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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28289
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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My ex husband has a history of shop lifting with our daughter

Customer Question

My ex husband has a history of shop lifting with our daughter (who is terrified of police as she was taken into care by them before she was adopted by us), sacked for fraud at work and has a sex addiction that has caused him and his partner to split 3 times in last year (they are now trying to save their relationship). I have stopped access to daughter as he subjects her to a very unstable envirnoment (one minute he lives with Gf then he doesnt) also I cant trust him with her in shops and worried about the porn side of things. He is taking me to court for unsupervised access, what are his chances? All his misdemeanors are in writing admiited by him by the way.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
How old is the child and what contact have you actually offered?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi Claire,


She is nearly 9, she has had off/on contact over the last few years depending on how stale he has seemed. I have offered currently twice weekly phone calls (face time) and occasional face to face supervised visits. He hasnt been to see her since Easter despite me offering contact and he hasnt called her in over a week now. I have spoken to our SW who thinks it needs to go to court and he has "apparently" instructed a first directions hearing, but I have yet to hear. I have told him I am not prepared to have the burden of decsion making any more and that he needs to obtain a judges decision (which of course I will abide by). He keeps asking for unsupervised access and I keep telling him that wont happen until a judge decides. The latest refusla ended up in him saying he was going to fight for full custody. (He has nothing to throw at me, I am a good Mum and daughter is very happy and thriving etc).


I have his ex emplyer willing to provide evidence in court about his fraud and stealing.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Are Social Services still actively involved with your daughter - if so what contact are they suggesting?
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi Claire,


No they arent involved , I just had a friendly chat with our old social worker.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Whilst the law makes it clear that a child is entitled to contact with both parents the Courts must be certain that the contact will be safe for the child and of course in this case there are a number of factors which give cause for concern.
However you could deal with these by offering contact at a local Contact Centre where you can be certain that your child is safe.
If your ex refuses this then you can simply suggest that he makes an application to the court - who will almost certainly suggest that it starts at a local Contact Centre so that his can prove that he is able to make a regular commitment - and build a safe relationship with the child
I hope that this is of assistance - do please ask if you need further information
Claire
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


A very basic answer, and didnt answer my original question

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am sorry that you felt my service was poor meaning that I get no credit for my time.
I am sorry that you feel that I did not answer your question fully.
As I said the law says that a child is entitled to regular contact with both parents so the starting point is that there should indeed be contact if it can be managed in a way that is safe for the child.
The instability of his relationship with his girlfriend certainly mitigates against over night contact but not necessarily against visiting contact - provided that he does not take her home.
However you can argue - very strongly that the history of shop lifting with the child is a major concern.
He will counter argue that he has got over it has had therapy or whatever and there will be no evidence either way.
However if you are offering Contact at the local contact centre - a safe environment - the court will see this as an excellent option and it means that he has no excuse not to attend (as in I don't like you being there etc etc) and he can prove his commitment - always an important issue for the court - but above all else you will have independent evidence if he fails to attend
The fraud and the stealing will not effect the contact as such so there will be no need form evidence from his employer.
No one can give an accurate prediction of the outcome based on the limited information that can be given in this forum - however the basic approach that the court will take is as I have outlined above.
Whilst I fully understand your desire to simply leave it to the court you will get a better reception if you are seen to be taking a pro active approach
If you need further information it woudl be helpful if you could indicate which area you would like me to cover
Claire
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28289
Experience: 25 years experience of all aspects of family law
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for this info, I do currently offer him some contact which he does not participate in. I am confused as to why his lawyer would suggest applying for full access if it seems likely he will be offered contact centre contact initially, due to safety concerns?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi thank you, one more thing, you rightly mention that he will plead he is undergoing therapy (he has booked a weeks resident sex addicts course in June). He has had numerous therapies over the last 20 years, and even saw a psychiatrist when he amitted having murderous thoughts towards the boss who sacked him. Will this history be taken into account too?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He says he hasn't done this for a long time, however he is a pathological liar and lies repeatedly in other areas, so how would he prove in court that he can be trusted ?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Dear Claire,


 


Many thanks for your support so far, I facillitated contact with my ex and my daughter last weekend, and during the visit he deemed it appropariate to strip to his underpants and run the the sprinkler in my front garden. His defence was " Milly told me to" I have also had information come to light that my ex has sexually harassed a previous colleague in a serious manner, she has deemed it right to warn me of this, and is willing to provide me with evidence. I have now stopped him seeing her, do you think this is reasonable ?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I did offer a contact centre at the local nunnery, which he hadnt said yes or no too. I have then withdrawn it for 2 reasons : The sex harassment issue and also my daughter has said she doesnt want to go to the contact centre, I think this be part to do with the fact that she spent 18 months visiting her birth mother in a contact centre before she was adopted. Does this have any bearing?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
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