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new partner looking after my child
#1
Hi,

Just a quick question about my right and the rights of the mother of my child regarding my new partner.
I have been with my current girlfriend for a couple of years now and she's been in my three year old sons life for nearly a year. Occasionally when it's my weekend with my son I have to work on a Sunday, I feel comfortable leaving my son in my girlfriends care while I'm at work however my ex (the mother of my son) doesn't like this and has come and taken him while I was working.

Does she have the right to do this?
Or do I have the right to leave my son with my partner for a few hours without my ex coming and taking him without my permission?

Thanks
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#2
Just a bit of legal gumf that may help

if you have Parental responsibility the essence of the Child Act 1989 is that it's not practical for a person with PR to have to ask another person's permission about everything to do with that child, there are certain exceptions such as boarding school etc that require total consent.
There is case law that supports this: in the judgment of the case of D. v D. (Shared Residence Order) [2001] 1 F.L.R 495, Lord Justice Hale said that where a child is being looked after by one parent, that parent must be allowed to take the decisions relating to the child. While this parent has care of the child, the other parent should not try to interfere with matters relating to this time during which they don’t have care of the child. This does not, of course, extend to taking decisions that contravene a court order. However, where possible, flexible and practical arrangements should be made.
When they live with you for the few days, you are being delegated the care on a temporary basis.

(The full legal gist is taken from the court of appeal document
(22)     The background to the Children Act 1989 provision lies in the Law Commission’s Working Paper No 96, published in 1986, on Custody, and the Law Commission’s Report, Law Com No 172, published in 1988, on Guardianship and Custody. If I may summarise the basic principles proposed, the first was that each parent with parental responsibility should retain their equal and independent right, and their responsibility, to have information and make appropriate decisions about their children. If, of course, the parents were not living together it might be necessary for the court to make orders about their future, but those orders should deal with the practical arrangements for where and how the children should be living rather than assigning rights as between the parents )

(23)     A cardinal feature was that when children are being looked after by either parent that parent needs to be in a position to take the decisions that have to be taken while the parent is having their care; that is part of care and part of responsibility. Parents should not be seeking to interfere with one another in matters which are taking place while they do not have the care of the children. They cannot, of course, take decisions which are incompatible with a court order about the children. But the object of the exercise should be to maintain flexible and practical arrangements wherever possible.
Advice & opinions on this forum are offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified and insured professional.
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#3
Does she have the right to do this?

Technically no as the child was in your care that weekend so you have the final say about any decisions regarding your child.

However in reality she can do as she pleases (as you have discovered).

I'm assuming yourself and the ex have an out of court arrangement regarding you having your son certain weekends? With a child arrangements order in place I can't see how she could force the return of the child whether she likes your new partner or not and provided there are no safeguarding issues.

You say "come and taken him"... why did you let her through the front door?
Sorry if this seems harsh but you have in effect given into her, it will be a case of rinse and repeat the next time she is aware you have left your son in the care of your new partner.

Ed
I know it's up for me. If you steal my sunshine.  Cool
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#4
(11-05-2017, 02:48 PM)Drew65 Wrote: Just a bit of legal gumf that may help

if you have Parental responsibility the essence of the Child Act 1989 is that it's not practical for a person with PR to have to ask another person's permission about everything to do with that child, there are certain exceptions such as boarding school etc that require total consent.
There is case law that supports this: in the judgment of the case of D. v D. (Shared Residence Order) [2001] 1 F.L.R 495, Lord Justice Hale said that where a child is being looked after by one parent, that parent must be allowed to take the decisions relating to the child. While this parent has care of the child, the other parent should not try to interfere with matters relating to this time during which they don’t have care of the child. This does not, of course, extend to taking decisions that contravene a court order. However, where possible, flexible and practical arrangements should be made.
When they live with you for the few days, you are being delegated the care on a temporary basis.

(The full legal gist is taken from the court of appeal document
(22)     The background to the Children Act 1989 provision lies in the Law Commission’s Working Paper No 96, published in 1986, on Custody, and the Law Commission’s Report, Law Com No 172, published in 1988, on Guardianship and Custody. If I may summarise the basic principles proposed, the first was that each parent with parental responsibility should retain their equal and independent right, and their responsibility, to have information and make appropriate decisions about their children. If, of course, the parents were not living together it might be necessary for the court to make orders about their future, but those orders should deal with the practical arrangements for where and how the children should be living rather than assigning rights as between the parents )

(23)     A cardinal feature was that when children are being looked after by either parent that parent needs to be in a position to take the decisions that have to be taken while the parent is having their care; that is part of care and part of responsibility. Parents should not be seeking to interfere with one another in matters which are taking place while they do not have the care of the children. They cannot, of course, take decisions which are incompatible with a court order about the children. But the object of the exercise should be to maintain flexible and practical arrangements wherever possible.

While Drew has the legal bit here, if the person having contact is often not present, then that can be the significant reason needed to apply for a variation of the Order.

There is not set remit on it, as the Judge has to look at a number of factors, for example there might be brothers/sisters who are still present, or where its a shared care order, it could be considered that your living like a normal familly, so nothing wrong with it.

If its just every other weekend and school holiday contact, then you need to be changing the times, to match any work rota, as contact should be in the times your avaliable for.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#5
Thanks all for your help! I have my son every other weekend but only work a Sunday once every couple of months if that. It's not a regular thing.

Done mediation once will try again and hopefully get an arrangement order written up.
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