25th May 2016 at 12:58 pm #17945StrubeParticipant
I don’t often post on here but I always read the posts. I’m looking for some points of view on child contact and how often is reasonable.
Basically, after a long fight through the courts, my ex is to be granted contact with our children. It’s been a long time since they saw their dad and Cafcass want to know my thoughts on how the contact will take place.
I can’t come to a decision on how long the children should spend with their father and I’m also scared of arguing my case as I worry cafcass will label me as being hostile (something his barrister labelled me as in court).
My instinct is telling me that a few hours (supervised to begin with) on alternate weekends would be more than enough. Cafcass have mentioned overnight stays in the future but I just don’t feel comfortable with that.
Is that unreasonable? Has anyone else been through this?
25th May 2016 at 1:05 pm #17946Twisted SisterParticipant
I am sorry to hear you have been through all this, all i can say is to try not to question yourself or doubt your instincts, worry less about what ‘seems reasonable’ and more about what ‘is safe’ which is what your instincts are telling you.
if they have been apart for a long period its very odd for children to be pushed together with any adult who isn’t someone they are very familiar with and i would go for the contact centre and focussing on activities for the enjoyment of the child and less focus on intense one to one with their father. this isn’t hostile, its a suggestion for a way forward from a point of no contact, to move forward carefully with the child’s best interests at the heart of all decisions.
I find this ‘having to be reasonable’ pushed by courts etc as the wrong way to go about it, all that matters is whats safe for children and mother as far as abusive fathers are concerned.
keep strong..warmest wishes ks xx
25th May 2016 at 3:20 pm #17954AnonymousInactive
Hi, personally I would initially say 2-3hrs a fortnight in a contact centre and see how they go. Do not veto anything they say but say you want a very gradual process of introducing the children back to their father. I would not hand them over for overnight visits until you are fully sure that they are comfortable being around their father and you are happy for it to take place. This could mean quite a few months of contact centre and then unsupervised for a few hours and then gradually building it up. It has to be at the children’s pace, not his. If they are happy and are not distressed then I would go on their reactions. I am saying this but I do not know the full circumstances of your split therefore it may be more complicated. xx
27th May 2016 at 10:11 am #18093SuntreeParticipant
I would ask cafcass what they are thinking?
They have already given you a clue that the courts are looking at overnights.
Ask them about if there is any supervised contact places that could be used to start off with.
Don’t be surprised if they say no.
Ask what contact he is thinking about.
Use this time to start fact finding.
Then when you have what cafcass are prepared to do and what each party is looking for then you can start with your thoughts.
Thoughts can go along the lines of the children need a slow re introducing to him over a period of time in a neural place.
To start off with that should e supervised, it could be even something like he can take them swimming where you watch in the gallery once a fortnight for example.
Then go from there.
27th May 2016 at 12:50 pm #18097razzledazzleParticipant
To build contact up I’d go with 1 hour per fortnight and work your way up from there. Unfortunately no matter what you propose you don’t make the final decision. I’ve been there and am still fighting to keep my children safe.
27th May 2016 at 2:54 pm #18104Confused123Participant
I think start of with 1-2 hours supervised at a centre or in a public place and see how children respond to that first, trust your gut instinct
31st May 2016 at 10:21 am #18370StrubeParticipant
Thanks everyone for your input.
I’ve been informed that neither Cafcass or the courts will consider a contact centre so the contact will be initially supervised by a member of my family, with a view to it being supervised by a member of his family in the future.
Our cafcass officer has stated what they believe should happen in terms of contact and now they want to hear my thoughts. Personally, I believe the contact should be for a couple of hours on alternate Saturdays, with a view to increasing it if the children are safe and comfortable being around their father.
I think no matter what I suggest, cafcass and the courts have their idea of what should happen and it’ll be unlikely they listen to my opinion.
31st May 2016 at 12:01 pm #18374Confused123Participant
I would give you views and justify them, they will be noted and hopefully taken into consideration
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