Worried about my child’s welfare

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  • #20663 Report


    My 2 kids (8yrs boy and nearly 2yrs daughter) now live with their mum but stay with me one night during every week and all weekend every other weekend.

    I’ve noticed a few things which worry me and give me concerns for their welfare now they’re reliant solely on mum’s decisions.

    How do I apply for ‘custody’ or find out more about improving the care and standards given to my children by their mother?

    #20664 Report


    When I had cause to look into this, it was explained to me that there doesn’t exist a “custody order”.  In a separation this is something that is not included in the divorce process and something in normal situations left to the children’s parents to decide.

    The only situation in which the court would get involved if it was found it was in the best interests of the children for example in the cases of neglect or abuse.

    In your shoes, whatever it is you suspect, my main priority would be to determine if there is any immediate threat to them, so it depends on the nature of your suspicion, and if there is then you can take action and get help straight away.

    There area loads of links here: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/



    #20666 Report


    Thank you for that.

    im not concerned about physical abuse it’s more to do with diet, missing school too easily, not encouraging any exercise, missing dental appointments/teeth not cleaned properly, untidy house, where he’s sleeping and some of her family background etc.

    I’m in the position where I honestly think I can give them a better upbringing than she can/is but I know it’s unrealistic to think I can ‘get them’ the majority of the time (ie switch roles as they are now) unless something major is endangering them.

    I plan to ask his teacher if there’s anything concerning them but also social services to try to (as you say) improve how they’re treated in their mum’s care.

    I’ll hit those links….thanks for the help mate 👍🏼

    #20667 Report


    I will say that after speaking to my child’s school about the separation they have been absolutely invaluable in providing support and my son has thrived since.  There will probably be more people than you realise in similar situations even in your child’s school and the teachers will have had to recognise and support this as part of their roles.

    The school will certainly recognise and commend your wanting not only be involved in their lives but make them better and will support you in this, as well as your ex.  It may be as simple as her not coping and needing help.  If your ex is less than forthcoming in wanting to make any improvements to anything which your school has identified as an issue it will only strengthen your case as it speaks for itself.  Just focus on being a good dad, its the best you can do.  Ask the school for their input and anything they highlight maybe you could ask them how they feel you can help and explain your situation.  If there is anything highlighted they will give the same advice to his mother and if she listens and does something about it that’s the best scenario as the main goal should always be to make sure your kids are ok, no matter how much you are wanting sole custody, the focus should always be on their welfare.  If through being a good dad and demonstrating this, and working with the school it’s shown that you are providing the support where your ex is not then the situation will speak for itself.

    I would be very reluctant to involve social services yourself as many people I know have had this happen and it cause damage to both parents but more importantly the children. They can tear families apart, and not renowned for handling things delicately.   This is something that even the school highlighted, something that they only ever do when all else has failed, they suspect something is amiss and out of their scope… but in the instance of this happening you need to demonstrate and have great communication with the school so they identify you as a good parent.  You don’t want your children taken into care purely because your ex is letting them down.. If she is seen as unfit you need to make damn sure that you demonstrate that you are, and good communication with the school is key to this.



    #20668 Report



    To be fair, i doubt your ex’s family background is within her control.

    I’ve clashed with my ex over diet, he provides burgerking and sweets, I disagree, but as long as our son is not left hungry, in his time he is entitled to provide whatever he wants to.

    When you say an untidy house, there is a difference between untidy which is ok, and dirty which is not. Few busy parents of two children have show homes.

    your son is eight so you can help with teeth cleaning. Buy him a cartoon electric tooth brush to make it more fun & children’s toothpaste, plus rechargeable batteries and a charger that you keep at your house. Ask for the tooth brush when you collect him, so you can keep it charged.

    Exercise was an issue with my ex too. They would watch tv for whole weekends and not go out at all. So I booked a regular swimming lesson and sent our son with his swimming kit and the postcode for ex’s sat nav.

    Why is your son missing school? Does your ex need help with school runs or school uniform? And are sleeping arrangements shared or something else? Damp?

    Are your children happy? That’s the most important thing. If they are perhaps it’s better to improve their current living arrangements rather than uproot them. Or you could apply for 50:50 custody.

    #20718 Report


    I liked your reply Kathy some good suggestions there 🙂


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