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ex partner taking child to France

(19 Posts)
Dadindistress Mon 21-Apr-14 21:29:21

Hi all, in a terrible pickle here.
Me and my ex partner have now split, i am English, she is french. We have a beautiful 5 month old girl called Lianna who was born in England whilst we were living together throughout our entire relationship.

Now we have split, can she take my daughter and go and live in France?

All advice is appreciated, I am frantic with worry !

wannaBe Mon 21-Apr-14 21:35:11

You can apply for a prohibited steps order to prevent your dd out of the country. You need to seek legal advice.

Solasum Mon 21-Apr-14 21:36:27

Are you on the birth certificate?

Solasum Mon 21-Apr-14 21:38:02

And has your daughter got a passport yet?

Dadindistress Mon 21-Apr-14 21:43:55

thx for the quick replies...

We are currently working out the parental agreement and will get to a solicitors to confirm all asap, at the moment she is not talking about leaving the country but I know only too well how her opinions change.

Yes I am on the birth certificate and obviously want regular contact with my daughter, if she left the country I would be destroyed.

No, Lianna is only 5 months old and does not have a passport.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Solasum Mon 21-Apr-14 22:05:41

As you are on the birth certificate that means that you have parental responsibility (as I am sure you know) so that is good.

Just a thought. As a British National your child is entitled to a UK passport. If you get one (only needs one parent to apply), you can alert the passport office not to reissue it. So, you could get a passport for your daughter and put it somewhere only you have access to. I am not sure what is needed to apply for a French passport, but suspect a birth certificate as the bare minimum. So if you know where it and all copies are at all times, you would know if a French passport existed.

France is bound by Hague Convention re taking children overseas, but that would be bound to be super slow, and not what you would want if your daughter were to end up in France without you.

Solasum Mon 21-Apr-14 22:09:33

There is a poster somewhere on MN in the opposite situation, currently in France but wanting not to be. Might be worth doing an advanced search?

Dadindistress Mon 21-Apr-14 22:34:31

Thx for your post Solasum. I really want to agree this all with my ex partner with a solicitor and obviously that is the best outcome. But, I know how she can "change her mind rapidly". I dont want to apply for a passport behind her back as if she ever found out she would throw all to the wind.

I need to get this signed at a solicitors by both of us otherwise the generic protection is quite low isn't it. What a mess.

I will search what you have suggested and also find a local solicitor who will mediate our separation agreement asap.... im guessing this ensures that she can not take our child away and she cant just bypass it once its signed?

Terrible situation !

homeanddry Mon 21-Apr-14 22:55:09

Awful all of you sad

In the opposite situation, an English friend of mine was told she had to stay in France if she wanted to retain 50-50 custody, as her exH objected to her wish to return to live in the UK with the DC.

I'd imagine the same would be true for you.

Solasum Tue 22-Apr-14 08:12:39

I do understand completely that you do not want to do anything behind her back. Just bear in mind that no border official would question a mother travelling into France with her French passport holding child, and irrespective of what has or has not been signed in England, once your child is in France, things would be far far harder for you.

Not sure if it applies in your situation, but I have found that facilitating my child's relationship with his other grandparents, so having it on my terms and them on side, as it were, has allayed my own fears.

prh47bridge Tue 22-Apr-14 10:54:20

As you are on the birth certificate you have parental responsibility. Assuming there is no residence order in place that means she cannot take your daughter out of the country without your consent. If she does she is committing the criminal offence of child abduction. It should therefore be possible to get your daughter back reasonably rapidly.

DrankSangriaInThePark Tue 22-Apr-14 11:03:50

Your ex will absolutely have to ask for your permission if she intends to take the child to not only live in France, but even to visit. (although that is not yet law, it is still just a recommendation by the Home Office for any parent travelling with a child on their own.

Thankfully, many airports now will question a lone parent travelling with a child so the risk of actual abduction is lessened.

Your partner can of course try and take the child to France on either a British or French passport without either your consent or knowledge. But the key word is "try". She isn't allowed to, by law, and if she did, she would as prh says, be abducting her which would be seen in a very bad light by the authorities of either country.

I think you are being very sensible to try and sort it out legally and civilly, but understand your concerns.

