Family Solicitors successfully support father through care proceedings

Family Solicitors successfully support father through care proceedings

Bradley* turned to National Legal Service to support him through care proceedings after family members raised concerns about Bradley’s partner’s ability to care for their new baby.

Bradley’s relationship with the mother of his child had faced some critical issues due to his partner’s issues with alcohol abuse and domestic violence. She had a history of alcohol-related altercations with other children from previous relationships. These altercations meant the children permanently resided with their father, but without any formal care orders in place to manage the arrangement.

Due to these past issues, and the ongoing involvement from local authorities, the prospect of a Special Guardianship Order (SGO) had been raised by the child’s grandparents. Bradley wanted to take steps to protect his family and prove that his new baby would be properly cared for, without an SGO being required.

Despite the ongoing issues that the local authority had been made aware of, the mother accepted that she had problems with alcohol and recognised that they had negatively impacted her relationship with her older children. She had expressed a desire to change.

With care proceedings initiated, National Legal Service was appointed to represent Bradley in the family courts.  Both paternal grandparents were present at the initial hearing. It appeared that the courts were considering issuing an Interim Care Order (ICO) to safeguard the baby while proceedings were ongoing, but Bradley and his partner were able to prove to the courts that they were committed to making the situation work. At this point, the paternal grandmother decided to withdraw from the SGO.

Throughout the care proceedings process, Bradley was supported by National Legal Service’s dedicated team of family solicitors. With experts at his side throughout, a positive outcome was achieved. No subsequent public law orders were made at the issue resolution hearing / early final hearing which took place in October.

Although dealing with care proceedings can be a complex process, we were able to achieve an excellent outcome for our client. We were able to ensure that Bradley was able to keep his family together and gained the support of the child’s grandparents, removing the need for any other formal orders to be put in place.

With subsequent positive parenting assessment and a commitment to their child, Bradley and his partner should be able to care for the baby in their own home.

Since the hearing, Bradley and his partner have continued to operate as a family unit and benefit from the support of paternal grandparents. This outcome shows that when sensitive cases are dealt with in an efficient and compassionate manner, a positive resolution can be achieved for all parties.

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