissed off.
    Well done, and I hope that from now on you can have a great life with your daughter, without anyone trying to intimidate you like this anymore.

  5. I’m just glad that it’s all over (and yes, I think the outfit looked pretty darn good at the end of the day….professional, yet a little scary at the same time…)

    Sometimes I just do get sick of fighting all the time and for every last thing, but I had no choice here. It’s unbelievable that ex decided not to turn up after all of that, and after all of the trouble he has caused…..Mr A opined that it might be because he didn’t have the courage to face me and lie face-toface at the end of the day……..

    My ex, at the end of the day, has shown his true colours by not bothering to show up, a mile away from home, if that. Now, if he wants to disagree he will have to come here in order to do so. I’m just going to get on with the rest of my life now, I hope.

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