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According to CAFCASS daughter wants to cut contact with mum

(3 Posts)
helplessharriet Tue 16-Aug-11 10:22:57

I put this in Relationships yesterday, thought I would repost here.

Hi, namechange to protect friend.

Long story: 9 years ago she gave birth to her premie DD, didn't live with partner. Due to feeding problems and friend's mh (due to previous stillbirth) partner and his mother looked after DD in day. This arrangement continued even after she and partner split up. When DD aged 5 ex refused to bring DD back, and friend went to court, eventually getting contact 12-4 every weekend, alternate Sat and Sun instead of becoming parent with care as she wanted.

Ex remained very unaccomodating, not letting DD go even 5 min early, refusing to allow any extra contact, etc. Friend went back to court and after CAFCASS evaluation got contact extended to 10-6 plus same on school holiday Thursdays. Court even expressed surprise that more informal contact had not been arranged. Friend continued to politely request more time for particular family events, to no avail.

Last spring ex suddenly stopped contact, accusing friend's now partner (who stays over at weekends) of exposing himself to DD (friend thinks she may have accidentally seen him naked and mentioned something). Friend got emergency court hearing. Friend could only have supervised contact twice a week for a couple of hours, pending next court hearing Sept.

DD now 9 at first said she did not want to see friend and pushed her away, but this stopped after the first couple of times and she returned to normal attitude to her mum. I saw her at her half-bro's party the other week and she seemed perfectly Ok.

CAFCASS again involved, now they say they have DD's statement of wishes and she does not want to see her mother. There are also a number of letters purportedly written by DD which say the same. But we think this is due to pressure from her father

It seems to me that friend has no option but to accept what DD has said, even if she thinks these are not her true wishes. At least there would be honesty in one part of her parental relationships. But what can friend do to ensure that DD has some way of making her feelings felt if she realizes this is not what she wants after all?

It is a nightmare and we feel so helpless. Friend has always been compliant with contact, plus made sure she attended school meetings and dr's appointments, often in the face of ex making things difficult.
It is a nightmare and we feel so helpless. Friend has always been compliant with contact, plus made sure she attended school meetings and dr's appointments, often in the face of ex making things difficult.

niceguy2 Tue 16-Aug-11 10:42:46

How sad.

At 9, the courts won't just go off what the child has said. Have you seen the full CAFCASS report yet?

I think if it were me, I'd still push to get some sort of regular contact and keep the door open as much as possible so when DD grows a bit, hopefully she feels she can reach out.

helplessharriet Tue 16-Aug-11 10:56:57

Thanks for reply niceguy2. Haven't seen report yet - will give more details when I have. Friend is a fighter and won't give up!

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