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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34581
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My friend is having a custody battle with her ex partner. Cafcass

Resolved Question:

My friend is having a custody battle with her ex partner. Cafcass say he is 'good enough' and with the support of friends could manage. The child is almost 3 and the mother is a recovering alcoholic, the father is a cocaine abuser as per his hair tests. it is hoped the mother will be able to resume care by the end of the year.
The fathers friends are almost all cocaine users and one has done time for robbery with violence. The mother wants to submit to the court, in her position statement who these people are. Can she do this and is it a wise move.
Thank you for any advise
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: 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.
Who does the child live with at the moment?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

The child lives with the her maternal grandmother. Her mother left her father who was subjecting her to physical and emotional abuse, in April 2014. I have witnessed the bruising and have given her a witness statement. The mother started drinking before she returned to her parents, but deteriorated within weeks. Currently she has her own flat in a different town, sees her daughter almost daily, and seems to be getting her life back together. Cafcass, state that the father thinks she has had long enough to recover, and they agree. For the first 6 months the father was given access and never mentioned the child returning to him. Since November he has been trying to get custody, without letting the maternal grandmother or mother know, it only came to light when the parties saw the social services log. In February sosial services advised the maternal grandmother to apply for a child arrangement order for the child to live with her AND at the same time told the father to just take her when he had contact and not return her. This is in the records. The father has been a cocaine abuser since he was 15. His hair test shows he had used it regularly in the preceeding 3 months. Cafcass state that he has to undertake not to use it 48 hours before he has the child and whilst she is with him. Both grandmother and mother have challenged this in their position statements.

in stating that the child should live with her father, cafcass state that his parenting has been 'good enough' and 'with the support of his family and friends he should manage'

The mother knows that his main friends are fellow cocaine users, one is a dealer, and one has served time in prison for armed robbery. She wants to submit to the court. The position statement has to be at the court by 4pm. She wants to knowif she can do this. As a different point it has come to light that on the latest contact visit the fathers sister, (who is also named as one of the people who will support the father, in spite of electing to have no children hersel),smacked the child, sufficiently hard that the child has bruises. The mother has taken photos of the bruises. Cafcass Advisor stated to the maternal grandmother that in most cases the judge takes her advise. Is this correct and can the information/ reasons for disagreeing on the position statements cause the court to reconsider.

Your help in this matter is much appreciated.

Kay

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The report put forward by a CAFCASS officer is always important to the court - but it is the Judge who makes the decision and no one else.
If there are reasons for concerns about the friends then yes the mother and grandmother must say so in their position statement - but without being over dramatic about it.
So
" Whilst accepting that the Applicants (respondent whichever) does have the support of friends there is concern about the company he routinely keeps which includes a drug dealer and a man convicted of armed robbery.
There is no evidence that he will be able to refrain from his addiction to cocaine which will place the child at risk; and insufficient consideration has been given to his history of domestic violence"
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks Clare.

The mother has followed your advice. The hearing is on Tuesday, so if there are any other issues I will contact you then.

I am unsure of what I have paid for, but you have my credit card details if required

Kay

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - If you leave a positive rating then I will get my share of the fee!
Clare
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