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ex sleep disorder and contact

(20 Posts)
madam1mim Mon 12-Nov-12 20:21:44

hello, my ex is taking me to court next month over contact with our 20 mo dd . he currently has supervised contact due to there being domestic violence, drug and alcohol issues and admissions to past sexual abuse on other women. I've already been told that tow domestic violence wontt matter much as the court see it as between me and him and not our dd (beyond ridiculous!) but what is terrifying me is that my ex also has a sleep disorder and(been to hospital with it) whereby he talks, walks , urinates, snore so loud we had to move dd into own room before we would have liked as kept waking her and the big one is that he even tried to strangle me in his sleep. now im aware that courts often push for over night contact but it scares me so much that he could harm her if he us allowed this. does anyone have anyidea what the court might decide ? i am so so worried and losing sleep over this. thank you.

addictedtolatte Mon 12-Nov-12 20:39:15

ive no good advice sorry just sympathy. the courts are so focused on fathers rights and not childrens safety unfortunately. am fighting a simalar battle myself in courts. my ds has had 2 injurys through my exs negligence and courts are giving him 3rd chance. hes also trying to get my 15 month old dd overnight which scares me to bits.

madam1mim Mon 12-Nov-12 20:45:52

wow i really feel for that's awful... i can't believe what a joke the family courts are. i think i was reading that 76% of abusive men who r allowed contact with children go onto abuse them either emotionally or physicaly. makes me feel sick...

addictedtolatte Mon 12-Nov-12 21:09:56

it makes you what the point of family courts are. mothers are just made to look obstructive when in fact there just protecting there children. my ds first injury was my ex cleaned out his ear with earbud as my ex said his ears were filthy when he returned him ds got severe ear infection and was lucky not to end up deaf in one ear. courts told ex off then requested he never doesthat again. contact continued. 2nd time he came home with swollen foot cos his dad dropped a hammer on it his dad failed to tell me he only admitted what happened when hospital got involved. back to court and you guessed it he has another chance.why i bother going to court is beyond me. get a good solicitor and good luck op

cestlavielife Mon 12-Nov-12 21:48:00

just provide all the evidence medical and police reports and request supervised day time contact only

balia Tue 13-Nov-12 11:57:56

No advice, as such for this specific situation, but wanted to point out that the statistic you quote is nonsense and offensive.

Also, children are entitled to relationships with their parents and if you are lucky enough never to have had an accident that injured or may have injured your child, then you should be grateful, not try to suggest that the rest of us are abusive.

madam1mim Tue 13-Nov-12 12:17:20

i am having trouble posting links on here but go onto women's aid myths abduction facts and its there. i'll post here later but i find your comment offensive , my child has been abused by her father through the domestic violence towards me. we have lived in 2 refuges because of this man and all i want to do us protect my daughter.

madam1mim Tue 13-Nov-12 12:17:58

that should read *myths and facts

foolonthehill Tue 13-Nov-12 14:12:00

This may be helpful, though your solicitor/barrister should already be aware Summary of Sturg Glaser on effects of DV on Children

The Court of Appeal commissioned research of its own during its consideration of Re: L from Dr Claire Sturge and Dr Danya Glaser whose report stressed that Domestic Violence “involves a very serious and significant failure in parenting”. It particularly highlighted the following:

i.Children are affected as much by exposure to violence as to being involved directly in it – the ongoing fear of recurrence is also very emotionally damaging;
ii) All children are affected by significant and repeated inter-parental violence, even if they are not directly involved;
iii) Even when children do not continue in violent situations, emotional trauma continues to be experienced, with the memories of the violence continuing as persecutory images;
iv. The context of the overall situation is highly relevant to decision making;
v.The contribution of psychiatric disorders to situations of domestic violence and emotional abuse must be considered, such disorders will have put enormous pressures not only on the child but also on the other parent;(^this may be relevant as he has sleep disorder^)
vi.The child may have post-traumatic anxieties or symptoms which the proximity of the non-resident violent parent may re-arouse or perpetuate;
vii. There may be a continuing awareness of the fear that the violent parent arouses in the child’s main carer;
viii. Those situations have a possible effect on the child’s own attitudes to violence, to forming parenting relationships and to the role of fathers, with the attitudes in boys particularly affected.

