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How do you deal with 50/50 shared contact of your kids when it was Court ordered?

(57 Posts)
Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 13:05:43

How does it affect you day to day?
Yesterday the Judge went against CAFCASS and ordered supervised contact in the community with my daughters violent and abusive father simply because he had such a vicious Barrister.
Resigning myself to the fact he may get 50/50 and worrying about the impact of our lives.
How do you deal with it when it's Court ordered against your will?

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PaterPower Tue 17-Nov-20 13:16:28

Supervised contact is a long way off 50:50 shared care, I think you’re worrying too much. And given the difficulties your ex will face in finding a supervised venue (and the costs) then it’s probably going to be a while before your DC actually see him.

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 13:45:46

@PaterPower she's seeing him next Sunday because the Judge has ordered supervised contact of 1 hour in the community with an independent social worker.. and if the social worker thinks it's going well it will increase to 2 hours. So that's why I worry about 50:50 because he's already going to be having contact in the interim even those CAFCASS didn't endorse it.

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DelilahDingleberry Tue 17-Nov-20 13:48:24

50/50 is miles off. Ordering supervised contact is a massive clue that the judge thinks your ex is a risk to your child.

Do you have any emotional support at the moment? Family court can be brutal.

audweb Tue 17-Nov-20 13:52:16

It’s a huge leap from one hour supervised contact to 50:50. Sounds like the judge understands that there is a risk to your child. I agree - do you have your own emotional support to cope with this?

Elbie79 Tue 17-Nov-20 13:53:42

That's still a world away from 50/50 OP, which is still reasonably uncommon even for dads with a background of being hands on and no other issues.

But, even if not 50/50, yes you might still get an order you don't like. Often that will build up gradually to give you and DC the chance to get used to it and the answer to how you make it work is frankly that you just do. It can feel like another form of control from an ex, but really it is a judge deciding objectively what they think is best on the basis of their experience and a lot more thought will go into that final decision than the temporary one you've just had. Try not to worry, I know it's so tough.

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 14:25:14

Thank you all. I don't have much support because I fled the County I was in now I have relocated and don't know anyone here. Been on the phone to CAFCASS today who said I can make a complaint about the Judge and his contact. It was just so biased sad
I'm scared because I don't know how 50/50 will work with him not knowing where we live and what Nursery she goes to and there an hour and half distance from us, I've been her primary carer since day 1, she sees me every single day and has done since the day she was born. I have never been obstructive towards contact but 50/50 is going to be so disruptive. I'm just worried now he's got this supervised in the community that it will build up to overnights quickly sad this ISW can report on his behaviour during contact but he won't have addressed his behaviour and what he is capable of also.

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Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 14:27:06

It was ex p that had the independent social worker mentioned by his Barrister because CAFCASS couldn't endorse interim contact so he suggested the ISW who he's paying for and for her reports.. the Judge couldn't really disagree as there was no reasonable argument from me. Just worried as they have asked this Judge to be reserved for the entire case.

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3beforeme Tue 17-Nov-20 14:29:15

I wouldn't say 50/50 is "reasonably uncommon" it's pretty much the starting point for any custody case where there are no other mitigating factors (abuse, neglect etc.)
However one hour supervised contact is a world away from this and demonstrates that even with an aggressive barrister there must have been substantial concerns. I wouldn't think you are anywhere near having to think about this where things currently stand. There's a good chance he will tire of the limited, supervised contact and it may tail off on its own anyway 🤞🏻

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 14:38:22

@3beforeme thank you. I think he will end up getting something like a Sunday for 4 or 5 hours for a period of time then he will go back to Court for weekends.. it will slowly work it's way up to more time..
We have a fact finding hearing next which I am dreading, if he has the same Barrister she will just tear me apart. She's horrific. She's rather get paid then think of the welfare of a child's life. I'm not saying I am opposing contact in anyway, she's her father - of course I accept he is entitled to contact. But his violent and abusive behaviour isn't being addressed and he's getting everything he wants sad

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Cloudfrost Tue 17-Nov-20 14:45:20

Well it's up to you to address the issues of his behavior? I don't doubt u for a second that he has been abusive as I can see in the way you write that you are used to him getting his way. But u can't give up, you need to stand up for yourself and the kids and show the court what a horrible person he is.

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 14:50:27

@cloudfrost I know - thank you x and I know that everyone else believes me as well, it's been documented for nearly 2 years by the midwife, police, social services even my daughters nurseries that he's been violent and abusive towards me.. he just gets away with everything, all of it..
i get a chance to speak to this independent social worker so it's my chance to tell her that she can't ignore the fact that however he behaves in contact he is still abusive and violent and has been like that towards our DD and it needs to be addressed.

