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CAFCASS

(7 Posts)
notsorted Thu 21-Jul-11 13:25:56

Does anyone have any experience, advice?
Contact ceased as verbal abuse mostly, mental health issues (his).
What do I need to do to be prepared?

niceguy2 Thu 21-Jul-11 14:04:28

Be yourself. Explain the situation as clearly as possible. Explain why you felt it was in the best interests of your kids that contact stopped.

So for example "He was calling me a slag" isn't a valid reason to stop contact.

"He was neglected DD when he did x" may be (depending on what x is).

Remember, CAFCASS will be looking for how best to promote contact if at all possible with dad. They are not interested in why you hate each other.

notsorted Thu 21-Jul-11 14:28:05

Do they also look at how you parent? It has been very difficult time, given the situation when we were together. I am on ADs. He didn't do regularly contact. Dropped it and disappeared. Has been physically and verbally abuse to my other DSs (not his) in presence of his DC, though there was one occasion.
SS have been involved in past and I tried to say I could manage it as was told/threatened by him that if SS or police came near him he would not see his DC again.
He has blown hot and cold over contact for past few months. I don't want to prevent contact but am concerned about his commitment/affect that will have on DC who has seen be in the middle of a lot of verbal abuse so would ask for supervised contact.
Obviously, don't have much time for him at the moment but worried that if I make case strongly against him it will be seen negatively.
Do they look at stuff that SS knew about or school? Or other family members ?

niceguy2 Fri 22-Jul-11 09:46:04

Not specifically. It depends on what you mean by parenting. Do they expect both of you to keep kids safe & fed. Yes. Do they look into details of who has the best parenting skills, no. Nor do they expect one parent to withhold contact because the other doesn't parent to the first's standards.

They will focus solely on the relationship between him & his child(ren). Even if he hit you, that won't matter as that's not something affecting his relationship if you see what I mean.

And as for mental health issues, it would all depend on what it was. For example you being on Anti-D's wouldn't matter a jot. But if he had something which affected his ability to keep his kid(s) safe then that would. Even then they'd probably recommend some sort of supervised contact.

They may ask school & SS if they think it's relevent to the case.

It's a real grey area because whilst you may feel you have perfect reasons to withhold contact, your ex is probably just as adamant that he should. And somehow CAFCASS has to unravel a complex situation in pretty much an afternoon.

Good luck

cestlavielife Fri 22-Jul-11 15:18:55

do you mean negatively for him or for you?

CAFCASS can talk to SS, yes, if you remain calm adn stick to facts - everything has to be about what is in chidlrenss best interests.

eg it would be in chidlrens best interest for regular contact at the contact centre because ex has previously shouted and swore in front of them and this was documented by witnesses xxx and tyyyy

"was told/threatened by him that if SS or police came near him he would not see his DC again." well that is his problem right?
not yours.
if you need to call Ss or police on his behaviour then do so.
dont cover up anything . he is responsible for his behaviour. dont put faciltiating children to see him above that.

do you have friends/family who could supervise contact?
how old are DC?
how is the Mh documented?
who has witnessed the verbal abuse?

notsorted Fri 22-Jul-11 16:14:30

Hi, there is documentation both SS and police but I minimised because of the threat not to see DCs. Stuff has been witnessed by others.
I minimised, minimised because wanted to sort things out with him, but have now recognised that lots of stuff not acceptable in family home, in front of children. And that think his issues will always mean there will be a problem.
But mostly directed against me with DCs in the house. So would fact that I accepted it or tried to deal with it now make me seem untrustworthy because I took so long to realise it was wrong?

cestlavielife Sat 23-Jul-11 00:13:10

dont worry too much about what was then.

focus on what is happening now

what are the risks to children now

how do you want to move forward

tell cafcass if you see now that you made mistakes - and tell them what you want to happen now for the best interests of the children. tell them what you have learned from what happened previously - and what would be the best way forward in your view

when you realise you been manipulated - then you can change this for the future

what counts is what you see now and what you have learned

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