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some advice re shared custody, please

(11 Posts)
OldernotWiser47 Sat 27-Oct-12 22:00:13

My friend (posted about her before) is being taken to court. Long story. ExH was going to get caution for assault, so he can continue working/earning/ pay maintenance. However he has declined, and is going to court-he wants charges dropped and sole custody of 2 DC. She is in pieces.
I am certain he has no chance in hell. What I'm concerned about is this: he will get unsupervised access, then take DCs to his mother and refuse to return them.
Can he do that? If they are left with his mother, will friend be able to retrieve them (with police if required) as grandmother has not got PR? Even if he says he wants them to stay there?
No idea, my Ex did me a favour and vanished .Thanks for any help!

ecclesvet Sat 27-Oct-12 22:19:54

She should speak to a solicitor, yesterday. It's impossible to say what can or can't happen without way more details.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 27-Oct-12 22:34:26

This will be two separate court cases, yes? A criminal one where he will face the charge of assault and perhaps be found guilty, and a civil case where a man facing that charge (or, tbf, perhaps having been found innocent) is applying for residence of the dc.

It is vanishingly rare for a father to get "sole custody" and it's not gonna happen in this case.

If he does get unsupervised access and leaves them with his mum of course your friend can ask for them back, but I'm not sure if the police would get involved (and they certainly won't if their dad is there). I imagine it might depend on the court order.

Your friend needs to see a lawyer.

izzyizin Sat 27-Oct-12 22:39:16

He's declined to accept a caution for assault and his case is going for trial in the Magistrates Court? If so, there's no option for him to ask for charges to be dropped and he'll be required to plead guilty or not guilty and take the consequences.

Without knowing considerably more about this matter it's not possible to give an informed opinion, but it would seem highly unlikely that a Family Court will award sole custody of the dc to your friend's xh.

If your friend believes there is a risk that the dc will not be returned to her, she should make her concerns known to a solicitor with a view to arranging contact to take place at an accredited centre or make application for residency or a pso.

OldernotWiser47 Tue 30-Oct-12 01:22:17

Sorry, 12 hour shift Sunday and today, so didn't get a chance to read/ answer.
Thank you so much for answering. Yes, he has declined a caution in favour of going to court.
He is a nasty piece of work, he is threatening to do all sorts, from kill her and make it look like suicide, to have her sectioned, to removing her children and have them brought up by his mother, and everything else you can think of. There is a definite risk he won't return DCs. She uses a contact center atm
It also seems he has been telling GP that she is mad/ paranoid for about a year!!!

She has a solicitor. She does not seem very experienced, and her advice seems a bit 'odd' at times. That said, Dfriend is in a state and often does not listen well enough to relay/understand answers correctly. He has done a real head job on her, she is so scared of him she can't think straight.

izzyizin Tue 30-Oct-12 02:06:42

If he's declined a caution, he'll be making an appearance in the Magistrates Courts on a criminal charge of most probably common assault and will be tried accordingly. Is it probable that your friend will be called to give evidence against him?

This case will have no bearing on the dc although it may serve to demonstrate that any contact he has with them should continue to be supervised if he makes application in the Family Court for variation of existing contact arrangements.

Presumably your friend is documenting all/any threats he makes against her? Is she divorced or is a divorce pending? Does she have a non-molestation Order against him? Is she in touch with Women's Aid and have the police identitfied her as being at risk of further incidents of dv?

In what way does your friend's solicitor's advice seem 'odd'?

cestlavielife Tue 30-Oct-12 11:40:07

tell your friend to record all threats to police and not to worry - he is not going to get sole residence of children unless very good reason - eg she is unable to care for dc.
and in that case given his history it may be SS would maybe prefer the dc went into foster care .
if all his threats and violence is recorded and reported to police then it looks unlikely he would get sole residence at this juncture.

tell your friend to call womens aid, find a local womens aid advocate and report everything tio police and solicitor get transcripts of any and all texts and threats etc.

if tehr eare any reaosns at all why your friend has any issues regarding her care of the dc eg illness? alcohol? what??? she needs to be upfront and seek the right help so she can be supported.

so long as she can provide eviendec (and fact he is going to court over assault is good evidence) then she should not worry and should get a solciitor to present her case -if first sol isnt good try another

OldernotWiser47 Tue 30-Oct-12 17:43:07

This is assault case against her- he has another one pending against someone else
Yes, non-molestation order as part of bail conditions, and in contact with police DV team. I don't think she has contact with WAS, though I gave her the number ages ago.
Solicitor does not seem very experienced with DV, and seems to be giving her the impression that, because he has many witnesses (family who will say whatever he wants, very toxic set up) he can get custody.
All threats are/ were verbal.
Divorce pending, not applied yet.
No medical history AFAIK. There is/were MH issues in her family, which is what he beats her with, but not in herself- apart from the situational anxiety

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 30-Oct-12 20:38:48

She needs a new solicitor, that one sounds worse than useless. She should contact her local Women's Aid and ask for their recommendation.

OldernotWiser47 Tue 30-Oct-12 21:08:50

My words exactly!

cestlavielife Wed 31-Oct-12 14:07:00

there is no way ex would get sole residency unless for example dc already living with him and she has some serious problems.

worst that can happen is shared residence fifty fifty but if she is speaking to police dv unit etc then depends on evidence etc.

she needs to speak to some other solicitors.

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