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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32826
Experience:  Over twenty-five years experience
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My name is***** have a one year old daughter and

Customer Question

Hello my name is***** have a one year old daughter and an ex partner who is seeking mediation for contact with our daughter. Basically, he keeps threatening that he will take her away when he sees her and not bring her back, and I would like to know if it is possible for it to happen? I am currently receiving income support and child benefit for her, I am her full-time carer and I would like to know where I stand before I negotiate any contact with him due to these threats.
We were never married and his name is ***** ***** birth certificate.
I look forward to receiving your reply
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.
What contact does he currently have and has he ever actually removed her from your care?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Twice since we ended our relationship, but was verbally abusive towards myself and other family members while in front of our daughter on both occasions so difficult to get him to see her with someone else there.

Not yet but has threatened on many occasions, pre and post break up.

Jess

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
What contact is he getting at the moment?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Currently none

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
If you have serious concerns that he might remove the child from your care then you should consider making an application to the court for both a prohibited step order and also a child arrangement order to confirm that the child lives with you. If he is being verbally abusive in front of the child then you may want to consider him having supervised contact (which could be in a contact centre) before things develop.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jess,If he has been verbally abusive then there is an argument that any contact he should have should be supervised. Clearly if this is something which can be resolved with mediation then great, but in reality you may consider that you need a Child Arrangement Order to confirm that the child lives with you and also the arrangements for the father to have contact. You may also consider a prohibitive steps order to prevent him from removing the child and give you peace of mind. Follow these steps to apply for a court order.Read the guidance on making an application - http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/cb001-eng.pdfFill in the C100 court form Send it to your local courtIt costs £215 to apply for a court order.Please rate positively - thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So what if I was to trust him to have her for the day and then he never brought her back, Do I have the right to call the police for kidnapping and she would be brought back to me or is there nothing I could do to bring her home?

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
You have a right to call the police but because you do not have a child arrangement order confirming that he lives with you - they may not do anything - hence the merit of an application - please remember to rate positively - thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The law says that children are entitled to contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary.
Give your concerns about his behaviour towards you and the risk of him not returning the child then you should offer contact at a local contact centre
www.naccc.org.uk
This is what he is likely to get if he applies to the Court as a starting point so if you make this offer then you will be seen as having been reasonable.
Please be aware that this is not supervised contact - it is supported contact which means that he cannot remove the child and you do not have to meet.
This is the offer you should make at mediation (which has to take place before any court application is made)
If he does not accept the offer then the next step is up to him - so dave your money and let him make the court application if he wishes to do so.
If he does you can then seek a Prohibited Steps order to prevent him from removing the child from your care
If he choses to take no action but attempts to take the child from YOU in the street then you can call the police - if he takes her from another family member then you would have to make an urgent applictaion to the court for her return - which would be granted and would ensure that all his future contact is restricted to a contact centre
I hope that this is of assistance- please ask if you need further details
Clare
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jess, I don't think that my colleague realised that I had answered this question for you. I am delighted that she has agreed with me - the only point of significant difference is that I think that supervised rather than supported contact may well be better initially in this case for you. Supervised is when a contact worker watches over the contact more directly than supported (supported is where there are usually a few contacts going on in the one centre and one or maybe two contact supervisors just monitor the room). In light of his threatening behaviour I think you may prefer supervised. Please rate positively - thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiBe careful when asking for Supervised Contact.In your case it is your safety which is at risk - and the need to ensure that he does nor remove the child both of which are the role of Supported Centre's!Clare
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jess,I disagree with my colleague on this issue. From what you have stated I think supervised contact would be safer. It appears that your ex has been threatening in front of the child and as such you would be happier with supervised rather than supported.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/what-we-do/support-for-families/supervised-contact/

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