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Interim contact arrangements advice
#1
Hi,

I am due in court next Wednesday for directions hearing following section 7 report for my 8 year old son
The Cafcass report said i should have half of school holidays and birthdays/Christmas/ Easter should be alternated alternated. Cafcass also suggested i should have contact every other week from Friday, school pick up until Monday morning, school drop off.

Now, for some background- on 29/11 my NMO was completely discharged when sons mum refused to give evidence, as i had her banged to rights with police disclosures, forgery,etc..i had not seen my son for nearly 7 months until last weekend. On the first weekend of interim contact following NMO discharge my son was not taken to see me and my sons mum did not answer 2 texts asking if he was coming...her solicitor contacted me on the Monday afternoon saying my son did not want to go. if that was so she would have responded to texts.last Saturday I was then able to pick him up for the first time on Saturday for a wonderful weekend together.. I had already emailed the judge who promptly replied last week and just told me to adhere to rest of interim contact.
My sons mum has also just received a interview under caution from education welfare officer due to my son and her other daughter "being persistently absent". I am also due to ask for a hair strand test as i am sure she is using heroin and has been for a while. She is currently on a heroin prescription since my son was placed on the child protection resister in 2016 and social services ended support in August 2017 and she went straight back to using. I made 2 safeguarding alerts that were dismissed in June this year and she got an NMO out preventing me from seeing my son... anyway we are where we are now and she is self destructing yet again. I also made a formal complaint to Cafcass as they missed out child protection information from 2016/2017 and only included reports from 2015. i am described as a protective factor and it states i have contact every weekend and one day a week. Cafcass are now looking to half that whilst she has been given a warning from education welfare team. My son told Cafcass he asked to see me but his mum said if he did he could never come back to her...he also called me from the school office crying which is again in report. Not quite sure how much independent evidence i need as i have streams of it. However cafcass said my son said he did not want to see me so it needed to be every other week....

I want to ask for every weekend from Friday until Tuesday morning as i have always had him, to start in January when he is back at school.-what do people with more experience think of this please? my son has missed every homework for the last 6 months so i need to try and support him with this weekly otherwise he will completely dis engage with school.

Christmas-i want to ask for Christmas day pick up at mid day until Jan 1st giving her Xmas eve and Xmas morning-this has always been agreed for last 7 years-son is now 8 years old.

What do folks think i should ask for, as i want to go for the very high end and negotiate if needed? Bearing in mind the directions hearing is on the same day as school breaks up for Christmas so school pick ups will not start until January. i expect final hearing will not be until February at the earliest.

Thank you
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#2
Do you have interim contact at moment in place. If so what are you getting at moment ie days and times etc/overnight stays?
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#3
I was given Saturday 1st December noon pick up from local park until Monday drop off at school.
they also gave me Saturday 15/12, with same conditions(drop off at school)
My sons mums missed first pick up on 1/12/18 and when I texted at 12.20 and 12.35 there was no response. I emailed the court and the judge replied to bring any evidence to court and adhere to rest of order. My son's mums solicitor emailed me saying my son was so upset he did not want to go....I emailed them judge response and they then offered the next weekend 8/12 and weekend after 15/12 so I had two consecutive weekends(if he turns up this Saturday). they sated that the judge was keen to get two contacts so that at least was good.
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#4
Yes from what i am reading the judges response has prompted for her solicitor to strongly advise his client that she makes up for the lost contact of 1/12/18 by offering 8/12/18 and then 15/12/18 or she could be in serious trouble. I wouldnt if your son turns up this saturday as stated in interim contact order mention this again in family court that 1/12/18 was missed as the time as now been made up weekend just gone.

I cant see ex partner agreeing on much at a directions hearing and family courts may not be able to force her to do much unless she agrees.

i guess they will need to make another interim contact order at directions hearing if no agreement is reached until final hearing. I would consider asking for Tuesday (xmas day) 3pm until wednesday 6pm (boxing day) then friday 28th december 12pm until monday 31st 6pm then 2 weeks later friday 11th january pick up from school drop bk off at school monday 14th january so you would be getting every other weekend until final hearing.

At final hearing you would then be left to get midweek staying contact or contact after school.. half the holidays would be put in then as well.

If you look at caffcass recommendations it seems like they got xmas 19 in mind so if you only ask for xmas day 3pm - until boxing day u may get it hopefully on day for this year. overnight every other weekend should continue as already ordered in interim contact order.
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#5
Thank you Warwickshire.

