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I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.
Is there an order or agreement about custody and access?Are you asking about where the child is for the day or is this about where the child is sleeping?How old is the child?
So what are the arrangements in terms of where the child regularly lives?And how long is the other parent taking the child for?Why won't the other parent say where the child will be sleeping?
She likely does have to tell the Dad.
There is no basis for her not telling someone who has joint custody (de facto because there is no court order) that he cannot know where the child is living.
The police will not help much but will only check to make sure the child is safe.
But a Court will not tolerate this and this will hurt her in Court. It is odd that the lawyer is advising her this way. I am not sure that is what the lawyer is saying to be frank.
Does that help as a starting point?
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The Dad can refuse to hand over the child.
The police will not assist the mother either.
But that also will make the father look bad in court.
Though the father can say that he will hand over the child just as soon as he has confirmation as to where the child will be.