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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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My partner and I have a questions regarding a child

Customer Question

Hi, my partner and I have a questions regarding a child arrangement order.His daughter lives with us and has done for nearly 3 years now.
2 and a half years ago during contact, the little girls mother failed to return his daughter following a period of contact, at this time she was due back in school and her mother tried to enrol her at a new school in her area, we had to fax a prohibited steps order we also had in place to the local council to stop this.We returned to court to enforce the order which took 6 weeks.
Following this we spent every other weekend travelling 175miles to drop his daughter off with her mum.Returned to court in January 2016 and she failed to attend following cafcas involvement.
Mum has an extensive history of contact with social services.
Mum last saw her daughter in August 2016 overnight. In September 2016 when she was due for contact she contacted us saying that she couldn't see her as she was moving to the US. During a month period of time she was picked up by the police under section 136 of the Mental health act and was later discharged from hospital. She returned to live in her town but stated that she was couch surfing and was still planning to leave for the US to study and be mothered by a friend there, this lady is in her 30s. A few weeks later during phone contact she disclosed to her daughter that she had got married to man unknown to her daughter or ourselves. Arranging contact was problematic and at one point we had to approach the police due to the constant harassment experienced.My step daughters mum drives and would refuse to collect her daughter. She is currently living in a guest house with her husband and refuses to give us her phone number, however has provided us with her husbands.On Friday with contact due on Saturday, social services contacted my partner to know the whereabouts of her children as she has another child aged 16 who has predominantly lived in Care settings since the age of 10. Social services stated that she had completely gone of their radar and they wanted to check the children were safe, we could only account for my partners little girl, as we do not have contact with her son.They expressed no concern over contact. However her instability, mental state are of some concern whilst my step daughter has been in her care this week she has sent emails of a harassing nature. She does have a diagnosis of a mental disorder, she has taken her daughter to stay at her friends.Handovers can be problematic and have been challenging at times, we didn't want to send her but we are ordered to make her available to her mum, but have real concerns, where do we stand with the order? How do we arrange a contact centre to avoid problems during the handover? How do we make changes or go about getting some kind of assessment completed, if at all we can? We have real concerns about the child's safety in her care and the impact on her emotionally of on and off contact.... Please help.Kind regards,
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 5 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How old is your stepdaughter?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She's nearly 11
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Claire,
Just to provide you with an update. Yesterday prior to peering with my step daughters mum to collect my stepdaughter, I received a text message from her, with threats, stating that she was going to pull my stringy hair out and kick my ass in front of cameras, police and the army if necessary. I did not give her a response and called the police to log it. During handover, she approached me and accused myself and partner of stalking her. Her words were "stalking is illegal". She put herself in my face invading my personal space in a threatening manner, I informed her that so we're threats and I had reported her to the police. I was advised by the police to take friends as witnesses, my mum and friend attended died with me. My mum who has a good relationship with my stepdaughter tried to distract my stepdaughter of what was going on, her mum proceeded to take a picture of the 3 of us and stated I was attempting to intimidated her. I informed her that I do not feel safe and asked if she thought her behaviour was appropriate in front of her daughter. She states "yes I do". As I am a mental health nurse, she then threatened my professional life stating "I'm going to get you sacked". She proceeded ask me to go outside in a threatening manner and was in my face stating that I was gaslight in her. I said this is boring and walked off. She then went outside and started mess with my car, I believe she removed the valve cap of my tyre.Today she has accused me of abusing her daughter mentally via social media, she has uploaded a photo that she took yesterday and has tagged my work place in this.Both myself and my partner feel harassed and emotionally feel that we cannot deal with any future contact and will take it back to court. My partner would like to know how you think the courts will deal with this and will they make him have contact with this lady as it is now affecting our relationship.Kindest regards,
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 5 months ago.


Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will try and assist you.

Please may I ask:

- When does the order say that contact should take place?

- I appreciate that the overnight contacts are not taking place so what is the current routine for contact?

- what has your step daughter said about the contact and her mothers behaviour?

kind regards


Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Caroline,
The order states that she should have contact with her mother, every school holiday, 5 nights in february half term, 7 nights at Easter, 5 nights in June half term, 7 nights in summer holidays and 5 nights in October.Since the order was put in place in January 2016 her mum has been to collect her on 3 occasions, she has seen her mum this half term for 5 nights, this is the first overnight contact in 18 months.She said that she missed her mum, mum was asking a lot of questions about me and her dad. Before going she was crying saying she didn't want to go and leave us and she was worried about staying with her mum. It's good that contact went well but now is defensive of her mum's behaviour.Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Caroline,
Just wondering if you have a response, if not I will request a refund as it appears no-one is answering.Many thanks,