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Instructed my solicitor finally – What to expect next?
from past experience section 7 reports or any official reports always sound worse and infuriate you the day you get them or even the day after. after a few days they end up not looking as bad as you originally thought. the main thing is securing contact with your children, I wouldn't even argue/dispute anything in report.
I am sure magistrates/judges would know you given your address , you probably wont be asked about it. if they do say sorry I am not sure I understand my ex partners legal representative sends me letters to my home address
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I would put aside anything that is opinion based from the Cafcass officer and focus on what has been recommended in terms of time with your children. The officer has a duty to write what the ex has said, just because it has been included in the report does not necessarily mean it has been accepted. Are you happy with what has been recommended?
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They have recomended that time with my son is progressed. At the moment my ex let's me see him each Sunday under supervision for 4 hours. It is recommended that this is increased to unsupervised for 8 hours with no overnight stays atm. Regarding my daughter, because so much time has passed, they recommend 5 sessions at a contact centre for 2 hours to help reestablish connect.

I am glad that I can spend more time with my son and that contact will begin again with my daughter, but I'm also disappointed with no overnight stays. This means no half of school holidays, no Christmas's, no holidays away, no weekends together, no family dinners.

I'm torn on how I feel because on one hand there is some progression which is positive, but on the other I am still not going to be able to do so many things with the children.
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Hi. I have also had something recently where they seem to pass off ex’s opinion as their analysis. And their analysis of your mental health condition “may” return, is to me, crass in the extreme and verging on discrimination!

So it seems to me they are making cautious progression recommendations . And then what? Leading to anything else or are they just going to see how ex thinks it is going?

You will have an opportunity to argue against some of these things at final hearing. My experience of writing back to ask for factual corrections is that it is ignored.

So I would not write back to them objecting to them saying your mental health condition may return due to imaginary possible future end of the world crises or whatever ! But I would send a very brief formal one line email requesting factual correction over the report stating you have social isolation, as that is not the case. Just that, nothing else. Put copy to court at the bottom and email a copy to the court saying “please find attached email requesting factual correction to Cafcass report. I would be grateful if this could be kept on the court file .

I found it difficult to work out how to send a copy to the court as Cafcass uses egress and when you reply via egress I couldn’t work out how to download a copy of my reply. What I did was screenshot it and save it as a photo, then wrote an email to the court saying - please find attached/below, copy of request for factual correction to Cafcass report etc as above . Under that - paste the wording of the email - so the content is easily seen. And attach the photo. As an attachment.

But keep it really simple and formal like that. If you object to anything they will say - ah see he is getting angry so he must be unstable. Pfff.

Save any objections for final hearing.

So the good news is they are reintroducing contact with your daughter! And unsupervised with your son.

What you need to focus on now is preparing a really good statement for final hearing. Is that the next hearing? Or is there another directions hearing before thst?

If there is another directions hearing then the court will probably order what Cafcass recommend in the interim .

If you have a final hearing coming up you have the oppprtunity to set out at the end of your statement what you want in an order and argue for it with evidence in your statement. And there will be the opportunity to cross examine Cafcass at the hearing to deal with any issues/bias. You could possibly even call your GP as a witness as to why there is no reason why your children shouldn’t stay overnight with you.

I would want an order for progression to be something like Cafcass recommendation for 3 months after which your daughter comes for a day unsupervised and your son stays one night at week-ends for another 2 months, after which both children come every other week-end, a midweek night and half the school holidays defined as follows …

You will get the opportunity to sell yourself at final hearing and knock on the head that you are in some way unsafe - with evidence and arguments, testimonials as to your previous care etc. Plus ask for changeovers you and from school to avoid conflict at changeover time.
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