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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33810
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 Son's Father was convicted of 2 counts of assault on me

Resolved Question:

My Son's Father was convicted of 2 counts of assault on me in 2012.He has completed a domestic violence course and a 2 year probation term.
I have a Court Order regarding my Son seeing his Father with certain dates for his Father to have unsupervised access. After seeing his Father my child is unruly, he wets and messes himself and his nursery have noticed that this is always after contact sessions. They have contacted Social Services who have contacted Child Protection. Although they can write a report of their findings they have asked me to get Legal Advice regarding the Court order.
What will happen if I break the Order to keep my Son safe? What is a Variation order and how do I apply for this.?
Thanking you
Natalie
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is the child and what is the current pattern of contact?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My Son was 3 years old on the 6th February. The present order is alternate Saturdays for 4 hours (10-2PM) and alternate Mondays 1-3pm.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What exactly happens at contact that you believe places your child at risk?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not sure. He says that he and his Father have a "secret" but will not tell anyone what the "secret " is!! The nursery and myself have noticed a change in my Son's behaviour only after seeing his Father!!

Obviously the nursery have concerns as to what happens when he sees his father.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How long has the contact been ongoing?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The Father has had 18months supervised and then supported at a Contact centre until January of this year.

The Court has ruled that he has unsupervised. This has been in place since January this year.

Due to the above concerns this is why I need to know where I stand.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How was your son when contact was at the contact canter?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sometimes he was happy, other times not. There were a few problems at the Centre with one of the workers. He used to lie for my son's father. Many times there were incidents when he would not let my son bring toys that he had supplied home and therefore my son was upset. Another incident when he let him play with an inappropriate toy and my ex verbally abused my Mother and threatened her. My mother reported this to the police but nothing was done as the worker lied for him and told a different story of events.

All I am aiming to do is protect my Son and the above causes me a lot of concern and stress.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What will the Nursery actually say to the court if need be?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not sure. It is the nursery that rang Social Services after speaking to me (previously Social Services did not want to do anything). Social Services rang the Child Protection team. They visited me yesterday and are doing a report, but advised that I need to get legal advice on the Court Order. Whether I am allowed to breach the Order or get a Variation order.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Have Social services and the Nursery both said that they will support you in court?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Social Services have passed this problem to the Child Protection team.

I am awaiting their report, but hope they will support this.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

You responded last night at 8.22, but unfortunately I am using my work computer which is not accessable from home. I therefore did not respond to your question until this morning at approx 8am but have not had a reply.

Could you further advise me.

Many thanks

N

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay - I have been away from the computer in court today.
I will be very honest with you - because how you deal with this is important
The fist thing to be aware of (as you will be told this) is that every child plays up before and after contact - and given his age accidents are also not unexpected.
It is however all a matter of degree - so it is essential that Child Protection support you as otherwise you will be sen as just another mother trying to block contact
The strongest point you have - and it is very strong is this "secret"
It is not safe for children to have such secrets and it should cause concern to all those involved
I will be very very honest - unless you have the support of Child Protection it is not an application worth making at this stage.
I say at this stage because even if it not severe enough at the moment, given enough rope....
So IF they support you then you will need to apply to the court to vary the Order - an urgent application (to avoid the mediation requirement) using a form C100
I hope that this is of some assistance - please ask for any details you need
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare.

Sorry I have been on leave and unable to access my account from home.

I have a letter from my Sons nursery which states that his behaviour has changed, but unfortunately Social Services or Child Protection are not willing to do a report. They say that it is my word only.

They have also stated in the past that until my child is harmed they will not intervene.

SS have sent a social worker to see his Father but he denies any "secret". Also after Contact on Saturday I did ask his Father regarding this "secret" but he states that he does not know what my Son is talking about.

Over the last 18 months I have spent £18,000 on Solicitors and court fees. I am no longer in a position to fund anymore legal advice.

Unfortunately my Solicitor told me that I was not entitled to Legal Aid, but apparently being on a low income and the fact that it was domestic abuse, I was.!!

As the conviction was over 2 years ago, I no longer fit the criteria for Aid.

I am not sure without a SS letter to back my case what I can do and in the circumstances worry that it may be too late if something happens to my Son.

Is there anything further that I can do?

Natalie

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am afraid that at present there is nothing more that you can do except continue to ensure that you remain calm and positive about contact with your son and to allow him time after contact to wind down and adjust back to being with you.
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33810
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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