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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I am currently going through the court process to change the

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I am currently going through the court process to change the arrangements myself and my ex-partner have for our 8 year old daughter. There is no court order in place, just a verbal agreement, our daughter's primary address is with her Mother, and I have her in my care from Fri-Sun every other weekend unless agreed otherwise. My application to the court is looking to reverse that arrangement so that our daughter lives with me.
I have already raised my concerns to the courts as to why I believe this would be best, ***** ***** like drug abuse, violence, neglect, etc. However, this morning I have seen evidence which confirms that the Mother has been heavily involved in prostitution in recent years. It is unknown whether she is still involved in prostitution, but there is a chance it is still ongoing. I have concerns about strangers visiting the Mother at her home address, and being in the same house as our daughter, along with the things she may be exposed to. I am considering not taking her back home this week, but really need legal advice.
Should I apply for an emergency court order? Or do I call about a change in circumstances about my current case? Are my concerns warranted, or am I over-reacting?

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-Are you in England or Wale?

-You state that there is no court order in place, but there appear to be live proceedings? Is this your application for a child arrangement order (for her to live with you)? If so, when is the next hearing and have CAFCASS undertaken their initial enquiries and made recommendations to the court?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Harris,Thanks for the quick response.The case is being held in England. There is no court order in place regarding contact and shared care, this has always been and still is a verbal agreement between my ex and I. The live court proceedings is an application for a child arrangement order, whereby our daughter would primarily live with me and have contact with her Mother. The first hearing was last week, and CAFCASS have been instructed to perform a section 7 report, which is due to be completed by 19th July. All parties are unaware of the claims of prostitution, I have only gained knowledge of it today.

Thank you - were CAFCASS aware of the other issues (drug abuse/neglect etc?) and if so what did their initial recommendations state?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they were made aware of my concerns, both via the C100 & C1A forms and a telephone interview I had with them. They were limited in the advice they could offer due to being unable to complete safeguarding discussions with the mother, however they did advise the court that the concerns raised were significant enough to warrant further investigation, which the court agreed with. They also advised that the Separated Parents Information Programme and Mediation routes would not be appropriate.

Thank you - whilst prostiituion in itself is not a child protection concern, if you feel that your child is being exposed to unsuitable adults or sexual activity, or that she is unable to provide the appropriate care and protection due to this, then you should make an urgent application for a hearing to consider this and for an emergency placement in your care.

Furthermore, legally as there is no court order regulating contact there is nothing being breached and there is nothing that can be enforced if you were not to return your child to her care.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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