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Can he just take the kids? How does this work?

(19 Posts)
KavvLar Wed 12-Jun-19 21:38:38

Posting for a friend.

She was hospitalized for a few months with a mental breakdown. This was brought on in part by finding out her partner had been cheating. They have small kids together (under 9 yo).

During the hospitalization her partner (now ex) looked after the children. Social services were involved but didn't open a case, they were quite happy that the kids were being looked after and then they were to make their own arrangements between themselves.

He has moved their children out of their family house and into a new rented house, changed everything over to himself (benefits and doctors etc). He didn't tell her this.

He's also bringing in new girlfriends here and there which is upsetting them, he won't speak to her directly and she has to ask to see the kids via his parents. She's really distressed and the kids want to go home but he won't discuss it.

I've advised her to make initial contact via letter but what else should she do here? Surely he can't do this?

RandomMess Wed 12-Jun-19 21:44:03

She needs to go to mediation and then court. He needs to allow her contact as it's in the best interest of the DC to see their Mum. If he refuses then the courts will take a dim view of his behaviour...

Echobelly Wed 12-Jun-19 21:44:52

No, I am pretty sure he cannot just do that, it sounds downright abusive. I'm not sure who the best organisation is to talk to (maybe CAB in first instance) to find out best way to proceed, but I'm sure someone better informed will be along in a minute.

rwalker Wed 12-Jun-19 21:45:22

It's so difficult but TBH to get hospitalised she must be very ill and be surprise that she would be ready for kids full-time best to go via children's services.

category12 Wed 12-Jun-19 21:51:21

She needs legal advice and to get access sorted through the courts if needs be.

megletthesecond Wed 12-Jun-19 21:54:33

No wonder she had a breakdown. He's probably playing it like this to avoid maintenance.

She needs to see citizens advice and women's aid.

KavvLar Wed 12-Jun-19 21:58:25

I don't want to get too specific but she doesn't have any money for a lawyer. She's been very ill and is trying to get back on her feet but doesn't just want to leave it so this situation becomes the status quo. I'm trying to help her out and sign post her wherever I can.

JustmeandtheKIDS2 Thu 20-Jun-19 19:07:23

What was he ment to do? She was unable to look after the children so he did what he needed to do as a father.
Was she under the impression the kids would come back and live with her when she's out? She needs to act fast if she wants to change things as the courts will look at the status quo, which at the moment is him being the main carer. The thing is the children have to come first even if the result is not what she wants, the children needed looking after which is what he did. Hope she's on the mend

ChristmasFluff Thu 20-Jun-19 20:20:53

If she cannot afford legal representation, her best port of call is to get back to social services and tell them what is going on. And I second the advice of CAB and Womens Aid.

DontCallMeDaisy Thu 20-Jun-19 20:21:00

justmean really??
Moving them out of the family home, blocking them from seeing the mother he cheated on, inflicting his girlfriends on them??

Yeah he was just doing what he needed to do, poor guy

Are you really just mean or are you him?

JustmeandtheKIDS2 Fri 21-Jun-19 00:35:37

She never said she wasn't seeing them just they she had to make contact via his parents.
I'm guessing she (the mum) was living in the family home with the kids if they have separated he I guess must have been living else where? If it's a long term thing then I guess he would have moved them to his residence rather than staying where his ex lives.
I was not being mean not at all. But realistically they are their children, not his and not here, they needed looking after and he's done that.
It's irrelevant why they separated, the kids still needed looking after!
Social services won't be interested, there is no mention of any kind of abuse.

CJsGoldfish Fri 21-Jun-19 00:41:09

If she was hospitalised for months and is TRYING to get back on her feet, is she really the best person to be caring for them right now? She should absolutely have contact and she should absolutely be working towards being in the best place possible for all concerned but I don't think she should necessarily have them back straight away. Too many unknowns here and only one side of the story.

SkinnyPete Fri 21-Jun-19 03:02:08

Agree. OPs friend should focus on getting herself fully recovered and back on her feet while the kids are being looked after by Dad. No reason she shouldn't have generous unsupervised contact though, just her focus should be herself.

Pandamodium Fri 21-Jun-19 03:20:18

Was she under the impression the kids would come back and live with her when she's out?

Well mine certainly have after hospitalisation, one doesn't plan a mental breakdown and hospitals don't discharge when you are still unstable anyway for the most part.

How long was your friend in and was she voluntary or under a section 1/2 etc?

LellyMcKelly Fri 21-Jun-19 03:45:32

To be fair, she’s been in hospital for months with a mental health problem which must be quite severe otherwise she’d never have been hospitalised. The kids’ father is looking after them appropriately and, given she was in hospital, has rightfully assumed primary parental responsibility. I’m not sure what else he could have done. It sounds like they’re in the best place right now.

JustmeandtheKIDS2 Fri 21-Jun-19 05:47:19

If your in hospital for a week or 2 then yes esp if it's something that you can pretty much prodict how long your stay will be. But to be fair this sounds like has been a long time. It's harsh but it needs to be looked at from the perspective of the children not the parent there been in hospital!
The children need stability, unless there is a massive back story I think he's done the right thing. I'm sure if a man had come on here and said this a lot more people would agree.
When the children are in his care he has every right to change their drs etc etc. He's only able to change and increase his benefits of he is in receipt of the child benefit? As that proves he's the main carer. Maybe he changed drs as the original one was too far away or something?
We carnt condem him for stepping up as a father esp we know blenty dont.

optimisticpessimist01 Fri 21-Jun-19 12:18:34

Find a solicitors that offers a free consultation. Many of them will offer as much advice as possible and let her know exactly what the law says. They may even offer her a solution if she has no money. I would definitely make contact with a solicitor

However, if she was hospitalised, this suggests something very serious. If this came to court/social services, would your friend appear unstable/unable to fully care for her children?

What an awful situation, so sad

optimisticpessimist01 Fri 21-Jun-19 12:20:34

To be fair, it sounds like he's done the right thing by the children in terms of switching Drs to him, moving house. The wrong thing is that he is not allowing your friend to see her children. I'm unclear on the law around this- which is why I recommended a free solicitors consultation- many in the country offer this

Musti Fri 21-Jun-19 12:41:51

She obviously has some.seripus issues if she needed hospitalization for a few months and her ex is probably worried about his children and would rather look after them himself. It can't be easy for him to trust his children to someone who is mentally unstable enough to need hospitalization. Maybe she should speak to social services?

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