As always much appreciated
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#6
Hi,
I had a meeting with my sons school today and they informed me that they had referred him and his step sister to children's social services. They now have a named social worker whom I have tried contacting today, with no luck...I would really appreciate what to do next with regard to asking for interim contact as my directions hearing following section 7 report is this Wednesday 19/12. Cafcass have suggested every other week contact which as I have said in other emails increases risk. The previous CIN plan talked about me being a protective factor and contact every weekend and one day a week. Cafcass did not look at any CIN or child protection register reports from social services in section 7...My son breaks up for Christmas on 19/12 which is the same day as court case so he will be out of school for 3 weeks and at more risk. Please can someone advise what would be a sensible move to safeguard my son and what to ask for with regards to contact. Can social services support me with regards to contact over Christmas and until contested hearing, possibly in February.... Should I ask them to write a letter for court?
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#7
I would still go along with something along the lines i wrote above. I cant see a social worker writing a letter to the court for you . Problem is with social services children have only just been referred and you dont know what kind of social worker they have as it can be a bit hit and miss. Also have school discussed with you the reasons they been referred?

If there were serious safeguarding issues social services would remove them from her care, i am guessing if your ex partner carries on behaving like she is then that may happen in the future. I also think that social services wont get involved at least until final hearing if at all as caffcass are dealing with your case at moment. Referral has only just been made and your latest hearing is a directions one. It may be worth next week mentioning to cafcass that children have been referred to social services as long as you know the reasons why and they are all against your ex partner.

Hopefully u get contact 2moro Smile
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#8
Hi Warwickshire, As always thanks for your prompt response.
Cafcass stopped all contact with me and sent a letter saying case was closed 6 weeks ago-they are not involved anymore.
their is no other support other than the school for my son
The only contact with Cafcass will be at court I presume.
Thanks again
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#9
If Cafcass aren't involved any more that is basically saying - no issues with you, and they have made their recommendations. So if you want more than they have recommended everything will hinge on evidence and your statement (probably at a final hearing). That is very important - the statement needs to be really well written and advise is often to get a solicitor to help write it even if you don't use one for anything else. Your statement is your evidence and actual evidence is attached to it - so you would say somehting like - On xth December the childrens school referred them to social services due to concerns with attendance and neglect (or whatever) - see exhibit (a). Exhibit a could be a copy of a letter or email from the school confirming what you said, or a copy of a social services referral saying they were referred from school. So - it is very important to have everything in writing - as only paper is evidence really. So if you don't have anything in writing from the school, email them and ask them to confirm the date they referred the children to social services and ask specifically what the concerns were. Even if they don't give much info in their reply, the fact they reply shows that they did do as you said (ie refer the children to social services).

Heroin and drug taking is a serious issue. The thing is what you ask for reflects on how committed you are in a way. So yes you want to be asking for midweek contact. Or even for 50/50 - saying you feel the children need to be with you as regularly as possible and feel your home is a safe and stable place to be for half the time, and that you believe social services will be providing support to the Mother for recent issues (attach details).

At final hearing you will get chance to ask for what you want in an order and argue why you feel it is important. Are you acting for yourself? If possible, a barrister for final hearing may nail it for you.
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#10
(12-15-2018, 11:18 PM)Charlie7000 Wrote: If Cafcass aren't involved any more that is basically saying - no issues with you, and they have made their recommendations.  So if you want more than they have recommended everything will hinge on evidence and your statement (probably at a final hearing).  That is very important - the statement needs to be really well written and advise is often to get a solicitor to help write it even if you don't use one for anything else.  Your statement is your evidence and actual evidence is attached to it - so you would say somehting like - On xth December the childrens school referred them to social services due to concerns with attendance and neglect (or whatever) - see exhibit (a).  Exhibit a could be a copy of a letter or email from the school confirming what you said, or a copy of a social services referral saying they were referred from school.  So - it is very important to have everything in writing - as only paper is evidence really.  So if you don't have anything in writing from the school, email them and ask them to confirm the date they referred the children to social services and ask specifically what the concerns were.  Even if they don't give much info in their reply, the fact they reply shows that they did do as you said (ie refer the children to social services).

Heroin and drug taking is a serious issue.  The thing is what you ask for reflects on how committed you are in a way.  So yes you want to be asking for midweek contact.  Or even for 50/50 - saying you feel the children need to be with you as regularly as possible and feel your home is a safe and stable place to be for half the time, and that you believe social services will be providing support to the Mother for recent issues (attach details).

At final hearing you will get chance to ask for what you want in an order and argue why you feel it is important.  Are you acting for yourself?  If possible, a barrister for final hearing may nail it for you.
Thank you for taking the time to respond Charlie-really good advice. I will get a solicitor to write up statement and i plan to use a barrister for final hearing. I had done okay to get to where i am but i need more experience for final hearing as the case is quite complex now. Thanks again.
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