What will happy in court re. residency of my child?(13 Posts)
My ex wife and I have a 3 year old child. We separated shortly after the birth as she would become aggressive doing rows, of which thee were many. The last straw was when she swung a mug at my head. I don't for a second think that she would ever hurt our child, ever.
I have had our child every weekend without fail and have always done the collecting/dropping off. My child and I have a very good relationship, we're very close. I offered to have our child 5 days a week a few months ago as ex told me she was struggling but she refused.
I had always assumed ex was a good mother, even though she has made some bad choices in the past re. ex boyfriends and drugs. I thought that was a distant memory.
She got together with a new boyfriend about 18 months ago. I wanted to meet him and did ask if I could as he was being left alone with our child but she said I was being controlling and refused to even give me his name.
I started to worry a few months ago when a stranger contacted me to say my ex was using drugs. To cut a long story short I didn't return my child to her for two weeks as I was concerned for her welfare after hearing some unsettling things. I eventually did against my better judgement as she said she would be staying with her parents 300 miles away, away from her problems here where we live.
I then sought legal advice and was told to contact SS. SS said there had been a case open for a year regarding my child, which I wasn't told about at ex wife request (apparently I would react badly and jump to conclusions according to SS report). Her boyfriend was selling drugs from the house, violently attacked her numerous times in front of my child, went to prison and was using drugs in the house. He is not allowed da round his own children as has refused to have a SS risk assessment yet ex was leaving him alone with my child.
Ex was warned by SS to stay away from this man or risk losing her child but lied to and manipulated them and the police and continued as relationship with him. There have now been three social services reports made regarding my child whilst I was blissfully unaware of any of this.
She has now left the boyfriend and decided she wants to live near her parents, 300 miles away from me. She is refusing contact as she thinks I will not return our child to her. She is accusing me of emotional abuse via her solicitor yet I have a huge amount of messages from her being abusive towards me and consistency lying about our child's welfare. She has mental health issues and I'm terrified she will enter into another inappropriate relationship.
I am applying for full residency but I'm scared she's going to phase me out of our child's life. Any advice was be much appreciated, thanks.
The court will probably order a Children Act section 7 report that will make recommendations - either social services or cafcass will do the report, or an independent social worker. This is ordered at first hearing usually. After the report is in, you will probably have to file statements.
However the report is usually very influential to the court.
It's often quite informal and judge may speak to you, but it's only at a final hearing that you'd give evidence and be cross examined.
Also they will want to keep you in children's lives. In your favour is that you can offer the status quo - no need to change schools, friends, etc if they live with you, and hopefully social services will back you.
Thank you. I'm terrified as she's a very convincing liar, although I do have all the evidence and she has none as what's she saying isn't true.
I haven't seen my child for a month now. I worry that as she's been our child's main carer that they won't want to change that and I will be phased out of my child's life.
Yes SS has backed me. In the third report (this was written shortly after I found out and visited them) basically said she had mislead professionals and that I was very concerned. They have been very supportive. They should have told me as soon as they became involved and have apologised for not doing that.
Have you made an application yet? It should go against her that she's stopped you seeing your child - and it'll be a red flag to the court that if she has the child living with her miles away she might try to cut you out. The courts usually favour the person who they believe will promote a relationship with the other parent.
Very bizarre. SS will have asked where the child's bio father was and made contact/invited to meetings etc given you were very much a part of your child's life
In the first reports it states that she doesn't want me informed as I'll 'jump to conclusions at her ability to care for our child' and 'react badly'. She also gave my name and sed that I was a good father with a good relationship with our child. Even her childminder was questioned!
I'd advise putting a subject access report for yourself and for your child into every agency connected to you...including school's, GPs and health services. The information you receive back will almost certainly be helpful. Resubmit the SAR every so often while proceding are ongoing....
Just googled it. Yes social services gave us all the reports which include all the information from childminder and police.
If you put a SAR in individually to each area they're obliged by law to give you everything with your / your child's name. This has two benefits. You get to see an uncensored version of everything said and done. This may become evidence in court later to demonstrate alienating behaviours or allegations made by your ex. Secondly, it's a bloody pain for the agencies involved. Their recording and behaviour with anything relating to you will be exemplary going forward. It certainly doesn't sound as if it has been so far as you should have been kept up to date with anything relating to your child (unless allegations have been made - see point one). Speaking from recent experiences here and wish someone had given me this advice far earlier.
This sounds very familiar, doesn't your current partner have a thread about this? Your partner never described your previous failures to seek residency (despite her advising you to be more proactive) as being borne out of fear?
This is exactly the problem I alluded to in your partner's thread of using evidence volunteered from the man who SS deemed a risk to your child, given his behaviour towards your Ex he's hardly an impartial or even reliable witness. What has your solicitor said about using your Ex's Ex 'proof' (as your partner characterises it)?
No one can predict how this will end but appeasing your Ex is not in your child's best interest and it didn't stop them from being at risk.
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