This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
When a judge goes against Cafcass report(24 Posts)
So yesterday was the final hearing, I was convinced the judges will go with the recommendations that the Cafcass officer suggested... I searched the net far and wide and it was disheartening to see that it was rare for judges to not go with Cafcass report, I gave up the hope of ever being a full time mum to my kids...
At the beginning of the the hearing, my ex's barrister crossed examined the Cafcass officer in less than five minutes with 3 questions
1: why didn't you press the children more for why they want to be back with mum?
2: why are you recommending our client to go on a course for his abusive behaviour?😩
3:how long would the course take and where?
My barrister spent an hour cross examining the Cafcass officer, I lost count of the number of questions, she was forced to refer to every evidence in the bundle that she had initially refused to look at ( this officer knew I was self representing myself in previous cases so she was not expecting this for sure, she took advantage)
When my barrister rest my case, the judge looked at the Cafcass lady and asked? So Miss...., would you agree with mother's council that had you looked at all these evidences and investigated her side more thoroughly the outcome of your recommendation would have been different from the one you proposed for children to continue living with dad?🤔 She shamefully replied... Yes😒 I would have made a different recommendation🤗
So I am officially part of the few that got lucky to have a judge throw the Cafcass officer's report out and order a different Cafcass officer😳
Children would also have a 16.5 guardian ad litem. I get more contacts with children unsupervised and moving to weekends and half holidays until next final hearing...
So for anyone out there who is facing the problem of a biased Cafcass officer, just go through every paragraph and dissect each error, I was lucky that everything she lied about I had a piece of paper to refute it, my solicitor didn't advice me on getting more evidence but I made it my business to cover all areas eg Cafcass officer like I predicted would lie in court that she exhausted all resources to come up with her conclusions ... She never contacted kids previous school to check their previous attendance, wellbeing, progress or the support they would receive if the judge was to order the kids to come back to me😶 She lied that she contacted the school before my barrister slapped her with a letter from the school that I collected from the school on my way to the hearing that confirms she didn't make no contact😝 That was the moment she realised... damn this woman was right when she told me at our meeting that she would do all she can to get her children back🤗
I love this story. I was really lucky with CAFCASS officer ..This is not how it should be.
I am afraid that far to many abusive ex's are just believed by CAFCASS.
The CAFCAZZ officer told me the judges do not have to follow their advice but rarely don't/
So pleased it's now going in the right direction!
Starlight2345 so true... She also became a victim of my ex because am sure her managers are not going to be happy that now not only are they going to find a new officer🙄 They also have to fund for a guardian ad litem. Problem is my dd gave her reasons why she wanted to be back with mummy, which Cafcass officer lady was happy to tell me but didn't say it in her report... She said in her report that when the child was asked in interview who she wants to live with she said she wants to live with mum but didn't say why😩 So does that mean I was also victimised by her🤔 Telling me one thing and refusing to add to report because it would weaken the strength of her recommendations🤐 Blimey the system is well an truly abusing those that trust them to make a better judgement...
I have lost hope in the morality of authorities.
I hope that happens to me. Despite so much evidence my manipulative ex won cafcass over despite her telling me he was narcisstic! Final hearing tomorrow and she is recommending I don't even see my children on Christmas Day! She is recommending the children stay overnight in a very loud house going to bed at midnight with four adults and two children in a 3 bedroom house and she thinks this is best for the children? With school the next day? WTF? Cafcass are a liability.
@ mlp3282... It is hard when these professionals don't realise how they become victims of these narcissistic abusive men, it took me four years to really understand the abusive nature of my ex so it not easy for a stranger who only spends an hour interviewing them to spot this. but you expect an organization such as cafcass, who are helping make a decision about the life of a child to be trained to spot these behaviours and not to allow themselves to be sucked in by these bullies but the are not. in my case the cafcass officer is more ignorant than anything as she spotted this but still recommended children to stay with him just because he has the status quo for 5 months ( I had the status quo for 3 years before he forcefully took them from me ) how can you compare the two?
