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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I'm female, have a 12 years old son and have been separated

Customer Question

Hi. I'm female, have a 12 years old son and have been separated from his dad for 9.5yrs. We live in London, the dad lives in Jersey. They see 2 or 3 times a year and despite issues over the years I've done my best to keep things out of court. He's never had him for more than 8-10 days at a time on the rare occasion and never agreed to set up a holiday schedule, requesting him when he feels.
He got married in April this year and suddenly asked to have our son for alternate mid terms and fir 2 weeks during summer. My son has had issues at school because he doesn't like his head being touched and has got into fights over this. His dad us aware though he brushes it off as unimportant. I cut my son's hair for this reason. When he went to Zimbabwe for his dad's wedding, the dad tried to cut his hair but he refused. When he wentt to him in Jersey during summer, his dad held him down and sat on him in order to cut his hair. He afterwards taunted him, saying he couldreport to me the next day. My son was crying but the wife didnt intervene. This scared my son and put fear in me too.
I have told the dad that I will not be sending our son to him in Jersey this mid term as previously agreed as I fear for his safety and my son is also not comfortable going to him. I said for now if he were to come to London I would have no problem with contact though I wouldn't be willing for him to sleep over. After telling him this, he said my son is a child and can't say whether or not he can see him, only the courts can. He then proceeded to book tickets for him to travel this weekend. I've not replied him - a lot this is via email . I've continued to answer his calls so he can speak to my son.
I want to know my legal standing in terms of being concerned about my son and keeping him away from the dad as a form of protection. I also want to know what legal action, if any, I can take to prevent him from being forced to go to his dad and any other advice you can give. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Are there any court orders in place, if so what are the terms?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, there aren't any court orders in place. We've kept it out of the courts so far.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for confirming. If the father's actions have led to emotional harm towards your son then you would have reasonable grounds to restrict contact and given that there are no orders in place the father cannot enforce the previous arrangements. However, your son has a right to a continued relationship with his father and the father would be entitled to apply to the English courts for a child arrangement order and the court will decide, based on the history and facts as to whether the potential issues are welfare issues and whether contact should take place in Jersey.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your response. I still need to know what I can do through the legal system, if anything, to protect my son.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thanks - as outlined if the father's actions have led to emotional abuse you can restrict contact arrangements and it would be for the father to apply to court for a child arrangement order to see him.