A Family Law Case Study – Client Situation
Miss S had a young son. She had been a victim of domestic violence by her former partner, the child’s father, shortly after their child was born and she’d left him.
Miss S wanted to obtain a Non Molestation Order from the Court to stop her former partner from harassing her or having any contact with her.
Unfortunately, instead of securing a Non Molestation Order, which can lead to a criminal conviction if breached, Court undertakings (a promise to the Court) were made instead. This meant that although he promised not to contact her, harass her or come to her house, once the promise was breached, Miss S couldn’t easily report it to the Police and have him arrested.
Following the conclusion of the Non Molestation proceedings, her former partner had immediately began to harass her again and he applied to the Court for a Child Arrangement Order for the child to live with both parents, often called a Shared Care Order.
Miss S had genuine concerns about her former partner having any contact with her son and was extremely upset to think he could be awarded shared care. Not only was he violent, he was a drug user who also abused alcohol and had a criminal record too.
Miss S felt that she was being stalked by her former partner. She felt uncomfortable and was worried about how her son would be affected if she was made to share care with her former partner.
How We Helped
Miss S contacted our Family and Child Law Solicitors for legal advice and help. One of our Polish speaking Family Solicitors advised Miss S about leaving the UK and moving back to Poland without the father’s permission.
Miss S was still suffering from the impact of the domestic violence, the continued harassment from her former partner and with the worry that he would actually be given shared care.
In addition, her family was in Poland and they would be there to offer their help and support to her and her son.
It’s always hard to convince a Judge in the Family Court that it’s best to allow a child to be removed permanently from England or Wales without good evidence that the benefits of moving to another country outweighs the detriment of losing a relationship with the remaining parent.
Nevertheless, we helped Miss S to make a Specific Issue Order application to the Court.
We gathered evidence about the domestic violence that Miss S had suffered. She also requested a hair strand test from Miss S’s former partner. This test confirmed that he was continuing to use drugs. The Court also ordered for his criminal record to be disclosed.
In addition to all the evidence about why her former partner was an issue, we had to show that Miss S’s life, and that of her son, would be much improved with a move back to her home country of Poland.
Our Family and Child Law Solicitors also gathered evidence to show the level of support she would receive from her family, the quality of housing she could expect to live in, the schools that her son would attend once he was old enough and make comparisons to show that it was more favourable in Poland for them both.
At the Final Hearing, the Judge reviewed all the evidence given to him. He decided that Miss S’s child would have a better life in Poland and that those benefits outweighed any loss he would suffer from the limited contact with his father and granted the Specific Issue Order.
The Judge also ruled that if Miss S’s former partner went to visit his son in Poland, any visits would need to be supervised.
For information about taking a child to live outside of the UK see Can Family Law Stop Me from Relocating Overseas with My Child?
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