So fed up with the court system(48 Posts)
This is going to be a lost ranty post to complain about the injustice of court and to panic about losing my babies!
Left abusive exh in 2012. He vanished, then started court proceedings in late 2013 saying I had taken the children. DC refused contact. He denied DV. After psychologist report and cafcass interviews, FoF was stated as not needed and court agreed he had assaulted me on just 3 occasions but that had no relevance on the case and I had to stop referring to it.
Contact centre was set up. DC continued to refuse contact. Returned to court. Contact was increased, and to be at exh home. DC refused to go. Returned to court. Contact was to continue, I had to take children to him and leave him there. DC ran off and were generally hostile to him continually. Returned to court. Threatened with enforcement. Exh assaulted DS, I reported to police, exh denied. Returned to court. Contact time increased. Exh has now had me labelled as implacably hostile. DD remains unhappy at not seeing friends, not being allowed out (cafcass describe my taking them out for days out as doing it on purpose to make dad look bad!), extreme poor state of house, abuse continuing. DD calls childline. Other parents make reports to organisations. Return to court, where it is recorded that I made these people, including DD do this. Enforcement threatened, including switch of residency. DC becomes ill on exh day of contact, so I "force" him to take a day off work to look after her. Return to court. Change of residency threatened. Given a last warning that if anything else happens then the children will be removed.
Then I was assaulted in front of the children. I stupidly reported it to the police as I was injured (continued pain six months later). Surprise. He denied it. We are now returning to court, with the application saying I have made contact unworkable with my constant allegations and it will never work. As the police recommended, I contacted nspcc, who contacted SS - this has been described as me getting any agency to try to collude with me. SS contacted cafcass, who told them that it was being dealt with and this was historical so no need for them to be involved. Also, because the police records show that I informed them of previous dv when asked, I have broken the order that said dv never happened. At the first hearing, the judge called for reports etc and then ended with "and let's see if snowflakes can manage to not call the police again before then". He wants the children to be removed, with possible contact with me on a Monday and Tuesday.
I'm terrified I'm going to lose my babies. The DC hate being there, will have to move to failing schools and will never see their friends or maternal family. They have no toys there and aren't allowed out. They literally sit on the sofa all weekend waiting to come home. They aren't getting a say in this, as cafcass haven't seen them for over 18mths yet report to court that she sees them all the time and have a good relationship with them. When she does see them, she just chats about other stuff and never mentions dad.
To add to all this, he is fully funded by LA. I'm now in debt.
That sounds awful, OP. Might be worth also posting on the mn legal thread, as there are some solicitors who post on there.
Are you happy with your solicitor? Might be worth talking to an organisation like Rights of Women, as at this point it sounds like decent legal advice is the most important thing.
Every sympathy as well! Have you had the same judge all along? I've had at least one judge who made some odd things but subsequently had a full fact-finding hearing with a different judge after which things got better.
How on earth is he granted Legal Aid unless there is proof provided that you have either abused the children or have been violent or abusive to HIM? To my knowledge, those are the only circumstances with which LA can be awarded??
We have no idea why he's got LA. The fact that we have asked it to be looked into has been used against me, saying I am trying to undermine his case in anyway I can.
Eldest is old enough to decide but cafcass have said that because she made the decision so young that she didn't like him, it's a fixed decision and not a rational one, so she will never be allowed to decide. She has even written to the judge herself, but they decided I made her do that. She has in fact based her decision on abuse that she has seen, has received, and still sees and revives during contact. But we can't say that, as they decided it's not fact.
I haven't been able to afford legal rep throughout. Even that has been used against me, saying I've done it on purpose to slow proceedings.
Make sure your dd has a phone at all times. She can phone the police if she finds herself in a vulnerable position while at her dad's. The police can't ignore her pleas for help forever.
The police can't do anything about a court order. When DS was assaulted, they told me to stop contact. Big mistake!!
There have been so many referrals to so many people. But nothing ever gets investigated because cafcass are involved, so they always call the cafcass worker first, who just tells them mother is hostile to contact and they always close the case.
Oh god I can sympathise.
No legal experience but a SW gave DD's dad unsupervised access. There was police records of abuse, an 18month custodial sentence and he was wearing an electronic tag at the time of access being granted.
