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Moving abroad with child - other parent?

(26 Posts)
SpanishSahara Sat 26-Mar-16 20:48:25

Hello, looking for any advice or anyone been in similar situation.

I am a single mother to a 4 year old.

I have been offered a job teaching in China in September. The only issue is getting permission from her father.

There is a restraining order in place (no expiry date) preventing him from contacting me. He has served time in prison for assaulting me. He does not have what I would call a stable life. He has been on unemployment benefits long term, he lives in a shared house with newly released prisoners/vulnerable people so it is not suitable for DD to spend longer periods of time with him.

He sees DD once a week - picks her up from nursery and has her til around 6pm.
This has only been consistent since September - was ad hoc before then. I do not believe taking her abroad would be detrimental to her regarding him.

It is a 2 year contract (so not forever) DD would get a free place at the school, accommodation provided, private medical insurance for both of us and a very good salary. There are no cons as far as I can see.

I would be happy for him to Skype /phone her regularly and see her when we come back to UK for holidays.

I don't know whether to ask friend/family to speak to him to get written permission, or go straight for a court order?

Given the background I have given here, would I likely be granted permission to take her?
Does anyone know how long these things can take? I also don't have lots of money if this is an expensive process. ..!

Thank you for any advice :-)

Marilynsbigsister Sun 27-Mar-16 07:26:16

We opposed my DH ex wife taking his children to hk last year. He had regular EOW contact. Skype is not the same. Judge ordered cafcas reports. - they came back in her favour. Judge refused application as she refused to agree to the 'every holiday' return to uk to be with father.
It's got little to do with your relationship with him. Everything to do with his with her. You have more chance if China is your home country and going would mean you have wider support. If not, then it's just about your choice that involves removing her father from her life.
Could you not teach English closer to home ? Europe for example?

Lunar1 Sun 27-Mar-16 08:10:38

If you apply to court I would try not to be so dismissive about your dd's relationship with her dad. Skype isn't the same as seeing him weekly. I think they'd want to know how often you planned to come back for holidays. It sounds like an amazing opportunity!

Marilynsbigsister Sun 27-Mar-16 09:42:50

Just to give you an idea of the kind of demands that the court can make... In our case.... Judge agreed she could take them if she agreed to returning child to UK every school holiday. Christmas, Easter, summer and all half-terms. DH would then have them for the entirety of their stay( but for one day to see maternal gp's. ) for Easter, and all half terns. All Christmas except Christmas Day (to be alternated) and 5 weeks of the summer holidays if he wished/could fit it in with work.
As HK was not a signatory to Hague Convention he demanded a £10k 'bond' be lodged with the court as surety that the children would be returned. Which could be utilised by DH to fight any legal battle against non-return in HK.

A 'mirror' order in HK (to be paid for by her) .
Weekly Skype.

SpanishSahara Sun 27-Mar-16 09:45:18

Thank you for the replies.

I only mentioned our relationship to give a bit of background as I think these things are relevant - he doesn't bother me at all and I genuinely believe he's moved on.

I guess the point I was trying to make was he hasn't been consistent in her life, he doesn't have her overnight (never has)'s kind of hard to put certain things on here and get my point across.
But it's not the case of a devoted father who does everything to see his child and provides a nurturing, stable life for her.

Sorry if I seemed I was dismissing their relationship, it's not that. I just don't think this 2 years abroad would be detrimental to it.

I know Skype is not the same, I just mentioned that because there is a restraining order in place and I would be willing to either drop that/reduce it (whatever the options are) in order for them to still have phone/Internet contact.

I would of course let him see her everytime we return to the UK, I don't think it would be overnight but he cannot have her overnight even with us living in the UK (not my choice btw) so that is no difference.

[Marilynsbigsister] Can I ask how long the process took?

Europe is not really a viable option because the pay is so low and they do not have packages that include accommodation/medical insurance etc. So as a single mother I wouldn't be able to afford it.

This is just a 2 year opportunity to see some of the world and save a decent bit of money! I honestly believe it would be an excellent opportunity for my daughter too; access to a top education and world experiences. If I thought there was any aspect of it that would be damaging to her I would not consider it.

SpanishSahara Sun 27-Mar-16 09:49:52

Sorry Marilynsbigsister I didn't see your reply before you posted!

As I said I would be happy for him to see her everytime we return but due to his personal situations/circumstances he doesn't have her overnight.

The school holidays would differ slightly to UK ones as it's a private school (I'm a primary school teacher)

SpanishSahara Sun 27-Mar-16 10:07:34

By the way there is still a good chance he will not oppose!

I just haven't broached the subject yet and wanted to find out any experiences people may have of the whole process and explore all the options.

DessertOrDesert Sun 27-Mar-16 10:27:41

A family I know wanting to do this.
Father has no contact, and doesn't pay maintenance.
He was offered 100% care, with Mum coming back for holidays, or signing a piece of paper allowing his 10 yr old to come with Mum, returning for holidays (work holidays, not school holidays).
He has refused both options, and its now a nasty (non UK) court fight.
Don't assume he might be reasonable with it.

