Hi, thank you for your question. As there is a residence order (now known as a child arrangement order for where he should live) the father can apply to court to enforce the order if it is not adhered to. However, if there are serious concerns of child protection or welfare issues, you would have reasonable grounds to not allow him to return to his care - however, your son telling you he no longer lives there does not in itself justify breaching the order.
To legally reinforce any change of arrangements you would need to apply to the family court again using form C100 and a £215 court fee to vary the order and change the living arrangements to you.
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Thanks - in relation to implications, of breaching the order the father is entitled to apply to enforce it and the consequences could be a fine (or in extremely serious circumstances) imprisonment - if the breach was unreasonable. However, given there appear to be issues you would be able to mitigate any enforcement application by arguing the reasonableness for breaching it.
You would need to apply to vary the order so that there is a formal order in place to reflect the change of arrangements and to prevent any enforcement application by the father.
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