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Dsc mother wants to move abroad(8 Posts)
Need some advice. Dh and ex w have been divorced 5yrs. Very acrimonious from day 1 (on both sides ) he has had eow contact since the beginning although he had to get this written in to a court order as contact was constantly used as 'bargaining chip'. (he has never missed a weekend.) There are 4 children, one is at sn school. Ex w remarried 6 months ago. Her husband is british but works in Hong Kong, has done for a few years and comes home every few months. Last weekend youngest let slip that mummy is planning for eveyone to move so ' the whole family can be together ' . We have checked with ex and she agreed that she was planning to go and asked if dh agrees. OF COURSE HE DOESN'T !!!! he has been in tears all evening, cant face or afford more court fights. Can anyone advise what his position is ? Do courts normally allow children to be removed from a very engaged nrp because a rp wishes it. ? btw dsc are 11-19. How much store is put on dsc wishes ? This is our biggest worry, as children live with mum, and obviously has more influence, can 'sell' the idea as an exciting adventure, which no doubt it will be (they have been tnere on holiday and loved it) but pre teens (11 yr old twins) dont really see the bigger picture.
Every case depends on the particular circumstances but according to recent research permission to relocate abroad is granted in around 70% of cases. Children's wishes and feelings are important, particular older teenagers who are mature enough to understand the implications of a decision and may wish to remain at their school and maintain relationships with their friends and extended family. Younger children's views carry less weight.
Otherwise the considerations are how well established the mother's relationship is with the new partner and how realistic and practical the plans are for accommodation, education, economics and maintaining contact. The contact history and motivation for the move are also factors along with the motivation for opposing the move.
As they were married he has PR. His ex cannot remove the children from the country permanently without his consent. If she does she is guilty of child abduction. If he refuses to consent she can go to court for an order allowing her to take the children to Hong Kong. The court will want to be sure that there are adequate arrangements in place for contact before granting an order. Every other weekend is not going to be practical so you are probably looking at fewer visits of longer duration. Provided contact can be resolved there is a good chance his ex will be permitted to take the children to Hong Kong.
Perhaps you could work on the assumption that it is going to happen, and instead fight for what will be done to ensure a relationship is upheld with the father? 'OK ExW, you have chosen to make this move, so will be paying for x flights for the children to come back home to visit the father for x number of visits of x amount of duration each year".
Thank you all very much . Obviously not what we wanted to hear but appreciate the advice. I can see both sides as I am not quite as emotionally invested (and in the position of having my children with me) I can see how the children will think this a huge adventure and be very excited, but I can't imagine having my children removed to the other side of the world from me. To answer your questions, the relationship is long established (7yrs - he was OM) He moved to hk initially to complete a 2 yr contract but has extended it twice . I am slightly surprised by this turn of events as new step dad didn't want to live with the children in the UK as they are very 'full on '. ..in fact only agreed to marry once he had left .
Will the fact that Dsd 12 is in sn school - very small classes and abhors any change to routine not have any bearing ? (she is the one who will object) .
So this is the plan.
19 yr old at uni will stay with us in holidays/weekends home
dsd 12 - mum will find new sn school in HK but child will be unwilling
11yr old twins leaving yr 6 will start secondary in HK .
If I can persuade dh to say anything other than 'no'.What would reasonable access conditions be. ? Money is an issue, we can't afford flights to/from hk. Dh has health problems and only works sporadically when well, leaving my salary to support all .
19 year old largely irrelevant -not a child under children act
SN DD - there would need to be expert evidence as to effects of move on her and v good evidence as to provision in HK - all depends on the facts. Her wishes and feelings would be an important but not decisive factor
Twins of 11 - will go where DD goes as close in age and court will not want to split I imagine
Ex w has an uphill battle IMO particularly as has made relationship work whilst OM in HK over various years so why move now?
V difficult to predict outcome but if it goes to court it would take a year to get resolved by courts - try mediation
Again everyone, many thanks for taking the time. In response to the last post, I would love them to try mediation but unfortunately even seven years later they can't be on the same pavement without winding each other off the clock let alone be civil enough to sit in a room together. Ex W uses the children like they are her own personal possessions who are aloud to do things she deems acceptable even when they !re with us (and father toes the line out of fear of having them withheld) they are also all treated like toddlers , neger aloud out without a parent etc thus behave incredibly immature. which can be quite a challenge to live with. My DH otoh turns into an unmitigated unreasonable knob when discussing anything regarding dcs with his ex ...this doesn't bode well, think I will buy a new tin hat !!
I have dealt with a few cases like these - including one that involved a leave to remove case to China. As STIDW says these cases are hard to defend and it's common for a resident parent to be allowed to leave jurisdiction.
From a tactical point of view your partner may want to consider what his strong points are however. He has foreknowledge of this which is a big help. He may consider that a court order with the sort of contact he is seeking will help too.
Please bear in mind however that once the children are out of jurisdiction any broken court orders will be have to dealt with in HK (as I say...I have a little experience with a case in this part of the world) and it can be tricky.
Your partner should consider joining Families Need Fathers and googling `The Custody Minefield' - he may get a lot of help there. He is also welcome to get in touch with me directly if he wants a few pointers. PM me if this is the case.
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