[Solved] My experience with family court. Drug testing and psycho ex
Hi, I’m unsure if this is in the correct place but I feel I could be very helpful to dads going through court as I have already got custody of my son and I’m currently going through the process of getting custody of my daughter. Im happy to offer advice and answer any questions.
Thanks bobby, Is it full residency you have? As that’s what I’m going for at present, with 2 nights a week contact for mum.
To cut a long story short, here a couple of times before. I have a young daughter who’s mum has issues with alcohol. This has been going on for over a year and in October last year I started court proceedings. Had an urgent hearing and first hearing. Dispute resolution hearing supposed to be in may but cafcass have stated it’ll most likely be this month due to report being completed quicker.
Anyway, mum is under a drug and alcohol service, numerous visits to GP latest in December, to ask for help. Mum states she only had a drink problem for 5 months after her relationship breakdown with her partner after me, I know this is a lie as she visited the GP in January last year! She has drunk drove with her and even had her mother remove my daughter from her home because she was “hammered”.
Obviously now CAFCASS are not meeting me, my interview was done by phone last week and they won’t be coming to mine or her home to see us with child. My court hearing will be over the phone. How does this work in relation to all my evidence?! My copy of txt messages etc?
Also they’ve said they can no longer do the alcohol testing as labs are focusing on covid-19.
I’m so worried now because of lack of evidence, no visit to homes etc that she will maintain her 70% residency and my daughter will be at risk.
Any advice I’d welcome it as I know only 3% of dads get full residency in family courts
Hi mate. Sorry to hear about your issue. Yes I have a full residency for my son and I currently have a “live with order” for my daughter until caffcass can get reports done.
I’ll give you a brief outline of my story so far. I’ll be brief as possible but if you’d like anything in depth let me know.
Right 4 years ago I left my ex of 12 years the mother of both my children. I left because she stole and lied constantly. She drunk heavily everyday and used cocaine frequently behind my back.
My son now 11 had witnessed everything. He wanted to live with me but to be honest I thought when I left it would be a wake up call and she’d sort herself out and we’d work things out. She didn’t.
Whilst I had my son for the weekend she disappeared with my daughter. I phoned the police as I didn’t know where they were and it turned out she’d gone to the other end of the country to stay in a refuge for beaten women. She filed a marac that I’d been abusive and she had to flee with my daughter for their safety!
I took court proceedings and eventually after nearly 4 months she admitted she was lying and moved back home. It was agreed she wasn’t able to care for both children so I got full custody of my boy and we shared custody of my daughter.
Fast forward to last year my son was staying at hers for the weekend and caught her having [censored] on the kitchen floor at 7pm. Not the first time. He rang me and I went and took both kids and refused to take them back. I’m now in the process of trying to get full custody of my daughter. She’s lived with me since the last incident around 7 months ago.
My only advice is if you think they are in danger then take them and refuse to take them back. If you’re on the birth papers you are within your rights.
I tried that one day, she come to my door and admitted she’d been drinking, so I refused to let her go. She attacked me and went upstairs and got my daughter, I had to call the police who said it was a “contact” dispute as she didn’t appear intoxicated.
I couldn’t do that as she’d go to the school and try and pick her up
And cause a massive scene, she’s aggressive and manipulative.
Do you mind me asking you what evidence you had and how CAFCASS came to their decision? It’s so stressful, I feel like I’m the one who has to try and prove everything, and prove it’s safer for her to be with me, even though if it was me who was an alcoholic I wouldn’t of seen her for months probably, system is so wrong
I think your case is a lot different to bobbybadgers case. I think there is a significant amount of history which led to transfer of residency.
It seems in your case is to drop raising issues against ex as they seem to not be doing anything about it. Instead fully focus on increasing the contact you already have as close as you can to 50/50. What contact was you getting before as that can have a fairly big factor on outcome.
It’s not about raising issues. I applied for court to safeguard my daughter as her social worker basically told me that there was nothing she could do and if I thought my daughter was at risk then to exert my parental rights, which I can’t as she is violent.
Surely the fact she has been to see the GP 3 times in 13 months over substance misuse and she has a drug and alcohol worker (who she didn’t go and see for 6 weeks over Christmas due to relapse) means she’s not safe in her care?
If there was a serious concern social services would do something. They arent doing nothing about it which is the problem. On that basis you wont get residency. If she continues how she is maybe your chances will increase at a later date
Good morning. Extreme times call for extreme measures and I’m afraid it’s the one that shouts the loudest that will be heard. The system is totally messed up and very biased towards the mother.
Social services will only step in if the child is in immediate danger. Unfortunately your child falls into the same category as mine where nothing will be done even though there are massive issues with mum. They leave kids with alcoholics and drug addicts and that’s just the way it is. A mother only needs to show a level of very basic care it’s sad but true.
The most important thing is to keep a journal and log absolutely everything. No matter how small it seems. This can be your evidence. Text messages and hearsay will not be looked at. I had plenty but the court were not interested. However a journal can show inconsistencies and problems over a period of time and when shown to caffcass cannot be ignored.
You are the one that has to prove everything because you are the one raising the issues. Same as me. It’s obvious the mother has problems yet we’re left trying to state the obvious. Totally unfair I agree.
In hindsight I would’ve took the kids then let her make court arrangements. Might work better for you to be honest. Once in your care then she would need to prove you are unfit. Take your daughter refuse to take her back. Don’t answer the door to your ex so she can’t come in and take her. Don’t take your daughter to school so she can’t take her from there either. Well school is shut now isn’t it for next few months. Seems extreme but if you are genuinely concerned she is in danger or at risk what alternative do you have? I will say though be certain you can offer a better life for her and you will see it through otherwise it’s just exposing your daughter to more upset and things she shouldn’t witness.
You will be heard eventually but it’s a very long drawn out process. You need caffcass on side. Stay positive. I really hope everything works in your favour.
Thankyou, it’s very stressful and the system is so old fashioned.
I have a 7 page time line, Cafcass asked me to send it over, let’s hope it helps