Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
I am very sorry to hear about what has happened.
You need to be aware that even though the criminal charges were not pursued the fact that you were charged could still be deemed a risk.
I appreciate that you want your family back together but the only way that is going to be possible is if you fully engage with local authority in their risk assessment and any work they may offer you as a result of their risk assessment that they deem necessary in order to be able to reduce your perceived risk.
It is appropriate that your partner moves out with both children whilst this happens so that she can be seen to be protecting the children whilst the risk is investigated. If the local authority considered that the mother was unable to priortise the children then this could lead to the being removed from the mothers care and placed with other family members or even foster care.
If the local authority offer support to the family under a children in need plan or a child protection plan with a view to reuniting then you wont qualify for legla aid but you should work with the local authority in everything they ask.
If the local authority consider pre proceedings or even apply to court for a care order or supervision order then you will qualify for free legal aid as you are the father of the youngest child.
In pre proceedings the local authority may still work with you in relation to reuniting the family. In court proceedings the court will make a decision what is appropriate and what risks there are and if these can be managed to reunite.
15 years is a long time ago so this does work in your favour.
If the local authority do not start pre proceedings or make an application to court for a care order or a supervision order then you do have the option of applying to court yourself for a private law child arrangements order. This is an order where the court determines with whom the children should live. The court can consider the risk as part of those proceedings. You need to be aware that family courts work on a lower standard of proof then criminal courts so even though the charges were dropped a family court could still make a finding that something did happen so its best to be open, honest and work with all the agencies that you can.
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