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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 744
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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My partner would like to reapply responsibility

Customer Question

My partner would like to reapply for parental responsibility and a contact order for his daughter. He Applied before but cafcass did not support contact at the time due to a previous criminal record, and he was on bail at the time. He did not go to the final hearing as he knew the court would follow cafcass's desicion and the case was thrown out.
It is now a year down the line. My partner went to trail for what he was on bail for and was found not guilty. So he now wants to apply for contact again.
Is he able to apply again since he did not go to the final hearing last time?
Will he have the same cafcass officer if he can apply again?
And what are the chances of them saying no again even though he has not been in trouble for several years apart from that one case where he was found not guilty?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your question.
I am Solicitor and I will assist you.
I note that your partner has previously applied for contact and parental responsibility in relation to his daughter however he choose at the time to not pursue the case as Cafcass did not support direct contact taking place and he had an outstanding criminal case which he was on bail for.
You need to check a copy of the final court order that was made when the case was dismissed. If the court did not make a S91(14) Order barring your partner from making a further application to the court - then he can reapply. It is very rare that the Court makes S91(14) Orders.
I note that you state that your partner was found not guilty in relation to the outstanding criminal case at the time. I also note that you state that your partner has made good progress and basically has a clean record since. This is a positive sign. The court will still consider the past history and this will still come up on the Cafcass Checks before the first hearing - but your partner will be able to explain the progress that he has made. The court will be concerned with the types of offences and if they could have any impact in relation to children protection. If the offences were say theft and fraud offences and your partner has now kept a clean record then it is unlikely that the court will consider that this will not cause any child protection concerns.
If your partner still has some of the papers from the previous court proceedings - which outline the concerns held about your partner at the time - and your partner should detail for the court in any new application how these concerns no longer apply and the work that he has done to put himself in a better position.
It is possible that your partner may get the same Cafcass Officer that he previously had. The courts do like continuity if possible however I say this but I have known many cases where a new Cafcass Officer has been allocated.
You also have to bear in mind that the criminal courts have a higher standard of proof then the family courts. This means that for a conviction in a criminal court someone has to be proved guilty 'beyond all reasonable doubt' whereas a family court can make a finding on the 'balance of probabilities' which is much lower. This likely wont come into play too much if the offence was one not considered to be of a child protection concern.
Your partner needs to be realistic when he makes an application to the court. If is likely that he has not seen his daughter for some time. The courts will consider his application in view of what is in the best interest of his daughter. Your partner should consider asking for a re-introduction back to direct contact with indirect contact being offered first by way of cards, gifts and telephone calls. The reintroduction would need to be at his daughters pace. The court would also give regard to his daughters wishes and feelings if she is of a competent age. The more child focussed your partner is in his application - the better.
Whilst there can be no guarantee that the court will agree - your partner will simply not know unless he makes the application. The fact that he was found not guilty previously and has kept a clean sheet since will certainly assist him.
As your ex does not have parental responsibility then he will also need to complete form C2 and well as C100 when he submits his application to the court - as he needs permission to bring the proceedings.
Please note that new rules are also in force about children act applications. Your partner needs to make a referral to mediation before he can make an application to the court - otherwise the court will automatically reject his application. Once such service is:
www.nfm.org.uk
Kind Regards
Caroline
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Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Please remember to rate positively - your question will not close and you can come back and ask for further information in the future. Kind Regards.
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 744
Experience: Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In the trial, it was thrown out on the first day. The judge apologised to my partner for the distress that it must have caused to him and his family, as the police made a big mistake and arrested the wrong person at the scene. My partner did try to tell the cafcass officer this the first time round, but she still would not support contact.
He has also been sending gifts, cards and letters for the last 2 years which he has been giving to his mother to pass on to his daughters mother which she has great fully recived apparently.
Is it likey they will keep getting him to send cards and gifts only if he's already been doing this for a few years. ?
My partner has already applied for mediation which she has not responded too. Will he get permission to apply for court at his appointment with mediation?
Is supervised contact sometimes for the best to prove you are safe and have a good relationship with your child? How long do they normally offer that for?
I have a 6 month old baby with my partner, and he has 2 step children with me who he has brought up for 4 years. After the last case, social services came to check on us as the cafcass officer sent them around saying she had concerns. But social services closed their case with no concerns.
Will their report have an effect in this new application, as they actually visited our home with no concerns, and cafcass only spoke to my partner in an office for 40 mins?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your update.
It is very helpful to his case that he has kept up with indirect contact - matters should progress quicker then - indirect contact as per my last post was for a reintroduction - but this has already taken place.
It is also very helpful that you have a child together with no SS involvement being required. This information should come up in the checks that Cafcass do prior to the first hearing. Your partners daughter should have the opportunity to know her sibling.
If mediation doesn't work then they will sign the C100 Form for your partner do he can apply to court.
You are detailing lots of positives - make sure all of this is included in the application.
Supervised contact can help for a while but if there are no concerns with your child then this won't be necessary for long.
The case will very much depend on his daughters pace for reintroduction and her wishes and feelings if she is of a competent age.
Kind Regards
Caroline

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