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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Just spoken to CAFCASS...

  • Shi Tong
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01 Jun 12 #334433 by Shi Tong
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Hello All,

I''ve just spoken to CAFCASS who have apparently sent some ideas and recommendations to court for the first hearing. They''ve included contacting the police and talking to me about domestic abuse incidents from other times.

I''m feeling really panicky and getting so scared of what they can decide for us.

My eldest boy (7) is very aware of his routine and when it changes he''s suffered from such problems. I want so badly to protect him from this possible change, but know it might happen without my say so. I''ve encouraged contact as much as possible, but with the constant problems associated with it, it''s become overwhelmingly upsetting for everyone.

What am I going to do if he''s forced through even more changes?! :(

  • Fiona
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01 Jun 12 #334436 by Fiona
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Safeguarding checks are standard and when there are allegations of DV CAFCASS might make recommendations to assist the judge decide whether or not there needs to be a finding of fact hearing. I think you need to cross the bridge of change when you get there. In the long term your son can only benefit from the stability of having proper arrangements in place.

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01 Jun 12 #334606 by Shi Tong
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Hello Fiona,

I agree, but at the moment he has arrangements which are relatively stable, which basically revolve around happily living at home and seeing his mum in contact days that he''s happy with.

It''s not that I''m taking everything he says as gospel either; if I had he wouldn''t have seen her at all, since he told me several times he''d rather just live at home exclusively.

I had to have a talk with him tonight, to just let him know about possible changes because they may happen as of next week, but I wanted to try to paint it as best I could, but any mention of change (even when I said he may have "mummy weekends" and said how cool and fun they would be), just made him burst into tears and scream about not wanting to do that and just wanting to stick to what he normally does.. *sigh*.......

  • Emma8485
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02 Jun 12 #334666 by Emma8485
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Dont take offence at this, but in my partners case his daughter is seven, same age as your oldest, and Cafcass slated her mum for even mentioning the proceedings, change of arrangements etc to her as they said it was emotionally damaging

In my view, whatever the situation with your ex you run the risk by talkign to him constantly about these issues of "demonising" his mum and making him scared of going.

I think you should tread really carefully so your child is protected from everything thats going on.

take care

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03 Jun 12 #334775 by Shi Tong
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The questions arose from him in response to the letter CAFCASS sent to him to read. I am so careful as to not involve him as much as possible. I hate talking to him about anything to do with stuff outside of "normal" routine because I know how upsetting it could be for him. My aim is and always has been to make sure both of the children are mentally unaffected. After the screaming abusive sessions in my hallway/ physically risky behaviour by my ex, both of my kids got scared and were adamant they stay at home. I''d always tried hard to tell them to go to her house, despite the difficulties surrounding the children wanting to live at home.

I''m not sure what is for "best", in that, if I''d not shown my son the letter CAFCASS sent, would they slate me for that? How about avoiding talking to him about it, after I''d been directly asked "what does this mean?, you can''t decide where I''m going to live?" and the distressed look on his face?

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03 Jun 12 #334801 by Emma8485
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Our Cafcass officer told us that they only issue the information packs to children of a particular age, and my partners child didnt get one, although she showed us what they send out with the card for the child if they need it. I am surprised they sent one to a seven yr old - in my view - and it is purely my own personal view, a seven yr old, no matter how clever they are, does not have the understanding necessary to deal with adult situations such as seperation and divorce.

I think there is a risk of too much honesty with a seven yr old. I dont see anything wrong with saying "Dont worry everything will be sorted out and will be fine, Mummy loves you and Daddy loves you, and we just need some help sorting out the arrangements" Its still honest, but it doesnt involve him having to make choices - your post above said you "had to have a concersation with him to let him know about possible changes" It didnt indicate that the questions came from him, hence why it appeared to me that you had actually started that conversation.

When our Cafcass report came, we were shocked at just how much my partners daughter knew about the case, and she spilled her little soul to the Cafcass officer, who said clearly she didnt support the fact that she had been exposed to it.

I just think you need to be careful, as your son will probably have a Cafcass interview, and things like this will come out. I dont think anyone would slate you for not openly discussing it with him, rather the opposite, but as I have said, this is just my take on the situation.

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03 Jun 12 #334881 by Shi Tong
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I''ll tell you what I said exactly:

"since you ask what it''s about, I just want to let you know that mummy and daddy are just going to talk about some things,And whatever happens we both love you.

If we''re going to change what time or where you sleep sometimes then it will be fine.... It might even be more fun because you''ll have mummy weekends, wouldn''t that be cool?"

I purposefully worded it like this to put it in a positive light.

He looked very distressed and said "I don''t want mummy weekends, I just want to carry on doing what I normally do".

He started to cry a lot.

I said "whatever happens it''s not your fault", he replied "no it''s mummy''s fault because she left".

I gave him a hug and had a think about what to say. I said "it''s not anyone''s fault and we all love you, but it''s certainly not your fault, you know that don''t you?" he said he did.

I''m not sure why CAFCASS sent letters to both my sons. My 5 year old too. He can''t read. He has shown signs of massive stress and said some worrying things about his mum though.

Thanks for your advice!

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