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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34282
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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Clare My son has now received the Guardian's position

Resolved Question:

Hello Clare
My son has now received the Guardian's position statement.This states that the reports from son's therapist, probation officer and Lucy Faitfull 'make it evident that he has fully engaged with all services and is doing everything possible to address his past behaviours'.
But she overlooked the requirement to obtain police disclosure and hopes it will be received before the hearing on the 26th.The relevant documents relate to the indecent images, any logs, reports, transcripts of interviews and witness statements.
The witnesses are the ex-partner and her best friend, an awful woman who relished enjoyed the emotional drama and created an appalling scene outside the court after son's trial. So I am concerned that her lurid account could influence the judge's decision.
Do you think this isn likely?
The Guardian recommends supervised contact -presumably at a contact centre though this is not specified - during every schooil holiday.The statrement says this is around every six weeks but in fact it is closer to every nine weeks.
The contact sessions last for two hours, so this would total just 12 hours a year.
This is completely inadequate if father and son are to re-establish their relationship after the long separation. They had a good relationship previously and there is no evidence that he ever behaved inapproprisately towards his son.
Also, there is still no start date to the Thames Valley programme. The Guardian makes no reference to this but the longer son has to wait to complete the nine-month programme, the longer supervised access will be at a contact centre.
We are going to ask for two contact sessions during the long holidays, i.e. Christmas, Easter and summer. That would bring it closer to every six weeks but it is still only 18 hours of contact a year.
There seems to be a set procedure in such cases. So, is it realistic to ask for supervised access under my supervision for two to three hours at my home instead of at a ciontact centre. This was the arrangement agreed witrh the child's mother before son's trial and she knew full details of his offence at that time.
The benefits for the child would be the familiar and reassuring surroundings of my home. I am willing to have a safeguarding assessment by Cafcass and give any other undertakings required.
Do you think this is realistic in the circumstances? And in any event, is our position statement likely to influence the judge's decisionat all? Having appointed a Guardian, is he not he likely to make a decision based on her statement?
The Guardian recommends indirect contact between supervised access visits but again gives no specifics. Will the judge decide the details or will ithis be left to social workers to organise?
Do hope you can help.
Many thanks,
Sheila
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
The report is favourable and contact will be re-established - which is good news.
I have to ask - do you understand the serious nature of your son's offences?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

HiClare,

Yes,I I absolutely understand, the sadness and shame never leaves me.

. My prime concern is for the child. He is obviously confused and has said to me on recent visits that he thinks his father may have been murdered or kidnapped, then that he wouldn't see him again for ten years.He also wanted to phone him.

Sheila.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How far away does mum live?>
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She lives about 17 miles or a*****away. We usally meet for handover and collection halfway in a hotel car park, so the round trip is 30 mins for both of us.

She's a working mum so if it helps her timewise, we meet in a large car park about*****from the family home.

Sheila

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
In that case the holidays only suggestion is strange - and I suspect that it is linked toe the idea in Care cases where such ongoing contact with children in long term foster placements is common.
In your son's case there is no reason why the contact should not be once a month.
Given your clear understanding and acceptance of what your son did, and the potential risk to your grandson offering to supervise the contact yourself is realistic.
Make it plain that you understand that the risk is not necessarily to his son - but to any friends of your son who might routinely assume that his da is a "safe" person.
I would say that getting representation for the hearing might be wise.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks Clare, your advice and information have been really helpful.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

Hi

You are most welcome - I hope all goes well

Clare

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hello again Clare,

I had a requestfor feedback in my inbox, to which I replied, favourably. But I have just seen two similar messages in my junk mail-so hope that you received my positive feedback.

I have two queries:

*Looking again at the Guardian's position statement, I note that she does not specify the number of supervised contact visits there should be during the school holidays. Do you think this gives son and Mckenzie friend some scope for negotiation if Gdn insists on contact only in holiday time? (I suspect this came from the ex-partner).

The M. friend's position statement asks for supervised contact at a contact centre omce a month. Also, for this to be an interim order only, while son completes the Thames Valley programme (still no start date). Once completed, for the final order to allow progressive supervised contact with a view to this being at my home, as before.

*My second query: the Bar Pro-Bono unit, which I orginally approached nefore the first hearing in January, was oversubscribed and could not help. Yesterday a unit caseworker emailed to say did I realise son can have a Md.friend and a barrister?No, I didn't. She was trying to get a volunteer barrister for the hearing this Friday 26.and will let me know yes or no on Thursday.

The Mc.friend says it's up to my son to decide whether to take up the offer of help if it's made. If a barrister can attend, I'm wondering whether he or she can make any difference to the judge's decision. Mc..friend says he will be very much led by the Guardian's statement.

Would be grateful for your thoughts. Diffcult for me to see things clearly, as I have no experience in this area and am also emotionally involved..

Sheila

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry about the pestering messages - it is an American site I am afraid.
I agree that there is scope for negotiation - and a good barrister can sometimes make a difference
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you