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Can my ex stop me moving to Scotland from surrey?

(37 Posts)
StaceymAloneForver Fri 15-Oct-10 14:43:48

I just wrote out a long message and the computer deleted it but basically me and my new partner want to move to Aberdeen for a better life with my two children but i wanted to know if my ex husband (the kids dad) coud stop me as his contact would be reduced from ever other weekend and 1 week in the summer to 1 half term week, 2 weeks in summer and 1 week at xmas!

Any help would be greatfully received thanks xxx

mumblechum Fri 15-Oct-10 16:45:37

If you don't get his written consent you need to make an application to the court for a specific issue order under the Children Act. Otherwise, he may take the driving seat and apply for a prohibited steps order.

The case law on permanent removal seems to go to and fro. The last few cases I dealt with were successful, a few years ago, the Courts were reluctant to geographically separate children from dad.

I'd suggest that you try mediation before issuing court proceedings. If he ends up agreeing, make sure you get it in writing.

Lauriefairycake Fri 15-Oct-10 16:47:12

Is there a reason you would like to geographically separate them?

How awful for him and them to go from having so much time together to so little.

pooka Fri 15-Oct-10 16:51:35

If you're looking to get him onside, it might be an idea to offer more than you say in the OP.

4 weeks not much in total at all, particularly since kids usually have about 12 weeks of school hols per year in Scotland.

I think it's important for kids to have regular frequent access rather than having to go for at least a whole term (if they only see him in one half term). I would be devastated if I had contact with dcs so sporadically.

pooka Fri 15-Oct-10 16:57:47

Thinking about it, it would be months between visits if he saw them for a fortnight in the summer hols, which stop earlier in Scottish schools, and then had to wait until Christmas.

Is there a reason why this makes sense from the perspective of your children? Are they unhappy in Surrey?

seeker Fri 15-Oct-10 17:00:18

Hmmmm. Not sure how the children are going to form any sort of relationship with their dad under those circumstances.

My brother moved to Wales from London with his new partner when his daughter was 4. She's 35 now and still hasn't completely forgiven him. I would think very carefully before I did this if I were you.

prh47bridge Fri 15-Oct-10 17:29:41

Agree with Mumblechum. Your ex has parental responsibility. That gives him the right to a say in where the children live. You either need his consent or a specific issue order. In any case, if there is a contact order in place you cannot simply move and unilaterally reduce the amount of contact. It is not up to you to decide how much contact your ex has. Apologies if that isn't what is happening but that is how your original post comes across (at least to me).

If this does go to court, one of the factors looked at will be whether this is a genuine move or an attempt to frustrate contact. If the court decides it is the latter you won't get permission to move.

Another factor you may want to consider is that you are likely to end up having to pay the increased costs your ex incurs for contact with your children. The principle is that if one partner moves, that partner has to pay. Depending on your circumstances that may be through reduced child maintenance. If he wants to maintain the same level of contact as now that could cost you a lot of money.

I would agree with Seeker that your children may not be at all happy with having contact reduced by so much. Is this really what is best for them?

Unprune Fri 15-Oct-10 17:33:00

Your ex-h must be devastated.
I know one family where this happened (the ex-h did agree but only because he knew his ex-w was volatile) and the ex-h uprooted his entire new family, and will have to do so again next time she moves.
So sad.
Aberdeen isn't that great.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 16-Oct-10 15:15:16

How would it be a better life for your children when they get to see their dad for just four weeks a year?

I hope your ex used his PR and puts a stop to the move for the childrens sake.

Jellykat Sat 16-Oct-10 16:01:47

Hmmm.. Well how old are your DC? If they are older and a good solid relationship between them and dad is already established,don't see a problem on moral grounds..Especially as StaceyM states she wants a better life for them all, we don't know the details!

I myself moved with DC to a place 4hrs drive away,- 8 hrs round trip, i had a good enough reason for the family courts.. our original contact order was renegotiated, think it is fair enough if its backed up by a good reason.