I would advice you to take all documents of proof with you to the hearing, my solicitor told me it was too late to put in new evidence but I took them with me regardless eg school letters, rent contracts, pictures of my house and they all came in handy as I now know my ex very well. when he realise he had lost the my mental health card he told judge I was homeless and as am expecting another baby he was worried children would not have enough space where I live with strangers. his lies proven as he thought just because he's claiming children's benefits now he thought I wouldn't be able to afford my rent. I have more savings than him but I didn't take on a solicitor or barrister until final hearing so he thought he was smart paying for 4 hearings which didn't go anywhere and thought I must be broke. I live in a 3 bed house which am paying for out of my pocket and I rather that than pay for a solicitor and be homeless because then I wont have the chance to even have them overnights.
as a student I used my little experience and wrote my statement and put together all my evidences without the help of a solicitor and when the section 7 report arrived I spent 4 hours listing over 20 factual errors and this was sent to my barrister and she worked with it in court. to be honest all my barrister did was talk on my behalf as I did all the work and because of this her firm has given me a good discount for up coming hearings. I have legal help now that it really matters so I hope the child benefit and tax credit he's receiving would cover the cost of the 5 hearings so far that he has to privately pay for to get legal help.
you have to be one step ahead of them at all times, let me know how you get on in court tomorrow and I wish you the best of luck and I hope you get to have an outcome that works in your favour.
Its really crazy that Cafcass has so much power to decide the life of your own children. All depends if the court goes with their recommendations. My second hearing was yesterday and after Cafcass produced the Section 7 report she outlined that the father has been influencing my son by way of manipulating and emotional abuse. As a result my son's interview with Cafcass was totally against me and hate for me. She is totally aware of the whole thing and yet she recommends that he has full custody of my son. My Barrister picked loads of her points where she gets the mental health risk for my son in the future if that his dad is subjecting him to. So at the next hearing the Cafcass officer has to come into court to be challenged. Obviously at this point I am not sure if the magistrates have the power to overturn her recommendations after she justifies why she came to such a conclusion which is totally contradictory to her report itself.
I thought Cafcass was into the welfare of the kids, their well being and mental health safeguarding but clearly it is not. They need to be questioned and if they are working for the court and they are who they say they are "professionals" in their assessments - then they should be psychologically astute how to detect a "narcissist" when they see/interview one. I sincerely believe that the individual interviews and report writing should be done by one officer and the recommendations should be assessed by another impartial higher officer after reading the findings.
My next hearing is in Dec. It has been mentally, emotionally, physically draining and carrying on is my only option to find justice. So far I have been quite let down but I am persevering awaiting for someone to hear and see my evidence to expose what the father is really about.
Encouraging thanks for sharing your story..but crazy how it can go so wrong...What kind of errors did the CAFCASS officer make on the report?? That you had to correct? What kind of lies?
The father is "brainwashing" my son and fabricating lots of story about me. My son is totally confused and conflicted when coming to see me and its very easy for him to reject, denigrate with unjustifiable events as he is loyal to his father and living with him so keeping him happy is the way to cope. Its really sad what is happening but hopefully I can find justice in the end as this is "child abuse" period.
So the CAFCASS report arrived and was full of inaccuracies. Things were left out that she said she would put in. Things were put in that had not been discussed. Facts were stated as allegations when the proof was there, had she been bothered to do a proper job. It's now taking hours to show the huge errors in this highly incompetent person's report. Luckily the conversation was recorded so a bus can be driven through the inaccuracies.
After a two hour meeting, she's made ridiculous judgmental statements that even a trained doctor would not have made.
Does anyone know what sort of training the officers get? This one must have done it in her coffee break.
There is a mighty complaint going in on this one.
Senior cafcass officer admitted on the stand at the final hearing that his 4 year's worth of statements were based on info gained from my exh!!
Judge saw through his shit and exh's shit and exh got nc with my dc. Not sure what happened to senior cafcass officer. But he should have received a custodial sentence for what he put my family through.
