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How difficult would it be for DP to get PR for my DC if XP objects?

(9 Posts)
HopingItllBeOK Wed 09-Jan-13 15:55:09

Apologies for all the abbreviations in the title blush

I have 2 DC from a previous relationship, aged 12 & 13. I split from their father 8 years ago and moved some distance away to escape DV at his hands. He has had infrequent contact with them since, telephone contact most weeks but only seeing them once a year if that for an afternoon. He is on the birth certificate but doesn't have PR as they were born before 2003 and we weren't married. I have been with DP for 5.5 years, living together for 2 and have an 18 month old son together. DP and I are not married.

We (DC included) would like DP to have PR for the DC for practical reasons such as holidays abroad if one of us needs to return separately unexpectedly, granting permission for medical treatment if I am unavailable etc.

XP has recently started a court case for contact, despite being offered far more than he ever took during the last 8 years, and has shown during the case so far that he would be very against my DP having PR and would fight it.

My question is, how difficult could he make it if I applied for DP to have PR of the children? I have no doubt that he would make it as difficult as possible, but I don't know just how difficult that is IYSWIM? Another question is would he get legal aid to oppose the application? Sadly for the DC, if there is a chance he will be out of pocket, he simply wouldn't bother which is of course good news for getting the PR sorted, if not sad for the children that their Dad isn't interested enough to put his hand in his pocket for something he believes in, just to stir trouble if it doesn't cost him anything.

mumblechum1 Wed 09-Jan-13 16:52:37

You'd have to be married to your DP, then ask the children's father if he would agree to signing a parental responsibility agreement.

If he does, great, you all simply sign a form and have your signatures witnessed by a court clerk.

If he objects, the court decides.

HillaryClitoris Wed 09-Jan-13 17:27:12

You haven't provided any good reason for your partner to have PR.

HopingItllBeOK Wed 09-Jan-13 17:33:21

We have considered getting married, mostly for the legal next of kin aspect and it would simplify things wrt DP's death in service benefit so it wouldn't be a stretch to speed that up a bit to help the PR along. I've heard mixed tales about whether we actually need to be married or whether it just helps, but either way it can't hurt so we'll plan that as a first step, thanks.

I wasn't actually sure if XP could object since he doesn't have PR himself, unless he put in an application to have PR granted to him and that paused our application.

Would it be relatively straightforward if it did go to court to decide? Given that DP lives with the DC and has sole care of them if I am not home, it makes sense to me in case of emergency and I can't see why it would be refused but I'm not sure how much weight is given to the nrp's objections?

If anyone knows if legal aid would be available for someone opposing a PR application and if that will be affected by the changes in April, I would be grateful.

HopingItllBeOK Wed 09-Jan-13 17:41:22

Sorry Hillary, I must have cross posted with you.

My mother is currently unwell and I need to go down and care for her and take her to hospital appointments and the like fairly regularly. Since I live some distance from her, I tend to go there for a couple of days to a week at a time. To avoid disrupting their education, the DC stay home so DP is in sole charge of them for a few days a month on a regular basis. Should anything happen during that time, it would take me at least 7 hours to get home to them, assuming I could leave immediately which isn't always possible so in part, the PR is so that DP can give any relevant permissions during that time.

It would also help that he could sign and return any letters from schools in that time, such as for trips away and the like. These tend to come with minimal notice and short deadlines so can't always wait a week until I get home. Although he is listed as a point of contact with both schools, I don't think he can actually give permission for anything as he doesn't have PR.

HillaryClitoris Wed 09-Jan-13 18:44:17

Is XP applying for PR as part of the ongoing proceedings?

Your reasons do seem sound but as Mumblechum suggests, it would be down the judge to decide and it is difficult to predict the outcome.

HopingItllBeOK Wed 09-Jan-13 19:11:45

PR was mentioned in the initial court application, but the judge swiftly shoved it onto the back burner as we are very much at the stage of supervised (by Cafcass) visits just now and will be for around a year yet due to the amount of time between contact. After that it will either move to supervised by me or unsupervised, depending on how the current contact sessions go. There is no pressing rush for XP to have PR until (if) if reaches the stage of overnight/holiday contact so all talk of it has been postponed for the foreseeable future.

I am assuming that my applying for PR for my DP right now would be seen as a knee jerk reaction to the contact case and possibly antagonistic to XP so I am not considering doing it right away, I am more trying to stay informed on my options and likely outcomes so any and all advice is gratefully received, thank you.

Ah, I was hoping it would be a case of 'no welfare concerns about any applying party, practical reasons given, PR granted' which I know is simplistic of me but my inner Pollyana does try and break out now and again wink

Thank you for replying.

PolterGoose Wed 09-Jan-13 19:35:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HopingItllBeOK Wed 09-Jan-13 20:07:09

I did see that one, thanks PolterGoose there are enough differences between our cases that I thought it would be worth making a separate thread though. As far as I understand it, step parent PR where there is no objection is straightforward. It is mainly the objections that could be raised and what impact they could have that I am interested in, I thought I would try the patience of the Legal bods with another thread.

It is reassurng to know I am not the only person wanting a new DP to have PR for children from a previous relationship though.

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