He ended up committing DV against his new partner (surprisingly ) and drugs were found in his house. He's lost unsupervised but it's only a matter of time till he appeals it and as he can be a charming bastard I think he will be given it.
Me and DH are seriously considering going to court but I've read too many stories like yours and it terrifies me.
I'm sorry you and your DC are going through it
It's just crazy the amount of power fathers have now. They are entitled to contact regardless. I was asked if i thought it was possible he could hurt or even kill the children. I said yes, you only have to slap someone wrong once for them to be killed, it's possible. They then wrote a report saying how I was hysterically going around saying he was going to kill the children.
The whole system is a joke with men's 'rights' enshrined in law regardless of safety of the children.
Rights of Women are a brilliant organisation and can offer proper legal advice (if you're in England & Wales). Have you contacted Women's aid? They may be able to give advice as well.
It's just crazy the amount of power fathers have now. They are entitled to contact regardless.
It's a postcode lottery. I'm sorry this is happening to you but please don't generalise as there are fathers suffering equal distress at the hands of the courts.
This is scary. My ex threatened to sexually abuse DD. I don't allow him to see her but if he goes to court then I'm worried he may end up actually abusing her.
Have your kids not got a legal guardian through cafcass?
Yes they do. That is who I refer to. She's seen them three times.
One time, she sat in the car with us for an hour while DD refused to get out to go into contact. She never once asked anything about contact, just chatted away about any old nonsense. Then told DD that if she didn't go inside then mummy would be in serious trouble and could even end up in prison.
DD wrote her a letter afterwards saying you didn't ask me about daddy, you didn't listen to me and this is what I want to say....
The judge told me off for allowing DD to think like this.
Jesus Christ this is scary. I'm in court for a final residency hearing on Monday - shitting myself now
How can Cafcass and the courts completely ignore your children's feelings? What sort of impact is being removed from their loving mother and being sent to live with their father going to have on their mental health?
Please try and get some legal advice. Have you contacted women's aid or any other agencies? Really hope someone can give you some proper advice.
No decent father would put their DC through all that.
It's a small consolation but I bet your DC know you are doing your absolute best to keep them safe.
I'm sorry it's shit.
She has voiced suicidal ideas but they said she only knows that this means because of me (job).
Why are you having a residency hearing? Please let us know what happens.
No he has no interest in the children. He has said that he shouldn't be paying me maintenance and he wouldn't have to if they lived with him.
He doesn't do anything with them or buy them anything or take them out. He even took me back to court as I kept expecting him to provide clothes, shoes and coats for use at his house. He had them on Christmas Day and bought almost nothing, didn't even put a tree up. He then had them four days over new year and went to work, leaving them with a family member they didn't know. The kids were begging to be at home with their new toys and their friends.
He told me when he knew I was trying to leave that if I ever dared to leave him, he would never let me and would ruin my life and take everything. He's doing that.
Me and ex broke up when DS was 3 months old. He had contact (on his terms and used to use it to control me) until October 2014 when he tried to assault me and run off with my son. I obviously stopped contact as the police said that without a court order he had every right to take my son when he wanted.
Since then we've been back and forth, he's been given contact, had it removed, is fighting for full residency and has come to the attention of social services due to his behaviour and inability to look after our son properly (not me who phoned them - his own GP surgery). Sorry to be vague but it's such a bloody long story and don't want to derail the thread.
When he tried run off and the police told me that the first thing I did was call women's aid. They got me a solicitor and gave me some solid advice. Call them tomorrow and see if they can point you in the right direction.
I tried women's aid and they did a LA calculation and told me I couldn't have help.
Just to give you some hope long term- 2 of my 3 ds with exh now live with me full time - thir choice and told dad straight - he was a terrible father and his hatred for me overshadowed any love he may have had for them and they had no life with him . We split in 2007"had 4 years in court with cafcass and all the lying you are going through - and now at 12 and 14 they came to me. . 1 has nc with him and the other a sat afternoon only. His hatred for me lost him his sons. I dare say yours will be a similar end result eventually. I was also threatened with prison by a cafcass woman. I threw her out of my house!! Try and stay strong. See you Dr if you need to. I had symptoms similar to ptsd my Dr told me. .
What is the mechanism for getting a new carcass legal guardian appointed? Can you or your DC request this? It sounds as though your guardian has closed her ears to anything said against their father.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.