Im heartbroken. We had a final hearing after cafcass section 7. My ex abused me and my kids who are now 5. 13 and nearly 16. Some of it he admitted. They gave him 1 long weekend a month and 2 daytime visits a month. However after the final hearing he left my 4 year old on a theme park so he could go on a ride. I tryed to ask him.about it but he disregarded me. I threatened to stop contact. But didnt but he took me to court and said I did. The cafcass lady this time is strong on fathers rights even if they are abusers. But I got the report back and the woman had twisted everything and lies and even made stuff up. He abused us yet she managed to turn it on me and said I am alienating my children and I had no right to threaten to stop contact. Well I'm sorry but it's not her 4 year old daughter being left to get hurt or even abducted. I feel absolute sick. She is threatening to take my girl and give her to dad. Who a used them. How is that right in any way
Does anyone have the name of their cafcass officer? Seems so similar to mine these stories. I took it to court after my ex insisted i did all doctors appointments, hospital appointments, opticians appointments, looked after her when she's ill (regardless of his day or mine)... i was refused holidays abroad and in the UK, refused contact on mother's day, christmas's etc and my plans were constantly changed last minute. This went on for 6 years since my child's birth. I was prevented access to watch her swimming lessons and other lessons and his mother began to take care of my child on his days (being 5 / 2 /2 / 5 schedule)... he refused her medicine, refused her glasses... then he was involved with social services due to his other daughter... child abuse. and a year later, again back involved. well.... his money must have got him somewhere.... the cafcass officer missed out a lot of his police convictions (despite the police checks stating them)... she wrote lies about me, she ignored the facts of evidence i showed her from over 6 years. anybody have worcester cafcass officers and similar story?? i want to know if anybody else has had same cafcass officer as me... the errors were hurrendous and consequence was worse....
Just reading through this thread as just had the most devastating report back from CAFCASS officer. She has accused me of fabricating things that I have medical records to prove and has taken my ex’ word as gospel. We have our hearing next week and I am devestated. I feel like despite being able to prove everything that I am saying I’m being ignored. He is abusive and is now turning this on our dd who is almost 5. I’m at a total loss as to how to proceed as everything I read says the section 7 is rarely overturned. Please help.
Do you have any legal advice?
I would take everything step by step.
Any documented evidence use that courts deal in facts.
Make this all about your dc.
No Child should EVER be faced with such an agonising, burden of a question on whom they wish to reside with. No Child should ever be asked to make adult decisions they are not Emotionally equipped for. It is, in itself, an Emotional Welfare Risk that tears Children apart and causes serious future emotional harm. Especially if they find out "concealed Truth" after a parent has died (as I did exactly days from my 36th Birthday when clearing out my mother's house, I discovered a letter that was irrefutable evidence it had been my mother whom had lied to me for decades)!
Too late to ever challenge that cruelest of lies.
You inherit a failure to Trust anyone. It transforms your destiny forever in that, whilst you can move on, you have been left with a Legacy + Inheritance that no-one can ever be Trusted.
If you cannot Trust your own Mother for Truth, you can never Trust anyone. (Applies to Father's + really close Family members too). But Truth from your Mother is the core foundations to learning or destroying Trust.
As I often say, "TRUST! A tiny word which takes years to build but just a split second to destroy"!
I do not know how old your daughter is but it is never a question that any child should be faced with. They do not want to choose. Whilst it may be a bit different if the Child is older and really knows how to logically express what they want unfettered by influence or torn loyalties, it is still a painful division of Loyalty, other than in exceptional cases. There are plenty of ways to go about ascertaining such wishes as all so called "Guadians" should be naturally expected to have full training in.
'Guardian"! Such a precious sacred Title that should hold a deeply humble sacred duty of care. Yet it is so deeply abused because of Ego for a Power they should never have.
West Cumbrian MP, and a Journalist, are currently interviewing all people who have experienced Abuse of Power + Process as well as outright dishonesty in sworn testimony. It is Perjury and should be treated with serious legal consequences, and Summary Dismissal once evidenced. In between, they should be placed on automatic Garden Leave if the evidence available can show that it is not the case of someone who just did not like the outcome.
CAFCASS require serious intensive auditing and Investigations including release of all Complaints under the Freedom of Information Act.
