I'd buried my head in the sand on this one, until DD raised the subject! She's 11. Has almost no contact with her Dad (saw him for an hour 6 months ago, a text every couple of months). She has no desire to see him again, due to emotional abuse. He therefore has PR, there is no court order in place. I presume if I die tomorrow, the default would be for her to live with him. But presumably I can do something to stop this? Is it enough to put it in a will? Do I even need to do that, if her opinions are taken into account? Thanks
Who would you want her to live with? I thought - but could be wrong - that the wishes if the child were taken into account when they are old enough to speak for themselves IYSWIM. If Dad is abusive I can't imagine anyone would make her live with him, surely? Unless there was no other option?
Make a will and appoint someone that both you and DD are happy with. I made arrangements for my DDs to live with a very dear friend, should something have happened to my XH and me when they were young.
You can express your wishes in your Will, but there is no guarantee. A decision would have to be made that would be in her best interests. If her dad expressed an interest in looking after her then that would be considered, but his previous involvement as a father would be taken into consideration. At her age, she would also be involved in the decision.
She has a close relationship with my parents, who live in the same village. Would be the obvious choice for minimal disruption etc. Sounds like I should pull my finger out and sort a will, to give things the best chance! Lack of evidence or court order against him is what worries me. Thanks all.
If he can't be arsed to see her more than once in 6 months, I seriously doubt he will queue up to take her on permanently, should anything happen to you.
I'd make a will to say that you'd like her to live with your parents. In the unlikely event anything happened to you she would corroborate that.
If you are very well off and he isn't (i.e. you are concerned he would argue to take her to get the money) then leave the money to your parents rather than your DD, with the understanding with them that they would provide for her. And/or put in a trust for your DD only.
It's not that he can't be arsed to see her, (although couldn't be arsed to go to mediation...) but that she doesn't want to see him, and rightly so. He's stated in emails that he hopes I die so he can 'get his daughter back'.
Mumblechum! We'll see if that works. I've seen her excellent words all over the place. I will also get some more formal advice and a will drawn up. But this is all v helpful for what I need to think about in advance.
you know where I am...... (paid for ad on Classifieds)
Certainly you can name a guardian in your will but as others have said technically it isn't binding however in the very unlikely event that you died before your dd is 18 and your ex "claimed" her as it were the guardians would make an application for a residence order and if they have a closer relationship with her and a wishes & feelings report established that her welfare would best be served by her living with the guardian and seeing her dad regularly it's exceeeeeedingly unlikely that the judge would go against that.