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Change of residence

(44 Posts)
Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 17:09:19

My partner has a 1 year old son with his ex girlfriend.
Currently a child arrangement order is in place saying the child lives with mum and has contact with dad.
His ex suffers with mental health, is under a care plan with social services and has a chaotic, unstable home life.
A few days ago she attempted suicide for the 4th time and was taken to hospital.
Following this, upsetting details have emerged from social services about her life at home where she lives with his son that we weren't aware of previously and has led us to seek legal advice about an emergency change of residence to have the child live with us.
Mum would be very much opposed to this. We know as she has sent recent texts saying if we take the child it will be the end of her etc.
She doesn't seem to realise that we aren't doing this to hurt her or doing it lightly. It is a consequence of her choices and actions that we are desperately worried for the child's safety and believe that the child would be better off living with us in our stable relationship and home, and having contact with his mum.
I'm just wondering if anyone else has been here, applying for residence against the wishes of an ex, was the outcome successful and how long did the process take?

ABadIdea Tue 24-Oct-17 17:15:40

I have no experience of this but wouldn't SS be pushing for this if the circumstances are as extreme as you say? Could this be a temporary change of residence to support her until she is well and capable enough of looking after the child? I can understand that someone in a fragile state could be pushed too far by the permanent removal of a child from their home.

Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 17:20:37

Social services have let the child down so far in my opinion. Information has come to light that we were not aware of that makes us wonder why on earth they haven't removed the child before now.
It feels like disaster is waiting to happen and we don't want my partner's child to be the latest tragedy on the front of the newspaper.
Mum would not agree to a change of residence, she wont even let him
come overnight as we live about 3 hours away and she says she can't live without him even for a night.

DaisysStew Tue 24-Oct-17 17:21:37

Your ex can apply directly to the court. Not sure of the exact procedure in case like this but the court office will be able to advise him. There's a court fee but he can self represent so doesn't have to fork out for a solicitor if money's an issue.

Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 17:26:55

The solicitor said she can issue an emergency application for residence and we have asked her to go ahead.
We've asked her to put together a coherent application for us, we will pay the court fee, then we will take it from there ourselves as we can't afford thousands for legal representation all the way.
Just wondering if anyone else had been in this position and what the outcome was.

Retrovibes Tue 24-Oct-17 19:40:27

Just make sure you are putting the child’s needs at the forefront. Explain to Mum this doesn’t have to be permanent and that you want her to get better and focus on her health. Can you bring the baby to her once a week? If not then I don’t fancy your chances. I’d advise your partner is clear that he can care for the little one better right now. Do you have the space for the baby?

Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 21:02:18

We would encourage contact.
She'd be welcome to visit any time. She drives, he doesn't, and we live 150 miles away.
Yes we do have space here.

Retrovibes Tue 24-Oct-17 21:12:16

She might not be able to drive if she is Ill, having a bad day, on new medications though

Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 21:18:01

I know, it's not easy for either of them. If she couldn't drive she'd have to use public transport as he currently does. It's a rotten journey on public transport too - three trains and a bus. The whole journey takes about 6 hours on public transport and that's providing there are no delays!

Collaborate Tue 24-Oct-17 22:09:47

Remember though it’s not what’s best for the mother. It’s whats best for the child that counts.

Retrovibes Tue 24-Oct-17 22:25:47

It is best for the baby though to see its Mum regularly, especially as it appears baby hasn’t been seeing Dad often if he can’t travel.

Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 22:57:57

Dad currently travels over once a month and stays in a hotel for a couple of days for his contact.
Its a difficult situation but if everything was fine and stable with mum and he knew baby was safe at home between visits he'd leave things as they are.
Applying for residence is a last resort due to safety concerns.

Retrovibes Tue 24-Oct-17 23:16:25

Once a month isn’t much contact for a baby though

Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 23:21:31

I know. The whole situation is far from ideal.
He would love to see him several times a week. Ideally every day. Purely due to the distance, cost and time needed off work for contact, once a month is the maximum he can manage.

lovecheeseandbiscuits Tue 24-Oct-17 23:29:30

Would probably make things easier all round if dad moved closer to his young child

Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 23:33:15

Ah yes I know what you're saying but that isn't possible either.
I have a child with my ex and a child arrangement order for her. I cannot move her so far away from her dad as that would create another set of problems!

OliviaPopeRules Tue 24-Oct-17 23:35:06

Could he not just move and you live apart for o the benefit of his child?

OliviaPopeRules Tue 24-Oct-17 23:37:02

Did he know before now that his ex had tried to commit suicide 4 times?
That poor baby.

Coulditbeme Tue 24-Oct-17 23:43:13

We have a very stable, lovely relationship, we love each other and are getting married. We don't want to split up!
He was aware of one other attempt only. He was very worried that time and considered applying for residence but decided not to as was assured it wouldn't happen again etc. Now it's happened again and more info has since come to light from social services which has left dad wondering how many chances to we give it before it ends in disaster?!

notapizzaeater Tue 24-Oct-17 23:45:10

Where’s the baby whilst mum is in hospital ?

Did your dh move away or mum ?

Retrovibes Tue 24-Oct-17 23:45:27

He needs to move closer, learn to drive or move half way so it’s not too far from your ex. You’ve not been together long, if baby is only 1. You both need to put your kids first and right now his baby is coming last. A judge is less likely to give you full time residency based on the fact Dad hasn’t been around much.
What about her parents? Can they step in?

HeddaGarbled Tue 24-Oct-17 23:46:33

They split up either when she was pregnant or when she was coping with a very new baby. Now he has a lovely new stable relationship and home and presumably lots of lovely new sex and romance with you.

She, understandably, is struggling. You've got the man. Don't take her baby aswell.

OliviaPopeRules Tue 24-Oct-17 23:48:14

You don’t have to split up, surely you could cope with a long distance relationship for a period of time so that he could look after his child and maybe put him first for the first time in his little life. However unstable his mother is she is all that baby has known and for your other half to have seen him 12 times in his first year of life is frankly awful.
Seems like the poor little baby is being let down by everyone.

OliviaPopeRules Tue 24-Oct-17 23:53:26

Also if you ever have kids prepare for him to treat yours just as awfully as he has treated this poor little boy. My heart just breaks for him. I understand him Mum is not well but to try and take him away from the only parent he has known is not the way to resolve it. Maybe is he had more support from your DP she could cope better

Collaborate Wed 25-Oct-17 07:55:12

He should issue an application for a residence/child arrangements order. If the LA do apply for a care order they would tell him first.

4 suicide attempts is too much. He needs to intervene to protect his child. Giving the mother more chances is compromising the security of the child for the benefit of the mother.

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