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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33948
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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I have a 17 year old son who is dating his 15 year old girl.

Customer Question

I have a 17 year old son who is dating his 15 year old girl. There are no issues within the relationship. They just sit and watch movies etc and do not do anything wrong...but his girlfriends parents do not like him and are applying through social services to have a restraining order put in place, against the will of their daughter and my son. Both kids are devastated as they have done nothing wrong but is anything that can be done...does our son have any say or is he able to attend the court hearing to defend their accusations?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

Thank you question.

I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When will she turn 16?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Clare.

Sorry delay in replying.

She will be 16 in July.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

Is this young lady in anyway especially vulnerable - have Social Services ever been involved in her care before?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Clare,

Yes, she had an incident when she was 14 years old, where social services became involved. She had under-age sex and when it came to light, claimed to have been raped through fear of having to tell her parents the truth.

Her parents felt that our son was 'the best thing that had ever happened to her', until a further incident occurred a few months ago. He has always had her best interests at heart and genuinely taken very good care of her, as her home life does not appear to a very happy one. She doesn't get along with her mothers' boyfriend and feels she is the 'odd one out at home'. Her mother was seriously intoxicated one night, allowing her to also drink, and then let her out to walk the streets of the town alone at 1am. My son took the decision to phone the police to have her found and taken home safely. Her family then turned on him and have tried to break the relationship since. Last night we learnt that social services have contacted her mother and said they cannot pursue a restraining order on lack of evidence and the fact the she will be 16 in just a few months, but social services (based on her mother claiming our son is controlling her), have told her to break the relationship with our son or they will break it by instructing her mother to call the police to have her taken home if she comes to see him, by reporting her missing. Can this actually be done? She is taken very good care of while she is with us, our son buys her what she needs, cooks dinner and they watch films, walk to the shops and play games on their pc's or iPad...she is in NO danger whatsoever. She does intend to text her mother every time she comes here to inform her of her whereabouts and to give a time she will be home (a reasonable time).

Thank you.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

is there any problem with her mental capacity - any reason why she should not make her own decisions on these matters?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No she knowa exactly what she wants but is being told by her parents it isn't up to her.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

In fact Social Services will not intervene unless the young person is at risk - which clearly she is not.
As you have already discovered Social Services will not take out a Restraining Order (indeed they cannot do so)
They also cannot tell her to break off her relationship - nor would they do so.
They also would not tell the mother to report the girl as missing - this would be a waste of Police time.
There is nothing that her parents can do to force her to end this relationship unless she wishes to do so.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Clare,
Thank you advise, it is most helpful.
However, it WAS the social services representative who attended both meetings at the girls house with the parents and a police officer present who told the girl she must end the relationship as the relationship is dangerous (this conclusion was made by the social services official after listening to the parents false allegations of our son controlling her). At no time has anyone spoken to my son or indeed to ask the girls point of view. She did try telling them it was all untrue and she intends to continue the relationship but was told by social services it is not her decision, she has to do as her parents have instructed. The very same social services representative who, after listening to these allegations advised the parents they could take out a restraining order. But, upon their second visit, then told the parents that when they took the case to their superior to put into action, was told they couldn't pursue the order on the grounds that 1) there wasn't enough evidence and 2) the girl would be 16 in July and could pursue the relationship then anyway.
To conclude, are you of the opinion that providing the girl continues to text her mother her wherabouts and time to expect her home, so she has evidence that she is not missing, there is no legal indication to suggest that either social services, the police or her parents can force her to end this relationship?
Kind regards
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

I have to ask - so please do not be offended - has your son ever been accused of anything in the past?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's fine, I don't mind you asking. He lived away from home .. 6 months, as he wanted to try living independently against our advise or wishes...and unfortunately during that time, moved in with some poorly chosen friends which resulted in a couple of bad moves...
He has two things on file with the police...
During his time away from home, he was house sitting , and he used their car without their consent. He received a formal police caution covering taking without consent, and driving without a full license or insurance.
He also got into a scuffle in the street on one occasion, when another boy approached him and started a row, which resulted in my son pushing the other lad...who then reported him to the police...and he received another formal caution .
He then realised he was hanging around with all the wrong people....moved back home and cut all ties with the people he'd been staying with.
To my knowledge, her parents are not aware of either of these issues...and their claim is that he is allegedly controlling her. In actual fact he's quite the opposite, and has not done a thing wrong since he chose to cut all ties with the crowd he got in with.
Hope this helps
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

In that case I would suggest that this young lady makes a formal complaint about the way she was treated to the line manager of the Social Worker involved
She was not treated with the respect that she was entitled to and the suggestion that the Police should be sent after her when she is going out with a bot who is only two years older than her (at most) is absurd
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much advise on this, Clare. You have been most helpful.
Kind regards
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

I hope all goes well
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33948
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Clare,
I'm so sorry but I've just thought of one last question, I forgot to ask before...
According to social services on their last visit to the girls house, they also informed her that they will be appointing a social worker to my son. We have never had any dealings with social services before, with either of our children.
Are social services able to enforce this? If they were to turn up at our house to speak to our son or enlist him With their services..do we have any right to refuse to have anything to do with them? We have no need or desire to become involved with social services over this matter...purely on the grounds that the girls parents have started this action against our son?
Thank you
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

It is highly unlikely - Social Services have enough children in real need of their care.
In any event unless he has some form of disability there is no basis on which they would be involved.
I am more than a little concerned at the actions of the Social Worker in this matter - which is an issue that should be taken further
Please ask if you need further details
Clare

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