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Advice for my friend in a Womens' refuge - access/maintenance

(5 Posts)
boggis Mon 22-Dec-14 10:09:37

My friend is in a refuge with her toddler. She is from overseas and the child is a British citizen. She left her job in the home country to come to UK and married the man (UK citizen but also citizen of MidEast country) He has worked abroad in Europe and had pretty much been absent for much of the child's life but when he was here financially and emotionally abused her and once, physically. It has been logged with the police, along with a couple of other incidents over the past year.

She has had no contact with him apart from a solicitor's letter demanding joint (well, actually 4 days out of the week) custody of the child. The court date is set for next month.

She has received permission to remain in the UK and has just received benefits (though not much, most goes on the refuge payments) and the meagre funds she has will run out.

He refuses to divorce her or pay maintenance. How will this work? What shall she do? How on earth would she be able to afford to travel to town to deliver the child to him on the pittance she has.

She is understandably upset, her main wish is to go back to her home country but obviously she is trapped here.

Any advice welcome. Thanks

CogitOIOIO Mon 22-Dec-14 16:17:02

Does she have legal representation?

Quitelikely Mon 22-Dec-14 16:32:02

I think she can apply online for child maintenance payments.

IAmAShitHotLawyer Mon 22-Dec-14 19:38:46

If she is a victim of domestic abuse she will get legal aid and so should start looking for a solicitior.

The support workers In the refuge will help her with all of this.

He can't refuse to divorce her. If she has decided she wants a divorce then the law will let her have this.

Maintenance payable through the CMS

boggis Mon 29-Dec-14 08:05:20

Thank you for answering (I shall also post in Legal) - sorry I was away for Christmas.

She has seen a few lawyers before entering the refuge (one very expensive one paid for by a neighbour who said he wasn't violent enough for her to claim legal aid) and she has since seen an immigration lawyer in order for her to settle her leave to remain in the UK.

I think she has seen a lawyer she will speak to when she is back from holiday but she is worried that this court hearing is very soon and she will be unprepared, possibly unrepresented (she has NO money at all apart from child benefit and something else)

Interestingly, the man in question has told a neighbour that he plans on taking another job abroad and letting the flat in the UK. So how on EARTH will he be able to look after his child?

She has the child's passport and has written to put a stop on him applying for a copy.

She is concerned he is angling for main carer status so he can avoid maintenance (he is 100k salary-ish). She has never worked in the country.

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