I've been in the court process for a little over a year now. I had a previous Hague Convention case in 2019.
I applied for a CAO in January this year, had my first hearing in April postponed to May, upon my ex's wishes.
A CAFCASS section 7 report was ordered to be done, does anyone have any experience with this?
I was given a hearing date for 14 weeks after my initial hearing, which was just postponed another 12 weeks due to 'Covid' and CAFCASS being 'overwhelmed.'
I was granted interim contact by the judge in my first hearing, which is proving to be very difficult to arrange as my ex is hot and cold constantly.
She made serious allegations against me, (the judge did say she did not wish to conduct a fact finding hearing), but would like to 'put them in the past and move on' when it suits her. (IE She wants money.)
When I don't jump through her hoops of extortion, I get threatened with telling CAFCASS 'the truth.'
Just 2 weeks ago she admitted via text that I was a great dad and was happy I was the children's father, and 2 days later blocked me and said I wasn't 'co-parenting' as I wouldn't send her more money.
Will CAFCASS listen to me in regards to these texts etc? I don't want to go over old allegations and get dragged back into her lies about me, I just want to see my children.
Also the baby was born and she registered him under her own surname. Our daughter has my surname, so now both siblings have different names.
Has anyone been through a similar situation? I don't want to double barrel the surnames, as her's has a long history behind it.
the cafcass section 7 report will focus on the kids and whats in their best interests. money/child maintenance does not play a part in their report.
cafcass will interview you. let them know what arrangements you will like for the kids, like seeing them every other weekend (overnight stays), midweek contact. sharing of school holidays etc. consider your work schedule and availability. they will expect you to answer to some of your ex's allegations. just stay calm and child-focused.
if your ex keeps bugging you for more money, you could pay £20 and sign up with the child maintenance service. then you only pay what they tell you to pay. decide if its right for you. with CMS, the more you earn, the more you pay. every year they review your income. if your income goes up by 25% then you have to pay more.
with the kids surname issue, if you want to fight that then that will likely be a separate court process. i think you should leave that for another time.
I don't currently live in the UK, I am an expat abroad, so the CSA for now until I relocate isn't an option.
With regards to overnights etc, she lives a 2 hour drive from where I will be living in the UK, so I'm hoping they do grant weekend overnights. It's a bit of a drive but luckily the kids only have to do it twice.
I'm not holding my breath for CAFCASS to be fair, as I have read the horror stories!