A friend of mine had to stay in Italy for a long time while the mess with her ex was cleared up through the courts because he refused to give her permission to take her child back to the UK.

lostdad Wed 21-May-14 17:36:51

Please be aware that though the law says one thing, reality can be different. Should your ex unilaterally take your child abroad it will be hard to get her back.

Truth be told, Leave to Remove cases are successful at most around 50% of the time. Mothers who do so use the proverbial `distress' argument and although it has partially been overturned this is not complete.

If you have good grounds to believe she is going to take your daughter out of jurisdiction you need to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order. You may find one being ordered on an interim basis prior to a detailed examination of the facts.

Would strongly recommend you join Families Need Fathers. There are many people who have gone through the same thing and forum available to members will give you a lot of information and details of people who can help. I've dealt with Leave to Remove cases as a McKenzie Friend and it can be very difficult and distressing for the dads involved.

I would urge you to find out more about things ASAP as forewarned is forearmed. Give me a shout if you want a chat.

Eminorsustained Wed 28-May-14 21:42:20

Lostdad.

Does the child's age make a difference ? I too have an ex who's European, but lived in Blighty for 20 odd years. 5 year old daughter in school.

I was under the impression that if she suddenly upped and returned to the Fatherland she'd be in a lot of legal trouble. Is it by default a lengthy process once they've gone ?

I've thought of a prohibitive steps order but we generally maintain a civil relationship. She'd flip out if I got a PSO......

Dadindistress Thu 10-Jul-14 21:56:25

This is escalating out of control now, I first posted this when she hinted to me that she would get a passport and "didnt need to involve me at all" while laughing. Literally 8 days later she calls me to say her dad is in a very bad way and potentially could die within 2 weeks, she needed to get a passport for my daughter so she could see her grandfather just in case the worst happened. Like a fool I fell for it, I got all the information she wanted, got the photo countersigned, gave my passport number for the application. When I handed over the passport application pack I simply said "please don't make me regret this in future, im doing it because of the situation", she then threw me out of the house. Next day she says she couldnt apply for the passport so she would try for a french passport and asked for a copy of my passport and birth cert, again i agreed but said she should at least be polite to me when im helping her in her situation and i was giving up a lot of security by doing so. She then blew her top and said dont bother i will do it myself without you. Since I have learned she has applied for the british passport and lied about this, and is also applying for a french passport, she has also said she wont ever give me the british passport. Obviously she is up to something.....is it time for the Prohibited Steps Order, if so how do i get one?

Thanks so much for the info so far, what a terrible situation.

Ginocchio Fri 11-Jul-14 14:08:29

Yes, you need a prohibited steps order. Go to a solicitor, as soon as you can, and get proper legal advice. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the situation, once she's gone to France it will be much more difficult to sort anything out, going through 2 jurisdictions.

Dadindistress Sun 20-Jul-14 10:37:29

My ex since the last post has continually lied about the status of my daughters passport(s) and which ones she has applied for (British or French) or which have been issued. In fact she is now openly refusing to discuss the matter following advice from her solicitor. I have told her that I am considering a PSO if she is not reasonable however since she has reacted with the following:
She says she wants to go on holiday to see her family and she needs my written permission for her to take my daughter out of the country for 28 days. If she does not get it she will begin court proceedings.
Now im a reasonable man and would not stop my daughter from seeing her French side of the family, but 28 days??? Apart from all the confusion over the passports, I am not comfortable allowing that as my daughter is only 8 months old and I fear it would not be good for my relationship with her to be apart for so long. My ex is adamant that she will get the court to approve her request and I will be landed with a huge legal bill?

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 20-Jul-14 20:10:52

You need to stop "considering" and be more proactive and get the order sorted out.

Chiefy78 Thu 30-Oct-14 15:31:37

parental-abduction.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1
I recommend that you have a read of my blog if you haven't read an account of a parental abduction case yet. If she takes your daughter, contrary to what has been said she won't be in trouble with the police, in fact the police will stay out of it as they consider it a civil case. Also it will not be dealt with quickly, my case took 6 months, and for most of that time my ex could choose whether to let me speak to my son or not, and in fact even banned me from speaking to him by phone for a few months including Christmas. She was persuaded to allow me telephone contact eventually, but what I was allowed to say was restricted by her. It will be stressful if she abducts your daughter, but eventually you should win the court case. However you probably know that that won't be the end of it.

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