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Separation, DV conviction, child arrangements

(21 Posts)
Froginapan Sun 29-May-16 13:59:57

My exP was arrested back in February and convicted with battery.

I was advised to take out a non-mol order and that not doing so and allowing to come back to the home at the end of his bail would trigger SS involvement so I did just that, was awarded the non-mol order and made a children's act application for our 3 year old.

ExP is now wanting full residency of our 3 year old based on my reactions to his abuse towards me and my eldest child over the past year.

I had a break down, was suffering awful depression which is now (by his own admission) resolved.

During the 6 weeks between my breakdown and his arrest there were 8 incidents of him unreasonably losing his temper/being verbally aggressive towards me and my eldest child over small things and I had to try to talk him down each time culminating in him shoving me and injuring me.

Based on his allegations against me (that I'm mentally unstable and incapable of looking after both children) I am now faced with a CAFCASS section 7 report.

Does he really stand a chance of getting full residence of our child rather than the every other weekend Saturday and Sunday I am offering? I have been child's main cater since birth and since February the sole career with regular weekend contact between ExP and child.

A friend has suggested offering 50/50 residence but this will mean child having to go into childcare. ExP works long and unpredictable hours, often going to work before 6am and not returning until after 7.

Froginapan Sun 29-May-16 14:03:29

In addition our child has been flagged as possibly having SEN and has a SALT referral - ExP wasn't very accepting of my eldest's autism, which is why he was abusive towards our eldest, blaming eldest for problems in our adult relationship.

Ebony69 Sun 29-May-16 18:31:32

As long as you can get a letter from your GP confirming that you're stable (it would help if you could demonstrate that you have support available to you) the likelihood is that your son will remain with you. It doesn't sound as if 50/50 would be good for your son. He needs stability with a firm routine.

numberseventeen Sun 29-May-16 18:38:43

Has weekend contact been the status quo?
When speaking to cafcass speak calmly and non emotionally, put your child's welfare at the centre of each comment and I'm sure they would support you.

My contact with Cafcass was a positive one, they were very supportive of my suggestions for contact and reasons behind them.

Do you have a solicitor? I had all kind of scary thoughts about court but on the day my solicitor was brilliant- no burden put onto me at all. My ex was a dick, and emotionally abusive but court was the best thing that happened to me really. It showed I wouldn't take his bullshit anymore

Good luck

Froginapan Sun 29-May-16 19:25:30

Weekend contact has been the status quo since the beginning of March.

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Sun 29-May-16 19:39:48

I've just been to court after a Cafcass section 7 report - my son is still living with me. smile (back in August for final hearing)

My ex tried the whole "she's depressed so unfit" thing to, and nothing came of it. They spoke to my GP and did a home visit, and were happy that this in no way a affected my ability to parent. That's what they are interested in - your abilities as a parent.

Don't offer 50/50 if that's not what you want. The judge in my hearing was pretty adamant that my sons routine was not upset and that as I had always been his main care giver that this should continue. Weekend access is generous ( my ex got 7 hours one day a week ) and I doubt he'd be granted more while your child is still so young.

Realistically he doesn't really stand a chance of full residency, but the court has to allow him to apply.

Do you have a solicitor? You should be entitled to legal aid due to DV.

Greenyogagirl Sun 29-May-16 19:43:10

Oh honey xx
I was in the exact situation only my ex didn't have arrests.
After 12 months I was awarded full custody, he isn't allowed to contact ds at all.
He is allowed to apply for anything but he will not get residency or even 50/50.
Section 7 is basically just someone chatting to you both seperately and offering their opinion to the court.
You do not have to accept their opinion or anything at all.
Take letters from gp and nursery about Sen and make sure you have all evidence and turn up early and don't speak to magistrates or judge unless representing yourself X

Froginapan Sun 29-May-16 20:27:37

I've gotten so lost in who I am I don't know which way is up anymore.

We had 3 really good years followed by 18 horrible months and I cannot believe he is throwing it all away - we were on our way to things being better. I was feeling so much better but he refused to go and get help for his own issues and now this: he's on the war path because I stood up and said 'enough'

Sorry for the self pity - I just am having a hard time understanding this is who he really is

Froginapan Sun 29-May-16 20:31:06

Yes, I have a solicitor.

Within 48 hours of him finding out I had one (2 weeks after his arrest) him and his family were making calls to various agencies with 'concerns' about my parenting abilities.

AnotherEmma Sun 29-May-16 20:34:28

What does your solicitor say?

Given his abuse towards you and your eldest child wouldn't it be better to restrict his contact to supervised only, if at all possible?

"A friend has suggested offering 50/50 residence"
Absolutely terrible suggestion, don't listen to that friend!

Froginapan Sun 29-May-16 20:37:10

She's coming from the experience of a DV relationship and how utterly charming and persuasive abusers can be: I can see her point - offering the absolute worst I can imagine and hoping it will placate him.

Eldest is not his child

Howmuchisthatdoggyinthewindow Sun 29-May-16 20:43:25

Hang on - he was abusive towards your eldest child due to SEN.
Should he be having ANY unsupervised contact with your youngest? Especially if there is a suggestion the youngest has SEN too.

I know you must be very fragile and your confidence shot to pieces after how he has treated you but I do think you need good advice here and fight for what is in the best interests of your children.

Greenyogagirl Sun 29-May-16 20:45:46

He'll be going for all he can in the hope you meet him half way, personally I'd start with no contact at all. X

Froginapan Sun 29-May-16 20:50:01

My solicitor did admit the other day that perhaps we have been too amicable: given the accusations he has made against me we have been trying to ensure that CAFCASS don't over-react and suggest care proceedings.

Greenyogagirl Sun 29-May-16 20:58:21

My ex accused me off being unable to care for ds as I was depressed, said I'd lied about his sen, said I had men in and out all the time.
I said I was on tablets because of him, here's proof of sen, pure fiction prove it. Then asked for police records, medical records as I was concerned about his mental health.
You're clearly able to look after your kids so I wouldn't worry about that. Do what you think is best for kids and stick to it whether that's no contact, indirect contact, cool contact, every other weekend. Xx

Greenyogagirl Sun 29-May-16 21:00:07

And my solicitor said cafcass can suggest whatever they want (they wanted supervised contact starting ASAP) but we don't have to do it, we can just consistently stick to what we want and force the judge to decide what's best and then appeal the decision. It didn't get that far as judge was lovely but don't worry too much about section 7 X

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Sun 29-May-16 21:15:35

Why was your solicitor being amicable when your abusive ex is fighting for full residency? FFS, she should have been aggressively defending you from the get go. And why would she even be suggesting that about Cafcass and care? That's ridiculous and scaremongering and yet again someone telling you to give your ex what he wants or your lose your child - which isn't the case at all.

AnotherEmma Sun 29-May-16 21:20:04

How did you get your solicitor, OP? Are they a legal aid solicitor?

You could always get a second opinion, for example you could call the free Rights of Women family law helpline.

You don't necessarily need to change solicitor (and you might not be able to at this point) but you do need your solicitor to find for you - and getting a second opinion might empower you to ask for that.

AnotherEmma Sun 29-May-16 21:20:45

fight not find!

Froginapan Sun 29-May-16 22:07:45

Yes, she is a legal aid solicitor.

Froginapan Mon 30-May-16 11:18:18

Thanks for the link, Emma, I will give them a call tomorrow.

I've been such a pushover for so long I'm frightened of rocking the boat - I've read horror stories of abused women losing their children because they've come across as blaming their children's father and the abusive man has managed to charm and manipulate their way through the system taking advantage of their ex partner's weakened state as a result of the abuse she has suffered.

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