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Hi, I'm Lea and I have reviewed your query.
How can I assist you with this?
Please bear in mind this is an email service and not a live chat so responses may not be instantaneous. I am not available for calls, but in all cases it is very likely you can be helped online.
Has a hearing been listed?
Have you spoken to CAFCASS yet?
What has the father said in his application?
How old is the child now?
You can ignore the site pop up for a call, it's automated and I am not available to call you anyway - as per my initial post.
Do you have a copy of his application to court? Please attach using the paperclip.
You need to write a position statement for the hearing in which you tell the court your reasons why you oppose the application for parental responsibility and contact.
You will be contacted by CAFCASS, who are court appointed social workers, who will carry out initial background checks with police and social services, and talk to both you and the father to find out what each of you wants. If you have any concerns, you should raise them with CAFCASS and also put them in your position statement.
Other than presenting your position to the court at this moment in time, there isn't anything else you can do. The court will decide whether it needs a full s7 welfare report (very likely given the father has not had any contact with the child at all) before it makes any decisions on whether the child should have contact or whether the father should have PR.
Can I clarify anything for you?
It's a report that the CAFCASS officer will write, after interviewing you, father and any other relevant persons (e.g. social services, police etc.). The report will look at home environments, how each parent can meet the child's needs etc. The report will make recommendations to the court as to what the court should do in regards to the applications father has made.
There aren't any duty solicitors for private law (not at most courts anyway).
Depending on what court you are going to, they might have volunteers who are known as Support Through Court - you can find more information here: https://www.supportthroughcourt.org/
They can come into court with you and take notes, but they can't speak on your behalf.
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