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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33323
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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Just over a year ago...

Customer Question

Just over a year ago, social services decided to place our children with my ex-husband and his girlfriend. I did have a drinking problem but have addressed the issue. He has allowed me access and visitation but has prevented me from finding out their school progress and now my youngest has a medical condition. There was no court action and therefore I feel I still have parental rights. He won't reply to my texts requesting information and my only contact with my daughters is through their mobile phones. Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year 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.
How old are the children and which part of the UK are you in?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Clare,

My girls are 12 & 16, born and raised by myself in Southend-On-Sea, Essex. Moved to Rowley Regis, West Midlands in November 2013.

Many thanks, Lora

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Is your eldest happy for you to know what is happening at school/college?
Do you know which school they attend?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, she does tell me her grades and achievements, but I would like the official school reports. Yes I know the school and have written and called them repeatedly. They have said they were looking for their head of year and then the line went dead. An hour later my ex would text me to tell me not to contact the school and that they will not talk to me. Nina told me the school hung up on me and called dad. I would really like to know what he has told them for this reaction to me. Also every time my oldest 'Nina' tells me whats happening and I text him 'Lee' for information, he does not respond and Nina then tells me 'I got her into trouble'. She has recently told me she won't tell me anything anymore so she won't get into trouble. He has them scared and his girlfriend has threatened that if they don't behave they will be sent into care as I am a unfit mother, so there is no where else for them to go.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I would like to add that I have contacted their GP when they were with me until Nov 2013. They have forwarded their records to the Health Authority and can give no further information. The Health Authority said they are just admin and cannot give me any information. It appears to me that the only way I will get the information on my girls education and health it through a solicitor. Please advise. I should also mention that I am on ESA due to two operations now pending to prevent cervical cancer.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You have Parental Responsibility for the children (you will only lose it if the children are adopted)
Accordingly the schools and the doctor have no choice but to give you details about the children's progress and copies of all reports.
You should write a formal letter to the schools pointing out that you have Parental Responsibility and have no choice but to give you the details
However if you wish to take action against your ex to ensure the release of the information then you can apply to the Court for a Specific Issue Order relating to the information you need.
You will need to attend a mediation Information and Assessment meeting first
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

During our divorce proceedings he called for mediation. He drove 200 miles to where I'm living only to say he would not comply. I have contacted the law firm who handled the divorce, dissolved 14 May 2010 for advice as to who can handle this now as the original lawyer is no longer with the firm. Can you please give me a title to the official letter I can draft to him, the school and doctors. I can google it for suggestions/templates. Many Thanks Lora

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You have to attend the MIAM no matter what.
There is no template or official title - it is simple a letter setting out the legal position
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have gone to Law School until I had a major accident which led to me to dropping out at the end of my first year. I do have a book by LAW PACK, 301 legal forms, letters & agreements. I am on benefits and cannot afford or have the money to pay for you to write it as well as the disclaimer I acknowledged tells me I need to pursue this with a proper firm. But if you could be so kind as to give a title or description I would greatly appreciate it ! Futhermore I can get the first hour free from a local firm I have learned today and this has already cost me £26 of money I was saving for my girls. Lora

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
There is no official letter involved
You simply need to write a polite letter to the schools pointing out that you retain Parental Responsibility for your daughters and are therefor entitled to copies of all the reports and other letters relating to the children.
It is helpful if you provide stamped self addressed envelopes to make it easier for them to send copies (although these days email is even easier)
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I did actually write the school a year ago, very politely stating my interest and they responded only once with just the school letter. No personal information about my daughters. At that time my youngest daughter was getting bullied and my ex, his girlfriend and Nina all said she had a problem building relationships. They said it was my fault and that I babied her, she was a mummy's girl. In the year she toughened up and stopped talking to me several weeks ago. I believe she did that as a way of surviving in their home. They have continuously disparaged my character to my children. I am desperately trying to find a way that both parents can work together for the benefit of our children. There should be no competition, but rather support even though we live separate lives.

I would also like to ask: Can he apply to a court for full parental rights by telling the court he has no idea of where I live. Meaning if he has petitioned the court they could not contact me. And for your information he knows exactly where I live and how to contact me.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The only way that you can lose your Parental rights is by Adoption - which cannot take place without your knowledge.
You may well have to write to the school and complain to the Chair of Governors if you do not get the correct information
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have today drafted a letter to the headteacher of the school and my ex (included with my ex's letter is a letter for him to sign allowing me full disclosure, information and history for both girls) I left the addressee and date to be filled in. So I can use this repeatedly etc.

I wish I could e-mail them to you for your response... my e-mail is***@******.*** Thanks again

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I will ask customer services to assist you with an email
Clare

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