“In every Court case where the Court makes a decision about a child’s custody, it is the child’s welfare that the Court places first”, confirm Curry Popeck Solicitors.
This was highlighted recently in the case of a Nigerian illegal immigrant, who fought a legal battle for the custody of his 15 month old daughter and won his appeal.
The man initially arrived in the UK a few years a goon a six months tourist visa. He had no job, was a drug addict and had periodically been homeless at the time of the appeal hearing.
When the girl was just one month old, she had been placed into temporary foster care because of her father’s seeming inability to care for her and her mother’s mental health issues and inappropriate lifestyle. During the court case it was concluded that it would not be in the child’s best interests to be flown to Nigeria to be cared for by her father’s relatives. The father indicated that he would like to care for the girl child himself, but the judge suggested that the man might use his daughter as a legitimate means of remaining in the UK. It was therefore decided by the court to place the girl for adoption.
The girl’s mother did not appeal this decision, but the child’s father did and he went to the court of Appeal, where the judge questioned whether the previous judge had sufficient evidence on which the initial decision was based, indicating the need for further investigation for the purpose of clarity.
During the court proceedings the judge was informed that the child’s father had experienced a change in his situation and started working, after being given discretionary leave. It was on this basis that the judge found the appeal in the father’s favour.
The Court considers several factors when determining custody, however, if a person is homeless, jobless and struggles with addiction it is unlikely that the Court would grant him or her custody of any children. If the parent does not seek substance abuse counseling or make arrangements to improve their situation, the chances of custody of the child being taken out of their hands are very high. But, in this case, the man tried to improve his situation and started working too, which had a positive impact on the Court’s decision to grant custody.
If you are involved in a child custody case, or any case involving family law, then contact Curry Popeck, a full-service law firm comprised of experienced solicitors like Lionel Curry.
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