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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have a 3 and half year old son. I split with his mother as

Customer Question

I have a 3 and half year old son. I split with his mother as she had a drinking problem. she seems to have this under control at the moment but she has some mental issues now and today fell asleep while looking after my son. We are not married and never have been. I would like custody of my son on the grounds that she is not capable of looking after him. Do i have a case?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Are you named on the birth certificate?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Claire

Yes i am and he has my Surname not his mothers.





Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Excellent - have Social Services been involved at all?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No when his mother has been unable to look after him, i have just looked after him myself. I would not give Dylan (my son) back to his mother while she was drinking or unable to look after Dylan in any way and her parents (as well as my own) have agreed with this and supported me as well in the decisions that i have made. It was her mother who told me today that she is worried about the safety of Dylan as Helen (my Ex) is not capable of looking after him at the moment. I wanting to make sure that Dylan is safe and getting the attention that he needs and unfortunately Helen goes from one illness/condition to the next. First it was drinking then self harming and drinking, she has been caught shop lifting, and is on anti-depressants now (and has been for a long time) but seems to be having mental issues now.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Is his mother likely to agree to you taking over his care?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no, the agreement we have at present is that he is with her from Monday morning until Thursday night and then i have him thursday through until Monday morning one week and then i collect him on a friday afternoon rather than thursday night the week after i.e 3 nights one week followed by 4 the week after. however he starts school/nursery in september and the plan was that i will drop him to school on a monday and pick him up on friday from school (it will be half days to start with as in nursery) as i work and his mother doesnt. She lives about 25 miles from me.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
The starting point is to try and discuss matters - her illness and how it impacts on the child - with her using Family Mediation (
If this is not successful then you will have to apply to the court for a Residence and Defined contact order.
Given all that you have said - and the support of her family - it is likely that you will be successful
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details