father took my son away

b*t
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:35 am

father took my son away

Postby b*t » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:01 pm

hiya my ex partner took my son away from me a few months ago due to me being in a domestic violent relationship he got me into drugs and i ended up addicted i never took drugs in front of my son and he was never harmed but the father still took him without a court order and the social services told me he has full custody. i've since moved and sorted myself out im back to being myself and im out of that horrible relationship. i found out a couple weeks ago from a different social worker that i still have 50% rights but the father wont let me see him unless i hand over my full rights which i wont do as i want him back full time. my son goes to his nannas every saturday overnight so the father can go out can i just take him from her? please reply asap

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1957
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: father took my son away

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:35 pm

Dear B*t

Welcome to the parents’ discussion board and thank you for your post. I am sorry that we were not able to respond to you sooner.

I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that you and your family have experienced recently. I am glad to hear that things have improved for you and that you are no longer in a domestically violent relationship. You must have worked really hard to achieve this. I hope you were able to access support from a specialist domestic violence service; there is a lot of support available and you can find out more about where to get further help here. We also have an information leaflet: advice for mothers involved with children’s services because of domestic violence that you might find helpful.

Are you also getting any help with your drug misuse problems? It is great that you have sorted yourself out but you may need some ongoing help to reduce the risk of any relapse. Your GP should be able to refer you to a service that can help you or you can find out more from Adfam, a charity which supports families affected by drug or alcohol problems.

Your main concern is about the current arrangements for your son who is living with his father at the moment, with no court order in place. You are no longer happy with this arrangement, in fact you say that your son’s father “took him” so it seems you were never in agreement with this in the first place. You would therefore like your son returned to your care and are thinking about taking him back into your care when he stays with his grandmother.

It does sound as if you were given misleading information to begin with and that the arrangements were not properly discussed or agreed with you. Your son’s father is also refusing contact to you at the moment unless you agree to his conditions. This must be very confusing and distressing for you and probably for your son too.

I would recommend that you get some specific private law advice from a solicitor or an agency specialising in advice about parental disputes such as Rights of Women (who also have very detailed knowledge of the issues for mothers who have survived domestic violence) or Child Law Advice . They can advise you more fully about your legal options including mediation and child arrangement orders– of which there are two types – one which says who a child should have contact with and when and one which says with whom a child should live.

We have an advice sheet on DIY Child Arrangement Orders which explains much more.

However, it is important to bear the following points in mind too.

As your son’s mother you automatically have parental responsibility for him – you would only lose this if he was adopted. His father may also have parental responsibility for him (if you click on the link it will explain this).

You don’t say your son’s age, what children’s services current role is with you and your son i.e. whether he is under a child in need plan or a child protection plan and whether your son began to be cared for by his father on the advice or recommendation of a social worker. These are all important issues to think about as they indicate how children’s services view any potential risks to your son and what their expectations of you both as parents are. However, children’s services don’t have parental responsibility for your son unless they have obtained a court order giving them this.

It is usually best to make any changes to who a child lives with in a planned way and with the agreement of the other parent. Both parents should also try to minimise any distress and disruptions to the child, wherever possible. However, courts can make these decisions if parents cannot agree.

When children’s services are involved it is much better for you to know their opinion too. Did the social worker put any restrictions around contact and if so has this been reviewed? Do they agree that you are now in a much better place and ready and able to care for your son again and that this is the best plan for him now? Or are there still issues they would like you to get more help with or show that you are no longer using drugs or vulnerable to domestic violence for a longer period? Would they be concerned or take action to prevent you from caring for your son?

A family group conference (FGC) could be a useful way of bringing your family together to make safe plans for your son. This is something you could ask the social worker to arrange if you think it would help. You can find out more about FGCs here.

Sorry to ask so many questions but it is important that you know the answers to them and that you seek independent private law legal advice so that you make informed decisions for yourself and your son.

You are welcome to post on the board to explain more about children’s services’ current role or to call the Freephone helpline on 0808 8010366 Mon- Fri 9.30 – 3.00 if you would prefer to speak to an adviser.

I hope that things get sorted out soon.

Best wishes

Suzie


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