Also, have a look at what the holidays are like? We get three day 'mid term' breaks. No way I'd want to be flying back from Aisa for that time. Maybe holidays over 8 days off school??

SpanishSahara Sun 27-Mar-16 10:54:51

No not assuming anything - I'm kind of swayed to thinking he would say yes because he doesn't have much knowledge of how to oppose it.

He is not English. He does not have much family here and has very minimal contact with them (he is kind of the black sheep, if you like).
He cannot read or write English very well and has very limited funds so I guess I just can't see him going through the legal process of opposing.

He also very much has the attitude of that I am the mother, and it is my duty to be the main carer. He knows me and her are very close and I think he respects this. Whenever he has had her and she has cried for me or to go home he has always brought her straight back.

I guess I just need to ask asap!

titchy Sun 27-Mar-16 11:37:37

Except he's not the one who has to instigate the legal process - you are if he disagrees.

MaitlandGirl Sun 27-Mar-16 11:45:35

My ex was quite happy for me to take the kids to live in Australia. He left when they were 9,7 and 4 and didn't see them after the first 9 mths after we split.

They're now 20,18 and 15 and hasn't seen them in over 10 years.

I was quite prepared to go to court but he got a letter witnessed by a solicitor and returned to me within 24 hours giving me permission to take them so he obviously wasn't concerned.

All you can do is ask.

babybarrister Sun 27-Mar-16 12:58:11

the court process will be slow and can take up to a year so you need to start it asap - you need to understand that in the absence of his consent that you will need to attempt mediation prior to issuing your application

Fourormore Sun 27-Mar-16 13:56:09

Surely if this man has served time in prison for assaulting the OP, the requirement to attend mediation will be waived..!

SpanishSahara Sun 27-Mar-16 14:08:29

Yes fourormore, I have looked at requirements online and if there is a case of domestic abuse mediation is waived.

I am going to speak to him tomorrow, but obviously there is a restraining order in place. Debating whether to just contact him myself or get a family member/friend to do it? Not concerned thst speaking to him will trigger anything but I don't want to do anything wrong law-wise.

DontcarehowIwantitnow Sun 27-Mar-16 14:12:20

Sorry if I seemed I was dismissing their relationship, it's not that. I just don't think this 2 years abroad would be detrimental to it.

That is quite naive. Of course it would affect it.

Sootica Sun 27-Mar-16 16:33:10

Is he named on her birth certificate?

Marilynsbigsister Sun 27-Mar-16 17:22:58

My DH ex started the application in May by 7 months later we had had failed mediation, 2 hearings and 2 Cafcass visits ( one to children while they were at hers, one with us)..and reports done. The final hearing was pencilled in for 2 months after that if she hadn't thrown in the towel. So 9 months in total.

JolieMadame Sun 27-Mar-16 17:35:11

You really need to see a lawyer.

It's expensive and long winded and a lack of a "no" from your ex isn't a "yes"

I gave up in the end

SpanishSahara Sun 27-Mar-16 18:27:10

Yes he is named on the birth certificate.

I definitely wouldn't do nothing JolieMadame - if he says yes I get a letter signed in front of a solicitor.

JolieMadame can I ask if you were wanting to move abroad or were you a parent opposing it?

JolieMadame Sun 27-Mar-16 18:37:39

I was wanting to move back home from abroad, each is abroad.

I'm resigned to being here forever now (at least until dc are much older)

JolieMadame Sun 27-Mar-16 18:51:24


BertieBotts Sun 27-Mar-16 18:58:03

You cannot (must not) contact him if there is a restraining order in place.

Do it through a solicitor.

MummyBex1985 Sun 27-Mar-16 21:22:39

if you're going to a country outside The Hague convention then why even bother telling the waste of space?

Probably not helpful, but how the hell would he ever know and would there be any legal recourse against you if he did?!

This is obviously not legal advice

Marilynsbigsister Sun 27-Mar-16 22:13:11

No it's not legal advice a darn right dangerous advice. If you move a child overseas without the express consent of all people with parental responsibility (parents, carer , court if subject to proceedings) then you are liable (and will be) charged with child abduction. Whilst not being a member of Hague convention means automatic return of the child to UK is not likely, the immediate arrest of the parent once she steps foot back in the UK is the most likely outcome. So unless you intend to move to a non Hague convention country forever. Do not even think about this ridiculous strategy. There is also the tiny matter of the child's right to an effective relationship with his/her father.

DontcarehowIwantitnow Sun 27-Mar-16 22:25:31

Probably not helpful, but how the hell would he ever know and would there be any legal recourse against you if he did?!

Errrrr because he might notice considering he sees his DC every week!

You aren't kidding about it not being legal advice.

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