Ignorance or Scaremongery

Along with coping with my (yet to be confirmed) diagnosis, very long term sick leave and moving house, I have been involved or the last 20 months in a paternity battle with my ex-partner regarding my daughter. I am finally due in court at the end of the month and yesterday received my CAFCASS report and recommendations. Apparently because of my illness not only am I not to be considered a suitable full-time parent for my daughter, but my condition is so grave that I must never be considered capable of unsupervised time with her, see a quote from her findings below;

' A major area of concern for me is Mr Holland's Lupus condition. Following a discussion with Mr Holland and through researching this condition on the internet, I understand that this is an autoimmune life-long condition, which can flare up at any moment, can effect organ functioning and has life-altering (if not life threatening) consequences for Lupus patients. I am concerned how his condition could impact on his ability to care for ___________. She is a young child, only 3 years ld, who requires consistent care and supervision and it would seem Mr Holland's condition could prevent him from affording ______, during their time together. Should Mr Holland spend time with ______, away from the current setting _________contact centre, I am of the view this must continue to be supported.'

I find that either ignorance or worse still scaremongering on an absolutely scandalous scale! If this were a criminal case I think I would be calling for expert witnesses, as it is does anyone have any recommendations as to how I can highlight the flaws in this statement for the court, bearing in mind that time is now of the essence.

13 Replies

  • I am not a lawyer, but did take a family law class for my associates in paralegal. I never learned to research, but if you could find court cases to support your case ...that is how it is done in a court of law. Precedence. The courts want families to stay together. That is their ultimate goal. You could prove through other caSes, that an illness would not keep you from being a caring, devoted parent. I would go to your library to start. I know ours has a law book section. See if you can get help from librarian. Do you have a lawyer friend? I know lawyers cost so much money, you are smart enough to defend yourself. Like I said, the courts rule by precedence. If you could find a case where a parent got custody and had an illness, that would tremendously help your case. You need to site where you have read this. I will see if I can talk to a friend that is a lawyer who lives down the block from me.

  • Thanks for that I have a lawyer, but his involvement has now bled me dry and so as you say I will now have to stand alone on the day. I am also busily doing my own research, for as you indicate some precedence.

  • Anyone can tell you researching on the Internet is not the best way to go about researching a medical condition such as Lupus. Lupus is so different for everyone - ranging from the mild inconvenience to life threatening. They really need to look at your own medical records to decide whether that is the case for you. Google any medical condition and you will be left thinking you have weeks left to live. This so-called research seems inadequate to me.

  • Seems to me that it was chosen to provide or fulfill a purpose, it is now my task to indicate the inaccuracies of the method.

  • Yes...prove them wrong....

  • Absolutely right Shazzer...I was thinking that too..

  • Sorry to hear what you are going through. Can you get a report from your GP / rheumatologist rebutting what they have said? Might be worth a go? You might have to pay but it's still cheaper than a solicitors bill. Good luck.

  • Would you be able to speak to your rheumatologist and/or GP about help rebuffing their statement? It might also be worth speaking to your local college of law (if there is one nearby) as many offer a pro bono service which you could possibly use for this.

  • Hi Adrian,

    Sorry to hear that you are having to face such awful stresses. It is terrible to hear that CAFCASS have written this report and recommendation without taking into account your personal circumstances, but rather what appears to be an inaccurate generalisation of lupus. I think that it is important that you highlight the very varied nature of lupus, and as others have suggested see if you can get support from a member of your medical team to comment with their opinion to this report for your individual case.

    With regards to legal representation - it may be worth your time checking out Legal Aid as it can help ensure people in need of legal representation are able to get it - gov.uk/legal-aid/overview

    If you need some information about lupus to present for the case then please let us know and we can send you some of our booklets.

  • Thank you Paul, I do have legal representation, though at the moment, due to now no longer being entitled to sick pay I am struggling to keep up with the costs, I have investigated legal aid, but there is no help available to me in a family court case. As for the information booklets, I agree that they could be a vital source of information to the court, could you please forward all that you can to me. I have as I mentioned changed address could you also arrange for this to be altered on my membership

  • Carcass report so wrong! If it were right then females with lupus wouldn't be allowed to have babies following diagnosis! I was 42yrs old with lupus and had a healthy baby girl and manage to be a good parent!! Maybe your lawyer could research women like me to put forward for your case. Their Internet research is outdated. Point out to that because of our lupus we make ourselves very well informed about lifestyle choices for us and our children to give them the best healthy start in life eg fresh food, no man made food, no cleaning chemical toxic materials in house etc etc. this has made me quite angry. How dare they. Don't give up. Keep fighting, positive and milking ) good luck.

  • Sorry for typo .... Not 'milking'! I meant keep SMILING ... Auto correct on my ipad!!

  • How sad this solicitor would suit the name walking eagle '' to full of crap to fly'' I hope she never gets a chronic condition apart from her constipation.

    So are we to say people who are epilepsy should not be left alone with children or people with diabetes the list is endless I wish you all the very best but one thing I do know is the bond between a farther and daughter is very strong my daughter will always ask her dad before me

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