My partner has ADHD, she has stopped taking her medication for almost two years. As a result she developed a very selfish behaviour and our relationship has ended apart from the fact that we still live under the same roof with our two children.

I have agreed to let her stay (my house and I am the working one) because I don't want me to children to suffer. If I kick her out she would drag the children with her and go seek help from housing section of a city where her sister lives. She refused to give up on the children because she wants the benefits money. She wants to be close to her sister because her sister lives a (free) life on drug and has no responsibilities after she abandoned her 4 children.

To summarize it I accepted my partner under my roof because if she takes the children with her they will suffer lots and end up in a very unpleasant environment.

The options I have:

  • Kicker her out, keep the children with me. Not an option as I can't take of the children, I work for long hours, can't afford a nanny.
  • Let her leave with the children. Not an option as she wants to take them to a very bad environment.
  • Let her leave then report her to the social services, the children might end up in a foster and I cant have them
  • Report her to the doctor and inform them that she stopped her medication, the GP will contact the social services and they might take the children

The solution I came up with:

I let her stay, she takes care of the children and I pretend not to notice that she is sexting when she is in and cheating when she is out

The problem I am having:

She isn't doing her duties towards the children, she is on the phone and playing Xbox almost 18 hours a day Children aren't getting fed properly, they are dirty all the time, the house is extremely dirty. She does not beat the children but they are severely neglected. She refuse to take her medication, she becomes violent some time with me NOT with the children. Some of her ADHD problems: she thinks it's normal to ignore all her duties, she blames everything on anybody but herself, she is very selfish as in using the children's TV or having their food.

The question:

Should I report her to the social services? what that help in anyway other than having my children taken away from me and staying in foster care? Or should I just live the solution I came up with? the children are not in foster care but neglected.

Some facts to consider:

  • The children are 4 and 2 years old, a boy a girl
  • My partner had a very bad life of neglect in her childhood and she has been raped by her biological father.
  • Her sister is a very bad influence.
  • My partner is very known to the social services as she has abandoned other children she had from other relationships 5 times.
  • One of my children is disabled.
  • We live in the UK
  • 6
    I'm sorry to hear about this, but it seems to me that leaving your kids in their mother's "care" isn't good for them either. Neglect can be very damaging for your kids. Since I don't live in the UK I have no idea what might be available, but I would look to see if there is any sort of subsidized daycare that you could take advantage of. Also, do you have family/friends that could help with daycare? I would also ask a lawyer about what might happen if you kicked your ex out. They would know better how the law applies in your situation. Bottom line, your kids can't stay in this situation.
    – Becuzz
    May 11, 2016 at 14:26
  • 1
    First and foremost, get documentation of her behavior. Whether this is simply a log/diary, or more detailed like video of her (especially the violence and neglect). If it comes down to your word against hers, documentation will help to back you up and go against the innate favor for the mother.
    – Drew
    May 11, 2016 at 14:50
  • 1
    I agree with both Becuzz and Drew's comments. (1) Make a log of her behavior and keep updating it. (2) Install a hidden camera and try to document it. If you see something truly dangerous then you need to take immediate action. (3) Talk to a lawyer about protecting yourself and your children. (4) Make a plan to get this woman out of your house and keep the kids in your care.
    – user7678
    May 12, 2016 at 1:40

3 Answers 3


Everything you do should be in the best interests of the children. Your wife has human rights, but at the moment they come second to the rights of the children. Your children are at risk of severe harm, where harm is defined as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or neglect.

You're in the UK. You should contact, as a matter of some urgency, your local child safe-guarding board. They're part of your county council. Put the name of your county council and "child safe guarding" into a search engine to get contact details.

In the UK it is unusual for them to take children away from families. That's only done as a measure of last resort. But they can offer a lot of help and advice and support to the parents to help the children. They may remove the children if abuse is actively happening; if a parent has an active addiction to drugs or alcohol; etc. The situation you describe is severe, and you should seek help of child social services, but it's not severe enough for the children to be taken off you. (Although if you continue to not protect the children by failing to make a referral you're not going to be seen as a protective person.)

