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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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Good Evening My partner and myself have recently got divorced,

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Good Evening
My partner and myself have recently got divorced, but we agreed that she would have residential custody of the kid. However her circumstances have changed dramatically, and now has no place to live. My kids currently live with me, and i would like to make this permanent. I do fear for their safety, as she has been diagnosed with Bi-polar in the past, and is not on any medication. As you might understand that this disorder leads to drinking, drugs and more, and I don't want my kids in that environment.
I do fear for there safety when she has them, and am really worried about the people she hangs around with while with the kids.
I would like to know the following...
1) What would my chances be of getting supervised custody?
2) What would my chances be of getting residential custody?
3) If any of the above is possible, what would you suggest my first step be?
Hello Shaun
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
Please may I ask:
- how old are your children?
- how long have they been living with you?
- is there a routine for your children to see their mother?
- are you named on your children's birth certificates?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi CarolineThank you for your response.- how old are your children?I have 2 kids of my own aged 9 and 4. The third child has been with me since the age of 6 months, but i am not on his birth certificate, he is 12. I will have to take other legal action to keep him safe. He has however lived with me for 4 months now.- how long have they been living with you?They have been with me for 2 months now.- is there a routine for your children to see their mother?There is no routine at the moment, as i allow her to see the kids when she wants.- are you named on your children's birth certificates?I am named on the birth certificates.Regards
Hello Shaun
Thank you for your responses.
The third child - is he just a child of the mother? or is he yours also? were you married when he was born?
When making reference to keep safe - do you think that the children are at risk of harm from the mother? please give me some examples of what they might have been exposed too.
Has there been any social services / police involvement?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi CarolineThe third child is not mine, and we were not married when he was born.I do sometimes fear that they might be in harms way, as the drinking and drugs are getting out of hand. She also suffers with bi-polar, and has severe cases of depression, and has tried twice to commit suicide before in the past. She does have a short temper, but she would never physically harm the kids. I am more concerned about the environment where she now lives, and the people that she hangs around.I would really just like to know what would be my first steps.Regards
Hello Shaun
Thank you for clarifying that for me.
It is my advice that you consider applying to the court for a child arrangement order in respect of all 3 children.
It a child arrangement order is granted in respect of the 12 year old then this would confer parental responsibility upon you.
The first step is to refer your case to family mediation. All children cases have to go to mediation before an application can be made to court. Although I am minded to say that in respect of the position of the 12 year old - the matter is somewhat more urgent because you do not have parental responsibility - as the mother has not tried to remove then a few more days should be ok.
The aim of mediation is to try and reach an agreement without the need for court. It is likely given the issues that you have raised that the mediator will say that the matter is not suitable for mediation and that the matter should be referred to court. If this is the case then they will sign the form you need to make an application to court.
There are lots of mediation services and there will be one local to you. Just google Family Mediation in your area and give them a call to get the ball rolling.
In relation to making an application to court - this is on Form C100. As you do not have parental responsibility in respect of the 12 year old then you also need to complete Form C2.
The case will then be listed for a hearing and a Childrens and Families Officer will speak to you both prior to the 1st hearing and they will also be in attendance at that hearing.
Given the concerns that you are raising about the mother - it is likely that the court will order a report to be undertaken in respect of the welfare issues. This is known as a Section 7 report. This report will make recommendations to court as to who the children should live with and also in respect of how much time they should spend with the mother and if this needs to be supervised.
The court will also likely ask for a report from the mothers mental health team in respect of her diagnosis and any effect in respect of caring for her children.
Once this evidence has been obtained - the court will be in a better position to make its decision.
In the meantime you need to keep a close hand on things - if contact is currently going well - then great this should continue. If, however the mother turns up after having been drinking or taking drugs then she should be turned down and the contact supervised.
I hope that this helps.
Please do not hesitate to ask if I can clarify anything for you.
Kind Regards
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