Please Help!

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JKDF99
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:40 pm

Please Help!

Post by JKDF99 » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:27 pm

Hi, My ex wife has been involved for the last 12 months with a very calculating and coercive man who has a long history of domestic violence and substance misuse. Due to a recent domestic involving a knife with my ex wife and this man I went through Clares Law to seek to protect our our children. Through actioning Clares law social services have been involved who have clearly requested this man not be around whilst the children are present. Unfortunately this man is now living with my ex wife and both my ex wife and this man have ignored the social workers request for him not to be at the house when the children are present. The social worker has mentioned I should seek legal advice to prevent him being around the children. I am looking into this but wanted to hear others thoughts on what you would do in my position as ultimately I want to protect my children. The social worker thinks that my ex wife may not want this man living with her, so she may be hoping that I can force the issue as she is potentially scared and trapped with this man and this might be a way out for her. Any thoughts or suggestions would be hugely appreciated. thanks

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

Re: Please Help!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Oct 29, 2021 4:46 pm

Dear JKDF99

Welcome to the forum and thank you for your post.

In summary, you had concerns about your ex-wife’s partner following an incident between them. You actioned Clare’s Law and this triggered involvement from Children’s Services who informed your ex-wife that her partner should not be present when the children are in the home. This request has not been followed and the partner has now moved into the home with the children present.

Are Children’s Services aware of the change in circumstances? It is important that they are informed to ensure safeguarding issues can be addressed. You can do this anonymously to Children’s Services or to the NSPCC to reduce repercussions to you.

You say the social worker has advised you to seek legal advice to prevent your ex-wife’s partner from being around the children. Also, that they think your wife may be waiting for you to take steps to safeguard the children (and her) because she may be frightened to do so. Following the incident, a risk assessment is likely to have been completed – do you know whether it has? Also, is there an ongoing assessment or plan in place? Please see HERE for information about different types of assessments and plans that may be underway or in place. Do you have parental responsibility for your children? If so, you should be involved in any assessments or plans. Please see HERE for information regarding Parental Responsibility and who has it.

In respect of seeking legal advice, I think you need to clarify with the social worker whether she is suggesting you protect your children through a Children Arrangement Order under private law
proceedings or whether Children’s Services are advising you to seek legal advice because they are starting the Public Law Outline process (often referred to as PLO). Please see the link HERE
for further information about this process.

If the matter relates to private law then you may find the Child Law Advice organisation link HERE helpful. They offer support and guidance when making a private law application to court.

In respect of seeking a solicitor whether public or private law, you may find The Law Society website useful. It has a facility for finding a solicitor to represent you in your local area. To find a solicitor, search using the ‘how to find a solicitor’ function. Look for someone who is a child law specialist or who has ‘Children Law Accreditation’. For information about finding a solicitor and working with them, please see our top tips guide Working with a solicitor.

I hope you find this information useful.  Should you wish to speak to an adviser please call our free advice line: 0808 801 0366 (Mon to Fri 9.30a.m. – 3.00p.m.) Or please do post on this board if you have a further query. You may also wish to look at our discussion board for parents. This is the link HERE

Best Wishes, Suzie

JKDF99
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:40 pm

Re: Please Help!

Post by JKDF99 » Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:39 pm

Hi Suzie,

Many thanks for your reply!

To answer your questions:

1. Yes Children's services are aware of the the change in circumstances and have advised me that the children stay with me until I seek legal advice which I am doing.

2. The social worker was going to escalate things to a children in need plan, but as I am having them back with me she feels they are not at risk whilst I have them full time.

3. An assessment has been completed by the social worker making recommendations that the children should not be around this man. This is a combination of her work and reports from triage hub / police, largely due to his history of domestic violence and substance & alcohol misuse.

4. I have parenting responsibility as I am the father.

5. I am pretty sure the social worker was suggesting I protect the children through private law ( Child Arrangements Order & Prohibited Steps order to prevent him being present at the house )

I know taking my wife to court will add further heat to the situation, but something I am more than willing to do to protect my children, but other people have suggested mediation but I feel its hard to see this man in a positive light with domestic violence history with other women and my ex wife. Also you can add addiction issues , coercive & controlling behaviour etc etc. Saying this I have to see the other side which is my ex wanting to live with this man. I suppose I am looking for advice what others would do in my position as I am trying to balance the right solution to allow Mother to spend time with her children but that has to be in a safe environment obviously. Any further thoughts would be hugely appreciated. thanks again, XX

4.
Last edited by Suzie, FRG Adviser on Fri Nov 12, 2021 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moderated to protect confidentiality

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

Re: Please Help!

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Nov 12, 2021 12:45 pm

Dear JKDF99

Thank you for your further post and for clarifying some information. From what you say, the children are living with you currently and so children’s services’ involvement is quite minimal as they have no concerns for the children while you are caring for them.

I think that children’s services are asking you to take protective action through the family courts to ensure your children’s safety. It would be a good idea to ask the social worker to confirm what their specific recommendation is (although they cannot provide legal advice). However, as you suggest it is probably to seek legal advice about applying for a Prohibited Steps Order and a Child Arrangement Order. You can find an explanation of each in this summary of private law section 8 orders.

I would recommend that you contact Child Law Advice to discuss; they can also advise you further on mediation which is usually required before going to court, except where there is evidenced domestic violence or child abuse or the application is urgent.

I can see that you want what is best for your children and to keep them safe. I think you should ask the social worker to let you know whether they plan to keep the case open until you have applied for or obtained a court order. If you feel that you and/or the children need more help and support now is the time to ask for this. Once the case is closed it will become a purely private matter between you and the children’s mother, so if more work or intervention by children’s services is needed, do request it now.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Suzie

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