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Can I get custody?

(57 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

BackInBlack78 Thu 20-Apr-17 09:37:24

Not an AIBU but not sure where to post, and posted for traffic also.

Background: left my partner Dave due to massive drinking issues and verbal abuse while drinking (think 10 cans followed by a bottle of Jack Daniels on a weekend binge). Dave has a 6 year old boy to Anna who passed away before the child turned 2.

Dave's drinking has got to a point where his child's welfare has come into question. Anna's mum and I have become quite close although she lives 90 minutes away. She would love to go for custody but wouldn't like to uproot the child. She has suggested I try for custody to keep him in his home town and is happy to back me 100% should I choose to do this.

I am not blood but have been a large part of the child's life for many years and would love for him to have a better chance at life than he'll have with his dad. Dave's mum was an alcoholic and being a family disease I'd hate for the child to be affected also.

WWYD in this situation?

(Names are changed)

KungFuPandaWorksOut16 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:11:21

I highly doubt you'd get custody. If the mum was that concerned she would regain custody back.

SS if you are concerned for the childs welfare.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 20-Apr-17 10:13:47

I think I would reassure Anna's mum that 'uprooting' a 6 year old happens pretty frequently (people move for work etc.) and that at 6 it's not the end of the world.

I would support her if she went for custody.

JigglyTuff Thu 20-Apr-17 10:13:47

Is Dave going to contest his don living Ruth you?

Quartz2208 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:14:03

Via the Courts no. Via SS, potentially - if you have concerns for the childs welfare they are the way to go. If they remove from the father they will try to get a family based placement and here is where you could offer to foster - they will look into you though (and the grandmother).

You need to contact SS

JigglyTuff Thu 20-Apr-17 10:14:33

Blasted autocorrect: would Dave contest his son living with you?

Allthewaves Thu 20-Apr-17 10:14:45

Get anna's mum to get ss involved,go see a solicitor. Would Dave be open to you having 6yr old during the week? Tell him you miss dss, would like to spend time with him and let Dave have a break

EdithWeston Thu 20-Apr-17 10:17:27

If you change the parents names to Lucy and Peter, then you have exactly the Coronation Street storyline for Leanne and how she acquired custody of Simon.

It's possible but unusual.

Are Social Services involved yet?

BackInBlack78 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:22:17

No I haven't involved SS, Dave would go mental if he knew what we'd been discussing... I don't watch soaps so I don't know what the storylines are.

I just want to make sure they boy has a fair crack at life, he's already been so much...

greedycushionhoarder Thu 20-Apr-17 10:27:07

It really depends how far the situation has gone, are as already involved? Are they looking at placing the child? If so you can register your interest in caring for him regardless of the fact you are not related but they would take his father's opinion into consideration, you need to look very carefully into what you are offering and on what terms, this child is going to need stability and although he may have no issues now the upheaval may cause some, the death of his mother will obviously have been traumatic for him too the poor child will be very confused and insecure, I'm not trying to put you off if it is in the child's best interests to be removed from his father's care ( and that is for ss to decide) just I have been there, took on a child who I was assured would have no issues as they were too young to know anything and young enough to bond and settle with us ( and already was close to us from birth) but turned out to have reactive attachment disorder due to what they'd been through and ss refused to acknowledge this despite CAMHS psychologist diagnosis, this has resulted in years of trauma for all the family and at times nearly broke us. The child will suffer the most if this happens so you really need to be informed about exactly what you are offering.

Mombie2016 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:29:09

KungFu

And how do you suggest the child's mother regains custody when she's dead confused Read posts properly ffs.

SS are your first port of call.

AntigoneJones Thu 20-Apr-17 10:29:56

I am not being pedantic, but it is not 'custody' and has not been called that for a long time. The child is not a criminal.
If you are going to be talking about this to people, please do not use this word.

HallowedMimic Thu 20-Apr-17 10:31:02

The child's mother has died. I'd imagine taking him from his father would cause lifelong issues.

I know you are thinking you can offer him a 'better life' but I think you are underestimating the primal bond he has with his father, and the dangers of breaking it.

