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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1494
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I separated with my ex partner almost 2 years ago and since

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Hi, I separated with my ex partner almost 2 years ago and since then our son has been living with me. He has regular contact with his father, every Monday and Wednesday 6 pm to 8pm and Friday 6 pm until Saturday morning. They also spend together every second Sunday. My ex partner has always been verbally abusive towards me and recently has started threatening me that he will take my son away from me if I don't go his way in whatever he says. He has also caused several scenes in front of my son and if he stands up for me he shouts at him and tells him to leave. I am scared and would like what I would have to do to make sure my little boy cannot be taken away from me. Please advise.

Hello

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will assist you.

I am sorry to hear what has been happening.

Please may I ask:

- how old is your son?

- are there any current court orders in place?

- have you reported any of the incidents to the police?

- when was the last incident?

- is the father named on the birth certificate?

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Caroline,thank you for your response. My son is 5.5 years old, his father's name is ***** ***** birth certificate, the last incident was today and I have not reported any incidents to the police and there are no court orders. I thought it would be best for my son to try and work the arrangements out between us, obviously it's not working.

Hello

Thank you for your response and for clarifying that for me.

I am very sorry to hear what is happening.

I want to reassure you first of all, that as you have already told me, you are the main carer for your son. Whilst it is true that if the father was to remove your son from your care, then as he has parental responsibility then the police may not initially assist you in relation to your son being returned without a court order confirming that your son lives with you. Please however do not worry, as should this happen you can apply to court straight away and ask to be heard by a Judge asap, usually the same day or within a few days max, and given that you have always been the main carer for your son then a court will highly likely make an order that he is immediately returned to you.

If the father took such action then he would also diminish your trust in him and a court would appreciate this.

I am concerned about how the father is treating you and how your son is witnessing this behaviour. I do consider that you should consider reporting such behaviour to the police so they can at least warn him about his behaviour. If such behaviour continues the police ma also look to charge him. If the police do not take this action to protect you then you can consider applying to the family court for a non molestation order to prevent such behaviour and if an order is made and the father does continue with such behaviour he can be arrested and if found guilty sent to prison for upto 5 years so they are serious orders.

The father needs a clear message that you will not put up with this type of behaviour.

If you think that the relationship between you son and his father is a good one, when the father does not have the opportunity to be abusive to you then give consideration to someone else facilitating the hand-over so that the father does not have this opportunity.

I am concerned to hear about how the father speaks to you son. I do not know if this is just like this when you are there or not. If the father continues with such action then you may want to consider reducing or stopping contact to protect your son from emotional harm.

Normally children matters have to go to mediation before they can apply to court but if this was an urgent case of your son not being returned as detailed above you can by-pass mediation.

You can also by-pass mediation if you are a victim of domestic violence. DV is wide ranging and includes physical, financial and emotional abuse.

You can still get legal aid for children matters depending on your means but you also need DV evidence police. As the matter has not previously been referred to the police then I suggest that you consider going to your GP with this letter and telling your GP what has happened. Ask your GP to refer you to a DV service and also fill out the letter for you.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/referrals-to-specialist-domestic-violence-support-services-health-professionals

Once you have the letter take it to your local family solicitor so that they can undertake a free legal aid assessment of your means. If you qualify the solicitor will be ablw to write to the father to try and agree matters and if that doesn't work they can apply to court for an order to confirm that your son lives with you and also for the court to consider the fathers behaviour and what is safe for your son in relation to spending time with him.

Its worth getting the letter asap as if the father was to keep the child, you can be assessed for legal aid asap and apply for an immediate order for return.

Let me know if I can assist you further

kind regards

Caroline

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