My wife walked out 9 days ago with my 11 year old son. There was no prompt for her leaving and it was very unexpected. I have no idea where she or my son are and have involved the Police who have told me they are ''safe''.
She may be suffering with depression following the removal of her thyroid in May which has extrapolated the neglect.
In regards to getting contact with my son, who is very close to me, I know now how to apply for a disclosure of my son''s location and for a contact order but should I do it? She has not communicated with me and has turned off phones and email so I cannot reach her. If she is in crisis and needs some time apart I don''t want to push her over the edge (not suicidally) but at the same time if it is over I don''t want to wait too long to get on with getting access to my son.
My question is this; How long should I give her to get her mind in order before I launch the paperwork process? My concern is the longer I wait the longer it will be before I see my 11 year old son and the more damage he will have experienced during the journey.
It''s is a matter for the family courts rather than social services or the police. When there is no contact and you can''t negotiate directly or indirectly there isn''t really an option other than apply to court to resolve the issue. Normally it takes about six weeks from an application to the first hearing and the applicant is expected to initiate a mediation Information and Assessment Meeting before the court will hear a case.
If you both worked full time and cared for your son 50:50 you would be well advised to apply for interim shared residence as an emergency because you could be disadvantaged if a new status quo is established and the courts find it disruptive to change it back.
An 11 year old would be capable of knowing their own home phone number and contacting if they felt the need to talk to you. In court this week the judge told my ex and I that my 10 year old could choose to vote with his feet reguarding contact.
Of course they would know their own number but it''s all down to the individual child. My step-son would not have contacted his dad at this age purely because he is a sensitive soul and he was aware that by contacting his dad, his mum would take this as a slight against her. At 11, they are still very much children no matter how strong-minded they may appear at times.
Mark - have you been able to make contact with your son''s school to explain your concerns? And is your son collected from school? - if not, perhaps you could meet him there? You still have the same rights to do this as his parent even though you don''t currently live with him.
Yes, he would know the number but he is a very loyal lad. If his mum has told him not to contact me then he wouldn''t dream of upsetting her, however upset he was himself.
He and I have a great relationship and often take holidays alone (Kenya, Ireland, Iceland) because my wife doesn''t like going overseas, we go camping together, play soldiers all the time and go on ''drives'' where we drive around just he and I chatting about anything and everything.