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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12190
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My sister just recently returned from Australia with her 3

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My sister just recently returned from Australia with her 3 children. Her exhusband is father to the 2 younger children. She fought through the family court in Australia to bring them home. The court orders she has, states she must connect through Skype twice a week with her ex so he can chat with the 2 younger kids. It is setup for Tuesday and Friday night at 7pm. That's Wednesday and Saturday 6am Australian time. Her ex only ever shows for the Tuesday Skype, NEVER the Friday. The children are 6 and 2. Neither child is interested in sitting for 20 minutes, especially as he only ever shows for 1 Skype.
Exhusband is not allowed contact with his stepson due to domestic violence. Care and protection have a file on him in Australia. He was also very controlling and abusive to my sister when together. Her 6 year old gets very upset when it's a Skype night as he doesn't want to do it. The court orders also state her ex can come over to Scotland on school holidays and just take the children for half the holidays. Bearing in mind they are 6 and 2.
Is there anything she can do legally to have these changed. She is trying to move on with her life and settle the children and he keeps holding them back. Her 6 year old is terrified he will be taken away as this is what was always threatened when they lived in Australia. When they split he told her he didn't want the kids if he couldn't have her.
He knows the only way he can hurt her is through the kids. She is terrified he'll come here and she has to hand over her children. My 2 year old niece doesn't even know him
Thank you for your question.
She can go to the court on Scotland as the children are now habitually resident in Scotland and the court here has jurisdiction. She can seek the necessary orders preventing removal of the children from her care and any other orders require to protect the children's interests. She will have to argue that the Australian court order is not working properly.
A good family lawyer near to her local sheriff court will require to be engaged.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If her ex husband just turns up in her doorstep and wants the children, does she have to let them go?
Her daughter is only 2 years old and refused to go with him when they lived in Australia. Her 6 year old doesn't want to go and says he is scared he won't come back. This is because his dad used to tell him he would pick him up from school and they could just go away.
He constantly told my sister while they were in Australia he could take the kids whenever he wanted and she couldn't stop him.
No he can't do that and she doesn't. He would be charged with child abduction.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That is good news.
My sister has lived in fear of this man for too long. Even now, living back in Scotland, she still fears for herself and the children.
What if he gives her notice he is coming and the children get emotionally distressed, does she have to let them go?
No, same as before, she doesn't.
She should get a court order in Scotland as advised, if she has a genuine and reasonable concern that he will try to take the children.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. I think that's what we will be advising her to do. She is never going to move on with this mans constant threats. As he knows the only way to get to her now is through the children.
This situation is not uncommon and she has to be strong and counter his threats.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
You have helped ease my parents and my mind.
I think the soon we get her started on this process the better. She will have to apply through legal aid as she is unemployed.
Her children are everything to her and if she lost them it would destroy her.
I hope it works out for her. Don't hesitate to ask for me in the future if you need any other help. I am a Scots solicitor and have some 29 years experience in family law issues.