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CAFCASS (the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service) are independent of the Courts and the Local Authority. When private law proceedings such as where a child shall live or how much time a child shall spend with their parent are brought before the Court, CAFCASS become involved in the proceedings from a very early stage.
The purpose of CAFCASS is to provide an independent view to the Court as to how the matter should proceed in the best interests of the child. CAFCASS will speak with both parties independently before the first Court hearing and will also carry out safeguarding checks with the Police and the Social Services.
CAFCASS play a huge role in Court proceedings and an article issued recently the Chief Executive of CAFCASS has warned parents against parental alienation.
Parental alienation is where separated parents effectively 'brainwash' or 'manipulate' the child against the other parent.
Shockingly, CAFCASS have reported that approximately 80% of the most difficult cases that come before the Family Court have elements of parental alienation.
For a child, the fact that their parents have separated is difficult enough for them to deal with irrespective of their age. Their whole family life changes and they have a lot of adjustments to make. This information from CAFCASS highlights the need for parents to remain amicable when separating for the sake of their children. It is important to eliminate and effects to a child's emotional welfare and ensuring that parental alienation doesn't take place can help.
Parents are encouraged to 'park their adult issues' and focus on what is best for their child or children when they have separated. It is important that the effect on them is minimal.
At Ramsdens, our family lawyers are resolution trained so have a non-confrontational approach to dealing with separation and matters relating to children. We encourage our clients to move forward as amicably as possible to ensure that their relationship with their ex-partner is not strained and is preserved as much as possible so that they can both support their child or children in years to come.
If you would like to discuss matters following a separation or in relation to your children then you can contact our family team on 0800 147720, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text LAW to 67777 to arrange a free thirty minute consultation in any of our 12 offices across West Yorkshire. We offer appointments from 7:45am until 7:00pm, Monday to Friday.