Our expert says:
Visitation or access rights ought to be decided in regard to the best interests of the child(ren) and not in relation to whether maintenance is paid or the preferences of the parents alone. Generally, i is wisest to have this decided by the court, who can fix maintenance and require him to pay it ( and create problems for him if he doesn't do so ) and can even talk with the children and decide what would be best for them.
With his history of demanding money ( that would probably have counted as kidnap, a crime ) and of refusing to return them, he may have difficulty in convincing a court that he ought to have access. The Child Welfare is NOT entitled to assume that you are abusing the boy simply on the say so of your ex-husband, and must investigate the case more fully. Your lawyer sounds to be acting correctly, and should indeed ask the court to stop him having any rights to see the children, to consider this and his previous actions to be abusive, and to consider sanctioning him for making false claism to Child Welfare and defamation of your character. It sounds very much as though he is abusing the system out of spite against you, rather than in any way to benefit the children.
DO let us know what happens
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