Shared Custody - Can One Parent Move Away?(9 Posts)
In a separation (not divorce yet...) with no legal custody arrangements. Dad has daughter half of the week & Mum the other with alternate weekends. She has a bedroom in both houses.
The Mum has a 'new' boyfriend with a child of his own. Can she take her daughter out of school, away from family & friends to live somewhere else if the Dad objects?
One parent can move away. Whether a court would agree that that parent could take the child with them is another matter. The father could apply to court for a prohibited steps order to stop the daughter being taken away.
Depending on how far the move is, how significantly that would affect contact between the daughter and her father, and the reasons for the move then the court might agree that it's ok or it might not. The mother would have to persuade the judge that the move is in the best interests of the daughter and, given there is existing de facto shared care that presumably both parents agreed to, that might not be easy.
Would you recommend the Dad getting a legal shared custody agreement in court (if such a thing exists). He doesn't want her to move schools or the family.
It depends how imminent and definite the move is. If it's going to happen next week then he'll need to talk to a solicitor to start court proceedings for a prohibited steps order ASAP while also applying for a more permanent order. If it's more vague and distant, though, it might be worth talking to Families Need Fathers in the first instance rather than going straight to court. They're a good bunch and have a lot of experience in this area.
In the UK legal custody was replaced with Parental Responsibility more than 25 years ago and residence or shared residence orders no longer exist. PR gives both parent equal responsibilities and rights to carry out those responsibilities. That means important issues such as living and contact arrangements need to be agreed.
When there is a dispute either party can apply to court for a court order to regulate PR. The new Child Arrangement Programme sets out the process for dealing with applications for child arrangements orders to determine living/contact arrangements and it is designed to help parents reach an agreement, where possible without a court order. There is a legal requirement that in most cases the applicant arranges a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting before the courts will hear a case. Try googling Child Arrangement Programme and "What the Family Court Expects of Parents. "
IF no agreement can be reached about about moving a child a distance away the parent who wants to move may apply to court for a Specific Issue Order for permission. Alternatively a parent who wants to prevent the move can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order. If the move is imminent it may be necessary to apply for a PSO to prevent the move at least until the court hears the case and has time to carry out investigations.
When the court makes a decision the judge must give regard to the welfare checklist in s1 Children Act 1989 and children's welfare is paramount. Other factors include the views of the the children according to their age and maturity, the family background, how settled parents new relationships are and the likely effect of any change of circumstance. If the 50:50 shared care arrangement is quite recent it can be an uphill struggle changing the status quo. The biggest obstacle to 50:50 shared care after parents separate is the absence of shared care 50:50 before they separate.
On the other hand if 50:50 shared parenting has been established for some time it may be deemed less disruptive to relationships, schooling and friendships for children to live with the parent who isn't moving for the majority of the time. Alternatively care can be still be shared say by the child living with one parent most of the time during term time and the other parent for most of the school holidays and half terms.
Wow, that's a lot of info. Thank you for taking the time.
He keeps saying that he has no rights, it's all for the mother so this is reassuring. He won't give up though.
Hi All, I'm a mum of 3 kids ages from 9 to 5 years. I have separated from my Ex in July 2014 the split was very bitter having to go to court battling for the kids. In short the judge ordered shared care of 4 nights with me 3 nights every week. This order has been in place since May 2015 and has been going well. I have started a new relationship with a great guy also with a kid in the Midlands, 120 miles away from my Ex in London. As the family home I shared with my ex was up for sale I find I cannot afford to buy in London and have been living with the kids at my parents house. A temporary solution while I find permenant employment. I love my new partner and moving to the midlands make sense, I can also get the same job there. I really want to move and marry my new partner but am frightened that my ex will find a way to block me. I do want contact to occur, but clearly it will have to be less frequent . I know my ex will refuse and the matter go to court. Any suggestions.? I have been with my new partner for 8 months. Thanks in Advance ....
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