Hi Wikis.. We are in a quandary and need some sanity restoring!
My partners Cafcass report is somewhere with Royal Mail, should be recieved today or tomorrow. However last night he had an email off his mum saying that his ex really flipped out when she was told verbally yesterday whats in the report, she hates him etc for all the school involvement, and now she has had contact from social services etc as well.
But the thing that has him in a quandary is that she is allegedly now saying she wants to "make him an offer" of every other weekend, not as much holiday as he was hoping for, on condition he agrees that she gets residence and he gets a contact order as opposed to shared residence.
We believe from the Cafcass officer although havent yet seen the report that they have recommended shared residency and had worked out that half the holidays and the alternate weekends plus a few bank holidays was a 57% / 43% split in mums favour.
His first instinct was "Brilliant she will now agree to me seeing her" but then after sitting and thinking til the wee hours this morning, actually he thinks he has a strong case, is supported we believe by a favourable Cafcass report and therefore he is thinking along the lines of ignoring this "offer" unless it comes via a solicitor to him, but even then probably refusing it.
We know it could possibly avoid all of the cross examination etc at final hearing on the 16th April, but he believes in the action he has taken so far, and there are a lot of care needs for his daughter.
He is however a bit worried that he might look unreasonable to the court if her barrister reveals that he hasnt taken up her "offer" if that makes sense?
He doesnt intend to do anything at all until he has seen sight of the report.
If he simply goes with what CAFCASS has recommended, he is above criticism. CAFCASS are independent of both parents, have no axe to grind and recommend what they see as being best for the child. Criticising him for agreeing with the court''s appointed expert would just look silly.
Emma - I think the danger area is not the court criticising your ptr but from the ex feeling ''defeated'' by the outcome and determined to cause problems in the future.
I think that your ptr should get what parenting time he can (follow the CAFCASS recommendations) but to do so in a way that minimises the backlash from the ex. Which may be impossible and contradictory. However, at court there may be some opportunity to be concilliatory or to concead ground that is unimportant to him.
Given what your ptr has gone through, a softly softly line might seem very wimpy. However keep in mind the court process is just one part of the long game your ptr is involved in. If he can manipulate circumstances so that his ex is less inclined towards future nastyness then in the long term I think it would pay dividens.
Personally I would insist this ''offer'' is put in writing, but don''t agree to it and proceed with the SR application. That way the court can see she is offering contact which she can''t back down from. However, in this case I do believe SR is the best outcome for this child, given the care issues, school issues etc. No-one yet knows if mum will improve & accept help with her parenting, and if she doesn''t then your partner gaining full residence in the best interests of his daughters welfare will be a whole lot easier if started from SR rather than contact.
Wait and see what the report says before making any solid decisions though. I''ve been thinking all day that today is the day, and then realised its tomorrow he will get it!
Well it arrived today but Ive been so busy I couldnt get on here!
It slated mum totally, daughter had told Cafcass that she has been told all these bad things about her dad, they are recommending an immediate contact order for alternate weekends, all staying contact like he wanted, she said my and my partners checks were "outstanding" and that we can provide everything she needs, but possibly the move from the school would be tough on her. Mum is agreeing to get some help so thats good, but she also has to go on a parenting course
She has recommended NO order for residence be made, review in 6 months, and if Mum hasnt improved her care issues and attitude towards my partner being an equal parent then the court "should consider seriously a transfer of residency"
So we he will be doing his statement this weekend, absolutely supporting the Cafcass report - so over the moon, because whichever way it goes then this will mean that she gets some improvement, plus her daddy back!!!
Emma that''s brilliant, soooo pleased for you all. What that little girl needs is her daddy back in life substantially, and she will get that now. And, hopefully mum will improve, but if she doesn''t then this child has a safety net.