The report recognised that there could be potential detriment to the child of having no direct contact with the non-resident violent parent but said that “there should be no automatic assumption that contact to a previously or currently violent parent is in the child’s interests” it went on to say “if anything the assumption should be in the opposite direction.” 7 factors were listed in the report, without which, in the authors’ opinions, the balance should tip against contact.

The 7 factors were:
1. some (preferably full) acceptance of the violence alleged;
2. some acceptance (preferably full if appropriate, i.e. the sole instigator of violence) of responsibility for that violence;
3. full acceptance of the inappropriateness of the violence, particularly in respect of the domestic and parenting context and the likely Ill-effects on the child;
4. a genuine interest in the child’s welfare and full commitment to the child;
5. a wish to make reparation to the child and work towards the child recognising the inappropriateness of the violence and the attitude to and treatment of the resident parent and helping the child to develop appropriate values and attitudes;
6. an expression of regret and the showing of some understanding of the impact of their behaviour on the resident parent in the past and currently;
7. indication that the parent seeking contact can reliably sustain contact in all areas.

It must be remembered however that the Sturge and Glaser report was simply the basis for the legal principles set down in Re: L. It is thus NOT the law. The principles expounded by the Court of Appeal as law may be summarised as follows:

i) the Court should consider the conduct of both parties towards each other and towards the child, the effect of the violence upon the child and on the residential parent, and the motivation for the parent seeking contact, i.e. is it a desire to promote the best interests of the child or a means by which to continue violence, intimidation or harassment of the resident parent;

ii) on an application for interim contact, when the allegations of domestic violence await adjudication the Court should give particular consideration to the likely risk of harm (physical or emotional) if contact were granted or refused (any risk of harm to the child must be minimised and the safety of the resident parent as well as the child should be secured before, during and after any such contact).

iii) There was not, and should not be a presumption that on proof of domestic violence the offending parent had to surmount a prima facie barrier of no contact. As a matter of principle, domestic violence of itself cannot constitute a bar to contact but is one factor in the difficult and delicate balancing exercise of discretion to be undertaken by the Court.

iv) In cases of proved domestic violence the Court has to weigh the seriousness of the domestic violence, the risks involved and the impact on the child against the positive factors. The ability of the offending parent to recognise his/her past conduct, to be aware of the need to change and to make genuine efforts to do so would be likely to be an important consideration when performing that balancing exercise.

v) The rights of the child must prevail.


Instructions as to domestic violence should be actively sought at an early stage.

Statement evidence must address the Re: L guidance specifically. It may be useful to address the 7 points set out in the Sturge and Glaser report whilst so doing in order to address each and every relevant aspect. The factors at paragraphs 26 and 27 of the Practice Direction should also be specifically addressed.

The CAFCASS Domestic Violence toolkit provides a number of useful checklists which can assist in focussing statement evidence when dealing specifically with issues in cases where Domestic Violence is a feature. They are helpful when framing evidence in relation to interim contact disputes, the fact finding hearings itself (particularly the nature and degree issues which will have to be resolved within the fact finding exercise), the welfare issues and also potentially the post ‘pre-condition to contact/residence’ stage.

foolonthehill Tue 13-Nov-12 14:16:05

Sorry that is a very long post BUT get everything documented, validated and checked. Look at the CAFCASS check list and make sure that you know which points are relevant to you.

I don't know who told you that the DV issues are not relevant but obviously that is not true. If it was your solicitor than i would look at changing.

