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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 726
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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My daughter divorced her husband after he violently attacked

Customer Question

My daughter divorced her husband after he violently attacked her to the extent the police prosecuted him successfully. The two older children witnessed the attack. The attack was just over 3 years ago. The court also put in place a 5 yr restraining order stopping him from having direct contact with my daughter. He lives in Devon and my daughter in London with the children.
Early last year, the court decided, following assessment by Cafcass that it was safe for the children to spend holidays with him. They issued a court order specifying the periods they should spend with their father and allows him to take them abroad. I was appointed as the contact for all aspects involving the children. He is dyslexic therefore his new partner writes all e-mails.
The following are the issues we have.
1. Since starting communication we constantly receive abusive, ranting and threatening e-mails. These are often clearly from her and not him. I have always remained factual and non-threatening.
2. I have mails stating he has avoiding working until his record was clear so has paid very little in child maintenance.
3. The court order states that derogatory remarks about each parent should not be made in front of the kids. He constantly does this when out of range with his partner. This is stated by the older of the children as they find it upsetting.
4. The 3 older children have stated he is often shouting at them and during the last visit he tried to hit the older son (12yrs old) who avoided the swipe but fell over. He then proceeded to tear the bedroom apart looking to see if he had a mobile and had been trying to contact his mother saying if he found a mobile ‘he (his son) was ‘dead’.
5. The court order states that the children are allowed to call either parent at any time. He often ‘confiscates’ the older daughters mobile to prevent her calling her mother.
6. The schools noticed behavioural changes in the children following a visit with their father. They have witnessed withdrawal and mood swings and have recently started case files for the 3 older kids.
7. The 3rd child during an art session drew a picture of her mother lying dead in a pool of blood with the father standing over her. The school brought this to the attention of their mother.
8. The three older children have stated they ‘are scared and do not want to see their dad’. However they are scared to tell the truth to anyone in case their dad finds out what they have said and the court still sends them on holiday with the dad.
9. Recently the father called the police with a false claim but as the police had been called in child services were informed. They appeared at my daughters house to interview the kids. This backfired as after the interview they stated they were concerned by what they had heard from the children regarding their father so were going to interview him.
He has always had violent tendencies which he has hidden from his current partner and Cafcass during the assessment period however we hoped he had possibly changed after serving time for the attack but it now appears he is slipping back to his old angry ways. My daughter and I are seriously concerned for the safety of the children.
What can we do?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 6 months ago.

Hello

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will assist you.

I am very sorry to hear about the difficulties that you are experiencing with the father of your daughters children.

Please may I ask:

- how old are the children?

- are social services still involved?

Kind Regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Caroline,there are 4 Children aged 5, 8, 12 & 14.
Social Services are no longer involved other than their investigation which I mention in my initial question.Kind regards
Dave
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 6 months ago.

Hello

Please accept my sincere apologies fo rmy delay in responding to you today. I am in full tie practice and have had various meetings.

Just a few more questions:

- what is the exact time rota that he is currently spending with the children?

- have the children expressed any wishes and feelings?

Kindest Regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Not a problem Caroline, I do understand.The rota for the children visiting him is as follows:
- Half of the Easter school holidays.
- The first two weeks of each summer holiday
- Half of each February and October half term
- Half of each of the Christmas holiday, rotated.As I mentioned the children have clearly stated they are scared and the older three do not want to spend anymore time with him, especially the older two. The eldest created a calendar so that she can scores off each day to when she turns 16 when she has stated she will choose not to visit him. The 12 year old boy is terrified as he seems to be the brunt of his anger and has stated he is very frightened.Regards
Dave
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 6 months ago.

Hello Dave

Thank you for your response.

I also thank you for your patience today.

The current situation cannot continue and matters need to be returned to court. The children are clearly suffering emotional harm and there also appears to be the risk of phyiscal harm.

Whilst contact should always been promoted with an absent parent - the situation is somewhat different if there are child protection concerns.

I am presuming that the attempt to swipe at the eldest boy took place during the Easter break. If this matter was not reported to the police then it now should be.

I am disappointed that Social Services appear to have closed there case and have taken no further action.

What you need to do is return this case back to court to seek a variation of the court order. I appreciate that the next contact is to take place is approx 5/6 weeks time. If an application is made to the court quickly then the court will be able to consider the interim position before that contact is to take place.

In reality - the 12 and 14 year old are now of an age where the court would give strong regard to their wishes and feelings. A court will highly likley not force them to attend for contact if they are expressing that they do not wish to do so.

The matters you have expressed in respect of childrens emotional presentation at school is very concerning. To support the application to the court - I would suggest that reports are obtained from the childresn school detailing all the concerns that they hold. I hope that the school have also given consideration to offering the children extra support.

It is the C100 Form that needs to be completed. The court Fee is £215. Send to Local Family Court.

http://hmctsformfinder.direct.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=2253

Mark the application as urgent. Request that contact be suspended pending a full investigation by Cafcass / Social Services and also a wishes and feeling report in respect of the children. Ask for a hearing to be listed in the next few weeks.

Mark on the Form that mediation is not required because there is a restraining order in place.

Attach to the Application Form any reports that you have obtained from school or state that they are to follow.

As your daughter has a restraining order she qualifies in respect of the merits requirements for legal aid. it used to be that a restraining order had to have been made within the last 2 years - but this has recently changed to 5 years. I would suggest that contact is made with a family lawyer in your area. Ask them for a free legal help assessment. They will calculate your daughters income to see whether see also qualifies in respect of the income element for legal aid. See this link for further information on the calculation.

https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

Do let me know if I can help you further.

Kind Regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. I will advise my daughter and take it forward with the courts.Thank you
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 6 months ago.

Your welcome

If I can help further please do not hesitate to ask.

Kind Regards

Caroline

If you have found this service useful - please kindly remember to rate positively. Your question stays open when you leave positive feedback and I can answer your follow up questions for free

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Caroline,Further to this the school have requested that we submit a form for them to complete rather than them handing over the teachers notes. Is there such a form?Also should my daughter submit a C1A form 'Allegations of Harm and domestic violence' along with the C100?Regards
Dave
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 5 months ago.

Hello Dave

In respect of the form requested by school - there is no such standard document - perhaps the school have their own procedure and can supply you with a copy.

I do consider that the C1A is appropriate. Detail the emotional abuse and the impact on the children as well as the assault.

Let me know if I can help you further.

Kind Regards

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