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cafcass section 7 report

(9 Posts)
bubblyandsparkly Thu 17-Nov-16 12:32:34

I am currently going though a very difficult divorce. We are 8 months in and currently I have the children 17, 12 and 14 living with me and their dad sees younger two midweek for dinner (2hrs) and then all day Saturday 8 hrs. Over this time he has never asked for increased contact and doesn't text or call them between contact. he has been a controlling and very disciplinarian father and husband over the years, relationships with the children were never loving and caring more I say and you do! Our 17 year old stopped direct contact with him after witnessing him violently assault me me post -separation. He has now entered a new relationship (poor her) with a younger woman with a child, they now appear to be co-habiting. Without any attempt to speak to me about increased contact made a direct application for full custody. I know this is purely in spite to me, as he threatened me with this when I left him. with the words 'you are dead to me and I will destroy you'. He knows this is his one and only weapon against me and was the reason I stayed with him many many years longer than I should have. I have been through hell and back these last few months. Following the first hearing the Court ordered a section 7 report and that is in process at the moment, we return to court in a few weeks for the next hearing. My solicitor has advised he will certainly not get full residency but will likely be offered weekend overnights and half the holidays (standard) - the children are freaking out saying they want to leave things as they are, they don't want overnights EVER, they are scared of him when hes angry and don't want to be forced into staying with him or holidays. He is a heavy drinker and volatile. He has never physically harmed them, but is an emotional bully. A day at a time they can cope with but no more. I know the Cafcass reporter is supposed to present the children's wishes and feelings to court, but the things I read on here make me dubious about how much they actually take on board. If the children tell them they genuinely don't want to increase contact and are fearful of overnights will that be taken into consideration? What I am dreading is an order saying they have to go and then I am left to deal with them getting distraught every weekend when they don't want to. I have shared my concerns over the children's feelings about overnights with the officer, but I felt they were dismissed as being petty and that I should just get over it. I pretty much feel like it will happen he has rights so we have to all suck it up! Where do the children's feelings come into it? what is the point of asking them how they feel and then ignoring it? has any one had a positive experience of the Cafcass report taking the children's opinions into consideration and presenting them to court?

Starlight2345 Thu 17-Nov-16 21:34:05

My DS was only 3 when CAFCASS got involved so never spoke to him..

I can only say my niece left home and went to live with her uncle when she was 14 and SS said there was really nothing they could do at that age..

The children's opinions should be taken into account by the age of 12..

I wish you luck..

bubblyandsparkly Thu 17-Nov-16 22:28:12

Thanks starlight2345 I hope so too x

BlackeyedSusan Fri 18-Nov-16 01:10:58

how close are they to their birthdays?

I doubt they will make the 14 year old go.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 18-Nov-16 06:43:23

I am in a awkward situation, but was chatting about this my social worker she assured me that at 12-13years of age contact is set based on what the child wants.

PoldarksBreeches Fri 18-Nov-16 06:51:42

If the children are clear and not coached then their wishes will be given precedence. They need to be able to explain why they don't want to go and be coherent in a way that demonstrates that it's their genuine wishes. So give examples 'I don't want to sleepover because my dad used to do X at bedtime and it made me feel Y' or 'I saw him hit my mum on this date and it made me frightened'
At their ages they won't be forced.

bubblyandsparkly Fri 18-Nov-16 13:32:14

DD just 12 and DD just 14 but has learning difficulties so I don't think they will judge her competent to make an informed decision

bubblyandsparkly Fri 18-Nov-16 13:33:42

thanks everyone, sounds more positive than I thought, I suppose the negative reports about Cafcass will always get more attention, like anything x

Starlight2345 Sat 19-Nov-16 15:30:57

I can only say my approach was that as I was aware this woman had a lot of power in court so I need her on side.

I told her I didn't want to discuss my concerns with my DS in the house so asked her to call when he was at nursery at she loved the fact I was trying to keep my DS out of it...However huge age difference.

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