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Can I move with DC without telling DV ex?

(25 Posts)
WalkingDownTheRoad Tue 10-Jan-17 15:10:27

Ex partner has a conviction for assault, was charged with assaulting me but found not guilty from lack of third party evidence and I am waiting to hear whether he will be charged with sexual offences against me.

An occupation order was granted excluding him from my home and a non-molestation order which I agreed to exchange for court undertakings forbidding direct or indirect contact with me for a year.

We have DC who have not seen him since split but supervised contact is likely to start within the next few months (SS involved). Currently there are no court orders or applications regarding the DC.

I want to move back to my home town which is 25min train journey from where we currently live. I want to move there to get family support now I'm a single mum and to get a bigger property with more space for the DC, as it's cheaper than where we currently are.

He doesn't work, in case that's relevant - he has no work ties and does not have permanent housing in our current area. He has already stated in a letter that he will seek to prevent me moving by going through courts (I haven't told him I plan to). He has PR for the DC.

Ideally I would like to move this year and I would need to sell my place (it's not financially viable to rent it and use that to pay for rent elsewhere since I'm currently on benefits)

What is the correct process here. Given there's been DV can I just move without notifying him? Or should I go to court to ask permission to move? Or ask his permission via solicitors?

TIA

MrsBertBibby Tue 10-Jan-17 16:26:12

Are you in England/Wales? Would your move take you out of England/Wales (ie to Scotland?)

WalkingDownTheRoad Tue 10-Jan-17 16:46:29

Yes I'm in England and move would not take me out of England.

MrsBertBibby Tue 10-Jan-17 16:57:12

Ok.

There's nothing to stop you moving, although as he has parental responsibility if the kids are at school, you shouldn't change their schools without involving him, although in the circumstances, I don't see any judge getting particularly exercised about it, to be honest.

He can as you say try to get an order preventing a move. I suspect with such a small move, he might well fail to get an interim order stopping you, so by the time his application came to be heard it would be a done deal. It's hardly a move from Leeds to Penzance!

It might cause ructions with a house sale, though, if he caught wind of your plans. To be on the safe side, you can apply for an order yourself, I think it highly likely you would succeed.

Up to you, really. Good luck!

WalkingDownTheRoad Tue 10-Jan-17 17:23:04

Thank you very much for replying. Do you know roughly how long it might take to get such an order? Presumably it would be a specific issue order? It probably makes sense to just do it so that I can then get on with selling and all the hassle of that without the possibility of it being derailed by him.

WalkingDownTheRoad Tue 10-Jan-17 17:23:53

Children are in school so I will have to consult him sad

Phillipa12 Tue 10-Jan-17 17:31:08

I separated from my exh and moved 250 miles south all within England back to the town where i grew up and have family help, i had no family up where we were living. Exh did go and see a solicitor to see if he could prevent the move and the solicitor said no, he could only prevent it if i were moving that far and not near family.

MrsBertBibby Tue 10-Jan-17 19:01:19

Hard to say. First step is a formal letter setting out your plan, if he doesn't agree in a set time, issue (C100, C1A, and yes, you're after a Specific Issue order.)

You should in in court in 2-3 months for first hearing, I'd expect a judge to say that could be dealt with very fast, a half day hearing at most, no need for a CAFCASS report, imo. Depends how busy your local courts are, but assuming he fights it (and he may get arm twisted into agreement at the first hearing) then I'd say maybe 6 months.

WalkingDownTheRoad Tue 10-Jan-17 19:23:43

Thank you again - that's very useful.

He has also indicated that he intends to apply for a child arrangements order and residence order himself (which may very well be an empty threat which he is wont to make and the 'deadline' he set has passed with no papers issued), BUT if I were to apply myself re. moving would he be able to make these other applications and get them linked together so that it would slow down the whole process?

He is very likely to do anything he can to delay things because he is clinging onto any control over me that he can. Delaying legal proceedings is a favourite trick of his (seen him do it to others while we were together and also to me over the occupation order recently).

