Can my partner get his children back from an SGO

Tropikay
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:45 am

Can my partner get his children back from an SGO

Postby Tropikay » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:13 pm

Hi i'm new here and just looking for some advice.

My partner has two little girls aged 2 and 3 years. A few months after my partner split from their Mother she had the children taken from her, and an SGO was given to my partners sister. (My partner did not have a stable home at that time so SS were not willing to grant him custody)

On 26th January it will be one year since the SGO was granted.

In this time my partner has been seeing his children daily as his sister has allowed him to, however she is now making any attempts for him to see the children difficult due to a fall out they had just before Christmas, and he has not seen the children since Christmas day.

My partner has since contacted SS to arrange proper contact with the children due to this, but his sister has refused unless it is through a contact center because she knows this cannot be funded. (SS wont fund contact through a contact center as my partner is no threat to the children (he is/was a good Dad) and has no history of violence/drink/drugs and the children being taken away was nothing to do with him). SS were happy for contact to be supervised by a family member but his sister wont allow it. (One of her many games she likes to play with him)

My partner is now going to see a solicitor. His appointment is this afternoon so i was hoping to get answers to a few questions from here so that he can be better prepared for this appointment.

1. Does my partner have any parental responsibility over the children? (His ex partner was the cause of the children being taken away and it was she who agreed to the SGO)

2. Can he apply for the SGO to be discharged as it has now been 1 year since it was given to his sister?

3. What are the chances of him getting custody of the children now, since their Mother was at fault, not him?

4. If my partner was to get custody of the children they would be living with both of us. We have been living together for 3 months and have a lovely family home. But would us living together for such a short amount of time go against him in court?

Since my partner has contacted social services his sister and her partner have become angry and have threatened violence towards him. His sisters partner has even tried to entice my partner into a fight at his workplace and even chased him around town in his car. We do know that she has the right to allow my partner to see the children as and when, but this reaction to him going for contact has shown there will be little or no cooperation from her and his chances of seeing the children is slim to none.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1734
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Can my partner get his children back from an SGO

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:24 pm

Dear Tropikay

Welcome to the Parents’ Discussion Forum.

My name is Suzie, online adviser, at Family Rights Group.

I note from your post that you were hoping to receive a response sooner and I apologise that this was not possible due to workload.

I am sorry that your partner’s relationship with his sister has broken down to the extent that she is no longer willing to allow him contact with his children. It is very concerning that his sister and her partner are as you say threatening violence against your partner. Perhaps he should consider informing the police of such threats.

Regarding contact, this is for the benefit of the children and should not normally be stopped unless it is not safe or not in the children’s best interests. Your partner has taken the correct step in seeking legal advice from a solicitor. The solicitor will no doubt have answered the questions set out in your post. I will, however, respond to them below

In relation to parental responsibility, if your partner is named on the children’s birth certificates or was married to the children’s mother then he has parental responsibility. If not, he could have been granted parental responsibility by court order or entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the children’s mother. If he has parental responsibility he does not lose it because there is a special guardianship order. Please read our advice sheet about parental responsibility here .

If your partner’s circumstances have changed significantly since the order was made he might be able to seek leave (permission from the court) to apply to discharge the order. However, special guardianship orders are made to provide permanency for children and the court are unlikely to discharge an order unless it is in the children’s interests to do so.

Whether or not the children return to your partner’s care will be a decision for the court taking into account all the circumstances of the case.
The court would probably consider that your relationship is very new and may not have the stability of a more established relationship. There would be disruption for the children if they were to be moved from where they are now and then there is a breakdown in your relationship with your partner. Unless it is in the children’s interests the court is unlikely to place children in a situation where they will not have stability so changing the current placement would have to be carefully considered.

Please read our advice sheet about what special guardianship means for birth parents. If your partner’s sister is not willing to cooperate regarding contact, he may have no alternative but to ask the court to make an order so he can see his children.

If you partner does not engage a solicitor to represent him, he might be able to obtain advice from Coram Children’s Legal Centre on 0300 330 5480. They will not advise callers who have a solicitor.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie


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