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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 848
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I have a query about child contact which is very specific.

Customer Question

Hi, I have a query about child contact which is very specific. My ex has wants 50/50 contact but I think he is unstable, with a history of suicide threats and some abuse behaviour towards. There was contact once we split up but our child came home saying he'd been hit and then made sexualised remarks.I've stopped contact now and reported my concerns to the authorities but he still wants unsupervised contact and overnights. I can't agree to this but I am frightened unless I agree the Courts will penalise me with costs. Can my ex really get unsupervised access with these problems?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Welcome to Just Answer I am a Solicitor and will assist you. Firstly I would like to put your mind at rest in respect of costs. Costs Orders in family court cases are not the norm. In fact they are actually quite difficult to achieve. The court would have to deem that a parent had acted so unreasonably to make an order and if you have concerns what the court will want to investigate then I do doubt that a costs order will be made. In respect of the rest of your question, may I ask: - how old is your child/children?- when did you split up?- what was the previous regime and how long did it last for?- are the police / social services investigating the disclosure?- is there any current contact - if not, when was the last? Kind Regards Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,Child is 3.We split up a year ago, he tried to kill himself then. Got treated, seemed to be better,He seemed better for a while so we had weekly contact just at the house then a few trips out by himself with our child, that was probably about two months of that. But he started getting very angry at handovers, swearing or screaming at me. Then our child said he'd hit him, so I stopped contact. Went to mediate, agreed some contact but it didn't work out after our kid started to talk about adult things at bed time and displayed odd behaviour.Yes reported to the authorities. Police said my boy was too little to get evidence from so it was dropped, and SS said that they would say supervised contact was okay (but not for how long).There is still indirect contact over skype. I just want my boy to be safe.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The SS did a section 47 and said supervised contact. I waited till they said something but now we are in court and theres a section 7 report. I did a statement.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I mean, they've asked for a section 7 report... I haven;t seen it yet
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Thank you for your response. Even with the police considering that your son is too young to give evidence - you would obviously be concerned if you are also being subjected to aggressive behaviour by the father. Your son witnessing this can itself be considered that the father is subjecting your son to emotional harm and will of course only give weight to the disclosures made by your son - in your eyes as his mother. The initial assessment undertaken by social services is limited to the extent of safeguarding. If they are satisfied that you can safeguard then this will usually lead to them ending their involvement at that stage. The Section 7 report will investigate your concerns and it is a good stance to be guided by the professionals in this case as to whether they consider that unsupervised contact is appropriate. Just be open and honest with the social worker / cafcass officer undertaking the report and make sure that you are clear in respect of all your concerns. Your witness statement will be a starting point for the sw/cafcass. The court will give strong regard to the report when making its decision as to whether unsupervised contact is safe. Please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist you further. Kind Regards ***** ***** you have found this service useful please kindly remember to rate positively so that we receive credit for helping you today
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok that is reassuring - he keeps turning up at the house and saying I've made false allegations. The police say he's trying to mess with my head and get me to say something bad about him (he likes to film me on his phone). I'm so worried that he's going to make me be the bitter ex. I didn't want any of this! Does this matter when courts make orders about contact?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello when he comes to your house uninvited - is he aggressive with you? Kind Regards Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. He says he can force his way in. I don't let him but it does scare me.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello I am sorry to hear this - how the police provided him with any sort of warning in respect of this type of behaviour towards you? Kind Regards Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. I think he stays away now but worried about it. They told me change the locks.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
when was the last time he came round and was aggressive with you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 2 months ago.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello It goes without saying that you should not have to put up with this type of behaviour. If he does this to you again - call the police straight away. It the police dont put any conditions in place that actually physically prevent him from coming to your house and doing this again - then you should contact a family solicitor straight away and discuss a non molestation order. Obtaining such an order would prevent the father from attending at your home and at all also actively aggressively. You have to do this within days of an incident to convince that you need the protection of such an order. You can get legal aid for such orders - although you may have to pay a contribution depending on your income and capital. In respect of the child proceedings - whilst one parent being aggressive to another is not a good thing for him - it is not an absolute bar to contact as it doesnt always follow that he will be aggressive to the child. It is however very important that you make sure that the author of the section 7 report is made aware of this and any other behaviour that the father has subjected you too - so that this can be factored into their report and ultimately their recommendations as to the outcome to the court. Do not worry about how your ex might 'spin'these proceedings. If he has had issues with his mental health, subjected you to aggressive behaviour which has been witnessed by your son and your son has also made disclosures - then you are doing the right thing by letting the court decide whether unsupervised contact is safe. Please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist you further. Kind Regards Caroline
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Just in case this helps you: If what your ex has been doing to you has caused to suffer a condition such as stress - then take this letter to your GP and ask them to complete it for you. If they do - this will count as your domestic violence evidence so take the completed copy to a family solicitor so that they can also assess your income for legal aid. If you qualify they will be able to advise and represent you in the child proceedings. Kindest Regards Caroline

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