Any info would be appreciated.
I have recently had my first phone interview with CAFCASS. They were incredibly biased and sounded like she had already made her mind up to believe my ex’s lies. My ex has claimed there has been domestic violence from me and even reported me to the police. She only made the police report when she received letters from my solicitor informing her of my intentions to get a court date booked. The police have said they are taking no action as there isn’t any evidence. Yet CAFCASS are recommending a fact finding and a section 7 report. Which is going to delay the whole process by months. Would I have a valid argument in court with the fact the police have already looked into her claims and found no evidence of any wrong doing?
She has also claimed I had addiction issues with drink and drugs (again no evidence) yet CAFCASS are saying I will have to do a hair sample test and a liver function test at more cost to myself while she is getting all her fee’s paid by claiming domestic violence. I have no problem taking any tests as I know they are lies but could I suggest to the judge the ex should be paying at least half of the costs for the tests?
Thanks for any info.
Cafcass will try to get more info from police while they do S7 report, so you can leave that to them. You can ask court if ex can cover half costs for tests but I think its unlikely.
the court have an obligation to look in to any allegations.
A fact finding hearing works differently to criminal proceedings, so nfa from the police doesn't necessarily guarantee the court will dismiss the mother's allegations without ordering a Section 7 and a fact finding.
Whilst I appreciate reports and hearings aren't an ideal outcome and will delay the proceedings, at least they can be put to bed now and not brought up again in the future.
Best of luck
That's spot-on one-sided, my advice you cannot trust Cafcass at all!
When you go to family court , I would say before they suggest it that you are happy to take a drugs/alcohol test as long as the other side are going to pay for it. Your reasoning is that you refute there claims and i assume you may have the odd drink here and there. which is fine This then may make your ex reconsider asking for alcohol/drugs test once she knows she may have to pay half or entire costs. If you are self represented you can suggest this to the other side before you go into court , but only if he/she comes to chat to you beforehand.
Thanks for all the replies.
Yes CAFCASS do seem to be very one sided, I hope the judge isn’t the same. The CAFCASS officer has already mentioned the testing in the interview and I said I am more than happy to do the tests to prove those allegations are lies.
With regards to the section 7 and fact finding are they done at the same time? When I go back to court for the fact finding will the section 7 be complete?
I have asked for supervised contact in the mean time while all this is all going on, so I hope the judge agrees with me and I can finally meet my daughter. I have the first hearing in two days so I will soon find out.
the section 7 process takes about 8-12 weeks. It should be completed and report ready for your 2nd hearing. I am not familiar with the fact finding hearing. I think that could be a separate hearing.
If the court decide to order a ff hearing and an S7 it will depend on the circumstances of your case as to which way round the court decides to proceed.
Most S7 reports are taking 12 weeks at the moment & most ff hearings are listed approx 3 months in the future depending on the backlog at your local court.
I know it can seem like Cafcass are biased but they have an obligation to explore any allegations. For every false allegation, there will sadly be one that is true.
It really is a difficult and long process, but try to look after yourself, accept that you might have a long journey ahead and keep sight of why you're going through it.
Best of luck
Update after first hearing.
CAFCASS recommended a fact finding hearing and a section 7 in their report due the the mother’s false allegations.
One hour before first hearing exes solicitor contacted my solicitor and said ex doesn’t want a fact finding hearing and would agree supervised contact at her house with her and her mother.
Unfortunately hearing was overseen by a legal advisor and not a judge. The legal advisor said she didn’t have the power or authority to over rule the CAFCASS recommendation so a new date was set for May in front of a magistrate. Who will decide if we have to proceed with a fact finding or not. I am not happy about having to wait 10 weeks til next hearing but nothing can be done about it.
The CAFCASS representative in court thought it was strange how the ex wanted the contacted to be in her home and with her present due to her domestic abuse allegations. The rep questioned why she would put herself in that position if these allegations were true. The rep also questioned why the mother doesn’t want a fact finding hearing considering the seriousness of her allegations. In the police report she filed the police have noted that there has been no crime committed and are not taking any action, maybe this is what the ex is thinking.
I am no where closer to any access at this stage and this whole drama looks set to drag on for probably most of this year. One positive outcome from the first hearing was that the legal advisor agreed I have the right to have my name on the birth certificate therefore giving me parental rights. Which was against my exes wishes. So I at least achieved that.
Sorry to hear that you have another wait ahead of you
Agree that refusal of a fact finding and wanting contact at her home is at odds with her allegations
Personally, I would push for a fact finding so that things can be put to bed once and for all and for contact to take place in a contact centre.