In case you're not aware of my last two threads:
The situation that arose in that my mother has been having secret access to my daughter and refusing to tell me how she is: https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/5012900121935872/am-overreacting-here
The build up to my solicitors visit: https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/6284953638666240/solicitors-appontment-tomorrow-advice-appreciated
So i've just come back from my solicitors. One in the Albert Dock, Liverpool that specializes in family cases. Two female solicitors were there, one was an associate to the firm and the other a trainee.
They had in front of them some case files of Jehovah's Witness child cases.
I'd be here all day explaining all of it but the salient points are this:
- Unless a court order is in place, neither parent has more rights than the other when it comes to their child.
- Judges are very cautious when dealing with religious organizations. People can believe whatever they like, the only way a judge would impose something is if the child is in danger or risk of harm.
- Courts couldn't care less about parents squabbling, they will go with the best interests of the child.
I think we can all agree that those three points are fair and just?
It used to be the case years ago that they'd favor the mother, but nowadays neither parents has "rights". They have responsibilities. It's the child that has rights. Rights to be fed, clothed, looked after, protected etc.
They asked what concerns i have with my mother having access to my daughter. I brought a long:
- The Secret To Family Happiness and shown them the part about "the rod" being needed to reprove.
- The brochure, Enjoy Life On Earth Forever where it shows graphic pictures of Armageddon.
- The Watchtower 2011, July 15th where it called us "mentally diseased".
- The elders internal document instructing them to hinder medical professionals in administering blood for their JW children http://www.watchtowerwayback.org/jw-wb/English/Internal%20Documents/Blood/BLOOD%20How%20parents%20can%20protect%20their%20children%20from%20isuse%20of%20blood%20(S-55-E)%202010-09.pdf
To say they were surprised in an understatement. The poor trainee was visibly disturbed by the Armageddon picture.
I explained about the shunning and how it destroys families, that my mother is shunning me simply because i left the religion. And if my daughter became a JW then left she'd be shunned too.
After an hour and a half of explaining the situation and my options they said the best thing would be to the the following stages:
- Make my point very clear to my ex that any contact our daughter has with my family is made through me alone. All she has to do is tell them "speak to pale.emperor".
- If that doesn't work, they'll write a strongly worded letter to my ex and my mum advising of the above and the intention to take the matter to court restricting their access entirely or imposing supervised visits.
- If that doesn't work, go to court and ask for supervised visits or restricted access. Also specify no religious instruction is to be given.
- If that doesn't work, court for full custody.
I seriously doubt it'd come to 3 or 4.
They asked why i left the religion. I explained about how controlling it is and the Australian Royal Commission. They were all ears. I explained about the Two Witness Rule and they looked confused and disgusted. I saw the trainee write down "Two witness rule" onto a yellow post-it. Let's hope they google the ARC.
But when i got out of there I called my ex to tell her of my legal standing and that the idea that she has more legal rights than me simply because she's the mother is in fact not true. That spooked her. After 45mins of her asking me "please, why cant they arrange visits with our daughter via me and not you?" and me refusing to budge on it she's relented and said if they ask her she'll tell them to get in touch with me instead.