After an ongoing battle between a Frenchman and a Chinese woman over custody of their two children, the bitter episode is still raging.
The pair met last week at Lumpini police station where the children were to be returned to the mother as originally ordered by the court. But the two children staunchly resisted, resulting in a chaotic situation.
A multidisciplinary team from the Children’s Welfare Protection Division of the Department of Children and Youth, and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, who were there when the exchange of the children was to take place, refused to let the children go back to either of the parents.
The four stayed at Chulalongkorn Hospital for a week for psychological assessments. Both parents were called in for assessments. The result seems to have favoured Cedric Servan, the father of two children. He now has temporary custody of his children until the next court hearing at the Family Court in Chon Buri on Nov 1.
Since the case came under the spotlight, Mr Servan was the only one willing to appear before the media. But the Chinese mother, who requested to have her identity withheld, contacted the Bangkok Post to exclusively tell her side of the story.
“He lies about everything,” the mother said. “If our children were really abused, why did he still let the kids come to stay with me without even telling me about it? He originally told the media he knew since October 13 but he still sent the kids to come to stay with me.
“Of course, I am on my children’s side. I would definitely protect them if I know what’s going on with them. That’s what a good mother does and I am a good and caring mother.”
She said she didn’t think her new lover would harm her children since he has two children of his own and he spent most of his time with her. The house where they stayed also has many CCTV cameras. Therefore, it would be difficult to sexually abuse the children without getting caught by the cameras, she said.
Even though the chance is almost zero, the Chinese mother still has 1% doubt in her new lover. They started to have arguments about personal matters. The mother became stressed about her children’s plight and was unable to maintain the relationship with her new lover. Therefore, she ended her two-year relationship with him six months ago and has been single since.
The mother tried to appear calm but with many issues since her children were separated from her in February, she couldn’t hold back her tears of devastation. She said she thought the media was on Mr Servan’s side and didn’t care what actually happened.
“I don’t oppose the idea of sending my kids to study and stay in France but I worry they wouldn’t make it since the father is unstable,” she said.
“He has no job and he has no money. I am, in fact, the breadwinner of the house. I paid for my kids to go to school. I cover their monthly expenses. I once gave cash to the father to pay for the school but he spent it on something else.
“He was a very good father before. I used to be more responsible before we moved together to Pattaya. For some reason, he has changed. He spent a lot of time at bars.
“When I was about to give birth to our son, he was still at the bar. I had to call him to take me to the hospital, which he did on a motorbike. Then he become more of a playboy afterwards. He started to get involved with other women. That’s when I decided to separate from him.”
The mother decided to separate from Mr Servan but she still continued to support the children. They had shared custody. The shared custody went well until Mr Servan found out from his children that they were allegedly being sexually molested by the mother’s new lover. That’s when the father decided to stop sending the kids to their mother because he was concerned about the children’s safety.
The mother said every time she got to spend time with the children, they were very happy. She said they missed her and looked forward for the time to be with her. Things began to change when Mr Servan held on to the children without sharing custody with the mother as ordered by the court.
“He didn’t even allow me to contact the kids. When we finally met again last week at Lumpini police station, they were very happy to see me. They came to me and kissed me. But when they were asked if they wanted to go back with mother, their behaviour began to change. They were stressed and started to cry. I told them they don’t have to choose me, do what makes you happy,” she said.
“They pulled my hair and kicked me while they were crying. But as soon as we arrived at the hospital, when the father was not in their presence, they changed back to be sweet kids again. They told me that they were sorry to hurt me.”
Mr Servan said his former wife had lied. He said he was financially secure. He has a company in Hong Kong and two houses in France as well as €54,000 (2.1 million baht) in his bank account in Hong Kong.
Pairat Suebkajorn, the lawyer of the mother, said she will fight in court for custody since the order that came out is just a temporary one. The lawyer will appeal the new custody order on Nov 1. – Bangkok Post