Also if you work it out, existing contact equals 31 days a year, new arrangement would be 28.. only 3 days difference..Would say try and negotiate through mediation first though!

STIDW Sat 16-Oct-10 16:01:54

If you are moving children away from the jurisdiction of the courts in England & Wales you need the consent of all those with PR for a child or permission from the courts. I'm not a solicitor but in my understanding is the courts have made it clear that generally it is inappropriate to restrict the movement of the parent with care within the UK unless they are relocating to somewhere inaccessible or there is a history of frustrating contact.

However, when children spend a substantial amount of time with both parents so that care is shared 50:50, or almost 50:50, a court may decide it is better not to disrupt education, established friendships or relationships with the extended family so order that the children stay the majority of the time with the parent who is remaining local.

In any event if no agreement can be reached with the father pre-empting a PSO by applying for a specific issue order for permission to relocate the children would be the reasonable thing to do. You would then need to show that arrangements for, living, education, finances and contact were well thought through and practical. Children's wishes and feelings are taken into account according to their age and maturity. Also the duration of your new relationship is important.

When parents live a distance apart it isn't uncommon for the loss of contact to be compensated with extra time during the school holidays. For example, contact might be every half term and half the other school holidays so that there is never a gap longer than 6 weeks. If the distance makes long weekends impossible it might be children spend two weeks of the summer holidays with the parent with the majority of care and remaining 4-5 weeks with the other parent plus the October break, half the Christmas and Easter holidays.

The non resident parent may apply for a variation to reduce child support due to expenses related to contact. Depending on the circumstances there might be an expectation that you assist with travel, although the effects upon your finances and new family are a consideration. When money is short it is hardly likely to be deemed in a child's interest to place an increased financial burden upon the family if the other parent has the means and resources to do the traveling.

It is worth investigating methods of travel. When my ex moved 400 miles away it was possible for our teenagers to fly down alternate weekends and booking well in advance was considerably cheaper than motoring costs.

nocake Sun 17-Oct-10 17:15:08

This is a pretty shitty thing to do to your ex and you should be ashamed of yourself.

STIDW Sun 17-Oct-10 18:00:49

"This is a pretty shitty thing to do to your ex and you should be ashamed of yourself."

Relocation is always an emotive subject but why assume in every case that one parent should forfeit their desires and ambitions to remain living in a place of the other parents' choosing (especially as there are no reciprocal arrangements should the other parent later move) without considering whether or not the other parent could relocate and what is in the child's best interests?

colditz Sun 17-Oct-10 18:03:54

What a horrible thing to do when he has fortnightly contact. You are basically telling your children "You have a new daddy now. Get used to it. Your old daddy is more like an uncle now, not a proper, every day daddy. To enforce this, I am taking you where you CAN'T see him."

You are doing a bad thing. People should only move away if the other parent was abusive or doesn't keep regular contact.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 17-Oct-10 19:47:03

STIDW, this shouldnt be about one parents desires or ambitions - it should be about the child and whats best for them. Plenty of time to pursue own desires when the child is older and self sufficient.

STIDW Sun 17-Oct-10 20:32:36

I absolutely agree that it should be about what's best for a child but why is it in every case in a child's interests to stay put?

For example, a major factor in poor long term outcomes for children of separated families is lack of money and many parents (not just separated ones) aspirations and ambitions are to improve the family's lifestyle and the probability of good outcomes for children. When this is the case it could be in the child's best interests for the other parent to relocate rather than the child staying put. The child then benefits from both a better lifestyle and maintaining regular contact with both parents.

There is no reason why the aspirations and ambitions of one parent to relocate should be subordinate to those of the other parent to stay put when the benefit is for the other parent and not necessarily in the best interests of children.

