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Moving abroad with children?

(23 Posts)
JakieOH Sat 04-Jul-15 11:18:26

I have got information that my DP ex wife may be considering moving abroad (the other side of the world) with his children.

Long story short, DP has regular frequent contact with the children. He pays well above the CMS suggested maintrnence and plays an active role in their lives. The relationship between DP and his ex is strained to say the least.

I have looked into it a bit on the Internet. What I gather is he could get a court order preventing this initially but there is every chance she would appeal this to the end and looks to me that it is a real possibility she would succeed shock

It really doesn't bare thinking about the effect this would have on him and his relationship with the children. I am very very worried and looking for some advice.

prh47bridge Sat 04-Jul-15 13:24:32

As they were married your DP has PR. His ex therefore needs his consent or, failing that, a court order to allow her to move abroad with her children. If she moves without that she will be guilty of child abduction.

If she applies for an order the court will want to check that the move is genuine rather than an attempt to shut your DP out of his children's lives. His ex will have to show how contact will continue and how it will be paid for. She will also have to show where she will work, where she will live, how the children will be looked after when she is working and so on. The court will then have to balance this against your DP's opposition and consider what is in the best interests of his children.

JakieOH Sat 04-Jul-15 13:37:47

This is the problem as I see it. She would no doubt appeal it. She could move out there, be on a very good salary and i have no doubt the children would be well cared for. She has family there and it would work. From what I've read she stands a good chance of getting permission in the long run, although it's so absurd I'm not sure if I'm missing something confused

sctual contact would be minimal, once a year perhsps if that. Of course there is Skype,FaceTime Nd the likes but ffs that's nothing like being An active parent. I can't believe that there is chance this could happen shock

It's guess work at the moment but I honestly think this is what's going to happen. We will have a fight on our hands sad it's unbelievably selfish!!

JakieOH Sat 04-Jul-15 13:38:27

DP has parental rights. He is involved in every possible aspect of his children's lives

worridmum Sat 04-Jul-15 18:48:54

I cannot comment and give you exact details for your case but even if she does "win" she could well end up having to fianice the contact since she is the one moving away and the contact will certainly be more then once a year (in one case which I oversaw the EX wife had to pay for 5 childrens flights 3 times a year from new zealand (as in return flight costs) and he managed to get them for the vast majority of holidays basically the entire summer holidays and every other chirstmas and easter (the year the parent doesnt have for chirstmas gets easter etc)

While not perfect it was better then what the EX wife wanted (aka 2 weeks at summer and skype calls once a week...) oh and the EX was warned if she stopped visitation (as she had in the past the judge strongly warned her that she would become the NRP and as New Zealand courts work closely with the UK they actully enforce it

JakieOH Sat 04-Jul-15 19:07:16

My DP is a very involved father. He sees the children regularly, goes to parents evenings, sports days etc I don't think seeing them for blocks if the year and not actually having any parenting as such would be much consolation. Thank you for your advise, in the case you speak about, did the father fight tooth snd nail to keep the children in this country or was he satisfied with the outcome?

lostdad Sat 04-Jul-15 19:55:08

There are a lot of variables here.

But overall our experience shows there is around a 50% chance overall that your DP would be successful in preventing her moving the children. The landmark case that was frequently used to allow one parent to remove from jurisdiction (Payne vs Payne where Mother's alleged distress was used to persuade the court) has been partially overturned in recent years. We work as McKenzie Friends in courts up and down the country in all sorts of cases including ones like this.

There are a lot of complicating factors however. Where she is it a Hague Convention Country? Have things been awkward in the past? Is she doing or saying things that suggest the children wouldn't be permitted to see their father after doing so.

As always however the court would consider `the best interests of the child' so any basis of argument against youru DP's ex moving would need to focus on this.

If you fear she is going to move suddenly, the appropriate avenue would be to apply for a PSO (Prohibited Steps Order) - in which case it may be ordered until it is established whether she is liable to do so. It is possible that such an application would turn into a discussion about whether she is permitted to take the children abroad.

If we're talking about say, Australia, and she suddenly left your DP would be required to make an application to the Royal Courts of Justice to seek the return of the children.

Would strongly suggest your DP speaks to Families Need Fathers. He'll find a forum to access if he joins, support meetings around the country staffed with volunteers and solicitors giving pro bono advice and a free helpline, etc.

He should seriously speak to someone as quickly as possible. It may put his mind at rest and/or give him a potential plan of action. Hope this helps.

sleeponeday Sat 04-Jul-15 20:02:39

Worridmum, I don't understand - how did they split the long summer holidays always to the father, if the Christmas holiday was turnabout every year? In New Zealand, by definition, summer coincides with Christmas - they go off in late December and go back in early Feb. Our summer is their midwinter.

JakieOH Sat 04-Jul-15 20:05:10

Thanks so much that's really helpful. He is going to speak to her tomorrow about what's going on. I'm certain she wouldn't leave for at least another year. I also don't think she could do it on the fly as they have too many mutual acquaintances.

