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domestically violent father being awarded over night contact

(20 Posts)
sarahfreckles Sat 11-Jan-14 10:14:37

Please could someone give me some advise.

I have 3 children aged between 1 and 5. I am currently in court with their father, who is domestically violent as with all cases it very complex.

He is seeking overnight contact and caffcass are of the opinion he will be awarded this at the final hearing in July.

At the moment he has the children every other Saturday for 7 hours in the local area with his mum, who is suppossed to safeguard children.

I am worried when and if he is awarded the overnight visits my children will be at risk. He has a personailty disorder and is also a drug addict and as mention a long history of domestic violence.

After being on the recieving end of his violence, should he lose his temper with the children that it may only take 1 incident and 1 of my children maybe seriuosly harmed? Please someone help me what can I do?

He has been aggressive infront of judge in what should be a controlled environment, but still looks like they will awarded this?

He has also had 2 positive hair strand tests in this time but insists they are wrong? There is also a history of him harming his pet cat? Im not sure what is in my power 2 do? I feel like fleeing the country to protect them but am not financially stable enough 2 do this. Please could someone help me?

Joules68 Sat 11-Jan-14 10:19:10

Has there been a section 7 report?

Will the overnights be at his mums address?

sarahmummsy Sat 11-Jan-14 10:30:22

It was order that some sort of report was obtained from his mental health team but not a section 7? It was basically all self referral and said how well he has been doing with regards to not taking drugs etc, then there are the positive results?

Overnights would be at his mums but there is also history of violence there she has had to have a injuction on him in the past?

sarahmummsy Sat 11-Jan-14 10:43:51

Sorry I thought section 7 report was some sort of mental health report, looking at paperwork now I realise what it is yes Cafcass are doing reports she has completed a report so far saying that children can go 2 London now every month for day visit, but has not agreed 2 overnight visits until results are recieved with the further hair strand testing? The thing is he has stayed off drugs previuosly 2 get a clear result? He is a binge user and smokes herion rather than injecting, he also uses cannabis on a daily badis but suffers from bi-polar disorder?

RedactedEdition Sat 11-Jan-14 10:49:05

Has evidence of the injunctions sought by his mother, demonstrating that she has previously experienced serious issues with his behaviour at her home, been submitted?

TakeYourPick Sat 11-Jan-14 10:51:25

Tbh if they do award o/n contact I'd be looking into moving very far away. Never fails to amaze me that courts take it upon themselves to put children at risk.

sarahmummsy Sat 11-Jan-14 10:54:40

They were asked 2 file the paperwork for injunction, but she wrote a letter confirming that she did get an injunction after he broke her arm but she goes on to say what a lovely man he is now and that he has changed etc, so I think they did not ask for any further evidence as she confirmed it was true? I just feel like they are making out im being a difficult mum but I have serious concerns and just want my children to be safe and a weekend break for me would be great if I was 100% sure my children are safe and I dont think they would be!

sarahmummsy Sat 11-Jan-14 10:57:02

Thank you, this is what is shocking me, he is not even able to control himself in court! I have previuosly moved but the court found me again, which is why I mentioned wanting 2 flee the country!

RedactedEdition Sat 11-Jan-14 11:00:33

I would suggest asking your solicitor if he can make considerably more of the potentially unsafe situation at the house by highlighting the previous violence against his mother and the supporting injunctions.
Not something which should be hiding below the radar

NewBeginningsSnoopy Sat 11-Jan-14 11:02:11

Sarah I am sorry to hear this. I have just been through the exact same thing. The overnight is now a reality for me. It's so tough but I was just advised to put safeguards in place if I can't avoid it. The courts are a horrible place. They are so unfair as these men are often two-faced. They are clever and they know what they are doing whereas we are often bewildered and intimidated. In my case certainly.

NewBeginningsSnoopy Sat 11-Jan-14 11:04:32

Also testing was carried out in my case. It's a TOTAL JOKE!

sarahmummsy Sat 11-Jan-14 11:13:24

I feel sometimes they feel if u were stupid enough to have children with them then suffer the consequences! ? The judges words were u have reconciled in the past you cant have ur cake and eat it?!(dont most abusive relationships have this pattern, until someone is strong enough to say no?!)my solicitor is saying we will fight it, but im scared as the cafcass officer has said she doesnt really understand the judges thinking at this moment but thinks she will award overnights?! What happens if I just refuse?! I would rather go to prison and make an example! What about mothers bloody rights? We know them better than any judge!! So scared and so angry��

NewBeginningsSnoopy Sat 11-Jan-14 12:49:50

Sarah I am 100% in agreement with you.

NewBeginningsSnoopy Sat 11-Jan-14 12:51:45

You have the right of appeal if overnights are granted. I would recommend liasing as closely as poss with your solicitor to avoid but have to warn you- the judges are not very intuitive!!!!!

Joules68 Sat 11-Jan-14 15:43:25

The only people here with rights are the children. Mothers ( or fathers) don't have rights, merely responsibilities when it comes to court

Right. So his mother isn't capable of keeping the children safe as she was unable to keep herself safe. So I would suggest to cafcass she is unsuitable to supervise. Difficult now that you've allowed it. Did you suggest her or question her involvement? A broken arm? That would worry me. A lot.

His bi polar. Does he take medication?

They are in London. How far away are you? What are the travel arrangements for contact?I hear just south of the Scottish border is very nice at this time of year!

starlight1234 Sat 11-Jan-14 17:18:32

I let My MIL supervise contact on the assumption that she was GM and would want to protect he GS..Sadly DS took priority...

No helpful advise just know the cafcass women involved said the courts rarely go against them so worth getting her on side in any way you can

NewBeginningsSnoopy Sat 11-Jan-14 20:55:16

Lol Joules Spain or France are even nicer ;-)

goldfacegreen Mon 13-Jan-14 02:48:41


catcatcat Mon 13-Jan-14 09:44:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

STIDW Mon 13-Jan-14 16:49:19

Your solicitor has the details and is in the best position to advise and represent you. Social services don't have authority over the courts - it's the other way round. Is there to be a finding of fact hearing?

Mental health problems and domestic violence aren't necessarily reasons for no overnight contact. Courts consider independent professional evidence of the effects of any DV or mental health problems on children. Any harm (or risk of harm) children suffer is weighed against the harm they suffer not having regular overnight and any measures that might be put in place to enable the contact to happen.

Although courts usually stick with CAFCASS recommendations a judge is responsible for the final ruling and can make a different decision. If that happens the judge should explain why the the recommendations weren't adopted.

Fleeing with the children abroad isn't a great idea. Without the consent of all those with Parental Responsibility or permission from the court it is a criminal offence of international child abductIon to remove children permanently from the UK. There are international agreements with many countries that means children are returned to the country where the habitually live for the courts to determine where the child lives. Leaving the country or attempting to leave the country unlawfully would put you on the back foot as far as courts are concerned. Even moving a distance in the Uk can create more problems than it solves.

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