The EastEnders actor, Dancing on Ice star and winner of I’m a Celebrity… Joe Swash, has recently opened up about the custody battle he faced over his son Harry, with his ex-fiancée Emma Sophocleous.
Speaking to the ‘Step Life’, a podcast about what it means to be a step-parent, Swash discussed the difficulties he faced in 2008 when he and Sophocleous split and Harry was around seven months old.
“With me and Harry, it was tricky with his mum. We had to go to court and stuff like that. So in hindsight it’s a great thing. But it’s been a strange one for Hal, he’s had to do a lot of adapting. I do feel quite sorry for Hal for what he’s had to go through.”
Swash discussed how court “changed their lives” and he went on to explain that “It’s just one of those things, his mum and I weren’t agreeing on certain things and we had to go to court. We had to do it that way. And that’s what court’s there for, to sort things out. And it [did] exactly that. It’s changed our lives.”
In the interview, Swash described how he had no regrets, explaining that “I always said to my mum, when I was in court fighting for Hal, I wouldn’t want to spend my money on anything else apart from wanting to see my kid. And it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.” His advice to parents facing similar difficulties was to “stick with it”: ‘If anyone’s going through anything like that, having trouble seeing their kids as well, you just got to stick with it.”
More than a decade after his Court battle, Swash discussed that things had never been better between he and his son Harry, now aged 13: “Me and Hal, we’re in each other’s lives on a daily basis now, we talk to each other every day, we see each other every couple of days, he only lives 20 minutes away from me and at the beginning, maybe even five years ago, it’s completely different to what it is now.”
When asked about his former relationship with Sophocleous and the impact of their breakup on Harry, Swash explained: “You know, it’s not their fault that I’m not with Harry’s mum. It’s not the kid’s fault. You know, it’s something that we’ve done. It was decisions we made. So none of this is their fault. So as long as we remember that and go, right, this is what we do.”
At Maguire Family Law we are experts in helping parents who are facing difficulties with their ex-partners over children. The road is tough, but as Swash says in his interview, if you can “stick with it”, it will be the best money you have ever spent.