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Help - Need info on dealings with CAFCASS.

(33 Posts)
Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 14:55:15

Hi,

Without wanting to go in to too much detail, i recently split with my partner. He was verbally and physically abusive.He was always drunk and came home at stupid times of the morning. I have two children one of which is his. She is 3 years old. He couldnt care less about the teenager ( who is not his )but is fighting for custody of our 3 year old.

When i walked out i took the children with me. That was on a sunday. By Monday i had a solicitor, by Tuesday i was in court and had a non molestation order and a prohibited steps order, these were served him that evening. Thursday we were both in court. He gets to see our 3 year old tue and thurs mornings 9-12 and sat 9-5 but one of my parents are to be present.

My question is, will they give him over night access to my 3 year old if he is living in a 3 bed house with his mum, brother, a big dog and himself? He doesnt have the accommodation to sleep her does he?

Any help, advice or comments would be great.

xxx

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 14:56:27

Sorry, forgot to say, i am back in the family home where both the children have their own rooms. He is not allowed to enter without prior agreement.

mosschops30 Sun 12-Jul-09 14:58:10

I would imagine that if he sticks to his current arrangements and behaves well then they will eventually move towards him having overnight contact. Its unlikely to be imminent but maybe months or years down the line he could push for it
Sorry but I dont have a high opinion of CAFCASS.
I hope your situation improves

GypsyMoth Sun 12-Jul-09 15:01:19

Going through similiar.

Might be better to post this in 'lone parents' for a good response.

Assume all abuse was aimed at you. Not dd. He seems to have good access just now, but doubt it can last in this way. Abusive men do get overnights unfortunately. If he is seen to be proving himself then it could progress to that. As for no beds. Not too sure there....... He could sleep on sofa giving dd his bed.

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 15:02:11

I have no idea what to think of CAFCASS. I have read so much conflicting info. I just cant see how they would let him keep her over night when there is no place for her to sleep. I just dont know what to expect but i am preparing for the worst.
Meeting with Cafcass when i have to go back to court next which is the 28th of July.

GypsyMoth Sun 12-Jul-09 15:02:27

For the record, my cafcass officer is good.

GypsyMoth Sun 12-Jul-09 15:03:57

I have 4 DC with the ex, it's not expected that they have their own room. A blow up bed or sofa bed is seen as sufficient.

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 15:04:42

I think i can prove that he isnt behaving himself. On two visits now he has fallen asleep. Thank god one of my parents was there. They took a picture on their phone and date and time stamped it.

mosschops30 Sun 12-Jul-09 15:05:16

But if hes in a 3 bed house the argument will be
a) he can share with his brother
b) your lo can share with grandma
c) he can sleep on sofa and give his bed to your lo

sorry but just giving you some idea of what he might say to get his point across

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 15:06:11

Really, a blow up bed? How do they manage if they have school the next day? Seems unresonable if there is a warm bed at home.

mosschops30 Sun 12-Jul-09 15:08:36

Melso dont bother clutching at straws where the courts are concerned.
Having a better bed at home will not be seen as a reason to prevent overnight contact.

KingCanuteIAm Sun 12-Jul-09 15:09:17

WRT staying over, they would probably say it was perfectly acceptable for him to sleep on the sofa on visit nights and for her to have his room. They do not really need their own room for occasional overnights (ie once a month or whatever) unitl they are older.

FWIW my cafcass officers were very good and could see where someone was trying to get one over on them! smile

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 15:10:40

Yes, i know what your saying. mosschops. I kind of thought that would be his argument any how. The only thing i am hoping for is that they read his statement properly. He admitted to being verbally abusive to me and my teenager and he also said in his statement that he had threatend to take the three year old away from me.

KingCanuteIAm Sun 12-Jul-09 15:12:01

I have said this time and again and I still stand by it, be open and up front, don't try to play clever with Cafcass, explain what your concerns are honestly don't be tempted to try and dress things up to sound worse, you will lose respect from the officer you need on your side!

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 15:13:11

I hope i have a good cafcass officer. My ex is so manipulative. They must deal with people like that all the time though. As long as i tell the truth. I am praying they see through him.

GypsyMoth Sun 12-Jul-09 15:15:29

I doubt cafcass will appreciate taking photos to discredit him.

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 15:15:43

Do you know how long Cafcass take to make a decision?

KingCanuteIAm Sun 12-Jul-09 15:16:37

Melso, lots of people make threats to leave with a child, as long as it does not look like it was any more than hot air then it will not count for too much I am afraid. Verbal abuse against you and your teenager is not really relevant to his ability to have a child on visits either. Unless there is more to this than you are saying I am very surprised you even managed to get contact supervised!

Be prepared for things to go very differently than you are hoping, the onus is very much on Cafcass to encourage contact wherever possible.

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 15:18:17

It was the my soliciotr that asked my mother to take the photo. He turned up smelling of booze and called her a c* When he fell asleep she phoned the solicitor who asked her if she could take a video. She said only a photo and he asked her to this. Do you think this could go against me?

GypsyMoth Sun 12-Jul-09 15:20:04

Who decided on the co tact he has now?

They have timescales set in court,each region have different waiting times. I didn't see them tip 3 months in. Ex showed his true colours and is refusing to meet with them, so they are recommending case is dismissed.
They will interview you all to get full picture, but remember it's your dd rights to relationship with you both that they are looking at protecting, not parental rights

mosschops30 Sun 12-Jul-09 15:20:12

agree with King, CAFCASS promote contact with parents, usually regardless of what has happened previously.
And if this is being heard by a court, it will not be a CAFCASS decision, they will make a report for the judges ultimate decision

KingCanuteIAm Sun 12-Jul-09 15:21:22

No, but don't go in with "I've got photos of how terrible he is ..blah blah" explain what happened and how that concerns you, if he tries to deny it then you can us the photos to back things up (with the added advantage of allowing him to show up himself as having told a lie!)

GypsyMoth Sun 12-Jul-09 15:22:03

Why are your parents putting up with this? I'd get it moved to a contact centre sounds like his behavior might trip him up here then.

mosschops30 Sun 12-Jul-09 15:22:12

if you have issues with his behaviour at contact then ask for supervised contact visits at the CAFCASS centre or similar where professionals can report on his behaviour.
The fact that you say he turned up drunk and called your mother a name will not get you anywhere in court, tis his word against yours im afraid

Melso Sun 12-Jul-09 15:23:43

He tried to snatch my daughter out the back of my car back in October. I tried to drive away and it was my neighbour who stopped him and called the police. Me being stupid then went back to him. The morning i left with the two children he broke two of my ribs. I went to the police. He says i fell and it had nothing to do with him. He was arrested. There is a full police report. He was cautioned. It was ongoing abuse. I genuinely thought he would stop drinking and get help. When he didnt the violence got worse and eventually i couldnt stand it any more. My children were suffering because i was not strong enough to protect them.

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