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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34276
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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My partner has 2 children (7 & 9) that live with us (no official

Customer Question

My partner has 2 children (7 & 9) that live with us (no official court ruling has been made re custody). the children were left with us from April 18th last year overnight and mother never returned. She has sporadically seen them/had them over night but these are limited. They were supposed to share custody jointly but she is always having excuses as to why she cannot have them. She has had severe depression and been on antidepressants but has now been diagnosed bi polar and now on different meds. she is now insisting she picks the children up from school and have them overnight but has up until now advised she is in no fit state to have the kids and has talked about suicide. She stayed with us in February for a night as she had the youngest (7) staying with her for a night but couldn't cope as she had fallen out with her boyfriend. We would like to go for an emergency steps order and to see if we could get custody but not sure if my partner being the father has a good chance of winning. When we went to Court in October, she cried and the judge seemed to favour her as the mum. Can you advise? Sarah
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 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 was actually decided at the last court hearing?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We went in wanting sole custody mainly because we wanted the children to know they were going back to the same school. Basically the Judge decided that because the parents had decided to share custody that no order need to be awarded. The mum stuck to this for a month only, basically up until christmas.

Thanks Clare

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The court judges that nothing needed to be done. The mother insisted that she was trying to turn her life around and would share custody of the children and as she was being reasonable there was no reason to make a judgement.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What has happened to make you feel that an emergency application might be needed - is she better or worse?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

To be honest she is really up and down. When my partner went to see her, she was rocking on the floor in front of the front door and josh was sobbing in his bed. My partner bought them back to our house to both stay over. The police then came into my house without me being aware checking that Josh was OK as her partner had reported her missing/fearing for her and Josh's life. That was the 14th Feb and since they she has advised she is not fit to look after them, on anti depressants and been seeing the children for a couple of hrs a week usually with us or her mum. On Monday this week she has been put on tablets for bi polar and insisted she had the children from school on Tuesday and insisted and would not back down her words "she is their mum" to pickup the children after school tonight and have them over night. Maddie (9 yr old) asked if she would be OK this morning. Our concern is the children don't know where they are and she has openly admitted she can't cope with them and now aggressively insists she will have them. We are at a loss as to what to do.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Were the proceedings actually dismissed or is there a review hearing scheduled?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare it was dismissed

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Does the mother have an assigned Mental Health worker?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare - not as yet (that I am aware of) I know she is back to the doctors tomorrow. She has been having telephone counselling but the counsellor she had subsequently left (the downside is the mother is a continuous liar so difficult for us to know what is the truth) - I know you can't factor this into your answer. Sarah

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, do you think it is possible to get a response today? Sarah

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
I think that you choice of a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent her from removing the children from your partners care is an excellent idea.
The advent of the new Child Arrangement Orders means that words such as Residence and Contact are less emotive (apparently)
In this case it will allow your partner to point to the fact that at present his ex is going through a crisis and for now the children should always spend the night with him.
This will ensure that whatever the contact is - the children will return home at night.
This would be a first step towards obtaining a Child Arrangement Order stating that the children live with you and your partner giving you a form of Parental Responsibility.
I think you are aware of the process but of not do please ask and I will be happy to help
Clare
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I should have said - My apologies for the delay an afternoon meeting turned into an afternoon and evening meeting
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare
Things have escalated over the weekend. We feel that the only option is to ho back to court and seek a emergency steps order.
We appreciate oats your advice so far and wondered if your advice can progress to the following stages:-
My partner and I would like to complete a C100 and wondered if it may be possible for you to read over this to advise it is acceptable.
With the C100, do we need to write a statement of events to support the form?
If you could advise, that would be great.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What are you actually going to ask for?
Clare