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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am a professional Pre-school teacher, at the moment one ofmy

Customer Question

I am a professional Pre-school teacher, at the moment one ofmy families is going through
a bitter divorce. On one previous occasion I spoke out positively on behalf of the Mother
in a court case in which she was accused of abuse by the father. This was thrown out of court.However the divorce court date has
been made official and the Father is now harrasing me on a personal and professional
level. He handed in a libellous letter to my employers to try to remove me as a key worker
to his child ( possibly to discredit me as a witness), and now I am also getting request
from him to forward any e-mails I might have send to his wife.
What should I re- act with, is he acting illegally trying to corrupt and intimidate a possible
witness?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What evidence have you actually given on behalf of the mother?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He had accused the mother of emotional and physical abusing the childeren. My evidence stated that I have never
had any concerns as a Proffesional other than that she was a very kind,
calm and caring mother whom her daughters adored and spoke of fondly..
That in my opinion this accusation was more to do with the husband
trying to hurt/ upset his wife by using the children as a means to
try for his wife to have limited access to the children thereby punishing
her for leaving him. ( this is a form of child abuse, emotional abuse under
the " working together to safeguard children 2013 App. A).
So my decision to get involved was based on my Proffesional training
Maybe even duty of care to the children.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How old is the child and what are your professional qualifications?]
May I ask why you did not confine your evidence to the first part about your observations of mother and child?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The youngest is four, currently in my care
the eldest 6 used to be in my care untill she went to school.
I have a level 3 NVQ in Children's care, Learning and Development.
On top of that I have a level 3 certificate in Safeguarding for Early Education and Childcare. I am sorry I don't understand the last part of the question, I did say in my first question that I had spoken out positively
on behalf of the Mothere in a court case with an allegation of abuse.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
In your evidence did you limit your observations to the comments about the relationship between the mother and the children - or did you express an opinion on why the father was making the allegations
What are the subjects of the emails exchanged between yourself and the mother?
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did leave an opinion on why I thought
the father was making the allegations based on my knowledge of dealing with many families (15 years), many families going through a divorce
and the bitter battles that creates between parents. The subjects of the e- mails are varied to enquiries for my teenage daughter to babysit, an
invitation to their eldest daughters birthday party. Sometimes I e- mail
her some parents news if the Dad collects i.e next Tuesday it's school-
Photo's. Janka has left her lunchbox at Playgroup you'll need another one.
The parents don't communicate so I try for Janka's sake that she doesn't
miss out.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
So it would be fair to say that there was/is a friendship between you?
(sorry to be intrusive but it is relevant)
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I suppose, we don't socialise apart from the odd children's
birthday party when I am one of many guests.
Unfortunately things have escalated since we started communicating
and he made me feel very uncomfortable by waiting for me at the end of
a road leading to my work place., although we didn't speak it was and
felt ver passive aggressive and left me feeling a little shaken up!
I have reported this to my supervisor at Pre-school.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Your problem is the cross over between your professional responsibilities and your friendship with the mother.
It was utterly right and proper for you to give evidence as to the relationship between the children and their mother - that is a matter of observation and experience and no one could criticise your for doing that.
Where you stepped too far was giving an explanation for the father's actions. Whilst you and I may have the same opinion on his motives - and we may well be right - since neither of us are psychologists that is not an opinion to share with the court - and I will be honest if I had been acting for the mother I would have made sure that you did not express it both because of that reason - and because I would have wished to protect you from what is actually happening now.
With regard to his behaviour if he actually threatens you then call the police.
Equally if you observe him in places where you are but there is no need for him to be then that too could be reported as harassment. This of course does not apply to your workplace on days when he is delivering/collecting the child.
However he is entitled to make a complaint to your employers (however malicious)
With regard to the emails you cannot be forced to produce them - unless you are again intending to speak as a witness for the mother - when a court might well order you to do so.
Please ask if there is anything that I have not covered.
Clare