Representing a Mother concerned with variation of contact from ‘supervised’ to ‘supported’

Marie represented a Mother in an application where her ex-partner, who is the Father of their child, had made an application to enforce a CAO for him to spend time with the child, made by consent last year. The order provided for contact to be ‘supported’ at a contact centre, however, the Mother was not legally represented during those proceedings and did not appreciate that this meant the contact was not being supervised, as it had previously been.

There were other issues with contact and as a result the Mother suspended contact and offered supervised contact. The Father refused that offer and issued an application to enforce. The Mother made a cross-application to vary the contact.

At the FHDRA directions were made and supervised contact at a contact centre was agreed, whilst Cafcass investigations take place. The Mother was unrepresented and the Father refused to undertake drug tests.

At the DRA directions were made for the Father to undergo drug testing and a s.7 report. The case was listed for a further DRA and at that hearing the drug tests were positive for cocaine in respect of the Father. The Cafcass recommendations were for there to be supervised contact until six months of abstinence from drugs could be evidenced.

The case was adjourned and listed for a final hearing as the Father did not accept the recommendations in the s.7, and further drug tests were ordered.