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Mike and Jenny had two children. As long as Mike had known Jenny, she had struggled with addiction to prescription drugs. Mike had accepted this and supported Jenny through her many ups and downs. However, things had come to a head and Jenny left the family home permanently. Jenny’s behaviour had become unpredictable and aggressive and Mike did not feel safe allowing her to spend time with the children alone at that time.
When Mike came to see us, we immediately advised him to apply to the court for a non-molestation and occupation order to keep Jenny away from the family home for the time being to safeguard him and the children. We also advised him to apply for a child arrangements order specifying that the children would live with him and a prohibited steps order forbidding Jenny from taking the children out of school. The orders were granted on the strength of Mike’s evidence about the nature of Jenny’s problems and concerns about Jenny’s presentation raised by the children’s schools.
These applications initiated a process whereby the court asked social services to look into the children’s circumstances. Meanwhile, having reached rock bottom, Jenny started to take steps to address her issues with medication and began to engage with the court process. Slowly, and initially with the support of social services staff, Jenny was reintroduced into the children’s lives and started to see them more frequently. We represented Mike at the various court hearings scheduled to review the family’s progress and decide the best long term solution for the children.
Eventually, a final order was made with Jenny’s agreement. The children would have their main home with Mike but would see her regularly. The non-molestation and occupation orders were allowed to lapse. Mike keeps a close eye on things and looks out for the warning signs that Jenny might be struggling again but so far things are going well.
NB: All of our case studies here are based on real life clients and their experiences. However, due to the sensitive nature of the work we do, all names and some factual details have been amended to protect the privacy of our clients.