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Prohibitive steps order(13 Posts)
I already have a residency order for my children of 10 and 6, but we've had a terrible time recently with dad, and he's taking me to court to prevent me from moving from Norfolk to Wales on the 8th of April. He's also going for residency because he claims I'm unstable. Unfortunately I move on the 4th, and I'm very aware that the court can bring the children back.
This started a few months ago when he met his new partner. He moved in with her within a week and she has three kids of her own. It was too quick for my children to cope with, and we stopped overnights at his because it was too much hassle. She lives 500 yards away from me and the kids all go to the same school.
He's tried to get me charged with child abuse by lying to the police which failed miserably, and will probably backfire. But he's still trying to claim Social Services made a care order for the children (which they have not).
I'm moving to get space for the children and I and I've already organised a nice house, new schools etc, he is named on their birth certificates, but he's never exercised any parental responsibility before.
I'm also representing myself and have a letter from the school saying that the children would be better off living back in wales.
I'm representing myself so any advice would be gratefully received.
No advice. This does sound like such a horrible time for you.
Perhaps move this to chat for more traffic
I strongly recommend that you delay your move until the court has made a decision. Judges really hate to feel that the court is not being respected and if you go ahead with your plans, thereby potentially uprooting the children twice the judge is going to be unimpressed.
At the very least you need to have detailed plans for future contact and a cogen explanation as to why You are going so far away
I can't delay my move unfortunately as my tenancy agreement also runs out on the 4th. This was mentioned in the preliminary hearing at court, but wasn't written up in the hearing summary (by his solicitor). At the moment I have residency. I plan to write an update to court letter to hand his solicitor and the judge before I attend.
The kids and I have been through hell these last few months which I can prove as he has 5 PIN's against him for harassment and domestic violence. In the future I can facilitate meeting him half way with the children and he also has family in Wales he can stay with if he wants the children on a more regular basis. I'm happy for him to see them every other weekend if he can manage it to be fair.
All my support network is up there, I have secured a house, a job and the children grew up in the village. I'm basically returning them to a familiar surrounding, where they already have friends and have a letter to support the move from the school.
He tried to get children's services involved upon my arrest, a section 47 was No Further Actioned, as it was obvious there were no concerns about me.
We can't continue to live in such close proximity to a man who's using his children as weapons, and then not dealing with the fall back. I'm terrified of every knock on the door and the children are now petrified of police men and their mother being take away again
OP I'm not a legal expert but will comment on your posts based on my own experiences and what I think a Court/his solicitor may question you on...
1. I'm not sure "the children need some space" is going to go down too well at Court as a reason for moving them away from their father. Is it the children who need space or you?
2. You say he has 5 PIN's for harassment. That just means 5 incidents were reported to Police. Was he convicted of harassment? A Police Incident Number doesn't prove he has done anything wrong just that he has been accused and an incident reported.
3. You say you recently stopped overnights but once you move will agree to EOW. What's different? Is it feasible for him to travel half way to Wales and back twice in one weekend? Does he drive for example?
Have you had any legal advice? Even seeing a solicitor before you go to Court for advice on what arguments to make and how to present your arguments (but representing yourself still to save costs) might be a good idea. I think you would be very unwise to move now before the Court hearing- when is it? It's like a deliberate act of defiance and lack of respect for Court proceedings if you do. Has he already obtained the PSO or not?
Also- this letter from school. The children's current school wrote you a letter stating they would be happier if they moved to Wales? How on Earth would they know and how did that come about?
( not trying to be mean, just picking up on points that come to mind for an outsider reading your arguments and thinking what his solicitor may say in Court...)
Agree court is likely to take a dim view of a move to wales in the face of a listed application for a prohibited steps order to prevent you doing just that.
The court is going to make its decision based on what is in the best interests of the children. Stopping contact because it is "too much hassle" and moving to wales with the resulting disruption of schooling and friendships because you "need some space" does not sound like you are making decisions based on what is best for the kids.
I suggest you go and get some legal advice. Also if you both have not yet been sent on a Seperated parenting information programme (or SPIP) then you would both almost certainly benefit from that. It will help you think about how to co parent your kids in a way that causes them the least amount of damage.
Hi and thanks for all the advice, it's great, everything has been so up in the air recently.
To answer your questions, the decision was made to move long before this court case started. The court was presented with my moving date of the 4th of April, but neglected to write it up when dating the hearing. The judge was made aware then that my tenancy effectively ends here on the 4th of April and that my new tenancy starts in Wales on the 2nd. My solicitor has advised that there is nothing in place to stop the move on Friday, and that it was mentioned in court therefore it's up to his solicitor to change the date.
I had legal advice until this week, I have residency at the moment. I couldn't justify the 2.5K the solicitor was going to charge me for the court hearing.
I have never stopped contact, it is he who has not been turning up on weekends for contact. He missed his own son's birthday party which was extremely upsetting for him. I will continue to support dad in seeing the kids, he has family in wales he could stay with if he wanted to see them any given weekend.
We are originally from Wales, we've only spent the last 22 months in Norfolk. If I'd have known the upset this has caused the children 22 months ago I would not have contemplated moving in the first place.
I'm moving away because the children and I have very little quality of life where we reside at the moment. Father has never provided for the children financially, or supported them educationally.
New partner's children are at the same school as mine and there are daily occurrences of upsets.
The school support my move as I am moving back to my support network and I will be able to continue and build on the welfare of the children away from this situation.
I did attend a separating successfully course on the 12th and he didn't turn up to his session. The same for Family Mediation. I went to my appointment and he didn't turn up.
ShanEllis- Does this mean your children have already moved school
once 22 months ago when you moved to Norfolk? That's not great for them to move again but if they are going back to their old school in Wales this may go in your favour, or is it a different school?
My children go to the same school as DP's children and it is difficult sometimes. I have to see his ex everyday, but we have a mutual "understanding" that we totally ignore each other! I try hard to make it easy on the kids though so we always say a quick "hello" to the children. It's most awkward when the kids want to have a proper chat about something as we both stand there in awkward silence whilst the children speak. It's the closest we can come to "amicable". We don't have any children in the same classes though which would make it harder.
Ladies, thank you very much for all your advice. I reorganised to stay a while today, so that court could be dealt with. Fortunately this evening his solicitor let me know that he is no longer pursuing a PSO on the strength of the social services letter, and my statement and evidence.
I really feel for people who are going through this, the last few weeks have been awful.
Thank you again for your help!
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