Can my ex stop me from taking my 6yr old DD to live in Jersey?

(13 Posts)
ejvs Tue 25-Mar-14 20:53:18

I can't seem to find any information on whether Jersey is classed as "abroad" in the eyes of the law here. I am due to move in a month but ex has said he will not give his permission for her to move or go to school there. I have made an Appointment to see a family law solicitor but not sure if I need to if it is Jersey and not somewhere such as Australia. We have been separated 4 years, we're never married and he has not paid a penny in maintainence. He wouldn't get a job when DD was a baby after a get rich quick scheme failed to work (surprise, surprise...) which is why I asked him to leave in the first place. My partner is working in Jersey and I have a job and a new home lined up. I hate to think that my ex could stop this from happening! Anyone know? Thank you. X

madwomanacrosstheroad Tue 25-Mar-14 21:04:05

If your ex has regular contact with your daughter then most courts will see a continued relationship as being in the best interest of the child. This has nothing to do with being married or maintenance.
Also jersey is a different jurisdiction so you would probably be in breach ot the the hague convention if you took her there without consent.
If you cant come to an arrangement with your ex then you need to take it to court, but the court will most likely see maintaining the relationship between parent and child as being in the best interest of the child.

girliefriend Tue 25-Mar-14 21:06:50

Is he on the birth certificate? If he has parental responsibility I think he could if he really wanted to, my guess is he won't do much about it if it requires much effort on his part - but thats just a hunch wink

meditrina Tue 25-Mar-14 21:14:43

Maybe. It's not EU, though it is part of the UK. You probably need specialist advice for this one. Also, where does he live? Easy journey or not?

TessDurbeyfield Tue 25-Mar-14 21:29:28

You should definitely see a family lawyer and ensure that it's a family lawyer with experience of these questions.
Does he have parental responsibility? Are there any existing court orders about your DD?
Jersey is not usually within the legal definition of the 'United Kingdom' (Interpretation Act 1978, Schedule 1)
The bad news is that if he does have parental responsibility then you would be committing a criminal offence (child abduction) if you took your DD out of the UK without his permission and I think (but you should check with a lawyer) that going to Jersey would count.
He could also apply to the court for a specific issue order to stop you moving. You could apply for the same order for permission to move.
The good news is that the courts are often quite sympathetic to the kind of situation you suggest. No-one on the internet is going to be able to give you an indication of your chances so you need to be able to get decent advice from a family lawyer who knows all the details. However, if you are the primary carer, there are good reasons for going and you can work out a good plan to continue the relationship between your DD and her dad then you would have a strong case. If her Dad currently shares care in a substantial sense then it might be more difficult.
I would get advice and quite quickly.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 25-Mar-14 21:38:49

How much time does he currently spend with DD?

Could that be maintained once you move?

Do you think he would actually do anything about it if you move? As opposed to spouting hot air?

I have the same hunch as girliefriend but answers to the questions I've asked might change my opinion.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 25-Mar-14 21:41:44

madwoman I'm sure they would, but they might also ask him why he does not contribute to his dds financial requirements too...

TessDurbeyfield Tue 25-Mar-14 21:51:18

TheGirlFromIpanema - the courts tend to consider it very important to maintain a relationship between a child and parent regardless of whether that parent is paying. You might question whether a parent is really committed to a child if they are not making any effort to contribute financially but the courts tend not to see it that way.

She's potentially committing a criminal offence if she does go ahead with the move so I'm not sure the 'go for it and see what he does' approach is a good one, certainly not unless she has got legal advice.

ejvs Tue 25-Mar-14 22:48:24

Thank you for all your posts! He dozed have parental responsibility as he is on the birth certificate and she was born in 2008, so I am aware although only recently that I will be comitting an offence if I take her without his consent. She sees him every 2-3 weeks for the weekend although as we live in the south and he moved to Norfolk (without telling me) he picks her up and takes her to be with his parents in the south for his weekends. His father is ill so if she has a cold etc. he tends not to see her as it would be dreadful if he passed something on to his father and I understand that. I have an appointment to see a family law solicitor next week all be it for a free half hour session. I have emailed him asking to try and sort this out amicably and have offered to facilitate visits as much as I can reasonably afford, he doesn't have a job remember. My last email to him was yesterday suggesting family mediation as I suspect the courts will suggest this. To date he has not responded to my emails. The removal company is booked and I will be homeless on 30/4/14 if I can't take her to Jersey. I am working my notice at work and they have appointed my successor so I will be unemployed too! To cap it all my Mother has decided she no longer wants any contact with me because we are moving. Beginning to woder if it is worth it except my lovely partner is there with a nice home and waiting for us!!

TessDurbeyfield Wed 26-Mar-14 13:35:32

ejvs - sounds as if you are doing exactly the right things. Keep it all in writing and as amicable as possible. I'd make sure it's clear that you value his relationship with her and make practical suggestions as to how you could work things out to support that relationship (spending longer periods with him in the school hols etc). Hopefully that will mean that you work things out without the need to get involved with formal mediation or court applications. If it were to go to court then you'd have written evidence of a supportive approach to their relationship.
I don't know the full ins and outs of your situation but if you are the main carer and have strong reasons to go, plus he only has contact once or twice a month and you have good plans to continue a similar level of contact (though perhaps longer periods less frequently) then you'd have a very strong case.

ejvs Wed 26-Mar-14 20:33:41

Thank you Tess.. I am more than happy for him to see his daughter, although she crys most times and says she doesn't want to go. She always has a nice time but it's leaving me she doesn't like. I can fly he over as often as funds allow but maybe this is the encouragement to go and get a job so he can see her more often!! X

Kelly1814 Sun 30-Mar-14 17:31:36

I'm originally from jersey. It is completely self governing and subject to differnt laws than the uk. Eg any lawyer there has to learn jersey French (it's a real language!) I would get some legal advice....

babybarrister Fri 11-Apr-14 13:34:30

I assume you have now taken legal advice as you do now know that if you do not have his permission as a holder of PR then you need an order of the court as it is not within the UK

you should understand that it will take many months for court proceedings to be heard if your ex does not agree ....

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