Many will be "grumpy legally unfounded" complaints. But you can be sure there exists equal amounts of the opposite.
Statistics should be taken on which individual has had the most complaints logged against them too (obviously with need to take accoun of their length of employment as someone there a decade will naturally have more complaints than necessarily someone only there for a year or less)
Challenge it. Do not give up!
Nice for you, OP that you had a barrister. Many of us don't.
Fortunately for my DD, the judge chose to ignore CAFCASS's truly bizarre recommendation that DD be taken into care if I 'prevented contact' (Such a bonkers suggestion, which completely missed the facts of our situation, that even my ex was shocked by it!)
I'd challenged CAFCASS's report in writing before the court hearing and I made a complaint to CAFCASS immediately after the hearing - they informed me that I should have questioned the CAFCASS officer at court... (As far as I knew, she wasn't at court...) and, anyway, it was too late because she no longer works for CAFCASS. Ironically, I was the one who'd requested the report because ex raised so many red flags but, according to CAFCASS's report, I was the risk! Seems that the CAFCASS officer totally ignored all factual evidence presented to her and just wrote a report based on ex's lies.
As a solicitor myself, I was truly, truly shocked by the incompetence of CAFCASS and the whole family court process. Such a bleeping bleeping mess! And so my ex is allowed to let down DD again and again and again and to continue his control and abuse of us.
Hi All, I am new to this and clearly very late to this thread. So sorry to hear all the cases of bias CafCass reports, I am facing the same tragedy. Its hard to believe the current system and the fact that incompetence people/processes are not being routed out in these often life changing cases involving children!
So I was wondering if you guys could help, I am going to the second DRA hearing soon and am self representing. I will be requesting a Final Hearing but wanted as much information to prepare for this one. Any advice/guidance on what to expect. I believe there will be magistrates, no Judge. Should I request a judge at the Final hearing or is it best to have a few people to balance the opinions, just in case?
Any good links to learn about the law and the process when it comes to these cases? Ex has basically turned my dd against me and is trying to move away. She means the world to me and it will mean I wont get to see her if she is allowed to relocate. Ex has been incredibly difficult to deal with over the years, but I have managed for the sake of dd. Any advice would be great!
Rights of Women (google them) have a helpline (v difficult to get through but keep trying and, hopefully, you'll get through eventually). They also have lots of useful info on their site.
There us a book. Called the family law court without a lawyer by Lucy Reed. If you have Kindle unlimted its free. I have my FDHR in a few days and while I do have mckenzie friend. This is helping me a lotyo stick to facts and TRY to leave out emotions but were human. All the best
Thank you both so much! Ive just literally bought the book suggested. Good luck Eve!
If you're being dragged through the family courts by an abusive ex, I strongly recommend Court Confidence course, organised by The Court Said. Even if you're not, it offers great insight into the thinking of an abuser and the tactics they use.
The FCA in my case was sent home as well. The complaints procedure for Cafcass is appalling. The ombudsman is utter crap too. Sadly too few judges are trained in domestic abuse and coercive control.
Hi so glad to hear it went well and that silly cafcass officer was pushed right off the side of the table please tell me how do i know or when should i roughly expect my (FINAL hearing) i have been to two hearing in the past year and going to my third in a few months i mean how much more do i need to prove or explain... every time i go BACK to court i spend £1500-£2500 when will this end it’s been over a year now i’m tired of this
Is it normally standard for cafcass to do the section 7? Unless there is local authority involvement?
Basically I'm asking because cafcass have multiple safeguarding concerns with my ex due to quite severe domestic abuse and child abuse. Cafcass have been great and can clearly see from the factual evidence he is the perpetrator.. Now he's realised cafcass know the facts on paper.. His solicitor has made a request for an independent social worker to do the section 7. We had multiple issues with ISW supervising contact in the community and we had to go back to court for a variation of the court order. How likely is it for a judge to grant the request for an ISW to do the section 7 ("jointly funded!!) ? Cafcass represent the welfare and best interests of the child so surely it has to be them.
Please login first.