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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34908
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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, I applied to the court child arrangement order and

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Hi, I applied to the court for a child arrangement order and have been wrongly advised. The heading was psychological and emotional abuse, this has wrongly directed my case and enflamed the father of my son. What can I do to change this? This action has lead to a school nurse contacting safeguarding nurses, this has messed things up beyond belief!

Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is the child and what has happened up until now
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare, My name is Jo

Crikey. Okay, as short as I can make it:

Son is 5

access was 2/2/3 (two days here, two there, weekend here etc)

I have argued since split two years ago isn't working

sons behaviour deteriorated, did not want to go

Father is controlling and has hit child in past inappropriately but is not overly aggressive or violent

School expressed concerns

son developed health problems

sought advice and help

father did not help or get involved

finally so worried with sons behaviour saw solicitor

advised eventually to make emergency application

I was very distraught and agreed to the heading on court papers of father emotionally/psychologicallly abusing child with lack of action, allowing child to play out unsupervised, paternal family discussing me in derogatory way with child, father barely seeing child leaving him with paternal family who hate me

school nurse involved and referred to safeguarding nurses after advising of court application

father not allowed to see child without me present

no documentation to support advice

threatened that if i allowed son to visit they would see it as me not caring for child

this is now lifted and they have said I said I believed son was at 'significant risk of harm' from father

i did not say this

camhs involved

court date set


all i ever wanted was to have my son at home during the school week with access to father for dinner a couple of times and every other weekend. Father has constantly said no...

How did the school nurse become involved?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have been seeing a patient focussed nurse with my son as his behaviour became so difficult and he was withholding poo, this lead to him being impacted and in a lot of pain. His behaviour at school became very difficult and at home he became violent towards me. The focussed nurse suggested to help him at school, I inform the school nurse so that all parties knew his behaviour had a reason behind it. Involved also to support school in helping son and I believe it is called 'early intervention' or similar. We needed all round support. Thank you

Part of the problem I believe, is that the nurse did not follow up with sons father nor he with her, and as the safeguarding advice was given by telephone, then the school nurse was on holiday for a week leaving us with no formal notification and a very angry father, understandably. I tried to contact her several times with concerns about the lack of contact with dad and she did not get back to me, nor did the safeguarding nurse.

Father was not administering prescribed medicine on access days and his father suggested I was giving my son medicine unnecessarily.

There was clearly substantial miscommunication involved - but from what you have said it has now been resolved - I am not sure what you wish to do now?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I am concerned that the initial reason for applying to the court is now lost and instead we seem to be looking to suggest that the father has been abusing the child. I do not want this to misdirect the court with the heading on the application. I wanted to apply for a child arrangement order and instead, my solicitor is asking for proof from the school that my son comes in from dads difficult to manage/not great condition, and from mine easier to manage etc. This is true and the teacher has mentioned a pattern numerous times but will not commit this to paper. My solicitor now says this weakens the case. I do not want to go to court to accuse the father of abuse, I just want a more stable routine for my son. Will the heading on the application affect this? Sorry to be woolly, I am at the end of my rope. Thank you, Jo

It is probably worth noting that the paternal family are controlling and vindictive and I believe they are now going to fight me as the 'safeguarding' element appears to be unsupported and I am being cited as saying I believe my son was at significant risk there.

As you say this has got out of hand BUT it is recoverable.
The fact is that there has been emotional abuse as it is clear that your ex has failed to prioritise the needs of the child
You are entitled to say calmly and clearly that you are sorry that the school nurse misunderstood the position (no blame just a sorry) and that you yourself are still not certain how it happened
This does NOT mean that you have done anything wrong - (although I believe you were poorly advised - this should NOT have been an emergency application)
Stay calm and firm - your child is showing clear signs of his distress and this needs to be addressed
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

Thank you. I feel clearer now, thinking it is recoverable. Unfortunately, I believe that my solicitor knows that the advice was poor and is not returning my calls hence me coming here. I am really grateful you work such hours!!

Best wishes and again thanks


You are welcome - and do not worry about your solicitor - just concentrate eon what you know - this is not working for your child.
You mat also wish to look at the Australian research on shared care arrangements
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I genuinely wish I could leave a tip, it isn't often I feel that :) Sadly, food vouchers ahoy and mum and dad supporting case. You have been really helpful and I feel I may sleep a bit tonight! Thank you for the link, we need all the help we can get as he would like to see me out of the way altogether, but that is another story.

Very best wishes, Jo

Thank you for the kind thought and words - just a valuable as an actual tip!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare

Thank you. I read the document in the link you sent, and I cried. Some of the behaviour is classic from my son and I recognised a huge amount of the detail. I really do appreciate your time.

All the very best


Then use it well
Do NOT refer to Penelope Leach at all - use this research only