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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hello, my name is Anthea. I have a few questions regarding

Customer Question

Hello, my name is Anthea.
I have a few questions regarding custody of a baby in a bad situation, can you help me please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
what would you like to know?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Clare,


 


Thanks for answering my query. My more recent question i posted is for my friend: What legal rights do i have as a father to see my daughter when my alcoholic ex wife is refusing visitations?


 


This is roughly the situation he is stuck in at the moment and wants to know what his rights are in this situation:


 


Mother and father are currently finalising divorce papers – paperwork has been sent in from father, not sure about mother


 


- Mother has been drinking consistently for the past 3 weeks (mostly wine – one or two bottles a night, sometimes hard liquor too)


- Baby girl turns 1 at the end of this month


- Baby has been dropped twice by mother in this time


- Mothers parents have been looking after baby periodically when mother cant


- Mother has been unable to pick up baby on a few occasions due to withdrawal symptoms of alcohol (babys weight is under 4kg)


- Mothers boyfriend called Alcoholics Anonymous for help, AA found out there is a baby involved, AA has told Social Services


- Mothers boyfriend called mutual friend (of mother and father) for help who called father to get involved


 


Anthea

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What action have Social Services taken?
When did he last see the child?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Clare,


 


At the moment he found out yesterday that Social Services have a dedicated person assigned to his daughter, they are aware of his ex's drinking problem, and that she's trying to get help, but they dont think his daughter is in any immediate danger.


But apparently his ex wife is very devious and can lie very convincingly, so he's not sure they know the full story.


 


He's meant to see her on a Thursday and a Sunday, the last time he saw her was Sunday 13th April.


 


Anthea

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
does he wish to take over the full time care of the child?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Clare,


 


At the moment this is not really an option for him, he wants to get full time custody of her for the long term, and is looking into his options for then, but he just needs to know his daughter is safe or looked after properly for now.


 


The other thing he's worried about is his ex cutting him off from seeing his daughter regularly, because the divorce paperwork hasnt gone through yet, nothings official yet, so she's just telling him every week at the moment, no you cant see your daughter, you'll have to wait til next week. he's gone to the house and rung the bell but no one's answered, so its quite frustrating.


 


Anthea

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Sorry - I am a little confused - does he wish to try for her full time care or not?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

 

Sorry for confusing you, yes he does want to try and get full custody of her if he can - would you know what criteria he would need to have in order to do this?

 

The other thing he's trying to find out about is what his legal rights are as her father in this situation.

 

Many thanks,

Anthea

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


 


I havent heard back from you since last night and I realise some of the information I gave you is a little confusing, but I just want to know, are you still looking into this situation?


I can appreciate there may be some research you may need to do in order to help me with this.


But if not, please let me know so I can try and find some answers somewhere else.


 


Many thanks


Anthea

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay
The law says that a child is entitled to contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary.
If your partner thinks that the child is at risk in the care of the mother then he can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order stating that the child should live with him -
If he does not wish to take that step yet he can apply for a Child arrangement Order protecting his contact with the child
Please note that the arrangements for the child are totally separate from any divorce proceedings
Before making a court application he needs to have tried Family mediation - www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk - but all he has to do is try - if his ex refuses then that is fine he can make his application
he should also insist on a face to face meeting with his daughter's Social worker to discuss the risks to the child and what checks are being made
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Clare,


 


Thank you very much for your assistance, its greatly appreciated. This is an excellent lead for him to follow up on.


 


Anthea

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare

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