Mother still on the run after custody decision goes against her

By Lenore Rice

A woman who was involved in a custody battle with her ex-partner over their son remains in hiding with her 3 year-old after the court ruled that the boy should live with his father.

Rebecca Minnock, aged 35, separated from her child's father in February 2013 and a month later he applied for contact. Ethan, now aged 3, had lived with his mother since the separation, but on 27th May this year a judge ruled that he should live with his father and have supervised contact with this mother. In his findings the judge said Ms Minnock had made false allegations and actively blocked contact between the father and son. A child psychiatrist, social worker and guardian were all agreed on the outcome.

Ms Minnock went into hiding with her son and a number of her family members were arrested and subsequently released as the judge said there was not sufficient proof that they were withholding information. Rebecca contacted the Sun newspaper to confirm that she and the boy were ok, and said that she "couldn't bear to leave [her] son", and that she knew she was going to be in "a huge, huge amount of trouble".

Courts are regularly hearing custody battles involving separated couples, and understandably one of the parents will not be satisfied with the result. The next important step after the court ruling on child residence and contact is to try to work towards a healthy arrangement that best suits the emotional well-being of the child, and if the court order allows for it, a contact arrangement that means the child will have contact with both parents. Failing to comply with the court order will only makes things worse, and could result in the non-complying parent losing contact with their child completely.

If you require legal advice in respect of a child residence or child custody matter following a divorce or separation, contact one of the family law solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363.

Or submit your details for a callback at a time of your convenience by clicking here.