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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33699
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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I hope you can help. I live in Spain but am a British

This answer was rated:

Hello, I hope you can help.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I live in Spain but am a British citizen.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I am not sure. A PIN was sent to me by Dorset constabulary back in January 2015 because my ex husband made a harassment complaint against me. But last week in court in the Final hearing for our Financial order he admitted for the first time to violently abusing me and threatening me by pinning me down and pressing a serrated bread knife to my throat.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not yet.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi, I saw this is for Irish law, I need a Uk lawyer so then went onto the Uk site paid for a question submitted it and was asked to pay again so wrote to customer services and am waiting for a response.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What would you like to know about this?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Clare, Are you the same Clare that helped me before? I got blocked because I sent you some papers. If it is you I hope you are well.
My ex has been up to his usual tricks. He said he wouldn't object to a postponement of the FDR hearing then wrote to them to say he would and he knew I was about to leave Spain. Luckily I called the court the day before the hearing. He was very surprised when he saw me there. He'd already got me served with a PIN, but a few days prior to last week's Final hearing for the financial order, he also applied for a non molestation order!
I'd travelled 2,500 Km to get to the hearing, went in on my own and had hoped to rely on my witness statements and the evidence I had but they hadn't been ordered so weren't allowed. He had a barrister and a lawyer. I had proposed that the court find him in contempt for not declaring all his debts from his time back with me, so of course he said he didn't realize he had to declare them. It seems impossible to catch this man out.
In the Witness box he admitted for the first time to abusing me and confessed to pinning me down and holding a serrated bread knife to my throat. I had to survive those years by suppressing my feelings, when he made his admission it triggered the traumas all those years and I became more terrified than I'd ever been in my entire life, I thought he was going to kill me and had to get out of the courtroom as fast as I could. Outside I had the most terrifying visions and started hyperventilating, screaming and shaking all over. i'd heard about this happening to some people and seen similar on the TV but to directly experience it... my God I had no idea! Three staff including the Security guard had to stay with me and it took some while before I calmed a little. The Judge called me back into the courtroom but I was still shaking so much and too afraid to look in my ex's direction to even speak of think of another question. I was powerless throughout the rest of the hearing and so as usual my ex came out on top and got his clean break. The laws are so cold, we don't have a chance.
At least I said I would not agree to his non molestation order so the Judge set out the schedule for the hearing.
His solicitor wrote to me yesterday saying that the judge has ordered a clean break and we can both 'move on' (how many damned times have been told I can do that!) and he'd withdrawn his application for the non molestation order...obviously he'd never have got it anyway after the violence he'd confessed to.
He's always been completely without any remorse or compassion for any of his victims, and that hasn't since his confession, if looks could kill I'd be dead by now.
He still sees my daughter who seems to have forgotten the hell of her childhood and now thinks he's an angel. And unfortunately that means he'll be leading her up the aisle next year, I will be there of course too, with the man who once tried to kill me!
Is there anything I can do...eg:
Appeal the clean break order and how much would it cost and how long do I have?
Can i report him to the police for anything? A non molestation order would be great but my daughter would probably disown me.
I believe I have a very strong case against him for coercive control and violent abuse. Is it a case for the public prosecutor?
Any advice would be great.Jane

HI Jane

How important is it that your daughter stays in touch with you?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Very important, she is in touch with me but we are not close. She adores her dad and confides in him but not with me. I can't be honest with her, especially about him and that puts a strain on our relationship.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I just re read what I first wrote to you and apologize for the badly constructed sentences and grammar. The box was too small!

My concern is that any action you take whatsoever, whilst it is unlikely to change the financial position, will negatively impact your relationship with your daughter.

