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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34896
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I would like to see my twelve year old nephew who lives nearby.

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I would like to see my twelve year old nephew who lives nearby. My brother his father will not let me see him on my own or keep in proper contact despite the fact I cared for him regularly in my home for two years when he first came to UK. Do i have any rights that can be established in law to see him ?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When did you last see him and why is his father doing this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I last saw him for a few minutes about three weeks ago on his fathers doorstep, when I delivered some comics to him.

As soon as his new partner gave birth to their new son three years ago, he started restricting my involvement with Nathan. Nathan was expressing to me his unhappiness with the arguments his father and new partner were having. He said he was going to run away and come and live with me. I understood that as being how he felt and comforted him as an Aunt would.

Later my brother accused me of reporting him to social services regarding his care of Nathan, something I have not done. I think he believes I want to adopt Nathan. He has had protracted custody cases with the mother of Nathan and a previous partner.

I think he wants to stop me seeing Nathan as a form of control, because he can. Nathan is fond of me and his mother lives in the USA.

I feel for Nathan & miss seeing him. His father is now making it difficult for me to speak to him on the phone, which happens about once a fortnight if I don't see him when I take his comics round. I have now been asked not to phone the house phone ( they have a four month new baby) and instead phone my brothers mobile phone. This is a new demand and when I phoned on Saturday he did not answer or follow up a text asking for Nathan to call me.

This is why I decided to contact your firm. I want to know whether I have any legal rights as an Aunt and how difficult it would be to exercise them.

How long ago did the child live with you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He did not actually live with me. I picked him up from school and gave him dinner most days after school. I also bought him clothes and shoes.

This was 2009 when he was eight until 2011 when my brothers partner had a baby in the June.

I was first asked by my brother to come home from Thailand where I was teaching to have Nathan live with me. I agreed, but he changed the arrangement from living with me to doing a daily care routine as I was leaving Thailand.

Things between us got difficult between us around the time of the birth of his baby. He has had a further baby this March.

What contact did you have after 2011?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When I drop off his comics to his fathers house I sometimes get to speak to him for a few minutes on the doorstep.

I see him for a few hours about three times a year during schools holidays for a couple of hours but only in the company of a friend. My brother wont let me see him on my own.

So in the last three years you have seen relatively little of the child?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I would not say that, Every holiday I make arrangements to see him and until last year I was able to see him every week on his way to school. He has since gone to Secondary school and that contact is not possible anymore.

I continue to take him comics regularly and usually see him on those occasions even if only for a short time.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is taking a long time for an answer, why is this?

My apologies for the delay
You have no automatic right to even apply for contact with the child.
HOWEVER it is clear that you do have a close relationship with the cild and on that basis you can ask the Family Court for permission to apply for Contact.
If permission is granted then you can go on to ask the Court to order contact - likely to be limited to a few hours a month to reflect the level of the relationship between you.
However before you can issue an application you first have to try and resolve the matter with the child's father using Family mediation (
Only if this fails can you apply to the court.
Given his age it is the wishes of your nephew that will decide the actual contact that you have.
Some information on Court Proceedings here
Please ask if you need further details
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