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Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2607
Experience:  Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
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We are having some difficulties with my girlfriend's ex

Customer Question

Hi.We are having some difficulties with my girlfriend's ex husband.She has a child aged 11.He always interferes with everything. We have rules like she has to be in bed by 9pm, he tells her that he will take us to court so that she doesn't have to abide to our rules. This upsets everything we try to achieve. At his house he doesn't even have a bed for her, she has to sleep in the same bed as him, she is scared to drive with him because he is mainly drunk. He has physically abused my girlfriend (she has photos), he refuses to give her property back (electronics etc) and always mistreats her. What are we to do in this situation?The divorce is still underway but he refuses to sign all the papers and hand them back.All these little things like he doesn't want to give the child's clothes back, her cellphone.. Refuses us to call her when she is with him. Keeps planting stuff in her head that is not real to turn her against us.Please advice.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 8 months ago.

Good morning,

Thank you for your question. I will try to assist you in answering it today but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

You are describing something that is really quite upsetting. When "adults" do not know and understand that a divorce is traumatic for children as it is, and then proceed to use the child as a tool or weapon in a divorce. They have no concept of the harm they are doing to the child(ren).

Having said that, from what you have written, it appears as though the father's situation is not ideal for the child, and you should get Social Services and the family advocate involved. At the very least, the father will have to provide a separate bed for the daughter.

In the meantime it would be wise, no matter how difficult of seemingly impossible it is, for both parents to attend some form of parenting course so that the father can grasp the importance of still maintaining a united front, and being consistent in applying the rules and disciplining the child.

I hope this answered your question.

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Regards