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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34900
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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My wife passed away at the beginning of the month. We were

Customer Question

My wife passed away at the beginning of the month. We were together for just over 5 years and have been married just over 3 years. We have 2 children together and a child each from previous relationships. Her son Corey who is 6 years old is currently living with my self and my kids. His dad has expressed that he would like Corey to go and live with him. His dad has not always been around for Corey and often let him down regularly, which did result in my wife not telling Corey when he was due to go round. His dad lives with his new partner. Corey has stayed there and has informed me that his sleeps on a sofa bed and he does not have his own room. Corey shares a room with his two younger brothers at home and has his own bed. The school he attends is a stones throw away from our door step. Corey has been going to his dads place to stay on a weekly basis since my wife died. However, he has been there for a short amount of time. i.e. his dad will pick him up from school at 3.15 and drop him back at 10 am the next day. Corey suffers from asthma and a diary intolerance. In the past his dad has neglected Corey's dietary needs and has resulted in Corey suffering from stomach pains and diarrhea. Corey has also on may occasions needed to be taken to the doctors after being at his dad's due to his asthma. We have a social worker at the moment and he has suggested that i seek legal advice on what I can do. He has also told me that if his dad does not bring Corey back nor meet at the agreed time to contact the police.

Kind regards,
Ian Noakes
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Can you confirm whether or not your wife left a Will appointing you as Testamentary Guardian for the child - and if the father is named on his birth certificate?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No there was no will and yes his dad is on the birth certificate

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
The problem is that at the moment the only person who has Parental responsibility for the child is his father - which means that if he does not return the child the police cannot help you at all.
It seems uncertain whether or not his father actually wishes to make the necessary commitment to him - but even if he does not you will need a Court Order giving you Parental Responsibility if you are to care for the child.
On that basis I would suggest that you make an Urgent application for a Child
Arrangement Order stating that the child lives with you
the form is here
You need to ask Permission to make the application (see the form) and you can ask for it to be urgent so that you can deal with the child's health needs
This will hold the position whilst the court considers the long term best interests of the child.
You have an excellent chance of the child remaining in your care - although nothing can be guaranteed
Please ask if you need further details