custody of children


Morning all. I need some advice...any advice regarding my boys. Some of you know my story from days gone by so will know the situation. For everyone else I'll try keep it short.

I have 4 children, I broke up with my violent ex, I moved 300 miles from home with 2 of my sons & the other 2 stayed with their dad. After a very long drawn out custody battle and the involvement of cafcass I got cstody of 2, he got custody of the other 2. The court case & cafcass reports took so long that the judge apologised for the state of the judicial system when giving the final decision.

The Decision was made in January 2011.

I now want to apply for custody of my 9 year old. He doesn't go to school, he doesn't sleep, he cries for me through the night. He basically gets no real love where he is now he just gets materialistic things thrown at him.

I just don't know where to start or what to do. He was texting me at 2 am this morning telling me he was crying for me so bad that his tummy was hurting & he couldn't breath. I've seen him like this before on the days he has to go back home after staying with me.  I had to ring my 15 yr old last night to get him  up & sort my other boy out.  Its heartbreaking to say the very least.

I don't have much money but just need to get this ball rolling asap I just don't know which way to turn.
Thanks for reading

Hugs, it must be really stressful for you all
Having no experience of this I'd go to my nearest citizens advice centre for advice on what to do next 

Can you go back to the solicitor who did the work for you before?

Hello, good to see you again, despite the circumstances of your post.

How awful for you to know he is so upset when there is such a physical distance.  Is he really 9 now?  

Can you get a free initial appointment with a family solicitor to ask them the basics?  I don't know how much influence the child's wishes have on a decision at that age but it certainly sounds like he would be much happier with you.  The schooling (or lack of) is another issue of course which should be taken into account.

Would your ex agree to number 4 coming to live with you for a few months 'trial' without going through the courts or is that a really stupid question?

I hope some others have more constructive advice for you soon.  

J x

If your income is low enough for legal aid, get yourself back to your solicitor.  Write to the school and see if they will confirm lack of attendance, any concerns etc - they should be willing to give you the information as you have parental responsibility.  That kind of evidence will help you much more than accounts of him being upset.  At 9 the child's wishes are considered but don't hold all that much weight, unless of course he can convince the CAFCASS Officer that he is totally miserable.  Evidence from the older boy might help, though it depends what he will say as he is still living with dad.

I'm afraid court proceedings are still slow with a lack of CAFCASS Officers, and the presumption is that a child remains in his present home unless there is good reason for a move.

If you don't qualify for legal aid, get initial advice and then apply in person - courts tend to be helpful to litigants in person.

Best of luck!

Thankyou for the replies :) I'll give the CAB a ring on Tuesday Jacqui, hopefully they'll be able to help. They wouldn't touch it last time as the case was already going through court, but saying as this would be a new one I'd hope they would.

Corris my solicitor is back up North, as I lived there when all this started. I'm not sure whether I can file a case up there or whether I have to apply for it & have a solicitor where I am now. Everything is so confusing.

The ex would never agree to me getting my boy just like that. Hes the kind of person that if I want something that bad he'll make it 10 times harder for me to get it without even taking into account little mans feelings :(

I have all of the text messages that my boy has sent me at 11, 12, 1 & 2 in the morning. (I dont  even agree with mobile phones for kids-but the ex has bought them all one argh!) saing how much he wants to live here with us. I have school attendance reports that I ask for at the end of every term. His current one is 65% since January :(

The cafcass report took so long to do the first time, then it wasn't complete so it had  to be done again. It took 2 years altogether! I've got alot of phonecalls to make on Tuesday to see which is the best way to do this.

Hello love! Welcome back, and I do hope you can get some good advice for you and your lad x

Thanks EB. Just a quick update. I have managed to get a solicitors appointment for Wednesday, a free half hour. Everything crossed that something will happen from there!

The education welfare officer has sent me a letter stating that as my 9yr olds attendance is actually down to 60% as at March 2012 that I may be prosecuted as he is still classed as being my responsibility...........unreal! I live hundreds of miles from them. Ive found out today that he was off school 4 days last week & is also off today *sigh*

Send a copy of the residence order to the EWO!  The letter should provide good evidence in your favour though....

FX you get some good advice.

Agree with Fredd - get your act together and write the EWO a very firm letter explaining the situation. Lots of EWOs are clamping down on the parents of truants, and you don't need a court case to make your situation any more difficult! Fingers crossed that you will get some useful help at your appointment on Weds.

My heart goes out to you love, I can't imagine how awful those phone calls and texts must be.

It sounds though, as if you are slowly but surely building a very good case and very best of luck for tomorrow.

ursh x