Just went to the first hearing for residence and contact over my kids.
There''s going to be a full CAFCASS report into the children''s wishes and feelings, and the judge restored contact on Sunday''s for my ex (giving her Sunday morn - Wednesday morn).
I informed the judge that we had already tried Sunday contact which broke down because of abuse, but that was ignored.
I was then told to encourage contact, I explained that I thought contact was extremely important and that I did encourage contact, but that the children were continuously adamant that they didn''t want to attend (which is why they went for a CAFCASS report).
When I got home I explained to the children "mummy and daddy have a new plan, you''ll be going to see mummy on Sunday morning and spending the day with her on Sundays from now on". My eldest shouted out "noooooo" and looked really upset. I said "but you''ll have fun at mummy''s house on Sunday and she loves you and wants to see you too, you know?", but he continued to look upset.
I''ll have to stick to the order (obviously), but; here''s a question which didn''t seem clear; what if the children show signs of massive stress and distress at this change in contact? The judge told me to write her solicitor a letter or to apply to court again. I''ve been so encouraging before and it only resulted in abuse; hence the court application, but it didn''t seem to matter?!
I''m suspecting the CAFCASS report will say that the children want to live with me, but will the judge/ CAFCASS ignore it and continue on this contact regime?
Yes I will.. I''ll record what happens in my diary and make sure that they attend contact regardless. I hope it doesn''t cause too much upset, but it did in the past (severe).
I''m also going to let the school know what the changes are so that they''re aware of the changes and see if it affects them (which I''m sure it will, but hopefully, like you say it will settle down).
I''m guessing this will go either of two ways; CAFCASS will do their investigation and the kids will show too many signs of stress about being away from home etc, or they''ll do their report and think it''s "fine" and we''ll end up with a joint residence order with the same routine in place.
Obviously all I care about is the kids, so if they ARE OK with this new contact in a couple of months, then it''s not skin off my nose; I just want them to have a healthy relationship with both of us and be comfortable with their routine...