I want to marry a sex offender

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I want to marry a sex offender

Postby Shaftesbury » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:08 pm

I have three children and my ex brought out an order to prevent my SO partner having any contact with any of them until they are 18. My children were on a child protection plan for 2 years until my file was closed 2 years ago.

My partner comes off the Register in 2 months time.

We have been seeing each other (away from the children) for five years now and we would like to get married.

We do not intend on living together while I still have children under my roof but we would really love to have some sort of relationship at least. It has been very difficult this far, only meeting up every couple of months because we live at opposite ends of the country.

Please could somebody help me with the following questions:

- When my partner comes off the Register would I be able to alter the court order to give him limited supervised contact with my children? So he could at least come round for dinner, for example, while the children were in the house?

- Would the fact we were married give him rights if having absolutely no contact with the children meant having absolutely no contact with his wife? Would we maybe then be able to alter the order to give him a little supervised access?

Basically I am wondering if us being married and him being off the sex offenders register will mean we could return to court to alter a prohibited steps order which currently says he cannot have any access at all with any of my children.

Thank you.

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Re: I want to marry a sex offender

Postby PerfectlySafeDad » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:58 am

Hi Shaftesbury, I'm not a legal expert of any kind, but I have done a lot of reading about sex offender prohibition orders and social services involvement, etc, because of my own situation. In your partner's case, you should have no worries in theory. I read somewhere that once a person is off the register they should be treated no differently to any other person, which means daily contact with their own children or partner's children or children in public even. A sexual harm prevention order or conditions of some kind can only be imposed by a court, and if there is none then there is supposedly 'no danger' therefore social services should abide by that - but will they? That is a different matter. They do appear to think they are above the law at times and they'll do their best to find risk if they are aware of your situation. The key is probably to make sure your partner has given no causes at all - not even the tiniest - for concern lately, and when he comes off the register. You should then be able to tell the social services basically to ---- off, and if they want to make trouble for you they would have to apply to a court, but they would have no ammunition if your partner has served his time on the register and done nothing wrong since. Best of luck.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: I want to marry a sex offender

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:13 pm

Dear Shaftesbury,

I do not agree with PerfectlySafeDad's view that coming off the sex offenders register will make your partner automatically safe to be with your children. However, due to the support your partner may have received over the years and no further abuse incidents, he may be much less risky.

Has he been risk assessed recently? If so, what does the assessment say? Has any assessment indicated whether or not he needs further support? What about you? Have you had any support around protecting your children? Depending on your children’s age, have they completed any self- protection work? This would involve them being made aware of your partner’s crime and what signs of abuse to look out for.
The Lucy Faithfull foundation can help. Have a look at their Parents Protect website.

You ask whether your partner would get more rights to contact with your children, if he was married to you.
No, marriage to you, in itself, would not give him more rights in respect of your children.

The way forward, and for your own piece of mind, would be for your partner to be risk assessed and these assessments be considered by children services where your children live.

Best wishes,


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Re: I want to marry a sex offender

Postby DD2SS » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:07 pm

Perhaps to add a bit to this too, a sexual offence will always be a relevant conviction when it comes to child protection, regardless of whether or not the ex-offender is on the SOR or has another court order imposed or not. Exactly how Children's Services might be informed (or not) of the conviction is another matter once the offender is no longer under scrutiny.

However, in your case, the problem is that you have a Prohibited Steps Order in place. So, you would need to return that to court to have it amended. Presumably your ex would challenge that. That would mean the court would re-assess the case with Cafcass involvement, and presumably your own case would be that circumstances have changed by virtue of time elapsed, a spent conviction and no longer on the SOR, marriage, and any other relevant rehabilitation measures. As Suzie says, the court will want to understand the risk environment not only in terms of the ex-offender, but also you as a protective factor and the children's understanding and ability to protect themselves. Depending on what pieces of this jigsaw are in place, you might want to go and gather additional evidence to support your case such as risk assessments, voluntarily attending courses, etc. Cafcass or the court might conduct their own assessments or seek independent assessments. If you do take this back to court, you might want to consider exactly what it is that you are asking for (i.e., supervised contact or unsupervised contact in its broadest terms rather than specific occasions such as dinner), and I suppose you should be realistic about what is possible in terms of his history and risk profile.

As Suzie also says, marriage in itself does not alter his rights with respect to the children, but it does contribute to his risk status as being in a stable and permanent relationship is in itself protective against reoffending.

Best wishes

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Re: I want to marry a sex offender

Postby Freddie » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:11 pm

Hi I see that your ex has managed to get a prohibition order preventing your partner seeing your children. How did this happen? I am currently seeing a SO and my ex will not accept any reassurances that my children will be safe and is refusing to allow them to meet, as are SS. We are currently going into a CPC meeting next week. My partner has done a sexual risk assessment and whilst in prison did thousands of hours of assessments and therapies and was deemed to not be a risk to children. SS are not interested in the stacks of paperwork my partner has and appear to be siding with my ex in belittling me and questioning my moral judgement. ANy details on how your ex got this court order would be helpful so i can spot and signs of it happening and defend against it Thankyou

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Re: I want to marry a sex offender

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:25 pm

Dear Freddie

Thanks for your further post.

You are currently in a relationship with a sex offender and believe that your children will not be at any risk with your partner.
The children’s father disagree with your assessment of the situation and children’s services appear to be concerned about your ability to safeguard your children as you are now involved in child protection. It will be of concern to children’s services if you are not seen as able to protect your children or putting your needs and those of your partner before theirs. You may wish to read our advice sheet about child protection procedures.

Has children’s services carried out any risk assessment of your partner themselves, it is very unlikely that they will accept a risk assessment done by someone else unless they requested it.

How long was your partner in prison and how long is he to be on the sex offenders register?

I think you should consider that children’s services role is to safeguard the children so it is important that they look carefully at how best to ensure your children are not exposed to risk and are being brought up in a safe environment. I do hope you will feel able to work with children's services as much as you can to reach a resolution for yourself and your children.

You may wish to contact the Lucy Faithfull Foundation on 0808 100 0900 who can advise you about your current situation and how to protect your children.

Regarding the prohibited steps order, the children’s father could make an application to the court for an order. You would be made aware of the application as a respondent and would have the opportunity to oppose it and explain to the court why you do not think the order is necessary.

I hope you find this helpful but if you wish to peak to an adviser about children’s services involvement with your family, please telephone our advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Best wishes


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