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Contact order advice

(12 Posts)
courthelpneeded Sun 10-Jul-11 20:41:31

there is quite alot of history which i wont bore you all with, just the very basics! partners ex accused partner of domestic violence found not guilty but her solicitor really pushed for restraining order, partner represented himself didnt object so now has one despite magistrate saying it was only a verbal argument started by the ex (this sort of thing happened throughout their 2 yr relationship)....been going thru solicitors for contact, ex pushed for contact centre which partner agreed to to start seeing them asap and build up contact, 2 weeks before going to contact centre she says she has to be in the room to begin with! isnt possible due to restraining order, which she knows this is her way of playing more games and stopping him from seeing them, Social Services have also said they have no concerns at all to my partner having unsupervised contact (contact centre was only a supported one)....so we need to go to court for contact order.

What i wondered is what the steps were, we will be speaking to our solicitor but we havent been very happy with her considering changing so any advice would be great!!

ive read so much about cafcass (not sure if thats how its spelt) is this something for when ss are involved and not happy or is it a standard thing?
do we basically apply to court, both attend and then something is decided by the court on the first hearing? he pays thru csa desperatley wants to see them, ss have no objections its just the ex cos he left her. or will there be alot of court cases and assesments etc. also from application do you know the time scale for court hearing? i guess it depends on how busy the courts are but wonder if there was some rough idea of timescales.

Anything you can tell us would be brilliant
Thank you !!

mumblechum1 Sun 10-Jul-11 21:09:19

Ok, I'll try to break this down into bitesized pieces smile

1. Contact centre: The child's mum should not normally be present at the contact centre meetings, but hand the child over to a staff member. There is no need for the parents to meet at all at the CC

2. The Contact centre should only be a short term arrangement. Your partner should make an application for defined contact unless his solicitor can negotiate something. Usually they'd go to mediation but if there's been DV then not likely to happen.

3. Cafcass is the agency which assesses the situation after meeting with everyone relevant, and then files a report making a recommendation about contact. In most cases, the court will place a great deal of weight on what the Cafcass report recommends, but is not bound by it. Cafcass are separate to social services.

4. CSA - not relevant. Your partner has an obligation to pay whether he sees his child or not.

5. Timescales - depends on your local court, but in Reading, Oxford and Slough County courts in my area, if your dp lodges his application in mid July he's likely to have an initial hearing in late August when the Cafcass officer will meet both parents and try to negotiate an agreement. If not possible, the court will order both to file statements and adjourn to maybe mid November for a review, or if a Cafcass rep0ort is ordered as well, more likely to go back in Mid December. If the parties are still in dispute after the report is filed, then it'll go on to a formal hearing in Spring next year. Many cases are settled at an earlier stage if the parties can try to be sensible.

6. Your dp is stuck with the restraining order. When does it end?

courthelpneeded Tue 12-Jul-11 10:33:27

Hi

Thanks for your reply!

Wow the timescales are pretty scary! imagining the worst and she continues to be difficult spring next year for contact is a scary thought! someone mentioned my dp could also apply for an interim contact order to start seeing the children whilst this goes on, is that possible?

our solicitor has argued till she is blue in the face that the contact centre is the most suitable place and she doesnt need to be in the room but they are adament this is what she wants, she clearly knows contact cannot take place due to restraining order.

There isnt an expiry date on it, it says till further order. there never was any DV just more lies by his ex, thankfully the courts did see that and found him not guilty i just wish he could of afforded a solicitor so he objected to the restraining order!!
So there is no possibility of it being lifted due to his ex requesting to spend time with him, therefore showing she isnt in fear of him? Do you know if an expiry date can be put on to them so it does eventually end?

Thanks again so much for you help and advice

cestlavielife Tue 12-Jul-11 11:10:40

he should get it to court a.s.a.p and then hopefully judge will order contact in contact centre and mother not to be present in the contact room. ie mother to ahd n over children to staff.
which is the way it normally works and whole point of contact centre!
but it can take time yes to set up - is there a contact centre already chosen ? how much does it charge and who will pay?

courthelpneeded Tue 12-Jul-11 11:17:03

Contact centre already chosen everything was ready to go, SS confirmed had no concerns whatsoever and dates were given for this weekend his childrens pre visit and then my dp starting next weekend. Wasnt aware there was a cost for contact centre? all information sent to us from solicitors and centre itself never mentioned any cost?

babybarrister Tue 12-Jul-11 12:18:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cestlavielife Tue 12-Jul-11 13:35:45

depends on the contact centre and level of supervision needed. some are voluntary run so no cost.

courthelpneeded Tue 12-Jul-11 14:26:35

ah that will be why then, he doesnt need supervised contact its a supported one, originally suggested to help with the hand over due to restraining order and start contact...

mumblechum2 Tue 12-Jul-11 16:53:34

Yes, his solicitor will try to negotiate interim contact and if not successful, will make an application for interim contact at the first hearing.

courthelpneeded Wed 13-Jul-11 13:07:53

thank you very much for taking the time to reply :-) really do appreciate it

LunarRose Mon 18-Jul-11 14:14:09

If SS are supporting unsupervised access, your DP will get it through the court. Trust me I know from the other side, I'm sure my ExH tells his DP I lie too......

courthelpneeded Mon 18-Jul-11 17:13:48

i hope he does do ok in court as i know 100% everything she says is lies and we will prove it if needs be!

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