You can appeal the Final Order on the basis that at that time you were not well enough to continue

You can also report the assault that he admitted to to the UK Police - although whether they will take action is more doubtful

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I had contact the police just before your answer came in and they've taken the details and given me an incident no. They said it was absolutely the right thing to do and were surprised that the judge hadn't done anything.
Domestic abuse must be reported but when you are trapped with an abusive man who controls everything and acts perfectly normal outside it's impossible to do much at all or prove, no one wouldn't have believed me. The police just leave if you are not half dead. Friends, neighbors and family don't really want to know either as most of the time they don't understand and what can they do anyway? Us mums think of the kids before ourselves and that's part of the problem, we don't want to harm their dad's or for their dad's to harm themselves or be taken from them and we don't want them to get hurt either so we forgive our abusers, shield them from it all and become the target and try to suppress our fear and keep the trauma inside.
You said whatever action I take will affect my relationship with my daughter and you are right, it always has and it always will until there is honesty and an end to the denial of what's true and that applies to just about everything. If we want a better world we all need to wake up and face the truth about ourselves and others, not suppress everything and bury our heads in the sand like it's not really happening.
There has been abuse against the women right down the female line of my family for generations and it's always been kept quiet. They've suffered depression, asthma, my great grandmother committed suicide and my mother made two attempts. My daughter also has asthma, sometimes depression and has in the past also had suicidal thoughts as well and she won't talk about her father either or how she felt when it was all going on. Pretending it didn't happen and everything is ok now won't help. She is very vulnerable and I am concerned by her relationship with her dad who never admits to anything.
Her fiance has had a 5 year probationary order hanging over his head for knocking out a man who was attacking a mate of his, it put him into a coma which fortunately he came out of. Luckily there were enough witnesses to prove he was defending his friend. But the whole affair was a wake up call for her fiance, this might just be the wake up call her dad needs too.
My keeping it quiet has not helped me at all either over these many years. If my daughter knows it was me that made the report it will effect my relationship with her, which is why I've asked the police not to tell her. Anyone in the court could have done it.
I won't ask for an appeal although I'm sure I'd get one. I'd rather not have to confront my ex again and face another court battle without lawyers and have to travel over 2,000 km to get there. Money is not the answer anyway.
I feel I've done the right thing and I am sure my ex's work colleagues will be pleased too as they've had trouble with him as well and with a bit of luck his current partner will be more aware and keep safe. I'll wait to hear from the police again before I come back to you. Hopefully I won't need to ask any more questions.
Thank you, I'll be back shortly.
Jane

You are very brave - and I firmly believe you are doing the right thing

I am sorry to have to ask but could you please rate my answer as without a positive rating I do not get paid for my time

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Clare, I am SO sorry I didn't see your reply until now because I had the two threads going. Just Answer told me they couldn't be merged and gave me a different link to access just this question again but I didn't get email notifications of your answers so I missed them. Apologies.
You do not know how wonderful it is to hear you say you believe it's the right thing to do, and yes, it does take courage! Bless you and thank you!
I will definitely give you a good rating so you can be paid but before I do, can I ask you, if I wanted to appeal how long do I have before I am out of time and if I did appeal and I was granted leave to do so, would a new time frame for that be automatically set and how long is it likely to be? I'd have to find a way of getting a lawyer as there's no way I would want to go through it again without one...... difficult without money!
Hope to hear from you soon.
Jane
Just so you know, I've written a draft statement for the police which they now have but they are super busy and this is not their top priority so I am having to wait a long time for them to come back to me. They've told me once the statement is finalized and I've signed it they'll make further enquiries. They won't arrest my ex, they'll ask him to go to into the station for questioning and do a risk assessment, they'll also interview his current partner. Then they'll pass the file onto the public prosecutor who will decide whether to take the case up or not. The police have said that once I've made my statement it will be their responsibility, I cannot tell you what a relief that will be.

Well done

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
can you answer re the appeal, time I have etc?

You can find a helpful article here

http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2015/10/21/how-to-appeal-family-court-rulings-by-holly-lamb/

Clare and 2 other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you Clare. I will wait a while before making the decision whether to apply to appeal out of time. It maybe more fruitful after the police have done their job and my ex has inherited from his mother!
Many thanks for all your help.
Kind regards,
Jane

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