Son and his ex had to submit statements before they went back to court for another hearing. Cafcass had previously recommended that he have assisted contact at a contact centre for 3 months as he hasn’t been part of her life for so long and to integrate him taking her into the community before having completely independent contact. Contact never took place as she refused to travel anywhere and the only contact centre near to where she lived had recently closed down. She put in her statement that she would allow him to have contact at a play centre with her and her boyfriend supervising. This would not work as major problems were caused last time they tried this.
They were in court last week and she didn’t turn up claiming to be ill. The Cafcass officer and both my sons and her barristers sat in a room for over an hour trying to sort things out. When the Cafcass officer spoke with my son, he said all he could give my son in terms of contact was what she had asked for at a play centre but this was not put before the judge as my sons barrister agreed because of threats that had been previously made towards my son.
Who is supposed to be the one making these decisions? I thought that Cafcass and the judge had some clout, not the mother calling all the shots. They are rescheduled to be back in court in a few weeks time to try and progress this but what is the point of the officials if they can’t make the decisions on how to move forward?
This is the problem with the courts sometime, in that they seem reluctant to enforce decision. If his ex doesn't turn up again, it might be worth asking the judge to consider an application for change of residence - it may well not happen, but if the judge considers it as a possibility, then his ex may suddenly realise that she can't continue to defy the court.
That is an inexcusable tactic that she is playing. And it is one that will wear thin very fast with all parties involved, including the court.
In regards to supervised contact centres, my daughters mother suggested the same when we went to court with my daughter who was 3 months old at the time. My angle was that I found contact centres an inappropriate option in my case as I had no criminal background, no history of violence or domestic abuse, and that I had experience with caring for young children (including younger siblings). I found supervised contact intrusive and demeaning. The good news is I wasnt given supervised contact, we went straight on to visitation/contact arrangements.
However, what I know is suggested and accepted by others is to have contact whilst in the presence of family members and in a private location. for example, your mothers home with your mother present, an adult siblings home, or grandparents home with the grandarent present..
He certainly has the room to compromise, and even better, appear cooperative and reasonable. He can certainly have his say.