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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My wife is in hospital and has been on and off weeks

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My wife is in hospital and has been on and off for 3 weeks now. She is likely to remain in hospital for at least the next week and maybe longer. She has custody of her child, ordered by the courts, but is currently in a legal battle with the father, who is going for custody. With her being in hospital can she allow me to look after her child or should I make someone aware of the situation?
Hi, thank you for your question. Without a court order placing the child in your care unfortunately you will have no legal rights to care for the child, however thr mother can propose the placement with you, but if the father has parental responsibility she must consult him and if he objects then it will be for the court to decide - which appears to be happening. When is the next hearing regarding the father's application and what is mother's prognosis?
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is currently an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital and as such the duration of her stay is uncertain. The father does not know she is in there, mainly because it is due to the way he treated her. However with it no longer just being a couple of days I thout I should seek advice. The next court hearing is in June. As it stands the courts have given the father supervised visitation and so technically he is not allowed to look after his child unsupervised. That being said, by the sounds of things neither am I. Who in that case is?
Well legally it is only the mother - given that she is in hospital, the care team should have made a referral to children's services - has this happened?Also, how old is the child and how long has he been in your "joint-care"?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has been in our joint care for 5 years and is 7 years old. No referral has been made by the care team.
If the placement is safe then a social worker will assess and likely recommend that he is in your care upon mother's agreement.If the placement is contested by the father then you can apply to court for the child to remain with you - initially you would need leave from the court to apply but as he has bern with you for 5 years it will likely be granted and you can proceed with an application for placement to continue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I need to contact social services, do I also need to put an application in to the courts? I won't ask for his consent as he will certainly say no and we currently have no contact with him; supervised visitation is carried out explicitly without us having contact with him. Is there likely to be repercussions for not informing social services earlier, considering that I had no idea up till now that I needed to?
No reprecussions, and it would be the duty of the mental health care tesm to make a referral if they are aware there is a child in her care.If you need support or want to regulate the arrangements then yoi can contact social srrvices but be aware that the will investigate the situation and assess the placement.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thank you for your advice
Thank you - hope it goes well. If there are any further questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris