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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I wonder if you can. My niece and her partner are in a bad

Customer Question

Good afternoon, I wonder if you can. My niece and her partner are in a bad place with his ex-partner. The situation is a little messy because my niece used to be best friends with her current boyfriends ex. The father had complete access to his daughter, she was allowed to stay with him at his mum's house every other weekend and also he was able to see her one day during the week. Since they have announced that they are a couple all contact with his daughter has stopped, his ex has made up vicious allegations against him, to the point that eventually she has managed to make an allegation of harassment stick - despite the fact that there was no harassment from his side, it has all been the ex towards my niece. There have been vile messages posted on facebook from the ex girlfriend and her mother, accusing my niece of all sorts to the point that she has been accosted in the street by her facebook followers.
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Bromley area.
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: The main problem now is a cafcass report has now been put in place what accuses him of domestic violence, the allegations of which are not true and there is no evidence to back up her allegations, but the court have to follow the cafcass guidelines so contact has not been reinstated the court have advised him to do a DVPP course and in the meantime indirect contact is allowed via a letter every fortnight ! his child is 3, if the letter even gets to her it won't really mean much, he is distraught that his relationship with his daughter is breaking down every day
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that's it for the moment! thank you
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

You refer to a CAFCASS report - was this the first short report and has a Section 7 report been ordered?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for responding.I can check if it is the first report . The copy of the report I have seen, says its the statement of the respondent under section 7.
Expert:  Clare replied 8 months ago.

It was a Section 7 report then - and I should mention that you should not actually have been shown it!

Was there a "Finding of Fact" hearing about the allegations?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What is a finding of fact hearing?
We have been to court twice, the first time the expectation was that the dad would get contact - but cafcass attended the court and advised that they were not happy because of allegations of domestic violence - no evidence was presented, but the court wanted cafcass to investigate , this was done, and both parties were interviewed. Still no confirmed allegations, but the report recommended that indirect contact was put in place. There was another court hearing on Wednesday - where the judge upheld the indirect contact recommendation, which is 1 letter to be sent to the child once a fortnight which mum is to read to her. The situation is so acrimonious there is no way that the letter will be read ! He has also been asked to attend a DVIP course, again there is no evidence of any violence but he has agreed to attend on the basis that its a way to see his child eventually - this course takes 26 weeks to organise and do !!
Expert:  Clare replied 8 months ago.

A Finding of Fact hearing is usually held before the Section 7 is completed to determine whether or not the allegations are true - was this never raised in court?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I need to ask , the first hearing the dad went without legal representation - against our advice, the second time a solicitor was instructed at the last minute so im not sure - i will be in touch tomorrow. Julie
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Afternoon, I am now in the possession of further facts. the first hearing was a dispute resolution held in April cafcass were then directed to complete a section 7 report by 22 June. The next hearing was on 12 July.