They will work in the best interests of the children.

Please, if at all possible do this tomorrow. Contact your local child safe-guarding office and ask about making a referral.

As well as that: if your wife is under the care of a mental health team you can provide information to that team. Or if she's just getting care from a GP you can provide information to the GP. Make sure they know you are the "Nearest Relative" (use that phrase, it's a bit of legal jargon that has a specific meaning that should trigger them to think differently about the info you give them). Because you were a carer (providing unpaid support) and are the nearest relative they might be able to share some information with you, but medical professionals often don't share information with carers.


There are two separate and distinct problems here:-

  • Your partner's mental health
  • Your children's wellbeing

Ultimately if your partner is violent towards you then at it's reasonable to expect that at some point her children will pass a point where she feels it will be acceptable to act that way towards her children, especially given the level of respect she shows them at present. You can try to engage with mental health professionals and things may or may not improve - that depends on if you love her and want to keep her around, an impression is given that the relationship may be past that point.

So let's examine the options available to you in terms of action; and be aware that the answer will be blunt - there's no sugar-coating it.

Kicker her out, keep the children with me

I can't see a valid reason why this is "not an option".

Approximately 1.8 MILLION women in Britain are forced into the situation by "deadbeat dads" or through relationship breakdowns. If you believe they take such a decision lightly then you'll be very mistaken, most of those women will have wanted their jobs/careers or the financial stability or independence just as much as any man. Each one has ended up making similar choices to those you're facing now, often without the benefit of being able to maintain the family home and not uproot the children.

It's not easy but there are a huge number of people doing it which means it must be possible, and social services can help you if you ask them and if you let them.

Let her leave with the children, do nothing.

By saying or doing nothing and allowing the children to be placed in harm's way you make yourself as responsible for the neglect of your children as their mother. Nothing in the question suggests this to be the case, you have concerns and should act upon them. You could potentially face a charge of Wilful Neglect, which carries a prison sentence.

Let her leave then report her to the social services

Social services will always try to place children with a close family member as possible wherever they can as their first priority is to the child. Dumping them with strangers is not acting in the child's best interests.

Which then leads back to the question - why wait and as the first option what makes you incapable of looking after your child when millions of women have to do exactly the same thing?

Report her to the doctor and inform them that she stopped her medication

The doctor may or may not report her to social services (and if you're there then they may not do so on the basis that you too have parental responsibility), so unless you tell him the mother presents a risk to your children then they're unlikely to say anything to social services. Even if they were likely to get involved they would want to take steps to help her become a good parent before they began the mountain of paperwork which is required for a "removal" to take place.

But in any case short of you forcing her to take her medication, how is that going to resolve a problem that has a high probability of recurring? That's a problem for you to consider - if you feel that your relationship with her can be salvaged and if you want to do so; nothing in the question suggests either is the case at this point.

Get your priorities straight. Call social services, get them to help you to look after your children if you need them to - foster families are difficult to come by so they try not to use them unless absolutely necessary...


The answers will depend a bit on the UK social system concerning child care.

I'd say to proceed the following way : stack up a couple of holidays. Use those for a physical appointment with someone from child care services. They will provide you with a couple of solutions you will not have though of. As an example, here in Switzerland (I don't know if it's possible for you), you can ask for your own children to be placed in temporary custody.

While things get arranged, and if your job allows, try to have some remote working days, from home. Failing this, Is there anyone from your family - or even her - who you could trust and ask to help for a few days ?

Try a last ultimatum, once everything is set up - and cover yourselfe : mother's words usually have more weight the a father's. Having a couple of witnessed (best) or documented (meh) problems available is necessary.

Finally, I don't know at what age school starts in the UK, but once this is on, it will reduce the time you will have to get someone to care for your kids while you are away, so getting them in school early might also help with your case.

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