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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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I seperated from my comon law husband of 18 years a year

Customer Question

Hello - I seperated from my comon law husband of 18 years a year ago. Whilst this was the best thing to do for my mental health we do have a 12 year old whom I am the primary carer - I am concerned about the welfare of my son when he is with his father, more so in recent months. Whilst these situations are never easy in an adult world, Im wondering if there is anything I can do legally so I am in better control of care whilst my son stays with his father ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-Are in England or Wales?

-Whether there are any court orders in place, if so the terms?

-What are the arrangements?

-What are the concerns you are raising?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello - I am in England, no court orders, just a verbal arrangement between my fathers son and I on when hes meant to have him. With regards ***** ***** my ex partner dictated from the day he left ( the amount slightly lower than the goverment guidelines, but he does pay on a regular basis.
The concerns I am raising are my sons father maybe using the same tactics with his son to ''control'' as he did with myself. I am aware that my ex partner has been physically abusive on at least one occasion whilst our son has been in his care. Im mainly concerned he is becoming mentaly abusive and Im unable to trust that he wont again be overly physical with our son
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for confirming. As I am sure you are aware, a child has a right to a relationship with both parents and this can only be reasonably restricted if there are child protection concerns. You have raised concerns of one incident of physical abuse, and potential mental abuse. This would potentially give you grounds to reconsider the current arrangements in order to ensure that your child is safe during his arrangements.

There would be difficulty in immediately suspending contact depending on when the disclosure of the potential abuse has taken place, and you have also stated that he "maybe" controlling or mentally abusing him like he did with you - without actual evidence or disclosure of this, you would not have grounds to suspend contact immediately.

In the circumstances I would suggest that you make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: The mediator will assist you both in reaching an amicable agreement that is in the child's best interests. If mediation does not help, then you will be able to pursue an application to court under Form C100 together with a £215 court fee to your local family court for a child arrangement order and the court can make a decision regarding the matter. For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:

1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.