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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33305
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My partner has recently been in court (Warrington) over rights

Customer Question

My partner has recently been in court (Warrington) over rights to see her child. Following the court case the judge granted she could have unsupervised vision of her child at least twice a week. Following a Cafcas report the agent who interviewed my partner was also happy with her seeing her child. After interviewing the childs father the agent from cafcas then decided she wanted to speak to myself regarding my opinions on the child and her mother (my partner). As I work the minimum of 12 hour night shifts with heavy machinery my partner informed the agent at cafcas that she could phone me around 20:00 any night. We received a letter 04/12/13 stating because the agent didn't ring me my partner can now only see her child supervised (breaking the court order) and has resulted in her not seeing her daughter at all because there is no one to supervise her. After phoning cafcas they agreed what they have done is wrong but will not change their decision because they want to speak to me. I would like to know how an organisation like cafcas can be given so much power to make a decision like this when they only work 09:00 - 17:00 resulting in my partner being penalised because I work full time and so does she instead of sitting in every day claiming benefits and being readily available like the childs father. We have all the corresponding emails and names at home should you need them as well as the cafcas investigation number.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Was the order made at a final hearing or a first hearing?
What are your actual hours of work?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

First or second I think, the final hearing is the last week of December. As for my hours, I work for united utilities so its a reactive company, there are no technical start or finish times, the schedule im currently working on means I start at 16:30 (which means I have to wake up 15:00 to get ready and pick up a co worker, then I drive until approx. 18:00 and work until approx. 05:00, drop the co worker off and go home to sleep before work again, I also work 7 days a week when required which has been due to the lead up to Christmas. When speaking to cafcas the guy agreed it wasn't our fault but would not let her speak to a manager and couldn't overrule the agents decision.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How old is the child and how did the child come to be in the care of her father?
How many times have you tried to speak to the CAFCASS officer in the afternoon and the call has not been taken/returned?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Im the babys mum, My partner is asleep due to him working nights. The baby is 2years 7 months she ended up in her fathers care after he took her on holiday and never returned her back home and issued a residency order to him to get residency and me to have contact, I informed the cafcass officer that my partner does work nights and is asleep duing the day and she once said she would ring him later on which she still hasn't done so, we are back in court on the 17th December but will still need supervised contact as the cafcass report states that she was unable to contact my partner.


Emily

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What accusations have been made which have led to supervised contact being necessary?
I do not mean to push but if he wakes at 3 how often have you tried to phone CAFCASS before 3 and 5 each day?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I wake up at 3pm, get a shower, eat and leave for work, im out the door t 3:30 pm to actually get to work and clock on or be fined for being late, or by the police for driving while using my phone.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
And the accusations?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi this is emily, the reason i washaving supervised contact with my daughter is because i had an attempted overdose due to the fact i had my daughter took from me and thought i was losing everything, the doctors and other medical experts have now deemedme to be mentallyh and physically fit and well and no risk to anyone, even the last court appearence the judge said i didnt need supervising and now cafcass have said i do need supervising because they didnt speak with my partner

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The problem is the new approach to Safe guarding in the aftermath of the Baby P case.
Cafcass need to speak to your partner so that they can get his permission to do the basic checks - and until they are done the contact cannot go ahead
i am sorry but the only way around this is for your partner to find a way to speak to them in the afternoon - it would be worth making a specific appointment for him to do so - and ensuring that an alternative CAFCASS officer can deal with the matter if need be - this should be possible
I appreciate that this appears unreasonable but sadly this is not an area where any corners can be cut.
Please ask if you need any further details
Clare

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