Following the sudden death of my youngest daughter, I was diagnosed with PTSD and my relationship of 13 years fell apart. I moved to a house in the same county, and shared care of my living children with my ex, and we had a good Co-parenting relationship. I decided to needed a larger support network, somewhere away from the hell I had been enduring with PTSD and all the triggers of the local area. After discussions I decided a move 130 miles away would be best; with great support networks, my partner home almost every evening (he is based here for work) fantastic schools and more opportunities for the children going forward.
My daughter initially didnt didn’t want to move schools and so we were trying to work around that, (she’s 12... no one wants to change schools then!) with 5 days until I moved (having already given notice on my home and paying thousands for our new home) I received court papers suggesting the children were at risk of harm and parental abduction, the day before I moved I had to attend the magistrates court under an emergency order. It was determined until he process had been followed that they must remain where they are - I however was free to leave if I wish. At this point I had no choice!
Fast forward 6 months and I have fought with all I have had. Taking unpaid leave from work and driving back to the county court - a 300 mile round journey. The children are both desperate to live with me, their father has never been very present in their lives; yes we were together but I single handedly raised them from 0-11/12. Only in the last 6 months has he stepped up to be a father. I have always maintained that if the children wish to stay where they are; I will not fight, but the fact they are so anti living with their dad and staying where they are - I have to fight and I have been - without legal representation. Cafcass interviewed the children in the home with their father in the house - they both have said they felt pressured but were sure on what they wanted and said it regardless - I had my son on the phone to me in tears after she had left worrying what his daddy would say! This is totally unacceptable.
It has been suggested by the Cafcass officer that the children should remain where they are, despite the concerns and despite their wishes & contact should be for 48 hours per month. (1 night every other weekend) This is absolutely devastating to me, and to them. From being main care giver to having 48 hours a month?? I’m heartbroken and so are they.
Having spoken to 3 desperate solicitors they have all come to the same conclusion; •Cafcass have been biased, unprofessional, ignored the children’s wishes & haven’t followed through on investigations that were deemed necessary. •I have been treated unfairly by the process, perhaps because I don’t have a legal understanding of the process or the court & advantage was taken of that •Safeguarding concerns raised have not been followed up correctly •The children should be living with me, as their main carer for the previous 12 years, with no safeguarding concerns or issues - and it is their wishes.
I need legal assistance, in order to make them do as they need to do, to atleast have a fair fight. Please help me go fund this I am so embarrassed to ask, I really genuinely am... but I can’t fight alone anymore. My entire life has been torn at the hinges, I’ve fought with all I have & I am now, desperate.
*As there is no domestic abuse, I work and there are no benefits I do not qualify for any legal aid. All funds that I have are tied up in a joint mortgage with my ex, I cannot force a sale because he has the children, this is their home and no judge in the land would allow it (and rightly so!)
I need to raise £500 by Monday, and another £500 by the following week to cover the initial costs - which is £240 per hour plus VAT. I must make a £500 down payment on Monday to have representation at our next court hearing in a little over a week.