WalkingDownTheRoad Tue 10-Jan-17 19:29:19

I'm also wondering whether - if I put the house on the market and got it sold so that I would then in effect have to move - would that help or make me look unreasonable? I'm guessing the latter because instability is not in the DC best interest. Crazy thought. Argh.
Since I have to get his permission to move their schools I really have no choice but to go to court if he doesn't agree - right?
I don't get how women are advised to run away from abusive ex partners and not give them their addresses etc, if they still have to consult over schools etc? Am I missing something? I'd really like the security of him not knowing where I was tbh.

MycatsaPirate Tue 10-Jan-17 19:35:39

Speak to Women's Aid but I can only give you the benefit of my experiences.

My dp split with his ex. No violence, no court orders. She sent him an email informing him that she was moving with their DD from just around the corner from us to over an hour away. She had already sorted school for their DD and she had been accepted. School did not contact dp at all and didn't ask for his approval. He was married to his ex and had full PR for their DD.

So in my experience I'd just move. I moved from Scotland to England with my DD's and didn't tell my abusive ex (who has about 6 convictions for violence against me) until we'd actually moved. Wrong? Probably. Best move for me and the DD's? Definitely.

I am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong but if you don't tell him you are moving (as advised by my solicitor) then he can't stop you. He could take it to Court after you've moved but if they've already settled into schools then there's little chance of a Judge ordering you to move them again.

I'd look into getting them places after Easter and move in the holidays. You could stay with family while you find somewhere to live and sell your current home.

I wouldn't advise this if he was a decent man, but he clearly isn't. He's using the children against you, that's not good for them. He can travel 25 minutes on a train, that's nothing.

MycatsaPirate Tue 10-Jan-17 19:37:41

Sorry, the bit about him knowing where you live. He doesn't need to know. Don't give him any information. Don't tell the dc you are moving until you are actually packing up to go. Keep you and the DC safe.

All he needs is a contact centre. And if the order drops at any point then he can email you regards the dc. But in my experience as soon as his threats stopped becoming threats and I just laughed in his face, he lost interest. He hasn't bothered with the dc for over 2 years now and it's absolute bliss.

MrsBertBibby Tue 10-Jan-17 20:30:44

You don't have to have his permission to change schools, you need to tell him what you propose. It's up to him to stop you. Plenty of parents don't bother to consult on schools, and the sky doesn't fall in.

You don't have to give him your new address either, (complete a C8 for the Court if it comes to that, and provide a correspondence address.)

WalkingDownTheRoad Tue 10-Jan-17 21:13:11

Thank you. Lots of useful info and food for thought smile

Everytimeref Tue 10-Jan-17 21:20:09

Legally you can't change schools without permission. Just because others do it doesn't mean you won't issues if you just do it.

MrsBertBibby Wed 11-Jan-17 07:47:04

That's not actually true, Everytime.

The position is as I've stated.

Changing school is an exercise of Parental Responsibility. Where PR is shared, it can be exercised jointly or separately. Some exercises of PR can and are exercised unilaterally on a daily basis. Some require notification, some, like change of school, should be more consultative, however, ultimately, the ex can't prevent the change by just saying "no", he has to take steps.

In this particular case, where communication is already restricted by the family court, and there are allegations of sexual violence, it's not possible for the OP to have cosy chats about schools. Should she decide to act unilaterally, I would not expect a court to be overly concerned, the reality is it happens all the time, when women take the kids to a refuge, for instance. Never once seen a judge criticise a parent in such circumstances. The most she can be expected to do is to tell him, and to consider any view he puts forward. If he wants to try to stop her, and impose his ideas, then he has to take it to court. I doubt he would get far.

MycatsaPirate Wed 11-Jan-17 07:56:28

I agree. When my dp's ex moved their DD to a new school in a different area there was nothing he could do. His solicitor said he could take it to court but it would be an utter waste of time as the distance was just over an hour from their previous home and not considered that far. In the op's case they would be moving about 30 mins away so really he wouldn't get far at all.

