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Preparation for first meeting with CAFCASS

  • GSS
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20 Jan 08 #11264 by GSS
Topic started by GSS
I am going through a very rough divorce. My x2b of 23 years filed for divorce and it is anything but amicable. To cut a long story short she has fabricated, lied etc about my conduct and has manipulated my 2 daughters to an extent where I am becoming a stranger in the house.Especially the youngest who is 11 years old, now believes the decisions she makes ar her own! And is becoming my x2b's puppet. The oldest who is nearly 17 tries to lock herself away and ignore the situation. X2B refuses mediation and now CAFCASS are involved. My 2 kids have both said they do not want to go to the appointment, so I had to explain the reality of the situation without it becoming a slanging match. I know x2b will put on the waterworks in her appointment when really she is the agressor in every instance. I need advice on what I need to prepare for this first meeting with the CAFCASS officer and how to help my children through this. Any advice would be much appreciated Getting depressed and desparate.

  • Angel557
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20 Jan 08 #11266 by Angel557
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I see CAFCASS, tbh was really worried about what to expect,I was asked when we meet how old we were , how long after meeting did we get married , when did the children arrive, what was the mariage like , what was he like towards the children.Ex never went to his appointment so the report was based only on what i said, i do believe if he had kept to his appointment the children would of been spoken to afterwards.

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20 Jan 08 #11267 by Angel557
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should of also added the reason CAFCASS were involved was on his C1 form, the question do you believe the children are at risk or harm from abuse or domestic violence he ticked yes and made me sound like a nut case.

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20 Jan 08 #11269 by GSS
Reply from GSS
Thanks Angel1557

Would it be beneficial if I prepared in advance the answers to the questions you mention rather than shoot from the hip.
Obviously I will not be saying bad stuff about my X2B but need to say all the right stuff about me - what should that be?
How do I include all the false allegations about me to everyone and manipulation / brain washing of the children without making i sound like I am slagging her off?
As the father of 2 girls I fear I am about to lose any meaningful contact with them. How do I get CAFCASS to look at the situation fairly and see behind the fairytale my X2B will spin?

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20 Jan 08 #11287 by attilladahun
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Kids of 11 are at a difficult age

Needs to be handled very carefully -sometimes ploughing on can end in tears with an order for indirect contact...the reality is it is easy to blame the mother but in reality the child's decision will be likely the end result.

It is important that everyone realises contact is a right of the child not that of you and your estranged wife.

Understand the dynamics -living with her may well lead the child to take notice of what mum wants but as we all know 11 year old children do have an opinion!!!

Try to suggest contact which is fun and if necessary flexible. Kids of 11 don't want to be told they HAVE to see you at X or Y...they often have other adgendas sadly ie friends.

Identify what she really likes without spoiling her.
Don't foist new partners on her -contact must move at her pace.

Suggest fun stuff -swimming -round Liverpool Manchester a new indoor ski/snowboard centre has set up ??? Skating/Riding/Bikes all sorts of stuff-if nec tell her to bring a friend.

Contact with the elder daughter a different proposition and I would suggest separate dates are attempted.

Why not suggest to the CAFCASS officer that you appreciate the sensitivities and you want to make sure the 11 year old is put at ease...Hopefully the CAFCASS officer will appreciate that you are approaching contact from the correct perspective.

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22 Jan 08 #11467 by yferch
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I had a lot of involvement with CAFCASS and court welfare officers when my first marriage broke up.

The ex wanted ridiculous contact to ensure he would have to pay minimum CSA contribution possible and we could not agree on contact. The lies he made up about me was dreadful but CAFCASS saw through him.

Anyway, I was interviewed, kids were interviewed, home environment was assessed etc CAFCASS are not stupid they are highly trained including physcology (yes I cant spell it), they will see through any manipulation of the situation by either of you and will address any concerns raised by either parent or children. It is not what the parents want, it is what the children want that is considered priority. It is better to put across what you can offer, that you are a loving and caring parent, rather than you just try to put your ex down or score points.

Even after a contact order was agreed with us, my children who are teenagers now, do their own thing anyway.

Best of luck to you.

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22 Jan 08 #11485 by GSS
Reply from GSS
Thanks you all for your advice

I really hope CAFCASS are able to get to the truth behind what the children will say, especially my 11 year old. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks

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