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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35059
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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Hello, There are two questions Id like to enquire about.

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There are two questions I'd like to enquire about.
First, a brief history of the situation: The parents are in the process of getting divorced and do not share a place of residence. The mother is an alcoholic and has lost custody of their daughter (15 months old) via Social Services (a child protection order has been put in place). The mothers parents have just signed documents making them temporary foster parents and the child is currently staying with them. The father picks up their daughter every Sunday and goes to visit his side of the family and friends for the day.
Can Social Services or the grandparents dictate what the father does with his daughter when he sees her for example limiting the distance he can travel with her from where he picks her up each week.
They (the grandparents and Social Services) have suggested this so the child spends less time in the car travelling, but the father wants his daughter to see and stay in contact with his side of the family; some of them live up to 80 miles away from the proposed pick up point.
And then on a slightly separate point, how much say do the grandparents have with the childs up bringing and everyday life activities compared to the fathers? Can they make decisions without his consent because they are temporary foster parents? for example taking her out the country on holiday, which day care centre or nursery she will go to etc.
If you have any questions or need more information please let me know.
Many thanks
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Why has the father not been considered as a carer for the child?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks for taking my question.

The father is unfortunately not in a financial position to take on his daughter full time at the moment. He has a full time job and would need to employ an au pair or nanny during the day to take care of her or leave her in a day care all day, neither of which appeals to him presently and is also quite costly and something he cannot currently afford..


He needs to be aware that this is a decision which he will find it hard to revisit in the future.
Social Service scan indeed decide that the child is spending too much time in a car on a Sunday - the father should instead consider arranging to meet his family closer to the child's home
At present you friend is entitled to equal consideration of his wishes with regard to holidays and child care - and if there is a dispute then a court would have to decide the issue.
however the realistic position is that if the Grand Parents have the day to day care of the child then it is likely that the wishes of the grand parents will be seen as the priority
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks for that answer, this is what we thought was the case, but just wanted to be sure.

With your first sentence: He needs to be aware that this is a decision which he will find it hard to revisit in the future.

What do you mean by that exactly? (Just so that I fully understand).

Do you mean it will be difficult for him to take his daughter on full time later and its better or easier for him to take her on now?



Hi Anthea
Yes that is exactly what I mean.
Children need Stability and Security so the longer the child is with the Grand Parents the more likely it is that this will be permanent
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare,

I will let him know everything you have said, I'm sure it will help him just to have peace of mind about everything and to know exactly where he stands with it all.

You have been most helpful!



You are welcome - I hope all goes well