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Child arrangement order; being denied access.

(23 Posts)
chloetaylorsmith Tue 31-Oct-17 23:43:43

Hello! Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this, and if anyone has been in a similar situation or has legal advice; it is greatly appreciated! My situation in brief is as follows:

I had my first child very young (just turned 17 at the time), I was living with my mom when he was born; and the father has always been out the picture. I found myself struggling; ended up with post-natal depression, and being a young single mom couldn't cope at the time. My mother and nan ended up getting social services involved when my baby was 12 weeks. I moved out in order to get my life sorted, and get a better state of mind for me and my son.

Even after moving out I kept regular contact with my son, visiting him multiple times a week at my mom’s house, and taking him out supervised. This went on for about a year and a half until social services were no longer involved. At this point I was advised (perhaps manipulated, still being quite young and naïve at the time) by my mum and nan to get a Child Arrangement order to give my mum 50% of my parental responsibilities as my son was still living with her. Before consenting to the order; my mom promised me that I would be allowed progressively more contact, from trips out alone each week, having him overnight, at weekends, and then eventually permanently living with me. I consented to the agreement (this was 5 months ago, and my son has just turned 3).

The only stipulation of the Child Arrangement order is “by consent the child shall live with the maternal grandmother” it may be relevant it also says “there are no safeguarding concerns”. I was lead to believe the contact arrangements would at mine and my mother’s discretion as there is nothing on paper (please advise if this is not correct).

It may be important to note that my mum suffers with extreme anxiety and she has become especially attached to my son. Since the order has been put in place, I have been allowed to take my son out on his own; perhaps twice in the 5 months! (both times my son has returned happy as larry). I see him at least 3 times a week with my mums supervision and have built a great bond and relationship with him; yet now wanting to progress this and take him out on my own is issue. I have tried to reason with my mum to allow me to the access and freedom of taking him out and having him on my own for the day; but she does not allow this; or the one or two times she has; I am being constantly rang to check where I am and what I am doing. I know the issue is not my parenting; and I think my mum knows this too. I feel it has got to the point that she has no intention of ever letting me have him back full-time and her own anxiety is preventing me from the progressive access I was promised.

Recently (yesterday) it has all come to a head, with me saying to my mum this is her last chance to allow me the access I want before I go thru official channels to make sure I don’t have to jump through the constant hoops she creates; and have every right to take him out; and get him back full-time eventually. She has reacted particularly badly, we are no longer speaking sad. I don’t know what my best course of action is… I (currently 30 weeks pregnant with my second) spoke to my midwife recently and she seemed to think going back to social services was the best port of call; tho I am worried my mom and my nan will make me out to still being the struggling 17 year old I was 3 years ago; and it will not have a favorable outcome…

I’d just really appreciate anyone’s thoughts and advice on my situation, legally where do I stand? What is the next best step? Has anyone had this kind of thing happen to them? I don’t want to upset my mum and will be forever grateful for the fact she has looked after my child when I was not able to; but the time has come for me to be his mummy again, and her his nan. I’ll be going to citizen’s advice first thing tomorrow.

Thanks for reading! X

Retrovibes Wed 01-Nov-17 02:13:02

I would apply to court ASAP. She is suffocating your relationship with your son and you can’t fall into the same trap with your new baby.
You sound mature, you’ve taken your time, you’ve acted in the best interests of your little one. You need to take back control.
Are you on benefits? If so you can get court fees reduced/application for free.
I’m sure someone else can let you if you can get free representation.

Do it ASAP.

prh47bridge Wed 01-Nov-17 08:29:54

Agree that you need to go to court, either for contact or to transfer residence so that your son lives with you.

HeebieJeebies456 Thu 02-Nov-17 03:30:42

currently 30 weeks pregnant with my second

You've had 3 years to sort yourself out and take back full responsibility for your child.
Instead you sign over responsibility to your mum and then get pregnant AGAIN hmm

You don't sound mentally or emotionally mature enough to be having more dc that you can't look after.
Good luck with social services though......

chloetaylorsmith Thu 02-Nov-17 12:05:40

Wow. What a helpful and constructive reply.

I only went into my past and circumstances in brief, and you think you can cast judgement, telling me "You don't sound mentally or emotionally mature enough" ?

It's taken this long due to my mum and nan heavily influencing my decisions before. Yes I made many naive mistakes such as signing away 50% of my parental rights; but a lot has changed in 3 years and I find myself now in a position that I can give my child the best possible future for him. My main issue is my mother putting up barriers and her own problems effecting my relationship and access with my son.

Yes I'm pregnant again, in a loving stable relationship, financially stable and currently doing a degree. I am determined to give child present and future; a great upbringing and happy home; mistakes I made as essentially a stupid struggling teenager; will not define me.

Thanks for your extremely negative and assuming comments; they are duly noted smile

mustbemad17 Thu 02-Nov-17 12:10:34

Social services, sooner rather than later. Your mum is not acting in the best interests of your son - in fact she sounds almost like she is scared she will lose control. It is really easy to sit & try to slate you but from your post I personally think you have done everything right for your boy. get in touch with social. You're pregnant, obviously there are no concerns with anything there, no SS involvement with your pregnancy etc? And if no safeguarding concerns for your son then your mum is the problem.
Good luck sweet!!

