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TOPIC: Primary Carer

Primary Carer 10 months 4 weeks ago #93375

Hi,

New to site and looks amazing.

I’ll keep this brief and would love some advice ahead of seeing legal rep in a few weeks.

Father of twins and separated from ex wife for nearly 5 years. Very close to agreeing financial terms and decree absolute due soon.

We currently spilt care 55/45 in my favour but I do not have shared residency. My ex’s partner is now in prison for possession with intent to supply and my ex has a substance abuse problem but this will need to be proved. There is also a history of violence at her address when children present and drugs found on the last visit albeit she said they were her boyfriends. None of the maintence I pay or tax credits go on the children and they are always in ill fitting clothes and dirty when they come to me. They have been late for school over 100x in the last 3 years.
The children are known to the social services but they seem reluctant to do anything however the police are siding with me. This is just a nutshell of what is happening and I have decided to go to court to be the children’s primary carer so they get the support and nurture that is necessary for them to grow into responsible young adults. The children are nearly 9 years old.

My question is.... do I have a good chance of this?

Thankyou.

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Primary Carer 10 months 3 weeks ago #93387

  • Mojo
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Hi there

When you say you don't have shared residency, do you mean that there's no court order in place?

As it stands at the moment, if you have the children 55% of the time, you should be claiming the child benefit, and further you shouldn't be liable for CM. If it were me, I would call the CB office and put in a claim for the CB as a matter of urgency.

Have the police dropped the children with you when they've been called to your ex's property, is there a CP plan in place for the children? Do you liaise with the school over attendance and other issues?

It's impossible to predict outcomes, no two cases are the same, but on balance you have a good chance. However, if you feel the children are at risk and you already have them the majority of the time, it's would be better not to return them and make an urgent, no notice application for them to live with you (Child Arrangements Order) and a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent there removal from your care.

If possible, get a letter from the school about their attendance and any other issues and also inform the SS that as you have the children most of the time, and due to the risks to them because of their mothers lifestyle, it's in their best interests to seek a court order to have them live with you...mention that you have the support from the police and ask for their support in this.

I would advise that you have proposals ready for how contact with the mother should continue, when and where etc. With the drug history you should also ask for drug testing. She may assert that her relationship with the guy in prison is over, you may suspect otherwise, but it would be difficult to prove. Look for evidence of this.

I would concentrate on your children's well being, how they present when they come from their mother, the lack of consistency at school, the police support for the children to live with you and the risks that they are frequently subjected to because of the violence and drug abuse. You can tell the court about this on supplementary form C1a, which you would submit alongside the C100 form, which covers both the CAO and PSO.

Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Best of luck

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Primary Carer 10 months 2 weeks ago #93596

Thankyou for your response. I put in for an emergency application and the judge ordered an emergency listing to hear my ex wife’s view. This is tomorrow so wish me luck.

Thanks again for your reply. Much appreciated.

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Primary Carer 10 months 2 weeks ago #93613

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How did it go?

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Primary Carer 8 months 2 days ago #95163

Hi,

My apologies for not responding sooner but things have moved on slightly.

The judge ordered a section 37 report and this was ordered to be done within 8 weeks. During this time my ex wife has been caught soliciting for drugs and been charged for drink driving. The report is recommending residency in my favour and contact only with my ex wife. It has been stated that the courts do not however have to follow the social services recommendation and it is just a guide.

We are back next week but does anyone have any advice with regards to the courts following such recommendations and can my ex appeal this?

Thanks in advance. It finally feels there is some light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

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Primary Carer 8 months 1 day ago #95171

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To be honest, with the recommendations from the court, and with what has happened to your ex since (assuming the court are aware of this, and if not, I'd make them aware), I can't see why the court wouldn't follow the recommendations.

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Primary Carer 8 months 5 hours ago #95199

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I agree with actd. With the recent developments and the subsequent report/recommendations, it’s highly likely that the court will accept them.

Your ex could only appeal procedural errors made during the case, she can’t appeal against the courts decision.

Please do keep us updated and best of luck for next week.

All the best

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Primary Carer 7 months 3 weeks ago #95363

Hi,

I was back in court last week and my ex wife did not take kindly to the recommendation from SS’s that the children reside with me. She raised concerns about me being able to safeguard the children and the judge has now asked for both of us to file statements relating to issues we have regarding safeguarding. My ex was happy with shared residency but I said no because of the section 37 report and the details it containedand the recommendation they should live with me. Because of this the judge ordered the children to have a ‘guardian’ so the children’s voices can be heard. I have taken exception to this as it is quite clear that there is absolutely no reason the children are not safe with me and the report into my ex is pretty damning to say the least.
We now need to attend a session outlining a CIN meeting with SS’s (even though of the 6 points outlined in the CIN plan all 6 points relate to my ex) and we go back to court in 4 weeks time.

I have been representing myself up until this point but feel I need some legal representation now because myself and the social services thought that this should have been concluded by now.

I am slightly confused how it has got to this point and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Primary Carer 7 months 3 weeks ago #95366

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As the mother did not agree with the recommendations, she is entitled to have a fair hearing. If she had agreed, this wouldn't be necessary.

Don't take exception to a Guardian being appointed. This is nearly always a good thing as the children will have a voice in the proceedings that isn't yours or the mothers.

If you can afford representation, it's your choice whether to go down that route or not. Continuing to represent yourself is entirely do able, but I would advise getting some support to prepare for the final hearing and writing your statement.

Courts generally go with report recommendations unless there is a very good reason not to.

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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Primary Carer 7 months 3 weeks ago #95369

Thankyou for your reply. Much appreciated.

I just want what’s best for the children and for my ex wife as she needs help in getting better. Just hope one day she realises this has been done with the best intentions.

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Primary Carer 6 months 4 weeks ago #95897

Hi,

Was back in court again this week. Judge didn’t order a fact finder due to the reality that’s as parents we both agree the children should spend significant time with each other and that is also the wishes of the children. I argued that a fact finder would not be in the best interests of the court and it would be a lengthy waste of resources.

My main concern is her drug use and specifically cocaine. Her concerns are around alcohol for me but when she was ordered to do a hair sample test going back 6 months my ex shouted out that I should be doing one also. I agreed and we are back for a dispute resolution hearing. Cafcass also didn’t do their review so they now need to put across their recommendation although I have a residency rec already from ss.

As the order was being drawn up my ex approached me outside court and said she would give me joint residency if I was to stop all proceedings as she had lied in court and her hair test will she up positive. I said she needs to go to rehab and if she does then I will stop proceedings but she refused saying she doesn’t have a problem.

What if she misses the drug test? I have already organised mine and samples being taken next week (mine will both come back negative) and I do not believe she will make herself available for hers. Her will the court look at this?

I can’t beleive it is still going on as she hasn’t engaged with any of the professionals so far and I firmly believe if this was the other way round I would now have lost residency of my children.

Thanks for reading

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Primary Carer 6 months 4 weeks ago #95898

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If the court have ordered the drugs test and she doesn't do it, she will be in breach of the order and they will tell her again that she has to do it.

I agree that a fact finding is probably a waste of time and resources, she really needs to do the drugs test and engage with the professionals. The drug test should be able to tell if she's a heavy user or not if it's a hair strand.

In your position statement for the next DRA, include the offer outside court and the reasons she gave.

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