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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34233
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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Our son is 16 and we do not feel safe in the house with m.

Resolved Question:

Our son is 16 and we do not feel safe in the house with him. Yesterday he pushed our 15-year-old daughter over and hurt her wrist. He has physically threatened and/or hurt me several times. On Friday night he let the bath overflow and it flooded the house, with water cascading down from the ceiling below. Sometimes he leaves the gas on in the kitchen. He has been diagnosed with ADHD but often refuses to take his medication. I feel that he is ruining the life of my husband, my daughter and me. We do not want him to live with us any longer. Is there anything I can do? He will be 18 on 6 September 2017.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further informtaion first

Have you discussed the matter with Social Services?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, but we did have some dealings with the local council last year. We went to a kind of family therapy for a few months last year. He did not really respond at all, but the people doing the family therapy referred him to a psychiatrist, which is how we got the ADHD diagnosis. However, we have not received any other kind of help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure whether my earlier message was sent, so I will repeat what I said.No, we have not discussed the matter with Social Services, but we have received a kind of family therapy from the council. He did not respond to this but he was referred to a psychiatrist and diagnosed with ADHD. We have received no further help.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Are there any other family members who would care for your son?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I have no family here in the UK. To make matters worse, my husband has just gone to New Zealand for two weeks to see his aged parents, who are both ill, so it is just me, my daughter and my son until 16 July, and my son is at home all the time because he has finished his GCSEs. He goes out to the gym for an hour or two some days but most of the time he is at home now.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

May I ask why your husband went away when things are so bad?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My husband's mother has cancer and his father has just gone into a rest home. My husband has not seen them for four years. He had been planning to go to News Zealand to see them since April, but wanted to wait until our son had finished his GCSEs until he went away, to make sure that the GCSEs went as well as possible. Our son finished his GCSEs on 27 June and my husband left on 30 June. Our son was not too bad during his GCSEs. He was taking his medication and actually studying sometimes and we thought things had got better. He seemed happier and more focused. It is the incidents over the past few days that have scared me, and I feel particularly vulnerable now that my husband has gone and our son is at home all the time. I work from home, as a translator. I am just wondering whether there is anything I can do - maybe get some respite care over the summer - I don't know what is possible. And what happens when he is 18?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Will your husband support any action that you take?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would not take any action without discussing it with my husband and making sure that I have his agreement. At the moment I have no idea what action I could take. My husband would probably say that I should not do anything drastic and just wait until he comes back from New Zealand. We have had incidents like those of the past few days before. However, we often have several weeks at a stretch when things are more or less OK. Sometimes during the school holidays my husband has taken time off work to make sure that my daughter and I are safe. But normally during term-time things are mostly under control.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Your only option is to approach Social Services and ask for an assessment to be made with a view to having Respite Care

Alternatively you can ask for them to take him into care under S20 (voluntary care)

They will be reluctant to take him on - but if you make it clear that you will exclude him from your home if you do not do so then they will have no choice

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are we allowed to exclude him from our home?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You can do so.

It would be sensible to arrange housing for him first - he is after all still a minor

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you mean that we need to have to have paid a deposit on a bedsit of flat for him? Can we actually do that for a minor? Would he then have to be taken into care until he is 18?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

It would certainly be sensible to try and house him elsewhere if you decide to simply exclude him from the home.

At that point Social Services may well intervene - but they will also expect you to pay for him maintenance

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you