I find it utterly disgusting that this is even an issue. How can it be in the best interests of any child, with a loving father and paternal family, to move them away from that. It just beggars belief shocksad

JakieOH Sat 04-Jul-15 20:07:37

He has said its not going to happen to me, I've told him I would look into it but I'm not looking forward to informing him, if he gets a whiff of this happening, that he better get the best lawyer money can buy sad I genuinely don't think he would ever get over it. Unfortunately I do think this is going to happen but we will fight it.

sleeponeday Sun 05-Jul-15 00:07:11

Obviously I hope it never comes to that, but if it does... I went to boarding school in the 1980s, before the internet and before weekly/flexi boarding was a thing. A lot of the girls had parents who lived/worked overseas, so they only saw them in the holidays, and via occasional phone calls - no Skype, obviously. They had loving, normal parental bonds with their mums and dads, and still do to this day. Most were sent at 11, the odd few at 13 and some at 7.

I'm not saying it is ideal, I'm not saying his (and their!) pain won't be huge if it ends up that they relocate. But you mention that it won't be a parental relationship anymore - I just don't think that is true.

wallypops Sun 05-Jul-15 01:15:21

Can he apply to be resident parent. In France if I wanted to move back to the UK I'd have to go to court and there is a very good chance that I'd loose and it would be deemed to be in the kids best interest to stay in France.

STIDW Sun 05-Jul-15 03:59:49

Residence orders as such no longer exist, although if someone has a substantial amount of shared care a court may decide its in the interests of a child to remain in the UK with the parent who isn't moving because it's less disruptive to schooling, friendships and relationships with extended family. The ages of the children are important. Children's views are considered in light of age and maturity so the wishes of older children carries weight.

I would be interested to know where the figure of 50% for success in preventing relocation comes from. Anecdotal evidence can't be relied upon and as far as I'm aware the only recent research put the figure at 66% in favour of leave to remove. IF the parent had connections abroad permission was even more likely to be granted. I think your partner would be wise to consult a solicitor.

JakieOH Sun 05-Jul-15 10:04:21

If this happens its entirely different to going away to birding school IMO although I get where your coming from. They would be living somewhere else, their whole lives would be there, not just their school lives. I just feel it's different and it makes me sick to my stomach to think that resudent parents have the right to do that, in a situation such as ours!! I am speechless that she could take these children, because she fAncies a change and take them away from their dad! The children are 4 Snd 9

JakieOH Sun 05-Jul-15 10:05:46

The 9 year old has no concept if tit really. She told me she would be excited to get a tan but wouldn't really want to go because she would get bored on the plane confused she is too young to be able to make that decision

JakieOH Sun 05-Jul-15 10:06:24

Of it I mean shock blush bloody fat fingers grin

sleeponeday Sun 05-Jul-15 12:54:30

No, I do appreciate that, and I'm sorry if that appeared insensitive. I would be in bits if they were my children, too. I was just hoping that it might be of some small comfort. And I do genuinely feel that, enormous loss as it would be to both, the relationship could and would remain incredibly strong, despite grief on both sides.

I agree instructing a solicitor with expertise on this area might be your best bet. Is there no way he can talk to her (via mediation, if necessary) so he can highlight the loss to the kids of both parents in their daily lives? And is there an argument on her side that she has a great deal more emotional/practical support herself there, and/or better career prospects?

The New Zealand and Australian school year has 4 terms, each 10 weeks long, with 4 holidays. If the worst does happen, and as you say she will be on a good salary, and you can manage 1 flight annually for them yourself, your DH might be able to argue that he gets every Christmas (because that's the sole long holiday - 6 weeks) and all the rest, or at least 3 of the holidays, because she would have care the rest of the time. But that might not be feasible in terms of your own ability to look after them, I do appreciate that - nobody has 10/12 weeks of annual leave to throw about. However, I also flew to Australia to visit my father after a divorce when I was two, so unless things have changed, airlines will assign flight crew to care for unaccompanied minors and they are treated like royalty - no queues anywhere, first on and off planes, pick of the onboard food for all cabin classes and usually an air stewardess who loves kids and wanted the job. I remember being tucked in at night across the row of empty seats (this was pre-internet making booking super efficient, so doubt it still applies, sadly) they had put us into!

What I am saying is that I agree it would be heartbreaking, and I hope it doesn't happen (and it can sometimes be denied, from the comments below, and obviously a good lawyer will help with that) but if it does, then he will need you to argue for the best possible deal, and how to make it work for the children going forwards.

In case she decides to try to just take them, Reunite are excellent.

JakieOH Sun 05-Jul-15 13:12:04

Thanks again for your reply, they're all greatly aporeciated.

Depending on what is said today DP has scheduled a visit to his parents soliciter tomorrow. I honestly do t think she would ever just go with them without DP knowing. It would be next to near impossible for her to do that thankfully!

I've never really thought about this but I feel broken hearted for any parent, that is actively involved in their kids lives, whose ex decides on a change and just goes for it sad its just awful.

babybarrister Mon 06-Jul-15 11:32:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JakieOH Mon 06-Jul-15 11:48:09

Thank you baby barrister, I will pm you asap. AS meaning when I figure out how to do it on here, I'm fairly new to this site, although the timing couldn't be better!!

prh47bridge Mon 06-Jul-15 12:20:16

To PM someone click on the "Message poster" link to the right of the their name.

babybarrister Mon 06-Jul-15 12:21:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sleeponeday Mon 06-Jul-15 21:19:00

Good luck, Jackie. I am so pleased to hear the law is moving in the right direction. About time, if we are really serious about the welfare of children being paramount.

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