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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11757
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Hi,My uncle is now divorced from his wife and is trying to

Resolved Question:

Hi,
My uncle is now divorced from his wife and is trying to sort out her not allowing him/making it very difficult to see his autistic son (13). His wife insisted the court only allow him to meet his son at a children's centre 20miles away, where there is nothing to do as they only provide toddler and baby toys. My uncle doesn't have a lot of money and is self employed and certainly cannot afford to take his son out a lot. He ex insists the son doesn't want to go to his dad's and because of his severe autism it is very hard to prove. Last time, a nice judge said he should carry on meeting his son at the centre until (June) when it would be reviewed and hopefully, having had his mum prepare him to go to his dad's, my uncle could take him home for visits. There has never been any reason given as to why she didn't want him to go home other than being unsettled and biting himself.

Last week, another judge (not the one who said in June he could stop going to the centre for visits) at the review hearing, said the centre visits must continue until October and be reviewed then. My uncle is so upset as the judge said visits will start off at two hours but yen increase up to six hours.....but still at the centre. What on earth he will do at the centre for six hours nobody knows!! Surely, his legal aid solicitor can appeal and use the record from the previous (understanding) judge to say that he should be now visiting him and taking him home to his house? Why wouldn't the second judge have seen/acknowledged the previous judge's decision and how can this be changed? Why wasn't that decision taken into account?
Many thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

What was the reason given for continuing the visits at the contact centre? Did his solicitor raise the issue of the previous sheriff's comments? What were the wife's solicitor's comments on that?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi,
My uncle said it didn't seem as though the the second judge had actually read the previous person's notes because he didn't relate to anything that had been said previously.

The sheriff said that in a couple of years the child would be old enough to decide whether or not he visited his father (even though he is autistic and generally communicates by copied/learnt speech and actions) and that in order for him to visit at home, the mother said the child would need to be prepared prior to visits. However, the previous judge said that was why he had to see him at the centre.....to prepare him for home visits, yet that was six months ago.

The mother had said that her son didn't want to visit his father and so I think that was why the second judge said he had to continue seeing him at the centre. No other reason was given for not seeing him at home. My uncle is 62 and his mother 40 so a big age gap and obviously my uncle isn't going to be tearing here there and everywhere to entertain his son. He just wants regular home visits so they can cook together, go for walks (they live in a very rural location) use his computer etc where his son knows the area because that's where he grew up. At the children's centre, no facilities for any of the above are available and there are no nearer centres to where my uncle lives, all he wants is to be able to collect his son from school on a Friday and have him at home for the weekend.

The solicitor (who has been pretty useless as she is snowed under with legal aid work), didn't suggest anything or raise the previous sheriffs comments. The wife just kept saying how her son doesn't want to go to see his dad. But he is fine when he sees him for visits at the centre. Sometimes he says something negative like "only see daddy for 29 minutes" over and over again , parrot fashion but other than they have fun.
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Your uncle should change his lawyer immediately and arrange for a new lawyer to reenrol an application for extended contact. It appears that his point of view is not being put over to the court.

He should call the Law Society and ask for a recommendation for a specialist family lawyer.
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