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Can he keep them?(8 Posts)
Heya, long story short me and exp have been separated since our youngest was 3 weeks old. Dc are now 4 and 3 and after three long years of him working out his alcohol and drug problems/us working out our differences/kids finally getting to know him from start of this year, they are to be having their first holiday/unsupervised visit with him.
He lives in a different part of the uk to me so we are meeting halfway. Although now we are on good terms, quite friendly and he has a job/pays maintenance/is good with the children and keeps in regular contact, I'm terrified he won't give them back at the end of the week.
He's constantly said he would never do that, and to an extent I trust him. He's back to the man I fell in love with (though we no longer have those feelings for each other, but he is essentially a good man now and that's what matters for the children). We don't have a residency order or anything legal in place, aside from emails between me and him stating that I won't stop him having contact with him and he won't "kidnap" them.
But if he changes his mind and tries to keep them, will the law let him? Will I lose my children? I'm terrified of this but I don't want to stop the children seeing him because he's proved himself to be a good father. Guess I'm just looking for my mind to be put at ease.
As there is no residency order in place, it will depend on whether he is on the childrens birth certificates.
If he is on the birth certificate and there is no residency order then yes he can refuse to hand them back. You would then have to go to court to try to get them back.
If he is not on the birth certificate then if he refuses to hand them over then the police will return the children to you
You are in a mutual trust position. He has to trust that you will present the children for contact and you have to trust he will return them.
Has he given you any reason for concern? From what you have written it has worked well for nearly 3 years.
Why do you think he will not hand the children back?
Heya, he's on the birth certificates but no residency or contact orders in place. This will be his first time having the children unsupervised (he's only been back in their lives from the start of this year after getting over alcohol and other problems).
He's not given me any reason to doubt he'll return them, he's never said he wouldn't and we're fairly friendly now. It's just a massive concern of mine. I suppose it's his mother I'm most worried about, she thinks they should live with him so I'm scared in case he listens to her and decides not to return them after all.
I've just answered this on legal.
Whether or not there is a court order in existence in the unlikely event the children aren't returned you can apply to court as an emergency and if necessary the case can be heard 24/7 within a matter of hours. It rarely comes to it but the court can make a recovery order overseen by the court tipstaff who may call on the police for assistance when required.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Scaremongering isn't helpful. IT's exceedingly unlikely very young children won't be returned by a court when the de facto arrangement is they live with one parent and they haven't had any overnight contact before, unless perhaps there is professional evidence (police, social services, doctors) that children aren't surviving well in a parents care.
In fact I can't think of one case and would be interested in citations of any court judgements where someone in similar circumstances as the OP hasn't had their children returned.
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