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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1441
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I'm the father of two children aged 7 and 4. I've been split

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I'm the father of two children aged 7 and 4. I've been split up from their mother for 2 years and i've had them every wednesday and alternative weekends.
My daughter has been pretty upset the last few days and I was discussing her feelings etc as I can appreciate the breakup is still hard for her. However, she mentioned that whilst her mum was in work the other night, my ex-partners boyfriend had sat her down on her own and ask why was she scared of him.
She said then he sometimes (not all the time) gets angry with mum and slams the door. His angry face scares her. She also mentioned that when she's here at dads house, she get's a bit worried that he might mum. She clarified herself that he hasn't ever hit her but has only obversed the anger, mummy wiping away tears etc.
My ex-partners new boyfriend has been to my house about 6 months ago and got arrested trying to force his way into my property. About 3 weeks ago, he also turned up to my property and threatened to ensure I never see my kids again and that he will destroy their relationship with me so they will not want to come here.
I didn't ring the police on this occassion as I had no evidence of what he said or that he'd been at the property, so it seemed pointless.
My question is this; I currently have the kids over the weekend but are due to go back to their mums tomorrow. Based on what's been said, I'm a little concerned for their well-being. Not in the sense that they will get hurt/attacked but their emotional well-being. Is there much I can do in this case?
Is getting social services involved over the top? I'm not too sure if I have any options to protect them or if I have to just hand them back over and hope nothing happens.
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
I am very sorry to hear about the current situation.
Please may I ask:
- how old is your daughter?
- have you asked the mother about what has been said?
- do you know any more about the mothers partners past?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
- The daughter is 7- Yes, I discussed this with her this evening. She said that her and her partner have argued etc but didn't expand too much. Obviously, I think she knows not to say too much. I'm not sure if there is domestic violence going on.- I don't know much about his past. All I know of him is the time he got arrested for trying to smash his way into the property. When the police discussed with me if I wanted to press charges, they stated he'd never been in trouble with the police before so he doesn't have a "record" or anything.He got a criminal damage record.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm very aware it could be typical "relationship arguments" but the comment she made that she's worried he might hit her mother, makes me see everthing in a different light. It seems a bit of a jump.
Thank you for your response.
Do you have parental responsibility?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm on the birth certificate. We've mutually done a "Every wednesday and alternative weekends" arrangement for the last 2 years.
Thank you for clarifying that for me.
I do not think that you are over-reacting by reporting what has been said to you to social services so that they may investigate.
If your children are witnessing domestic violence (either physical or emotional) then this could cause your daughter emotional harm.
It is wise to also try and discuss the issue with the mother.
You have parental responsibility and therefore you could technically not return your children to their mother until social services have investigated. I must however advise you that if you did take such action then the mother might seek an urgent court order for the children to be returned to her.
I would call social services in the morning and let them undertake their enquiries.
If taking this action makes the mother react by stopping you spending time with your children - then you should issue an application at court asking for a child arrangement order (court to decide when your children see both parents) and for the court to fully investigate what has happened.
Please do not hesitate to ask if I can clarify anything for you.
Kind Regards
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. That's very helpful. One last question. I think you've already answered it in a round-about way.Would you say it's wise to let them go home tomorrow as they usually do even after stating my concerns to social services?To me, it's just a bit odd to state to social services, I'm concerned for their emotional wellbeing but brought them back to their mum. I'm not sure if in their eye's it looks a bit like "Well, if you're that concerned, why are you letting them go back?"At the same time, I can appreciate there's no evidence and it's just a precaution on my end. Stopping them from going back would be short-lived as she would get them back home anyway with the urgent court order.
There is no easy answer - as it is obviously a worry given what your daughter has said but it is highly likely that if you did retain your children that the mother would ask the court for their immediate concern.
You have to report matters to social services as you have a duty to safeguard your children. Social services investigation will include speaking to the mother, possibly your daughter in a child friendly way, also possibly the children's schools to see if they have any concerns.
If what has been said, is believed to be a risk by social services then they may offer support to your family. If the partner is deemed a risk and the mother wont separate they may look to you to care.
If you let your children go back without reporting to social services then this would be like saying 'I'm not that concerned', but the reporting in itself shows you are.
You need to let social services do their investigation and report back to you and be guided by what they say.
Please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist further.
Kind Regards
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would like to ask something further. I will happily tip extra for this if I can?The SS looked up the police records of the male mentioned and as he had no previous reports of domestic violence etc they wished to not proceed further.For the last 2/3 years, I've had the kids alternative weekends and Wednesdays.On the weekends (sunday), we obviously have to meet up/handover the children. It's got to a point now that I think myself and the mother disagree/argue so much on things that it will start to affect the children.I'm considering applying to the courts so that I keep them all weekend and bring them to school on a Monday myself. This would remove 90% of the yearly communication between myself and the ex-partner.Do you think this is something a court would consider (I know we have to do mediation first and know that will fail due to the mother/I discussing already) or is it basically a standard that they will have to go back on a Sunday.
My apologies for my delay in responding to you.
Please can I clarify - is your proposal in respect of weekends - in reference to the weekends that you already have? if so, what time is it you normally drop the children off on a Sunday?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it would only be for the weekends I already have.Normally they get picked up at 4pm.
Thank you for your response.
I do not consider that your request would be seen as an unreasonable one by the courts. In fact the court are likely to consider that your approach is a very sensible approach given that the logic of your proposal is one that potentially limits any emotional harm that your children may witness if there was to be any arguments.
The courts position is that children have a right to a good relationship with both parents and if you can meet your childrens needs by dropping them off at school then I do not think that your request would be considered unreasonable.
If you would like me to detail the court process for you then please dont hesitate to ask. Your first steps are 1) trying to agree with the mother and if this is unsuccessful then 2) referring to mediation to see if agreement can be reached without the need for court.
Kind regards