Even children subject to horrific neglect suffer great trauma through being parted from their parents.

At 6, the child will feel that he has been forcibly separated from someone to whom he is so strongly bonded, that they hardly feel like separate people.

Every relationship he forms later in life is likely to be tainted by that fear of forcible separation, and a mistrust of others who are seen as possible facilitators.

If at all possible, watch over him from outside of the family, but try to keep him in his home, with his father.

If SS were certain you remove him, you'd maybe be better than a stranger, but even that isn't certain. And the child will probably reappear on his father's doorstep as soon as he has any autonomy.

BackInBlack78 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:31:56

I love the child as if he was my own, I already have contact with him although the relationship with his father and me is strained - we're civil for the sake of the boy.

I take him out for days out and am currently visiting him at his grandma's house. Dave was drinking until 7am this morning which is standard behaviour whether him is there or not. I don't understand how he can drink himself into oblivion when he has a child in his care angry

BackInBlack78 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:33:47

AntigoneJones I'm not sure of terminology, this is all new to me

Mombie2016 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:34:06

I grew up with alcoholic parents and as an adult I now resent the weak adults who saw it and did fuck all to protect us. We suffered in a multitude of ways.

Do something please. Please tell SS.

user1492528619 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:41:07

If you can prove that his father is unfit to care for him and you have the Grandmother's backing you do have a fair chance seeing as you've been in his life a number of years. You must, however, get Social Services and they must deem the environment uninhabitable.

Are there relatives in the area? They will usually be the first port of call.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Thu 20-Apr-17 10:41:21

If you can remain on good terms with Dave despite the separation and continue having regular access to the child and provide some sort of stability in his life with Dave's consent then that might be the better way forward unless you are genuinely worried about the child's immediate safety

BackInBlack78 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:44:32

There are no other relatives...

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 20-Apr-17 10:49:14

What on earth are you on HallowedMimic shock? The father's main relationship is with alcohol.

"At 6, the child will feel that he has been forcibly separated from someone to whom he is so strongly bonded, that they hardly feel like separate people."
You're presuming he's bonded with the father, and not the father's partner, the one who actually cares for and about him? That's one hell of a stretch! It's far more likely that future relationships would be tainted by mistrust because the adults who should have protected him from his father stood back wringing their hands wailing about not breaking the primal bond.

And 'hardly feel like separate people'? Fuck's sake, get a grip. This is real life, not some woo bollocks.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Thu 20-Apr-17 10:51:32

Is the boy unsafe/neglected/harmed in a direct sense, or is it just less than ideal that he's living with a heavy drinker?

I don't say that in the moral sense because it would be better if no children lived with a dependent drink or drug users, but approximately a million do. I am not a social worker so don't know the current attitude but have been staggered in the past by a particular case of a mother openly drunk/staggering every day but when SW investigated, the child carried on living with the mum for her whole childhood.

In other words, I don't know the threshold of intervention in these type of cases. You could report to SS and they will investigate, but it may not then go in the way you expect- the dad could change/go on parenting course, they may not intervene, they may intervene but the child goes elsewhere (as grandmother is deemed unsuitable for some reason). In other words, despite your unofficial status as a parent to this child and your obvious love and care for them, it is far from clear that putting this chain of events in motion would end up with you as the carer.

I would seek informal advice perhaps as a starting point, from social workers/legally.

There is also the danger that if you alert SS, Dave no longer lets you have the informal access you currently have.

I think you are in a difficult position and I hope some posters working in SS can give you better advice.

SoupDragon Thu 20-Apr-17 10:53:53

Read posts properly ffs.

Perhaps take your ow advice, Mombie. Kung Fu was talking about the deceased mother's mother.

Mombie2016 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:58:47

soup confused Kungfu said regain custody the child's grandmother has never had custody ergo Kungfu is referring to the child's mother

KungFuPandaWorksOut16 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:59:30

Thankyou soup mombie clearly needs too take her own advice.

KungFuPandaWorksOut16 Thu 20-Apr-17 11:00:19

Ok gain custody then mombie calm it down and stick too te thread. Let's not derail it.

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