i have been married for a year to a man with 3 children. he was not married to their mother. 2 of the children are his but 1 isnt although he was awarded parental responsibility for all 3 when they split up.they started with 50/50 shared custody on a week to week basis but gradually over a year all 3 were living with him most of the time, only staying with their mother every other weekend.2 years ago she was due to pick them up from school for her weekend visit but failed to turn up!He tried to call and text her but got no response, he also went round to her house but no one answered even though he could hear her talking to someone and saw the curtains move. he also over a course of about 3 months put 3 notes through her door asking her to contact him, he also saw her look through the curtains as he got back in the car so knows she had received all attempts to contact her. he has heard nothing from her in 2 years now. they all moved in with me 18 months ago and we married 12 months ago. we now want to know how i get parental responsibility in case of accidents, how do we stand regarding applying for passports or even going abroad as she still has parental responsibility and we dont know where she is now.also where do we stand with the child that isnt his, although he has parental responsibility for him he is not biologically his son so has a different surname,can i get parental responsibility for him? and do we need her permission to do these things and if so how do we find her?
sorry post is so long but the situation is so complicated we dont know where to turn.
I suspect this may be a bit complicated for most people on here as there seems to be a lot of different aspects. A lot of family lawyers give half an hour free consultation so maybe an idea to see a professional and then even if you don't go with them they may be able to give you some pointers to get started resolving it.
One thing in the back of my mind would be given there's a lot of unknowns would it be an idea to leave it alone for a few years if the children are really young as in more weight is given to the children and what they want in court as they get older and if their birth mother is out of the picture and everything is going ok presumably to change the situation legally she would need to be found professionally and involved in some way and she may cause more problems than you are trying to solve.
Thanks for your reply
I thought it would be complicated to answer. We will look into free half hour with solicitor. Wanted to get the ball rolling if we could as this gap arisen from my grown up children and grandchildren going away together this year and asking if we would like to go
my step children were understandably upset when we had to say no. My husbands children are aged 7,11 and 14 and not one of them has ever mentioned their mother since the day it happened, not even to ask why she hadn't picked them up.
But, as you have mentioned, if we were able to contact her she may suddenly decide she wants to see them again and that is a worry as her absence doesn't seem to have bothered them at all and they are all extremely happy.
It's pretty complicated but maybe someone will be able to help.
What I found with the courts is that roughly from 11-12 on the kids had a say and then from 13-14 it was what they wanted unless they were in danger and the courts didn't really want to make an order at that point so it's maybe just the youngest one that could be swayed by their mother turning up and getting the court to back her but as I said I'm no expert in this and this is just my own opinion on my personal experience.
I doubt the court would want to split them up but it could all just be a whole lot of stress you don't need.