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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32826
Experience:  Over twenty-five years experience
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My 8 year old daughter is due to go on holiday with her father

Customer Question

My 8 year old daughter is due to go on holiday with her father soon and he intends to take her on a ferry. There is a long history that Clare family lawyer knows about, but as I need urgent advice I am sending a question to whoever can help. In a nutshell, her father was found as an unsafe sailor in a family court, during a fact finding on domestic violence. He is not permitted to take our daughter on a sailing vessel until she is 11 - this was agreed by consent. My daughter has picked up on some anxieties of mine about this, but I have NOT raised issues of concern in her presence, nor his, about a passenger ferry.
My daughter told me twice yesterday that she does not want to go on the ferry with Father but that he is insisting. His new family (2 children and partner) voted on whether or not to go on a ferry and she was outvoted. She appears genuinely scared of going on the sea with them. She has asked me to tell him that she does not want to go. I have said I will. She has said that she doesn't want to go at all on holiday too because she said that Father may say he will not take her on the ferry if I ask him to do so, and then force her anyway. I have asked why she is afraid of the ferry and she said it is from films and stories. She has said she does not want to see her father until he agrees he will not take her on a ferry and that as a result of not believing him she doesn't want to go on holiday at all with him.
Should I speak to Father? (He is not a reasonable person and hates to feel controlled in any way) Or should I arrange a chat with him here at our home, with her here? Or should I state I intend to withold contact unless he promises not to take her on a ferry? Should I with hold contact completely? Or should I force her to go screaming and shaking with him?
Thanks
J
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
If there is a court order which states that he is not allowed to take her on any sort of sailing vessel until she is 11 then this is a breach of this order. You should discuss this with him immediately. I would not encourage the conversation in front of the child. You should try and find a resolution.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, there is a court order stating he is not permitted to take her on a sailing vessel until she is 11.

I do not think that a ferry is a sailing vessel though, and nor does he. The formal definition of a sailing vessel is a vessel propelled by sails.

I have said to him that I will not oppose him taking her on to a ferry. However, she appears distressed about it.

I did not oppose him taking her on a ferry because I thought the court would think this unreasonable. I presume that with professionals in charge of the ferry, she would be safer than if he took her onto his yacht which, in the past, he was dangerous on with adults and children. But I will do what I must to protect her. Can you suggest please what I say to Father?

Thank you

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
I would simply remind father that he should not be having such adult conversations in front of the child. She is clearly distressed and we need to work together to help her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I was referring to how I should approach the subject of going on a ferry with father. Should I say I oppose the ferry given the Order? And on the basis she says she is and appears distressed. He has not discussed these matters with her. He has simply said she HAS to go on the ferry with them.
Do you think it reasonable to oppose her going on a ferry? I am happy to provide further information.
Father dies not like to talk to me but he emails me and I email him.
I need to know whether to support my daughters opposition or whether to encourage her onto a ferry with F.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Ok I think you realise that the court would not stop him from using the ferry. I think what needs to happen is that she is given support and encouragement to go on the trip. I agree that I think it could have been handled much better from father.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have tried to do this - but she has a real fear of the sea. I will do this (encourage her) but what do I do if she can not cope with the idea, despite my attempts, and continues to be genuinely distressed? She is asking me to tell him she does not want to go, so what do I do if she then becomes even more distressed? I do't want to let her down.

Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
The difficulty is that you will not be there where she gets on to the ferry. The court would want you both as parents to encourage her that it is safe and she should go on holiday. If things get too much then you would have to refer her to the GP etc..
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. So you're suggesting I tell her she has to go initially? Could you clarify what you mean by her GP etc please? Are you suggesting if she got very distressed to take her to a GP? And when you say etc what do you mean? Thanks
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
Yes. If she gets very distressed that it is causing emotional distress then a letter from a GP would be of help. Hopefully this will all settle down.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Can you let me know how distressed were talking about please. I have no idea at what stage I would need to do something. Thank you
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 1 year ago.
I think that is a matter for you - if this leads to bet wetting - then you would be looking at the GP. I think that level. I hope this helps.Please remember to rate.

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