Ask a Family Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hi, I’m Lea and I will be assisting you with your query today.
I am very sorry to hear about your dilemma, but will do my best to provide you with advice and guidance on what to do next. Are there any court orders already in place for the child?
The following is useful info to assist you with the site:
Does the father have parental responsibility? I.e. named on his birth certificate?
What pattern of contact does he normally have? How old is the child?
As there are no court orders stating where the child lives, you and the father have the exact same parental responsibility, and as such either of you can have the child in your care. If one of you retains the child, the other parent's route is to go to court. Neither of you should be doing this however as it is damaging to the child (retaining him from the other parent).
If you cannot agree on the child arrangements, you are supposed to try mediation before applying to court, but if you think there are safeguarding reasons for the father not to have contact in the interim, you could make an application for a specific issues order to have the child immediately returned to your care, and a prohibited steps order to prevent the father removing the child from your care or the care of anyone you place him with until the court has had time to determine the child arrangements.
You can apply on form C100. Cost is £215 - if you are on benefits or a low income complete form EX160 as well. As the application is urgent I would suggest you take the form to the court on Monday morning and ask for an urgent hearing.
It'll take at least 5-6 weeks, possibly longer due to the pandemic, to get to a first hearing. I cannot guess how long it will take thereafter, that will be up to the judge and whatever information he or she needs to help make a decision.
No, if talking together, then mediation don't work, court is next.