The only problem will be if the DV is just hearsay. Do you have 3rd party evidence (police called out, A&E visits, GP?)

madam1mim Tue 13-Nov-12 16:39:20

balia : does the above comment by foolonthehill help to prove my point? of course it is important for fathers to have a relationship with their children but the key word i used was 'abusive' . children have a right, i believe, above anything else to be protected . i couldn't give a flying f* if my dd shares dna with my ex , if there is a chance he could hurt her then i am going to do whatever ican to prevent that from happening. and unfortunately yes my daughter has been at risk of harm from her dad and has had the most unstable traumatic start to her life so not so lucky actually. please read what iv actually said before branding me as offensive. read the women's aid info. if fathers are caring and responsible and pose no risk then i am all for them seeing their kids. Sadly this is not case either my dd dad , i didn't plan to be a single mum looking after my daughter single handedly , it'd b nice to have a day off but not if it means she is going to get treated like i did.

madam1mim Tue 13-Nov-12 16:45:03

Cestlavie , thanks for your comment. I don't have papers myself but presume there must b some on file with hospital and police. Are cafcass able to look into these?

Foolonthehill thank you so much for taking so much time abduction effort to post. I know u from the ea thread bury i post under diff name. Will write a proper reply later as i need to cook the tea but just wanted to say thanks x

madam1mim Tue 13-Nov-12 16:52:31

*and effort

madam1mim Tue 13-Nov-12 17:44:35

P.s. Balia: please point out to me in what way i have tried to make out that 'the rest of you are abusive?' whoever 'you' are?

balia Tue 13-Nov-12 20:10:33

madam1mim you are right, and I unreservedly apologise. As you guessed, I had not read your post thoroughly enough and had not registered you had said 'abusive' men - I read it as 76% of men who are granted contact go on to abuse their children. Due to my own baggage I then over-reacted. I am a complete idiot and hope you get lots of sensible advice and help with your situation.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 13-Nov-12 22:09:46

I can't remember who explained it too me, but one thing that sticks in my mind when I was pursuing a court order is that it is the same courts that make orders for contact with NRP as make the decisions about whether to take children away from their parents and into care.

Despite the fact that I thought that DD was at risk and I didn't want her to see her Dad unsupervised, the courts apply the same test as they do for taking children into care and in most cases, including mine, the issues just aren't serious enough.
An ear infection caused by a cotton bud, or an injury caused by a dropped hammer just aren't enough for courts to restrict a childs relationship with their parents. Most children who are subject to that type of treatment/neglect never even come to the attention of social services.
But, substance abuse and medical conditions which impair a parents ability to keep their DC safe can lead to Court Ordered intervention so its possible, OP, that supervised contact will be ordered, at least until proven that hes able to manage the risk.

cestlavielife Tue 13-Nov-12 23:40:03

If there have been place call outs yes that will Ben record and cafcass will do a police check so sold get confirmation.
If you went to gp or hospital and it was recorded as ds then you can request your notes and present copies .
Do what you can.
If you now for sure he went to a certain doctor about a sleep issue then write it down and let cafcass follow up.

My ex had documented mh issues recorded by social worker and police record of caution for assault and criminal damage so that kind of thing helped to get supervised contact In contact centre.

cestlavielife Tue 13-Nov-12 23:41:12

I mean mh issues as in harming self and others not just a run of the mill depression .

madam1mim Fri 16-Nov-12 13:51:14

Sorry its taken me so long to reply. foolonthehill the info you have provided is brilliant thank you so much. Yes, it was my solicitor who said that shehad just worked with a lady who had been in a very violent relationship and utter didn't make ant difference in regard to contact with the father ... I will mention the report to her next week and see wharf she says. My ex told me he had filled out the c200 domestic violence form but his solicitor said not to submit it as apparently its not relevant as apparently'did not put dd in danger' !!! So does this mean i am going to face to prove all the abuse and drugs/alcohol stuff as he has ticked 'no' to all those questions on court application... ? I feel that him denying stuff is like stabbing the knife in and twisting we gave
lived in refuge for the fun of it then!
balia thank you for your apology , easy mistake to make
notadisney and cestlavie thanks for replying, you have given me abit of hope as i have been preparing myself for the eventuality that nobhead is going to be about much more and il be seeing less if my precious little girl sad

madam1mim Tue 20-Nov-12 19:58:57

Saw my solicitor today and see had never heard of that report...should i be worried? I think it is prob too late to get a new one as we are ibm court first week Dec.

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