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Hi, I'm Lea and I have reviewed your query.
Are the children living in the same household as this man?
Is there a current court order for the children to live with the mother and spend time with you, or is that by prior agreement between you and the mother?
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As there is no court order in place, and as you both share the same parental responsibility (I presume you were married to the mother at the time of the children's births or have been named on their birth certificates) you would be free to keep the children at your home since you have concerns about their safeguarding when in their mother's care - be that from her or from her boyfriend.
In conjunction with retaining them, I would suggest you make an urgent application for a prohibited steps order (PSO) to prevent the mother removing the children from your care whilst the court considers the safeguarding issues and makes a decision about where it would be in the children's best interests for the children to live. You would make both applications, for the PSO and the child arrangements, on the same form C100 - and as you are making the PSO application as a matter of urgency this can be done without attending mediation first. The cost to apply is £215, but if you are on a low income or benefits you may be entitled to fee remission.
If you would like a link to the relevant forms, please let me know.
Does that clarify your position?
As I said above, mediation is not necessary when you are applying as a matter of urgency - which you would be if you apply for the PSO as detailed above.
You do not have to keep them full time, ultimately - this is to offer them protection whilst the court or social services investigate.
You would need to make the application suggested to the court, and then ask the court for them to remain with their aunt until further investigations have taken place about the abuse.
The alternative is, of course, for social services to step in and investigate - but they may not do that when you as the other parent are in a position to safeguard your children. Their resources are limited, so they are likely to tell you to take action.
You can of course wait to see what social services suggest before taking the action I have suggested above.
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The C100 is for both the prohibited steps order application - you tick the urgent box - and for the child arrangements order. You will tick the relevant exemption from attending a MIAM.
C100 is here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/734888/C100_eng_0818.pdf
You will need to make an appointment at your local family court to submit the application in person - you can search for the court here: https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/search/
All the best.
When the police say things are civil matters, they are not always correct, however in this instance I do think that you can protect your children with civil remedies, as already advised above.
The other civil remedy available is a non molestation order to protect the children from the partner's verbal abuse - you apply on form FL401.
Further queries should be posted as new questions.