How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
Type Your Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

I am currently involved in proceedings in family court. This

Customer Question

Hello, I am currently involved in proceedings in family court. This is a contact dispute with my ex-partner. There was domestic violence in our relationship; it's well evidenced with numerous breaches of a restraining order, he had been arrested for threatening violence with my mum and myself before I left him. He did have supervised contact but it was stopped by myself as he went to prison for a second time for harassing me. He has been ordered to do a DV course, and a section seven report has been ordered to cover his drug and alcohol abuse, and mental health; along with all the standard criteria. I have PTSD, and court proceedings are making it worse, which was discussed at the last hearing. There was indirect interim contact; this was stopped as he didn't commit to monthly indirect contact, and he had gone beyond the criteria in the order. But this was also done so that I could be less stressed out until the next hearing in September. What is concerning me is that the Cafcass officer and my solicitor were saying that because we don't have legal aid my son may need to be made a party to proceedings. This unsettled me, I don't see why it's solicitor said that if the Cafcass officer cannot make a recommendation without a psyciatric report into my PTSD, and possible report on my ex partner. Then it will need to be done so that there's funding to do so. My solicitor said that because it's a complex case with lots of safeguarding issues, that it may need to come to that to progress with the case. I have read online that a child is only made a party to proceedings to open up care proceedings! This was not said to me. But my solicitor is on holiday, and this is playing on my mind.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thanks for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-How old is your son?

-What is the local authority's involvement?

-when is the next hearing?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No involvement at all . He's three years old. My solicitor basically said he will only be made a party to proceedings if it's necessary to open up funding for a psyciatric report on my PTSD, in order to see if I could cope with child contact. My solicitor said they are 5000 pound otherwise. But it may not be needed if the Cafcass officer can meet a recommendation on the basis of the section 7 report.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Next hearing is September.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for confirming. Adding a child as a party to proceedings does not mean that there will be care proceedings. There are various situations where a child may be added as party, for example, where a CAFCASS officer thinks it is appropriate, where the childs interests are inconsistent with you and the other party, and various other complex reasons. So do not be concerned if they are added. In any event care proceedings will need to be issued by the local authority and they need to meet the legal threshold that your son is suffering or is at risk of suffering significant harm.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.