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Family Courts

(13 Posts)
Faithnotfear Thu 18-Feb-16 12:20:20

I just wondered if anyone has had a particularly bad experience going through the family court following an abusive relationship? Not necessarily in relation to visitation but more around being forced to interact with an abusive ex who has felt empowered by the ruling and become even worse!

Alfieisnoisy Thu 18-Feb-16 12:25:43

No personal experience but my friend had a GOOD experience. Her abusive ex made all kinds of demands but the court were on to him from the start and he didn't get anything he demanded.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 18-Feb-16 12:28:55

What ruling has caused him to feel 'empowered' as it could be that he's misinterpreted or misunderstood the wording.

angryangryyoungwoman Thu 18-Feb-16 12:36:38

Alfieisnoisy, what did he demand that he didn't get? Cheers

beanabonce Thu 18-Feb-16 12:38:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 19-Feb-16 14:53:25

He wanted an order that would mean his daughter spent every weekend with him. He made several comments to the CAFCASS officer that rang alarm bells which coupled with his (denied) history of alcohol abuse meant they didn't feel the order was in his daughters best interests. He also demanded that his daughter have no contact with his mother as he had fallen out with her. All in all he made himself look ridiculous.

It culminated with him turning up to court looking like something out of the Blues Brothers with sunglasses in which he refused to remove (to hide his red eyes caused by canbabis use I am told).

The court took into account his daughters wishes. She wanted to see her Dad but having been in a very scary situation with him while he was drunk she didn't want to sleep there.

The court went along with her wishes but an order wasn't made. The court more or less said that contact could be defined by the daughter and that she must have her mobile phone in case she wanted to leave. He had to agree not to drink from 24 hrs before contact etc.

Now you would think he would jump at this and say "that's fine" and attempt to build up his daughters confidence in him. Instead he uses it as a stick to beat her with by saying "not sure if I can be bothered if you won't sleep here". Idiot man.

The daughter has just had her 13th birthday.

bibliomania Fri 19-Feb-16 14:58:11

I found the courts to be emotionally bruising at various points, in particular one judge who kept telling us we were both to blame for the situation and that dd would forever be damaged by our conflict (rather than by the behaviour of ex which I was trying to protect her from). The same judge imposed an order which specified ex and I should meet up every few months to discuss dd's welfare. That didn't go well.

In the end, another judge held a fact-finding and found I was perfectly reasonable and that ex's behaviour to dd was problem and she needed to be protected, so ultimately my experience of the courts was a positive one, but it wasn't an easy ride to get there.

Faithnotfear Sat 20-Feb-16 10:25:52

Thanks Bibliomania, that sounds similar to what has just happened to me but Im still in the bruising stage! How do you get to the fact finding stage? I assume one or the other of you have to have a reason to take it back to court? I don't want that, but he is now using what happened in court to try and humiliate and control me. I thought a court order would help to keep things matter of fact and provide boundaries. Little did I know! The order is so ambiguous its not worth the paper its written on sad

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Sat 20-Feb-16 10:31:55

How is he using it to humiliate you?

Do you have to see him at handovers?

Claraoswald36 Sat 20-Feb-16 15:57:36

Bad experience. Cafcass sent a newly qualified sw and she was unconcerned about exh drug use and aggression. They also didn't support ongoing 3rd party handovers ongoing. Handovers have become a nightmare and exh likely to be charged with harassment now.

bibliomania Mon 22-Feb-16 10:05:48

Faith, it took nearly six years of being in and out of court before a judge decided to go for the full fact-finding. In the end, it went to a fact-finding because there were serious concerns about exh's behaviour to dd, and both her school and SS agreed that she was being harmed.

In your shoes, the question is whether the current arrangements are harming the dcs. If not, I suggest looking at other ways of tackling the problem. He tries to humiliate you - can you choose not to be humiliated? Can you detach? Can you do practical things, eg. if he tries to control you by not turning up for agreed contact, can you put in place back-up arrangements? Depending on the ages of the dcs, can you just grit your teeth until they're old enough for this not to be an issue any more?

Even though court worked for me, it really is a last resort. A lot depends on the quality of the judge (and others such as CAFCASS) and there are no guarantees that it would work out better for you next time round.

VoldysGoneMouldy Mon 22-Feb-16 10:51:47

Everything went wonderfully until the final court hearing. The report was brilliant - making him attend an abusers course, a parenting course, making him comply with mental health treatment for at least six months before unsupervised contact, have drugs testing... I was so hopeful.

Then the CAFCASS officer turned out to know ex's barrister, he backed down on fucking everything, and unsupervised contact started the next day. And as a result my child has developed a mental health condition.

I have never been so disgusted in a system.

bibliomania Mon 22-Feb-16 11:04:08

Sorry to hear that, Voldy, that's appalling.

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