HeebieJeebies456 Thu 02-Nov-17 18:07:12

Well you don't sound mentally or emotionally mature enough - you signed away 50% of your parental rights only 5 months ago - or have you forgotten you wrote that in your op?

I'm judging you based upon your own words and actions.....

chloetaylorsmith Thu 02-Nov-17 19:11:27

I signed away 50% of the rights, due to being made promises it was the best thing to do at the time, I didn't realize the extent how attached and anxious my mum is about my son...

I don't know how you have the nerve to say I don't sound mentally or emotionally mature enough to look after my son - when you have only read a brief summary of my situation...

I can take well founded constructive criticism and I expect it, but I can't fathom some c**t behind a keyboard with no advise or helpful comment to say I don't sound mentally or emotional stable. Keep you opinions to yourself love.

Wineandworkout Thu 02-Nov-17 19:16:33

I don't think you sound immature at all! You were struggling and you worked with your family to find a course of action that would ensure stability for your son.

The current order says that 'by consent' he lives with your mum ... what does that mean? Your consent? If you no longer consent to the terms she wants, then maybe that doesn't apply. You could go to the court and ask for advice - the staff tend to be really helpful.

Hope you work it out, and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

MrsBertBibby Thu 02-Nov-17 20:20:43

"By consent" simply means the order was made by agreement, not that it only lasts while consent remains.

Get an application in, I assume she is now withholding all contact if she's not speaking?

C100, but tell the Court your due date so you don't get a hearing date you can't attend.

All the best.

MrsBertBibby Thu 02-Nov-17 20:21:54

Oops posted before adding, you will need to try mediation first. Google "family mediation" and your home town to find providers.

oldstudentmum Thu 02-Nov-17 22:03:57

on your CAO is there nothing about contact arrangements? it seems strange if there isn't. perhaps the court thought the same as you it was to be progressive? Well if you are being denied contact and contact is stated on the CAO your mother will be in breach of the order.

Speak to Childlawadvice.org.uk they are brill and get a free half hour with a solicitor (child law advice can give you advice on mediation as well) court hearings can happen very quickly make sure you have any factual evidence of being denied contact or of when you have had your son any thing about the constant phone calls. keep all contact with your mother in email or text and save them!!! It may be a good ideal to write an email or text to her about contact and progressive contact anyway and get her to confirm that your son was to eventually live with you.
It seems that perhaps your mother doesn't want to give up her son! oh sorry (sarcasm) grandson?
Don't bother with social services they have NOTHING to do with contact arrangements. And I expect you don't want them involved in your life again.
This will have to go back to court to have residency changed and caffcas will be involved but I feel in my heart that it will go in your favour. I think you can ask for a urgent hearing as well?
In repect of mediation, the mediator will contact your mother if she refuses you can file c100 straight away .

But most important contact child law advise .org .uk its free, and speak to a local solicitor time is of importance here. good luck.

MadMags Thu 02-Nov-17 22:08:17

I don't understand this.

From five months ago to now you're in a stable, loving relationship, you're financially stable and now are able to have your son full time, as well as being pregnant on a second? In five months??

Noeuf Thu 02-Nov-17 22:13:31

You moved out when your first child was 12 weeks and SS were involved until 5 months ago, (18 months later - son is now 21m?) at that point you were pregnant, stable, in a relationship but signed up to 50:50 contact?
Why?

Noeuf Thu 02-Nov-17 22:14:25

Sorry son is now 26 months ?

mogulfield Thu 02-Nov-17 22:16:18

If she only has 50% of the consent then surely you still have a 50% stake too and she can’t call all the shots? You’ve had some great advice on here and I don’t know what else to add but wish you luck flowers

Blackcatonthesofa Thu 02-Nov-17 22:17:31

You need proper legal advice. You still have 50% of the rights so she can't just trump you like that.

prh47bridge Fri 03-Nov-17 00:12:09

If she only has 50% of the consent then surely you still have a 50% stake too and she can’t call all the shots

The OP's mother doesn't have 50% of anything. It doesn't work like that. The OP has full PR. The OP's mother also has full PR. That means the OP is entitled to a say in various matters. However, there are various areas where, because the child lives with the OP's mother, the OP's mother can decide without consulting the OP. Having PR does not automatically give the OP any right to contact and it certainly doesn't allow her to disregard the order and take her child to live with her.

HeebieJeebies456 Fri 03-Nov-17 11:09:48

Cunt behind a keyboard.....well, that's a very comment/attitude isn't it? hmm

I didn't realize the extent how attached and anxious my mum is about my son

She's been bringing up your child alone from aged 12 weeks - who is now 3 years old........of course she will have formed an attachment and bond!
You had the opportunity 5 months ago - whilst in a supposedly stable relationship - to have your child back with you full time - instead you chose to officially sign over half your responsibility!
You were already pregnant at that point too.

I can understand that seeing the truth in black and white hurts........but getting snippy with me isn't going to help you.
If this is how you react to an anonymous poster - who you can choose to ignore - I wonder what your attitude will be to the officials who ask you the same questions?

HeebieJeebies456 Fri 03-Nov-17 11:10:21

#very mature

MrsBertBibby Fri 03-Nov-17 14:24:58

Cunt behind a keyboard

Sounds about right to me.

HeebieJeebies456 Fri 03-Nov-17 16:42:20

kinda like yourself then Mrs..........

MrsBertBibby Fri 03-Nov-17 18:44:50

Oh my what a zing!

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