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CAFCASS Query

(12 Posts)
Upsydaisy1 Sat 01-Nov-08 17:27:42

My exh has just moved into rented accommodation and is due to start having the dcs for weekend visits.

He has told me that I am not going to know where his new home is and that I cannot visit it. He currently collects and returns the dc. I have no problem with him having the children but I am not at all happy that I won't know the address, nor will I be able to see for myself where my little ones will be staying or with whom.

I understand that CAFCASS can assist here, by arranging to see the property etc. Could anyone tell me how long it is likely to take to arrange a visit and how much this will cost me. Can I refuse weekend contact until this has taken place?

I am currently in the early stages of divorce proceedings. I am bit unsure of issues of this nature and would appreciate some advice. My solicitor mentioned CAFCASS to me but I didn't think my exh would be that unreasonable as to withhold his address.

misi Sat 01-Nov-08 20:38:47

hmm, not sure cafcass is for that. they will go to his house if they are asked to do a report by a family court but usually don't get involved other than that. if you are going to court over your children, then unless you agree a solution at the first directions hearing, cafcass will most likely be asked to write a report which will involve seeing both parents separately at the cafcass office then seeing the children with each parent at their respective houses. unless your ex asks for an address non disclosure, then you will get to know where he is, but if he does then you will not be entitled to know unless the judge so orders. there is not much you can do to find out his new address unless you do go to court over the children or employ a private detective to find it yourself, but you have no entitlement to know as he doesn't have any about your circumstances, tis the vaguaries of family law in this country I am afraid. the law states that where the children are and what they do when with each parent is up to them and it does not require that parent to inform the other. this is the case unless a judge orders differently. a judge may wonder why he does not want the info given and if it gets that far (please to hope that you do not have to go to the family injustice law court systems) then a judge will not normally grant non dosclosure unless for good reason. most reasons are to do with previous recorded harrassment or DV etc.

if you refuse contact then you are handing your ex a big bonus as he will be able to go to court on an ex parte basis and ask for interim contact orders etc. if you have genuine concerns about the safety or suitability of his circumstances then it is you that needs to go to court to get an interim contact order that states he should not have them overnight or at his new home. both are drastic measures and ramp up the hostilty that can go with separation.

if you are on reasonable terms with your ex, ask if he would meet you someone where a chat to see if you can sort this out amicably or if he won't ask if you both can go to a mediator. both are infinitely more desirable than court as when in court, both parents do not usually get what they want and the hostility lasts for many years making life more difficult for both and the children.

Tinkerbel6 Sun 02-Nov-08 11:00:10

Upsydaisy if you don't feel comfortable handing your children over and him taking them to an undisclosed adress then don't do it, what advice did your solicitor give ? definately contact CAFCASS in the morning and ask them, it might not be ideal but maybe you can let him have access at your house until you can both come to an amicable agreement.

misi Sun 02-Nov-08 12:31:35

CAFCASS The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. unless the courts are already involved and the judge has ordered cafcass to report, cafcass will NOT get involved as they are an instrument of the COURT. an individual cannot ask cafcass to get involved.

if your ex does not agree to what tinkerbel6 suggests, you will ramp up the hostility and make a court battle inevitable whereby the kids always suffer.

if you have genuine concerns, enough for a court to order what tinkerbel6 suggests, you should be going to social services and registering your fears, courts rarely take too kindly to unilateral, unregistered, unproven actions like stopping contact on feeling 'uncomfortable'.
sorry to be harsh Upsydaisy1, but depending on how old the kids are, if they are happy, then theres not a lot you can do whilst keeping within the law and being amicable for the kids sake, except talk first before acting

Surfermum Sun 02-Nov-08 14:07:29

Has he said why he doesn't want you to know where he lives? And will do you have his mobile number?

glitterfairy Sun 02-Nov-08 14:53:03

Go for mediation not CafCass Misi is right they do not intervene unless asked by the courts. Mediation sounds the way forward here dont escalate anything unless you absolutely have no other option.

Upsydaisy1 Sun 02-Nov-08 17:09:05

He is moving 200 miles away and will be having the dcs every other weekend. He told me that he won't tell me where he is living and that I can't see the property - that was before i even asked to! That sets alarm bells ringing and is unnecessary. The dcs are only 4 and 1, so I feel that as their mother I have to know where they will be. If I ever moved I would most certainly allow my exh to see where we going to be living to ensure his own peace of mind. To be honest he is in no mood to negotiate on this. Afterall this is a man who decided to introduce his new girlfriend to our children without telling me and left it for my 4 year old to tell me that he had spent the day with her. This is a man who makes demands and expects me to fall in line. I really don't know what to do now. Thank you for your advice though. I'm sure I will be back at some point!

Surfermum Sun 02-Nov-08 17:38:07

I totally understand why you'd want to know. I suppose it boils down to how much you trust him over it.

Is he likely to be living in a squat or something where you wouldn't want the children going, or do you think he might be moving in with his new girlfriend and thinks you'll kick up if you know about it? Or is he just being childish and thinks it's nothing to do with you (as dh's x did).

You could refuse to let the children go. But that's not fair on them and you could end up going to Court and having all sorts of unnecessary stress and expense. Or you could not make a big thing of it and try to keep things as amicable between you as possible - in which case things may well calm down and he'll tell you of his own accord.

Why don't you ask him outright why he doesn't want you do have it? It doesn't have to be in a confrontational way. And maybe calmly explain to him (although it shouldn't be necessary) how it's making you feel.

glitterfairy Sun 02-Nov-08 23:00:42

Mediation sounds best in these circumstances with someone else there if he is unreasonable telling him so.

I can see why he wouldnt want you to see it though that sounds reasonable. It is his home, his choice of place but you need to know where it is. What happens to the kids in his time is really up to him which I know is painful and hard but you wouldn't want him making the same demands of you in similar circumstances would you?

SparklePrincess Mon 03-Nov-08 10:58:24

I have exactly the same problem with my ex. It seems you cant win in these circumstances. Refuse to let them go & youre a contact blocker, let them go & anything happens youre a negligent parent. Family law seems to of moved hugely & unreasonably in the favour of the man it seems, with complete & utter disregard of what is best for the dc concerned. It makes me sick. angry

Tinkerbel6 Mon 03-Nov-08 11:00:24

Are you ok today Upsydaisy?, I would also be suspicious of someone who would not reveal their address when picking up children and taking them 200 miles away, what would you do in the unlikely event if he refused to bring them back? if this is what you are thinking then protect yourself and your children and you do what you think is best.

glitterfairy Mon 03-Nov-08 11:06:07

Sparkle I agree to some extent about both family law and the catch 22 many of us find ourselves in at times. Sometimes though I listen to some mums and think they are being unreasonable and hiding behind the law and the kids are forgotten in vengeance and anger (having said that I meet and know loads more unreasonable men).

I dont think the law should be biased in favour of either men or women but in favour of kids and it is that which has not been put right yet. There is no place for fathers or mothers who dont put the needs of their kids first in my opinion and it is their wishes and needs which must come before any other.

The courts do not listen to the wishes of the kids enough in my opinion and the kids are not involved enough in decisions about their futures.

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