Just move and change schools. You do not need to tell him beforehand and I wouldn't recommend it either.

WalkingDownTheRoad Wed 11-Jan-17 09:27:20

Thanks mrsbert, I know that you know your stuff and I'm happy to take your advice and, indeed, was quietly hoping for it in posting this thread. <cheeky>

mycats your experience is also really useful to hear since it's pretty directly similar.

I have another question, but of course understand if no one is able to answer it.

If the CPS decide not to charge him would that make a difference in how a judge would treat/view me?

Without going into too much detail the police say they believe me, because of electronically dated contemporaneous stuff I wrote, but from my last convo with my STO they are struggling to find admissible evidence aside from my statement, so while I will not be surprised if no charges are brought I don't think they will 'no crime' it. Not sure if that's relevant.

I have read that the family court can find as a fact that rape and/or assault have taken place where criminal charges were not brought or the criminal case failed. I am presuming this is not common.

MrsBertBibby Wed 11-Jan-17 09:50:42

It's actually pretty common, OP. The criminal courts require proof beyond reasonable doubt to convict, whereas in the Family court, the standard is the balance of probabilities, ie "more likely than not". So if he seeks contact through the court, the court should consider a Finding of Fact hearing to consider all the evidence and make rulings. CAFCASS can then report on the basis of the facts as found.

The court should order disclosure of all police evidence (logs, witness statements, photos, tapes of interviews) and the court can admit your records too. Your respective PNC printouts should also be ordered from police, that'll show his previous convictions. Social Services records can also be obtained.

Have you got a solicitor? The fact you have undertakings / O.O means that you can get funding for all this if you are financially eligible. Have you checked?

MrsBertBibby Wed 11-Jan-17 09:57:34

This is the practice direction covering how the court should deal with allegations of abuse

www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/family/practice_directions/pd_part_12j

WalkingDownTheRoad Wed 11-Jan-17 12:08:29

Thank you so much - that makes things much clearer.

I am in the very fortunate position to own my flat, and the equity in it is (due to sky high price hikes since I bought it many years ago) too high for me to qualify for legal aid. So I'm very lucky, but also since I'm on income support since he left there's no way of accessing any of the equity (no bank would lend to me, quite rightly) without moving. Catch 22.

Hi have a solicitor who is great, but also quite expensive, and I'm borrowing money from family members to pay for her (again I'm very lucky) but I don't want to build up too much debt on top of the nearly £4500 that ex left me with (spending on my credit card and my overdraft) so I'm trying to find stuff out so that I have some background knowledge before talking to solicitor, and so that I can only speak to her when I really need to. I hope it's not taking the piss to ask on here.

Contact with ex has to go through her, and it is frequent from him (a tactic of his to try to force me to allow contact that doesn't go through her by wasting my moneysad)

Woe is me, urgh. Sorry.

Potnoodlewilld0 Wed 11-Jan-17 12:11:34

I'd move ASAP and get them settled in a new school quickly. Good luck flowers

WalkingDownTheRoad Wed 11-Jan-17 18:12:18

I've just read through that whole link, its very useful indeed - thanks so much mrsbert

WalkingDownTheRoad Wed 11-Jan-17 18:19:13

Thanks pot. I wish it was a simple decision. There are lots of good reasons to move quickly but also some reasons to stay where we are for a while, primarily because one of my DC has a good relationship with the CAMHS therapist and counsellor who we are doing family therapy with (not ex obv), and the support from the school is amazing.

This DC is the eldest and has been the worst affected by everything that's gone on. They have made great progress since the split, but I'm very aware of how fragile the progress is and I want to safeguard it no matter what.

MrsBertBibby Wed 11-Jan-17 18:51:16

Glad it was helpful.

The CAMHS/school thing sounds like a huge reason to stay put for now.

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