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Children's safety agreement breeched, again.

(8 Posts)
marmitetoastie Wed 26-Sep-12 11:10:24

Hi, I wondered if I could get some legal advice on how to proceed. I have a written safety agreement signed between myself, my ex husband and his partner. This is because in the past they have allowed our (then) 5 year old to play near a railway line unsupervised, allowed our 2 yr old to play on a river bank unsupervised (they lived on a boat at the time) and taken our three children to overnight parties where there was ketomine and cocaine. If I raise my disagreement that this sort of thing is ok I'm told to f. off. Eventually I took the children out of their overnight care for a year, until they left their boat. So we've ended up with a written safety agreement and all has been fine for a year. I've found out from my children (10, 7 & 4) that our 7yr old DD has been allowed to play in the park opposite their house at dusk with another girl, aged 9, unsupervised. This is direct breech of our agreement and something I consider dangerous. For now I've told him that he's on supervised access, but he can see the kids as much as he likes. He is furious. Is there a way I can move forward with him legally? I just want him to follow the safety agreement. I don't really want to have to take the children out of his care again. It was awful for them last time, but had to be done. They love going to his house. Any ideas how I can make him follow an agreement? Legal advice would be of most benefit here please.

titchy Wed 26-Sep-12 11:27:12

Assuming he has parental responsibility then you have no right to dictate any safety guidelines with him at all, nor to deny him overngith access.

If you have legitimate grounds (and it does sounds like you did when they were younger) then you'd need to go to court and get CAFCASS to check his suitability to have unsupervised contact.

However letting a 7 year old play in a park opposite his house without direct supervision is something some people consider OK (FWIW I'd be OK with this a 9 year old doing this), and it is unlikely that Social Services would consider this dangerous enough for the existing overnight contact to be refused.

Collaborate Wed 26-Sep-12 11:44:24

I agree with titchy. Not what you want to hear I know but I think you've over reacted on this occasion.

marmitetoastie Wed 26-Sep-12 12:26:24

My daughter is 7, not 9. Going to park at dusk is not ok for a 7 year old girl without supervision. He lives opposite but can't see her from his house. The safety agreement was written after I took legal advice, you are incorrect that I have to go through CAFCASS to do this. Yes he does have JPR but as the resident parent I set the contact, in this case it is on the basis of our safety agreement. He has to go through court to overturn the contact agreement. I did ask him if he wanted to go through cafcass, but it would have involved a drug test, something he wasn't prepared to take -for obvious reasons. I have a solicitor's appointment next week. Thanks for your replies, but it's really legal advice I was hoping for.

Collaborate Wed 26-Sep-12 12:31:47

I am a family lawyer. My legal advice is that you will find that stopping contact because a 7 year old has been allowed to play out at dusk near the parent's home is an over reaction. Has there been a spate of child abductions in the area?

A park near the house is not the same as a railway line or a river side.

marmitetoastie Wed 26-Sep-12 12:35:00

Thanks, I'm not stopping contact, he is welcome to see them whenever he wants. But if there is a safety agreement in place and it's breached then what next?

Collaborate Wed 26-Sep-12 12:51:07

You need to consider the reasons why the agreement was put in place initially, and whether or not this recent occurence is of the same ilk. Many would say it very different both in terms of type of issue (nothing dangerous near to the play area) and risk (older child than 2 years ago). The courts will weigh up the effect on the child of stopping contact as against allowing contact with these minor risks/issues present.

titchy Wed 26-Sep-12 13:14:24

Was the safety agreement court ordered? Is it legally binding?

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