Just some advice on contact centres. My ex partner was prosecuted over two years ago for an assault on me, and has been trying for two years to get access to our child through the court. At each hearing they have only granted indirect contact based on his history of violence,a drug addiction to a class A drug and also mental health issues.
He was told that by the next hearing if he could provide evidence he was getting treatment for his addiction and prove he no longer suffered with mental health issues he may get supervised contact in a contact centre. This would be for a 3 month period, whilst my son got to know his father (he is 4 now, and was a 17 month old when he last saw his father).
My worry is what happens after 3 months? Assuming it goes well, will the court let me ex partner have my son unsupervised? Will we have to go back to court every time contact progresses? It concerns me that my ex partner who has had serious issues for many years will soon be forgotten by the court/social services and will be granted unsupervised contact.
i would really appreciate any comments from anyone who has, or is going through the same process.
Heya, I haven’t been through exactly the same but am getting to know the Court process.
From everything I’ve heard, contact generally only goes one way. The courts are very much in favour of children having relationships with their fathers and take the view that even if he’s a drug addicted alcoholic he’s most likely to get contact increased each time you go back to court.
Have you had Social Servs/CAFCASS involved to write reports? If so, what did they recommend?
Just to add to Khalessi’s comments, the point is that as a father he should be allowed some contact, and if he genuinely has improved his life his child shouldn’t be punished for his previous absence. The question is, has he improved? The supervisors will be aware of the situation and they will have seen every sort of problem under the sun. There is no way they will allow further contact if there is any question mark over him. Plus, they monitor how the child reacts – they aren’t going to leave the child unsupervised with a man who is effectively a stranger. It will take time to build up a relationship that the child will be comfortable with.
So, yes, the court will be encouraging of more contact over time if he is a genuinely changed character, but then so should you. If he isn’t, then it won’t be happening. Some contact orders can go on for several years – so he can’t fake it and if he slips back, it will be noted. From how you made it sound, it won’t be three months monitored then the ok being given.