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Seeking advice for my friend during ugly custody battle

(2 Posts)
bellbottom Tue 20-Oct-09 19:27:53

Hi everyone,

I'm looking on behalf of my friend who is going through a horrific time with her ex during a custody battle.

We live abroad here, but as its still europe I imagine some advice and tips may apply to her as well.

She's italian. Her son has joint nationality - both of this country and italy. His father is from here.

She left him when her son was small as he became abusive. He then even tried to strangle her one time in front of her child. She went to the court and they ignored her story. They've given him custody every weekend! This means she has no relaxation time with her son outside of work. Plus, he has the right to stop her from going on holiday with her son if he likes! And moving back to Italy is out of the question for her.

As well as locally, she also has a custody case going on with the Italian courts. Her ex has been ringing her and making threats. He says he will ' finish what he started' if she doesn't drop the case. So he's basically theratening her life, without using those words. Shes trying to record the conversation as evidence, but she'e been told that unless he spells it out to her then the conversation is worth nothing.

The point is that he's a dangerous and unstable man. And the fact that he has the right to his son every weekend is worrying, but also a great injustice to her.

I feel so frustrated knowing about an ignorant legal system that is supposed to act on behalf of abused women and protect children. And that she can't even leave the country is making her a prisoner here and only adding to her desperate feelings that have built up over a long and stressful legal battle. How can that be healthy for her and her son?

Has anyone been through something similar and can you offer any tips at all for her? What would be the best step to take now? Bearing in mind that it has already cost her a fortune in legal fees, as well as stress damage.

I feel there must be some way to stop this man from having the right to ruin her son's life and hers.

Thankyou. All help is appreciated.

mmrred Tue 20-Oct-09 21:43:55

I think it is very difficult to give help as a friend as you only have her side of the story (don't mean that in a nasty way, just that the court see both sides and have a different perspective) Your best bet is to advise her to get legal advice in whatever country she and the child reside in, as there's no such thing as weekend 'custody' in the UK (we have Residence, Joint Residence, and Contact) and I have no idea how she can be having two custody cases going on in two countries. In the UK, a Resident Parent can take the child out of the country without the consent of the other parent for up to 28 days.

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