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Heatherjayne1972 Tue 17-Nov-20 17:29:22

Is he the type that’s all talk op? My violent ex made a big fuss about him getting 100% custody then he wanted to go to court ‘to make sure he got eow ‘
In the end all he actually wants is one afternoon- no overnights and doesn’t impact his life
He was all mouth to scare me. I think if he had to go to a contact centre he just wouldn’t have bothered going

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 18:12:46

@Heatherjayne1972 thank you that's reassuring. Did your ex get interim contact?. My ex thinks he's played a blinder by getting this independent social worker to observe her reports can go into his submission which means he's going to be doting Disney dad and he'll get glowing reports each time. Did you have a Section 7?

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Heatherjayne1972 Tue 17-Nov-20 18:45:13

No. I guess I’m ‘lucky’ in as much as he really couldn’t be bothered with fighting it
He didn’t turn up to court in the end

One thing my solicitor said was that they ( judge solicitors ). see men like this all the time - they can see through the crap These men say allsorts of stuff Stupid threatening stuff and in my case anyway it was all words to try and scare me

Also if your ex sees your dc in a contact centre it’s as safe as possible - they won’t let him be unsupervised

It’ll be ok. Keep your head. Take advice from your legal person. Let the ex make all the mistakes

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 18:48:36

@Heatherjayne1972 but my issue is the judge just gave him everything he wanted. There wasn't meant to be interim contact because cafcass couldn't endorse it due to high level of safeguarding risks. Judge just ignored it completely and commissioned the use of the independent social worker supervising supported in the community. Ex wants the meeting point to be near my parents house which is not neutral ground. I refuse to meet him there. He's just going to play all my strings now he thinks he's in control. He must be thinking he has one over on me now. I feel gutted the judge dismissed all of the documented evidence of violence and abuse. He gets away with everything. He's just given exes barrister everything and completely shot mine down.

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Heatherjayne1972 Tue 17-Nov-20 18:52:23

What has your lawyer said about this?

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 19:06:34

She said we have to hope we don't get the same Judge, he's going to come apart in the fact finding because the Police have documented the abuse since day 1 and also there's evidence of his child abuse via the Police and SS reports..
But they might just think it's a one off and our daughter is safe with him, but she's not sad he's repeatedly abused her.

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RosesandPumpkins Tue 17-Nov-20 19:20:43

Your daughter will be supervised and safe though. You need to focus on allowing him to have a relationship with your daughter.
But I agree, an hour of supervised contact is miles away from 50:50 so try not to worry.

If and when that becomes your reality the. You can deal with it but it sounds like you’re worrying about the worst case scenario.


pog100 Tue 17-Nov-20 19:22:04

I know it's hard, OP, but I think you are catastrophising a little. It's not that the judge has given him everything he wanted, nor that she disbelieves you. She is bound to decide on the best interests of the child. You have said yourself you don't want to withhold contact. I think a one hour session in the presence of an independent SW is designed to add extra evidence to the fact finding. Please don't think that he has 'won' but equally there is no reason why you have to compromise yourself to facilitate the contact. You can call some shots on where she how I think, if you have justified reasons for not having it near you or your parents.

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 19:29:32

But the best interest of the child was not to have interim contact because of the safeguarding risks and cafcass said if they are found to be true at the fact finding then DD is at significant risk of harm. Cafcass also recommended full disclosure of his medical records but judge blasted that when his barrister said a medical letter from gp is sufficient. Just feel defeated. Everything he's done to me, put our daughter through, his vile behaviour towards her, the way he abused her.. Its all getting lost.

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DelilahDingleberry Tue 17-Nov-20 19:29:37

Ordering interim contact doesn’t mean the judge thinks your ex is safe. Ordering supervised contact says very clearly that the judge cannot trust that he is safe.

PicsInRed Tue 17-Nov-20 19:30:33

Just wait and see how often he turns up OP. Sounds like a lot of hard work and scrutiny for a show boating abuser. Just wait and see. flowers

Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 19:38:59

Its just that this independent is able to put her reports into his evidence. She has a masters in domestic violence and I get to have a conversation with her first so not sure what exactly to tell her. Her office said I am allowed to tell her everything.. Would that be the case if she's an independent?

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Pebbledashery Tue 17-Nov-20 19:41:49

His barrister did ask for contact sessions to be two or three hours and he got downgraded to an hour.. I guess I just need to swallow it. I know it's our daughters right to have a relationship with him..but he's not using the court system to prove what a wonderful father he is.. Its just to try and control me now. The draft order came back today and I haven't agreed to the location and time of the contact session. I've agreed to the day but told him to find a neutral location and to have it earlier in the day. Can't just roll over and let him bully me.

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