Going to court to reverse/discharge a SGO

Tinksabell
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:33 pm

Going to court to reverse/discharge a SGO

Postby Tinksabell » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:10 pm

Hello.

This is my first post as I need as much information as possible...
I have talked to a solicitor briefly today and got the basics covered - what I need to fill in, who I need to talk to etc - and I am to phone tomorrow to book an appointment with him, 1 hour free. I will be going in with all my paperwork (but not the actually order as I didn't receive it, and didn't realise until 4 years later. My mum may have a copy, she needs to check) so he can help a little more.

But, right. I'll start...

I dated a guy in 2008-2010. Pregnant in 2009, baby the next year and I was 19. Few months after the birth, my partner became violent. He was abuse to me, he drank, he had a past that he down played to me. Social Services got involved when my boy was a few months old and I tried my hardest to keep him, but my paretns were granted an SGO.
Social Services said that:

1. I was a drugged-up alcoholic - I have never touched ANY drugs, and do not drink to any crazy extent. This was, finally ,taken out of their report.

2. I had depression - I had post natal depression, was taking medication for it. But they refused to acknowledge it was PND until right near the end. Finally, they changed it to PND and dissmissed it all together.

3. Low self-esteem - well ,I was being abused, lost my child and lost my partner. I was made homeless as I couldn't move in with my parents and couldn't afford where I had been living. I was also a few months into a college course. A lot of stress.

4. Low confidence - Again, I was being abused, no friends, lost my child, lost my partner.....

5. Social Services stats say that women in violent relationships were more than likely to return to the partner or go into another violent relationship.

I have not been in another violent relationship, there was one boy that thougt he could control what I wore, who I saw etc, he was thrown out within about 2 months. I am now in a committed relationship, we live together, thinking of babies and marriage.

I have been to Freedom Programme, and went to CBT who then referred me to counselling as she said CBT was not for me, and then the counsellor said I just have a lot going on and it will all sort itself out and then it should be fine. This was in 2012 I believe (After self-refering myself as SS said they would, year and few months I contacted the centre and they had heard nothing, I then went to my Drs to refer me but he said he wouldn't as he doesn't believe I needed it..so self-referral).
From Feb 2011 I was living with my parents and son full time. I then finished college and I am now nearly finished university (since I started I lived away, uni halls and now my own flat with my partner).
I have had no contact with his father for 5 years, he has not seen our son since he was 1 year and possible 3/4 months old. The court have said he is not allowed any contact with our son (unsure if his parental rights have been taken away, but he is on the birth certificate) until he changes or our son turns 18 when it's then up to our son. Instead, he's off with his new "fiance" and baby.


Questions:
1. What sort of information would I need to take into court with me?
2. Could I represent myself?
3. If no to 2, where can I go to help fund a solicitor - the one I have found does not accept legal aid, and charges £230ph!! I haven't got that kind of money.
4. Do I have to notify my sons father that I am going back to court?
5. What would happen if I was to get pregnant under the SGO - would my newborn be taken off me? Would social services get involved and look at my current situation?
6. What do I do if they say no? Can I appeal?

Sorry if it's such a long post, but I need all the information I can get. Unsure how much info I can get in the free hour.

Many Thanks

x

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1690
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Going to court to reverse/discharge a SGO

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Mar 03, 2016 4:44 pm

Dear Tinksabell,

Welcome to the Parents Forum. Thank you for being so honest about the past and for providing a lot of information. It is helpful when I consider my advice to you.

I am so sorry to hear about the domestic abuse you suffered which resulted in your baby being removed from you and placed with your parents.
As you have said the abuse would have effected your self-esteem and mental health generally.
You need to be congratulated for turning your life around, completing the support-freedom programme and CBT and you were so young at the time.
You are in a completely different situation now with a new supportive partner and are thinking of settling down and starting a family.
Here is our advice sheet about SGO’s
which I think you will find helpful.

From reading the advice sheet, you will see that to discharge or revoke the special guardianship order you will need to apply for permission (leave) from the court.
To get the permission you will have to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the Special guardianship order was made and that it is in the best interests of your child as well.
There appears to be good evidence-that you have made substantial changes. (So you remaining free of domestic violence, seeking and benefiting from CBT and being in a stable relationship. All this will be set out in your court application).
However, the much harder thing to prove would be whether it is in the best interests of your child to live with you instead of the your parents who have brought him up. In deciding what the “best interests” are, the court will look at the “welfare checklist”.

If the order was revoked, you could also, at the same time cross apply for a child arrangements order setting out that the child lives with you (so that you have an order that you can enforce-if births dad should try to remove your child from you and so you would not need to seek dads consent if you took your child abroad for up to 4 weeks )

What is your parent’s position? Do they support your child returning to you?

