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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35054
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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Please can I have advice on a step parent wanting to

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hello please can I have advice on a step parent wanting to take my child away abroad she has a court order that my child lives with her as the father has recently died after the court issued an order knowing he was dying that my child lived with him and step mum. I hold the childs passport as I looked after the child 9 years alone until the court order. social services have been involved and have encouraged the father to get residency and supported them through court with no support for myself. the step mother was married to the father for less than a year and has a daughter who is 2 with the same father recently deceased. I was never married to the father and he was on the birth certificate. I only get to see my child once a week as access was restricted to 2 hours per week in a contact centre this has progressed to contact outside for the day and is going well. I am awaiting reports and reply from ss regarding failures in conduct after taking my complaints to stage 2. the step mum is unaware of this happening and I want my child to come home to live with me again.i haven't asked my child to as this would cause distress and I think she has had enough distress recently and has confused loyalities. I object to her taking my child abroad as she makes decisions regarding my child with out me and makes thing difficult for contact with family and myself refusing usual agreed days and special occasions.she is currently off work due to being stressed and depressed as only march he died. I really don't know the woman at all asonly spoken to her due to the last year I don't trust her and didn't agree to her getting parental responsibilities which automatically came with the court order that my child resides with her dad and her. this has been an extremely sterssfull time and I have suffered so much what do I do next as she has given me 7 days to produce the passport or she will take me to court for a specific issue order. do I apply for residency order myself or wait do i go to court myself when I get my reply from ss please help i don't have much money
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
May I ask what happened that led to the child leaving your care?
Where does she wish to take the child and when?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My child left due to making allegations of physical abuse and Ss said emotional abuse also, my child was having a difficult time adjusting to news of fathers cancer. I was never charged or any abuse proven. I don't have any idea where or when she wants to take my child abroad
My apologies for the delay
How old is your child?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

10, please can we hurry the answer is important as the stepmums threat of 7 days to surrender the passport are now up

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

10 years old

My apologies for the delay (illness I am afraid)
I am sorry but unless the child wishes to return to your care it is simply not going to happen - and preventing her from going abroad on holiday is unlikely to make her happy.
Since she has a Residence Order the step mother is able to take the child out of the country for up to 28 days at a time - but you are still entitled to full details of flights and where they will be staying
I suggest that you write and ask for these details and say that once you receive these you WILL provide her with the passport in good time for the trip
In the mean time you need to continue stabilising your relationship with your child - but hold o=f pushing for the return to your care until overnight contact has begun again and is well established.
Please ask if you need further details (I am on the mend now)
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you