Jellykat Sun 17-Oct-10 22:21:51

I agree STIDW.. The OP wants to move for a better life.. She isn't doing it to spite her XH.
What if she stayed in Surrey, and became miserable? Would that be good for her DC? She's not moving to Australia!..

colditz Mon 18-Oct-10 09:39:35

Children generally don't care about their mother being miserable as much as you would like to think, as long as their needs are being met. Sometimes, happy mother does NOT = happy child. happy mother only = happy mother.

looneymum Mon 18-Oct-10 10:16:34

My ex is emigrating to Aus. The DCs will go to Aus for three weeks each year and he will hopefully visit the UK for two weeks every year also. It isn't a relationship decision I would have chosen for the DCs but he has made his choices. Life isn't simple.

Good luck Stacey.

Leslaki Mon 18-Oct-10 14:02:51

I have been through all of this this summer - at the end of July. My ex forced me to sell my home through non payment of maintenance and he had told me all along he wanted us to move to Scotland. when i put the house up for sale he took a Prohibitive Steps order out against me.

Luckily I got a barrister and solicitor and basically they sat and said that my human rights as a citizen of Europe mean I could live wherever I wanted within the European Union unless I was taking the children into known danger. They also said that there would have to be exceptional circumstances to stop a move within the UK - agin taking the childrn into danger.
I did have to prepare a statement showing how the children would be looked after - eg home, schools etc but as it's still the UK it was all fine.
They will say that the children need to remain in regualr contact with their father and I proposed regular visits (he didn't want that confused but we have ended up with 5 weeks of contact a year - and using things like SKYPE (agin he has refused hmm), email and regualr calls.
Good luck. It's not easy making a new start but the sense of relief and freedom has been amazing. Both DC and I are so so so much happier and he rarely gets in touch - he only sees them if Imake the effort to take them to him yet he won't pay maintenance!!!

TheMotherOfAllDilemmas Mon 18-Oct-10 14:58:34

I am with STIDW, it is always assumed that the parent who wants to move it is a selfish person who doesn't want to put his/her children first, and that the parent that is going to be left behind is a poor parent hungry for contact and heartbroken about not being able to see her/his children as often as before.

But in reality, things are not always like that, and assuming that the OP is the selfish person described above is whole unfair, she has not yet said anything of her particular circumstances.

These are very difficult times, many people has to move not for a better life but because they might be literally living in deep poverty and there is a job somewhere out there that would help them to provide better for the children.

northseadad Mon 08-Nov-10 02:15:38

Im a guy who has just split up from my partner (we have 2 kids under 3) i work offshore 2/2 and see the kids for a week of my free time.
Im glad to see that there are alot more women on this site that are on the dads side, compared to an other mums site.
Think its horrible that some of these mothers think it is ok to move their children the another city never mind another country! Alot of these women prob moan about so called men not wanting to be part of a childs life, you on the other hand are far worse. If my ex tried to move my children away from me (and the childrens whole family) I would spend every penny i had to stop them.
There is no reason at all to move a child away from its father if he is a good one, how would you like it!!
If your new partner loves you and your child then he would not even ask you to move!

KMonaghan Sun 21-Nov-10 23:39:03

I am in a similar situation although I want to move with my mum and sister who my son and I have lived with his whole life. We have never lived with his dad (My ex) and he wanted to stop us moving. He has never contributed towards out sons up bringing not even so much as a packet of nappies when he was a baby. I don't think your selfish for wanting to move and I hope it works out well for you. I have to go to court on Friday to sort this all out so maybe I'll be in a better position to offer advice then.

xstitchsurvivor Mon 22-Nov-10 22:12:49

I get what you are saying northseadad but I wanted to move so that I could financially support my dd I have been forced to stay in a very small area with little chance of employment. I am going to be bankrupt within 6 months (I am already officially homeless and staying with family) and I have to live with the abuse of XH and his family. I hardly think that is fair either. I might add I was bending over backwards to facilitate monthly residential contact for dd and her dad.

valleylife35 Tue 23-Nov-10 13:00:33

hello

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