C100- CAFCASS/Directions Appointment

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  • #51798 Report


    Hi everybody

    I have a hearing on 1st April and a CAFCASS call next week. This website/forum has been brilliant at helping me understand the process and I am hopeful of reaching a sensible arrangement with my ex but inevitably feel nervous.

    My ex has the children every other weekend and won’t commit to school holiday sharing as he may have work commitments. The arrangement has broken down as he simply picks and chooses when to have the kids and in unreliable at collecting/picking up. Without going into the full detail, I believe an order is necessary to provide stability and routine for the children as well as myself. I am recommending that we have an arrangement for the children to continue seeing their Dad every other weekend with half terms alternated and summer holidays split 50/50 with weekly alternations.

    What I am looking to understand is, how likely is it that my suggested arrangement is agreed? Appreciate these may well be dealt with on a case by case basis. Mediation broke down as he refused to agree having care during the school holidays as he may have to work (he is self employed). He was not willing to even compromise at all and would rather have an arrangement that allows him to pick and choose when he sees the children which I believe is unreasonable. I also cannot work if I have to take care of the children so it only seems fair we split it 50/50 in school holidays. My ex doesn’t provide any financial support, CMS state he only has to pay £7 a week based on his declared earnings. He is self employed and earns up to £1000 a week but his accountant is obviously very creative given CMS come out with £7 a week based on his declared earnings. The financial side I will just have to let go and my focus will be on working to provide for my children as I know HMRC aren’t going to do anything.

    I feel what I am asking for is in the best interests of the children and also would provide me with some relief that I can commit to work without having to worry about him deciding that he cannot have the children. However I have no idea what the view of CAFCASS/the court will be regarding this? I think this is a fairly simple arrangement and imagine there have been others in my position so it would be good to know the outcome of similar scenarios.

    Many thanks in advance

    #51803 Report


    I am afraid the court will only order every other weekend. Family courts have not got the powers to order a dad to have half of summer holidays if he doesnt want to.  Maybe he will agree to have children some of the holidays , but he would need to propose set days and times. Its ashame really as he misses out on quality time with children and like you say he cant just ring up when suits during summer holidays and expect you to let him have children.

    The £7 payment maybe  due to pandemic at moment and its likely you are entitled to more when things get back to normal. £7 is generally what you pay if you were self employed and have gone on to universal credits due to lockdown

    #51916 Report


    Thank you for your reply.

    He won’t agree to anything as he enjoys having the control of picking and choosing when is best for him. I will always care for my children but it’s not fair that I cannot plan my life like he can and he knows that will get me down.

    CAFCASS were supposed to call today as per the appointment but never did. I called them and they said the person who was due to call is off and they didn’t say when the call would be rescheduled. This is all white disheartening and it feels like this is going to be a compete waste of time. I presume that the hearing cannot go ahead without the CAFCASS call having taken place? Am I able to cancel the proceedings if I want to? I just think this will be a lot of effort for very little gain (if any). My ex abused me in the past and the point of having an arrangement is so the kids have a routine rather so that communication is kept to a minimum. He ignores most of my contact and only contacts when he wants to see the kids and let’s me know arrangements as late as possible

    #51918 Report

    Hi Anon1988

    Thanks for posting.  It’s good to see you using the forum for support.  I’m Michelle one of the Moderators here.  Your question requires professional up to date guidance which you will find can differ significantly from feedback you may receive in the forum.  It would be best to raise your query with the Single Parents helpline.  They’re very knowledgeable in this area and will be able to guide you to explore this matter or alternatively signpost you to services who can answer your query in line with current legislation.

    Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925

    Opening hours:  Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4  They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered

    I hope that helps

    Kind regards


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