Court & CAFCASS
14 November 2020 at 3:50 pm #45708
In April of this year I started proceedings for a consent order/child arrangements order with my solicitor. For 3 years I’ve put up with a variety of verbal and mental abuse from my ex-partner, and have had to deal with the police on a few occasions relating to him as well (trying to force my door open on drop off, people filming me & my son in public and sending it to his Dad etc).
After a few months of negotiations we have agreed the terms and I have filed the consent order with the courts to make it legally binding. I’ve been waiting to hear from the courts and assumed it would just be signed and that would be it, as both parties have agreed to the terms. But yesterday I received a letter from CAFCASS for safe guarding and I need to do a telephone interview and now I’m slightly concerned that what I’ve fought so hard for over the last 6 months isn’t as straight forward as I was led to believe. My child has never been at risk, it was always between me and my ex partner (yes I appreciate my child has unfortunately overheard some of the arguments that’s have happened over the years), but if I felt my child was at immediate risk I would have stopped him going to his Dads a long time ago. I’ve pushed for the consent order to protect my self, but also to enable my son to continue to have a relationship with his Dad on a regular and consistent basis, without the shouting and aggression aimed at me (which had started to frequently happen in front of him). To top it all off my ex-partner is currently in a crisis home for something relating to his mental health (I do not know what it is, I don’t want to be involved).
So my question if anyone can help, is is this normal procedure having to speak to CAFCASS? Do I mention to CAFCASS about my ex-partners mental health issues atm? As I said, I don’t want to be involved with anything relating to his life, but if this is regarding safe-guarding my son, is that something they would need to know? My ex-partner is a pathological liar and may not tell them himself.
Any advice would be appreciated. I hope this makes sense and hasn’t come across the wrong way. My aim isn’t to punish his Dad in anyway, I wouldn’t of fought and paid a lot of money for a consent order if that was the case.14 November 2020 at 4:13 pm #45709
You have absolutely nothing to worry about . Its the dad that may have something to worry about though as you could make things very difficult for him.
The fact you have agreed a consent order it should be straightforward especially for yourself .
What kind of arrangements have you agreed on if u dont mind me asking as Cafcass may not agree with it and may suggest something similar. Dont be alarmed this would be more to ensure stability and routine and address your previous problems with ex especially handovers etc14 November 2020 at 4:21 pm #45711
Thank you for your reply.
We’ve agreed every other weekend Friday to Sunday, alternate Christmas’ and we will both be able to see our son on his birthday. My ex-partner also has to stay at his car for drop off and pick ups (our son is 8, nearly 9 so is fine walking from my front door to his Dad’s car, no roads to cross etc). The alternate weekends is something we’ve had in place for many years, but only a verbal agreement and his Dad used to swap and change when he wanted and I didn’t really have a choice. I wanted it to be more legally binding so my son had consistency, and not to sound selfish, but so I could actually have a social life and make plans without worrying I would have to cancel and let people down, as I have had to do in the past.14 November 2020 at 6:09 pm #45715
Sounds very good to me . I am a dad by the way as well and i got 2 sons and 1 is nearly 9 as well ( December). Yes best to get a court order and drop offs bottom/top .outside your house etc. Certainly not selfish . I see it as 1 weekend you spend time with your children and following weekend it gives you time to do what you need to do which isnt always much sometimes.
With Cafcass i would only highlight what they are going to find out anyway about your ex partner. i certainly wouldnt mention any mental health problems , but by all means you could say by having a court order its good for childrens stability and routine and will avoid any issues between you and your ex and you are looking to the future now children are older . Basically son be able to have a loving relationship with parents and generally things do get better in time as children get older .
I split my christmas which i am happy with so i get children 3/4 pm xmas day , but she gets them xmas eve and xmas morning etc which works fine .
If you can do it sometimes dads during school term time pick child/children up from school on friday and then drop them off to school on a monday morning if workable . Let me know if you need to do anything but Cafcass wont bother you at all as its routine when you go to family court. Did your ex not ask you for any midweek contact like pick up from school ?14 November 2020 at 6:51 pm #45716
We used to do that with Christmas, but it started getting far too complicated and he would start ringing me an hour before the scheduled time for handover and start mouthing off that he wanted his son earlier than agreed and it completely ruined our Christmas one year, so from this year on I’ve made the compromise that we will alternate. This year he will be with his Dad from 6pm Xmas Eve to 12pm Boxing Day. I don’t particularly want to go the whole of Christmas Day without seeing my child, but it’s a small sacrifice for what will hopefully be a peaceful future. And next year it’ll be my turn To have my son for the whole of Christmas.
He hasn’t asked for any extra access than what I offered him. He’s only ever asked for mid week access once, but this only lasted a few weeks as my son hated the change to the routine and was crying every time he went (apparently that was my fault) so it went back to alternating weekends. He hasn’t asked to pick him up from school to take him out for dinner etc, nothing like that. And he’s never offered to help with the half terms/summer holidays. In the consent order I’ve put that I need 3 months notice for any holidays he wishes to take our son on, as I’m on my own I normally have to book childcare/holiday clubs quite far in advance to secure a place so I can continue to work.
It’s nice to see separated parents able to make amicable decisions. It’s such a shame some people don’t make it that easy.14 November 2020 at 7:50 pm #45719
My situation was far from amicable. I have had to go to court many times to see children . Its ok now but this is 6 years down the line . I always just wanted to be a dad and have regular access . I have a midweek day overnight , every other weekend and half of the holidays. Ex partner accepted now children love seeing their dad and that they are older now.
You seem very reasonable so dont worry about Cafcass they are really nice and easy to speak to . The contact you arranged with ex partner Cafcass will be absolutely fine with that and pleased.14 November 2020 at 7:52 pm #45720
If you need to know anymore about court process and Cafcass or any other general family court stuff feel free to PM me .14 November 2020 at 8:01 pm #45722
Thank you for putting my mind at ease. I just want this all done and paperwork signed now so we can put this all behind us.16 November 2020 at 9:28 am #45763
Hi, I have a Cafcus telephone interview in a few weeks with a first hearing a few weeks later. I filled for a C100 child arrangements and a non moletsation order. My ex is a narc and making my life hell, he is using our son as a human shield, making up lies about me. I needed a court order in place as I had genuine fear that he would not return our child. He dictates when he see’s our son – One day. week over night and every other weekend, however he now wants to have him 50/50. Whilst I agree to my son to see his father, at the present moment in time I feel its not approbate to change his routine due to concerns around his physical and mental health with my ex partner.
@planaddict89 if you are free I wold love to have a email chat about what to expect during the Cafcus interview and first hearing. Am I supposed to be sending the Courts or Caucus any paper work with evidence at this stage?