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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34276
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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My daughter is 4 and 3 months. Her father has had little to

Customer Question

My daughter is 4 and 3 months. Her father has had little to do with her except for a brief and sporadic between the age of 2 - 8 weeks. He said he couldn't be bothered. In January this year I got a letter from court for a contact hearing and CAFCASS are involved. He has never asked to sit down or for mediation. He has 4 other children and only has contact with two of them, this is not as directed by court. he is a bully and will add nothing to my child's life. He has not supported her in any way, practically, financially or emotionally. He is not on her birth certificate as he was not around. please help?
Clare
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.
What is it that you want to know about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What rights does he have and is this normal procedure?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What rights do I have?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.
A resident parent (you) will not be able to avoid a non-resident (the father) parent seeing a child/children and if the resident parent refuses point-blank, the matter will end up in court. The resident parent would be better offering some contact. Both parents should both try to resolve matters using family mediation. The court will insist that this is tried before it will hear anything. He may have hardly seen the child in the last four years but the courts do believe that a child should grow up knowing both parents if possible. Here is the link for mediation: Http://www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk Although it is quicker and less confrontational than court it isnt necessarily cheaper If this fails then the non-resident parent being denied contact can then apply to the court for a Child Arrangement order which will formalise arrangements for contact and residence. If you are looking at him having no contact, it’s unlikely the court would order that. If you refuse contact and make it difficult for him, he’s more likely to dig his heels in whereas if you give him what contact he wants, he could well get fed up and drop the whole issue in the fullness of time. Contact orders now contain a warning that if the resident parent doesn’t comply with the contact arrangements, and enforcement proceedings take place, the resident parent denying contact can end up with a community service order. The government have kindly produced this mini website including the forms which you may find useful. Unfortunately, there is no legal aid for this although there is no reason why anyone cannot DIY. https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce/overview Does that answer the question? Can I answer any points arising from this?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** I am a family law specialist and I shall do my best to help you.It is in fact odd that your ex was able to make an applictaion to the court without first having attempted mediation unless he was not aware of your current address.If he did know your address then you should ask the court why the application was accepted prior to mediation taking placeHow far have the proceedings reached and when is the next hearing?Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have just found out today that the next hearing is on the 22nd (I am however scheduled to have my gall bladder removed on that day!) There was apparently a hearing on the 19th Feb which I was unaware of. He was ordered to make indirect contact (2 cards) and CAFCASS were instructed to prepare Annya for contact with him. I have asked for details of this hearing to be sent out to me.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did he have your up to date address?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes he did. Over the last four years he has put 2 notes and a leaflet through my door and on my car door handle. The last was in September 2013, a leaflet from somewhere re a father's rights with 'this is your last chance' scrawled on it, left in my letter box with no envelope and not addressed to anyone. The other two were sent in Aug 2011 (one telling me I was a sh1t mother for returning to work, despite managing on £125 mat pay and the other telling me to keep away from his other children, who have always had contact with Annya) and Sep 2012 with a text message in 2011 telling me to drop my 6 month baby off in a car park and pick her up from the same car park 8 hours later.
Clare
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
When did you first receive all the paperwork?
Which court is dealing with the matter?
Have you heard from CAFCASS?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Court paperwork received in Jan for Feb date which was postponed. Liverpool Court. CAFCASS worker contacted me today after 2 weeks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has of course denied everything and also said that he has made reasonable attempts to contact me
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Who has told you the outcome of the hearing on 18th February - and why did you think that hearing had been postponed?
Clare