If they do, then they could work towards your child being rehabilitated with you over a period of time. For example, by increasing your contact before applying to court.
The Special guardianship order gives the enhanced parental responsibility to your parents so they do not have to consult birth dad or anyone else before they do this.
(However, they may want to seek guidance from children services before they did this).
If your child came home and your parents were happy, then you and your parents could make a joint application to court for leave (permission) to discharge the court order.
The court would expect a CAFCASS officer to carry out an assessment to check that the criteria had been met.
Some of the things which would be looked at; are how much contact you having with your child; is it unsupervised? Overnight and holiday contact?
What does your partner think about your child coming to live with you? Is he supportive and committed to this happening? (He would be assessed as part of the process).

If your parents would prefer the court to sanction any change first-so would not support your application, then you would need to take the same steps and again set out the changes and why it is in the best interests of your child.

I can answer some of your questions:

1 Please see our advice sheet about the process, including mediation appointment and the court forms you need to complete. You would outlining the changes and why it is in the best interests to revoke the order in the court application. However, you would then be expected later on to put in a written statement with evidence of what you have done.
2 yes you can.
3 Check with a legal aid funded children law solicitor about funding for mediation and the court application.
4 Your son’s father will have parental responsibility. He would only lose it, if your child was adopted. Yes, you would need to serve dad with the applcations. However, you can get a court order asking that your address and personal details be kept confidential –due to past domestic violence.
There may be very limited circumstances (I am not sure of the current case law on this point) which mean that it is too unsafe for a father being notified. However, you seem to know about his whereabouts and circumstances and so I do not think it would apply to him.
4 No it seems extremely unlikely that a new born would be removed from you-given the change of circumstances.
A baby or child can only be removed from a parent with parental responsibility if the parent consented or children serviced obtained an interim care order or emergency protection order. The police can up to 72 hours again if an emergency.
To obtain a court order, children services would have to show that your baby was in imminent danger or serious risk of suffering significant harm. From what you have said, this is not the case.

However, because of the past involvement of children services, your GP or midwife would refer (or often mums refer themselves) you for a pre birth assessment .


I hope this helps but if you have any questions please do post again or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie

Tams
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:31 am

Re: Going to court to reverse/discharge a SGO

Postby Tams » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:45 pm

hi I need some help please, my son who is 5 is on an SGO order with his dads aunty, he was made of this order due to domestic violence from dad and also my extended family as my son is mixrace and im from a gypsy family and they did not accept this due to a bad child hood I now suffer PTSD and depression I have seeked help and counciling myself with these matters and did self referals to a womans refuge, newpin, mellow parenting courses, counciling in three forms and have left the relationship with dad, im near the end of my second pregnancy and the aunt who has my son has stopped all contact even with the court order being made as 6times a yr the relationship broke down between myself and aunt due to the fact my son had a black eye and I confronted her and the fact I e ended the relationship with her nephew who is my sons dad. I really need to get it back to court so I can get time with my son or have him returned she is being horrible and stopping contact for her own reasons not for my son or that I have ever done him harm he misses me very much and I miss him very much we have an amazing connection and he thinks I don't want him as I have a new baby comeing this 100% is not the case he will always be my golden boy. I need help wioth legal aid to bring it back to court as im on benefits and don't have the money to pay solicitors please help with any advice possible that I could bring to court or get help with solicitor thank you

User avatar
Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1690
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Going to court to reverse/discharge a SGO

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:30 pm

Dear Tams,

Welcome to the Parents Forum.

I am sorry or hear about you and your son suffering from domestic violence and racist abuse. You were left with post- traumatic stress disorder and depression and your son went to live with his paternal aunt under a special guardianship order.
You have a contact order in your favour. Contact is 6 times a year.
You have to be commended for the amount of work you have done. You have addressed the trauma you suffered; done courses to help you understand domestic violence; and you have left your violent partner.

You are pregnant with your second child. But aunt has stopped contact which is in breach of the child arrangements (contact) order.

What you can do

You need to apply back to court for a breach of the contact order (child arrangements order). However, before you can do this, there needs to be a mediation appointment (MIAM).

There may legal aid to cover this appointment. The mediator will contact the aunt and ask her to come to the appointment and try and resolve the issues. If mediation fails, then the mediator will sign a form allowing you to issue court proceedings.

To find a mediator in your area, contact National Family Mediation .

If you need to go to court, legal aid is no longer available.
So to get advice about how to make the application to court, you could contact the Rights of Women or child law advice line .

Friends Family and Travellers Advice might also be able to help. They have an advocacy service and a helpline.

Can children services help?
As well as taking the court route you could also ask for help from children services -under the special guardian support services. See our advice sheet about special guardianship orders
If you have any questions please post back. Or you can also call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,

Suzie


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests