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Legal question about step children

  • u6c00
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29 Apr 12 #327040 by u6c00
Topic started by u6c00
Hi everyone. I have been reading a lot of case law in relation to my ongoing dispute with my son. I came across a reference to the Children Act (1989) s10(5)(b).

It suggests that a person can apply for a contact order with a child if that child has lived with them for 3 years (with no specification of parental responsibility).

Does anyone know whether this can be applied to step-children? I was under the impression that step-parents have no rights to contact with the child, a fact backed up by a quick google search, but the Children Act clearly contradicts that.

Can anyone offer any legal advice? I am unable to reach my solicitor for the next few weeks so I can''t ask an opinion there.

  • Fiona
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29 Apr 12 #327079 by Fiona
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Contact is the right of children rather than adults. A step parent has no automatic right to apply to court for contact. They need to ask the court''s permission to apply and it''s granted in most cases.

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29 Apr 12 #327217 by u6c00
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Thank you for your info, that''s very helpful.

I haven''t decided what to do. I desperately miss my step-son, but I don''t want to hurt him more. I am worried that I might confuse him, and I am certain that my ex-partner will fight every step of the way. He is nearly 8 years old, so is old enough to have a fair grasp on the situation.

Before my ex moved out we had a good relationship, I used to read him stories at bed time every night, and he called me dad. My ex moved out while I was at work. He never had any chance to say goodbye, to ask me any questions or anything else. Since then more than 2 months has passed and I have barely seen him (only for 2 minutes at the door on 2 occasions whilst collecting my other son (biological) for contact.

Since then, everything I have read suggested that I needed to give up on him. I had been coping with that, though I wished it could be otherwise. Now finding that there might be a chance I am torn about what to do.

Would an attempt at re-establishing contact do more harm than good? After such a period of time has lapsed, is it a realistic prospect? He was already a bit troubled, and would my trying to barge my way back in upset him more, as he may be coming to terms with my absence. On the other hand, my being around might ease his mind? I don''t expect that anyone here can answer these questions for me, this was all pretty much rhetorical, although don''t let that stop anyone from replying if you have any words of wisdom.

I know that the deadline of 3 months on from when he moved out is near, so I need to come to a decision or have the decision made for me.

  • pixy
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29 Apr 12 #327248 by pixy
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It''s simple. If you love and miss him and have been a significant figure in his life, then fight for him. The long term effects of perceived rejection are going to be far worse for him.

  • sexysadie
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29 Apr 12 #327254 by sexysadie
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I agree with Pixy. He is particularly likely to feel rejected if he sees his brother go off with you regularly but he can''t come too.

Best wishes,
Sadie

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31 May 12 #334325 by u6c00
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So to dredge up an old post...

I decided to go ahead with this, as I thought it genuinely is in the child''s best interest to not sever all ties like this.

My solicitor told me to fill in a C2 (application to vary existing proceedings). He told me that within the 3 month time limit I could apply ''as of right'' but that after that time I would have to ask for leave to apply.

I got the court forms sent back to me this morning with a letter telling me to fill in a C100, pay the court fee of £200 (I think I''m exempt) and to fill in a C2 requesting permission to apply.

Has my solicitor got it wrong, or have the court? According to every resource I can find online s10(5)(b) agrees that I can apply as of right. I have no problem with asking for leave, but now that the court has sent the application back I am past the 3 months.

I''ve now had a letter from my ex''s solicitor which stated that the child in question was finding it difficult to understand why contact had been severed. This letter was sent on the same day I informed her solicitor of my application, so they crossed in the post. As soon as she got word of my application, she sent me a text message stating that neither her nor his dad would support my application. Funny how things shift so quickly in her mind. Her son is experiencing difficulty with the situation, but she is not willing to allow contact to help him deal with it.

I fear I''m on to a loser with this one, if neither parent will support any contact, but I just couldn''t live with myself if I didn''t try.

  • Rumplestiltsk1n
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31 May 12 #334366 by Rumplestiltsk1n
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You must fight for him. Dont give up!!

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