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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33325
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My daughters expartner is wanting to have my grand-daughter

Customer Question

My daughter's expartner is wanting to have my grand-daughter for overnight stay however there has been a recent police incident whereby although they are no longer living together he was violent to my daughter. She has just received a letter stating that he wants 24hr access to his daughter one day a week which would include an overnight stay. What are my daughter's rights. The expartner hasn't seen his daughter for the last month since this incident took place. He has been told by the police not to make any contact with her but she has today received a letter requesting access. He doesn't pay any child support either.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
I shall do my best to assist but I do need further information first.
How old is the child and is there any reason (other than the incident) why there should not be overnight contact?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Child is 22 months old. When my daughter and her expartner lived together he was dealing drugs and she is aware that unsavoury friends come to his property and drugs are involved although what proof she has I do not know. Also he doesn't have a bed or bedroom for the child to sleep in and therefore the child would be sleeping in a bed with her father and his new partner which my daughter does not find acceptable. The child has never spent a night with her father before. Overnight she is always either with my daughter or at my house with myself and my son (her uncle and godfather aged 16). My daughter and her expartner have been separated probably for about 9 months now.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for the details which help me to understand the full picture.
Contact is about the needs of the child - not the wants or feelings of either parent - and the priority is always the safety of the child.
If the father has been misusing drugs then clearly this is a major safeguarding issue - and it is reasonable for your daughter to ask for evidence (generally hair strand testing) that he is no longer misusing drugs before agree to contact in his home.
However if he does provide this evidence the lack of a separate bedroom would not necessarily be sufficient to prevent overnight contact - provided a separate bed (travel cot or otherwise) is available. However it woudl not be unreasonable to insist that for the first few months at least his girlfriend is not present.
Your daughter should offer to discuss these issues using Family Mediation - insisting on the use of "shuttle mediation" so that she does not have to be in the same room as her ex.
I hope this helps - if you need further information or clarification please do not hesitate to ask
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Would it be unreasonable to suggest going through a contact centre for the safety of the child?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
If there is possible drug use and given the recent violence then it is not unreasonable.
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Any ideas how we go about this, can we just go to a Child Contact Centre directly or do we need to be referred to by say health visitor or Solicitor or someone aware of the problems.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The starting point is for both parents to agree that a Contact Centre will be used.
If they use Mediation then the Mediator may deal with the referral - if not you can find details of the Local Centres on the website here
http://www.naccc.org.uk/
Claire

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