Achieving the Best Possible Outcomes in Legal Cases

Can the Legal System Take a Child into Its Care?

by Maurice Carroll

Whenever disputes arise between two parents that may make life at home difficult, a family court will always be concerned about the welfare of the children. Unfortunately, such disputes can develop for a wide variety of reasons and occasionally, they may lead to serious repercussions. If you're in this situation, does the court have a right to take away your children, and if so, what can you do about this?

The Reach of the Courts

Should the state believe that parents are not able to care for their child at any given moment, they have the legal right to take the child away. This can sometimes happen if the other parent in an abusive relationship makes a complaint or a third party (such as a well-meaning neighbour) brings some issues to the attention of the authority.

Be Aware of Parental Duty

Every parent has a duty to keep their child in a safe and caring environment, to ensure they are educated, clothed, fed and have access to any necessary medical care. Yet if that parent cannot or will not meet was obligations, then the court can issue a special order to guarantee the child's safety or well-being. While the court will always be mindful of the relationship between children and parents and want to maintain that wherever possible, they will only do so if they believe the child is not at risk.

Understand the Rights

In legal terms, parents do not have an automatic right to custody of a child if the court can assert that this might interfere with the child's safety. In this case, the court may judge that one parent can take custody of the child while the other must stay away, but this decision is never made lightly, and the court will always want to consider arguments from all sides.

What to Do Next

Should a government agency believe that a child is in danger, they can take immediate action. However, they will need to go in front of a court as soon as possible to defend their actions, and this is always the opportunity for an affected parent to have their say.

So, if you find yourself in this position, get immediate help from a family lawyer. They will help you to navigate the legal position in pursuit of the best outcome. You may need to make adjustments to living arrangements or come to a clear understanding with the other parent, but in any case, you need to persuade the court to let you continue your relationship without interference.

Contact a family law solicitor to learn more.