EastEnders horror as Chelsea Fox’s plan to escape Gray thwarted in legal loophole twist?

EastEnders: Chelsea and Whitney clash over Gray's 'abuse'

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Chelsea Fox (played by Zaraah Abrahams) has become convinced she needs her husband Gray Atkins (Toby-Alexander Smith) following a relentless campaign by the lawyer to make his wife feel she can’t cope without him. However, if the EastEnders mum does realise she needs to run away for her own protection, will a legality mean she’s forced to return to him?

EastEnders fans will remember Chelsea tried to leave Walford once before but was driven back by Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths) when Gray intervened. 

The new mum gave birth to her son Jordan prematurely and has been by his side ever since. 

She agreed to keep quiet after finding out the truth about her husband as Kheerat Panesar (Jaz Deol) and Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) attempted to gather evidence to avenge Chantelle Atkins’ (Jessica Plumber) death.

However, she was adamant she didn’t want her husband registered as the father of her baby boy.

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The new mum feared this would mean she would be permanently linked to Gray.

Chelsea enlisted Kheerat’s help and asked him to accompany her to make Jordan official. 

But, she received the shock of her life when she was told Gray had beaten her to it. 

Despite Chelsea’s worst fears coming true, a solicitor has explained to Express.co.uk why this moment wasn’t as significant as the new mum believed. 

Shanika Varga, Senior Solicitor at Stowe Family Law, said: “Gray automatically has parental responsibility by way of him being married to Chelsea when Jordan was born so the registration of him being the father is not determinative with regards to his rights.”

“Having parental responsibility means he is entitled to be involved in decisions relating to Jordan such as medical care, schooling etc. 

“It doesn’t mean he would be able to continually interfere with Chelsea’s day to day care of Jordan, provided she was meeting his needs.”

Whitney and Kheerat have repeatedly tried to persuade Chelsea to run away but Shanika warned this isn’t as simple an option as they might think.

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Gray has parental rights and he could force his wife to return to Walford if she ran away with their son.

“If Chelsea tried to leave Gray and take Jordan with her,” Shanika continued.

“Gray could apply to the courts for contact, and if she had moved far away he could apply for her immediate return. 

“Chelsea ought to apply to the courts as set out above rather than fleeing and hiding. 

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“Whilst I completely understand her wish to do so and the court would be sympathetic to her circumstances, it is always better to follow the rules to avoid being on the backfoot responding to his version of events. 

“There is nothing wrong with Chelsea securing her safety first but once she has done so she should seek legal advice and make the appropriate application immediately explaining why she left in the way she did.”

Gray has eroded Chelsea’s confidence in herself and she may feel unable to seek legal counsel correctly. 

Will the new mum escape her abusive husband’s clutches before it’s too late?

EastEnders airs on BBC One on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

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