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Daddy back after 8 years - CAFCASS, advise?

(6 Posts)
TammyTwoShoes Fri 26-Apr-13 10:13:17

8 years ago after bouts of domesric violence against me (Including arrest but no charge - at my request , whose the fool now...) ExH emigrated to US and since then hes visisted a few times and send child support less often. Last year he saw my DS, now 10 years old, and then hes refused to see him again as it was an emotional disaster. ExH has now applied for a court roder witht he batmen "father for justice" helping... anyone got advice and any experince with CAFCASS in simialr circumstances? My soliciotr says hes likely to get some access. I am tryin to stay calm and reasonable but having rebuild my and my DS life and supported and cared for me son alone, the last thing I need is this man back and am full of dread. (Ps will post in divorce too)

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 26-Apr-13 10:29:42

Try not to be too anxious and keep talking to your solicitor. Yes, he may get some access but, if he has a history of violence, then that has to be taken into account and you should go for a supervised arrangement only. Any court will have at the forefront of its mind 'what's best for DS?' and it's clearly not a violent father. No-one in a batman suit is going to alter that.

betterthanever Fri 26-Apr-13 10:54:36

cogito is right but I am in a very simialr situation and we are a few hearings down the line now. My ex has never seen my DS and he is only a couple of years younger than yours. The courts are very pro contact no matter what and whilst supervised contact may be ordered it would lead to unsupervised and I guess your ex knows this.
I think supervised from the outset would be quite harsh for your DS and you could suggest that they started a relationship building process maybe via letter or phone calls for a while?
Whilst understanding of my situation I have felt so far that the court is more concerned about how the relationship can be built rather than my ex having to demonstrate his comittment or even any skills as a parent which is a concern.
Every case is different and your entire circumstances should be looked into IMO, your DS is getting to an age where his wishes and feeling should be taken into account too - the court doesn't have time for all this IME and CAFCASS has had funding cut and offer less support because they can't not because they don't want to. I am aware of some things they could do at the start of my case they now can't.
No child support has ever been paid by my ex, it is legal action the CSA have taken against my ex that has started his new found desire to be a dad although he has not worked legitametly for years. The family courts are not concerned with maintenance payment when looking at contact.
My ex was violent I too wish that I has dealt with it differently but we can't change the past. Courts take the view that while he may have been violent to you he may not be to the child.
It will be a long road for you (and your ex and DS) and the financial implications are another worry as lawyers are not cheap, self rep may be an option with support from CAB or Women's Aid?
The privacy that surrounds the family court system is a concern of mine and something once my nightmare is over I will look to campaign against. I accept that children's identities should not be revealed but how the process actually affects innocent good parents (both applicants and respondents) is just wrong in my opinion. I think the general public at large would be shocked at what really goes on and I think they have a right to know. My family and friends, many professional people have been just so shocked by it all. Good luck and keep posting I knew nothing about the system when this started for me - people on here have a lot of advice to give and a lot of expereinces good and bad.

cestlavielife Fri 26-Apr-13 12:10:16

the violence was eight eyars ago so he could certainly turn up now as a changed man etcetc....but jsut keep insisting on slowly building up contact and respecting Ds's wishes and feelings.

betterthanever Fri 26-Apr-13 19:45:13

Good point cestlavie sadly my ex is as volatile as ever.

Forseti Sat 27-Apr-13 08:05:23

You say it's the last thing you need, but what does your son need? The courts base all decisions on the best interests of the child, and although that standard is often abused, you will need to keep any argument you use in court child-focused and not dwell on how you feel about his father's involvement. I wouldn't worry too much about F4J - it's just a one-man-band. If you want to even the odds you could look at a site like Wikivorce for more detailed legal advice.

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