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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My daughter aged 22 has depression and is partially deaf with

Customer Question

My daughter aged 22 has depression and is partially deaf with a cochlea implant so suffers from ill health and serious ear infections that she has needed surgery for. She is an excellent mother and we support her fully in this. We are consistent in the baby's life and our home is her second home. Her partner who she asked to leave on 18 July 2014 after domestic abuse knew this and had said he was supportive. He has not been supportive and much less in that he has lived on her benefits and her families generosity since they moved in together Dec 2012. The crunch is that they have a 15 month old baby who is delightful and thriving, there are no concerns about her or her mother's care of her which is exemplary. The father also nearly 22 but very immature and hostile is intimidating my daughter into him having weekly overnight contact with him in his parents home. My daughter is refusing this and has promoted a day time contact. He is still demanding a weekly overnight and his mother is also demanding the baby has overnight contact with them as her grandparent rights. The reasons for not having overnights are the same for them all: concerns about his parenting capacity, he thinks domestic abuse is ok, he thinks smacking a 15 month old baby is normal and wont be persuaded this is wrong and cannot happen, the fear is he smacks her and what next, it has come to light that he picked her up for contact in an uninsured van and would have done again if the police had not impounded it yesterday; his father is an alcoholic and therefore in the home where the overnights would be, his mother also drinks heavily; they all seem unable to discuss with my daughter and us, matters that centre on the child's needs, routines, consistency of management, etc; my daughter above all has explained that to have overnights with them in a strange place (she had only been there once in her life before this as they didn't invite them) so soon would be disruptive can it be built up to. They say no and demand their rights in a very unfriendly way. Physical violence by both parents on each other had also been a feature of the baby's father's childhood. We are kind and reasonable people and have tried to have a round the table talk with them but the sum was that they had their rights and the child will get used to disruption etc. However my daughters and our concerns are escalating as they can't communicate with us without making demands. They have no equipment for her etc etc not even a car seat, we have to share ours and this is not acceptable any more. My daughter is waiting for a Mediation appointment but we fear this will be futile. We have supported this as we know it is the first step before court. However things are escalating and we wonder if it would be better to go to a Solicitor tomorrow and seek advice about a Child Arrangements Order to secure the baby legally with her mother and give our daughter the power to make the decisions for her baby. The main question tonight is can our daughter say there will be no contacts now until either Mediation makes a safe and agreeable way forward or court. It seems the only way to alleviate the stress and hostility but we know they will oppose it, what are her rights in this. Sorry this was long. Thank you. Worried Grandmother

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law