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Anyone know if a court would listen and take note of what a 12/13 year old said IF the other parent went for residency?

(10 Posts)
Foslady Fri 11-Dec-15 20:49:42

Can't say too much but there has been a change in circs for dd's dad, and I can't stop worrying that he might go for full residency of our daughter.

She's happy, healthy and thriving at school (which is closer to our home) and there's no SS involvement (or ever has been). Everyone says I'm a good mum, she is well balanced. She has told me previously (within the last few weeks even) that she would not want to live with him and his new family, but because of the new situation it bothers me that he will try to get her living with him (mainly to avoid a court ratified contribution allowance I get for her) and use the argument that I work full time and she comes home to an empty house during the week.

If I lose her I will have lost everything - I can cope with her growing up and moving on with her life, but having to give her up to her father would destroy me.

Please, please could any of you offer me some reassurance? Discussing this with him is NOT an option, he lives his life totally separate to us now, I don't even drop/pick up dd off at his house as he wants us all kept compartmentalized.

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traviata Fri 11-Dec-15 21:01:14

Yes, the court will listen to a 12/13 y/o, and if each parent could take adequate care of the child, her views will probably be decisive at that age.

Your ex would have an uphill task, by the sound of it, because he would have to persuade the court that it would be better for your DD to change the arrangements than to leave them as they are. It isn't just a question of whether her dad could offer a nice set-up. It would have to be actually in her interests for the whole arrangements to be changed, and from what you say, that isn't likely.

Incidentally, if he does apply to court, it's the rule now that you have to try mediation first (unless specific exemptions apply).

Foslady Fri 11-Dec-15 21:20:23

Thank you traviata - there is no 'better' option for her at her fathers house, different but not better (other than financial - there's a lot more money going into that household than ours). She says that she doesn't feel 'at home' there like she does here, and prefers the way how we have our lives here (I listen to her for starters).

And I wouldn't be afraid of mediation - I just want HERE to be her main residency, and I'm sure she does too. He currently has her for 24 hours a week and she's quite happy at that. (an overnight and a teatime)

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traviata Fri 11-Dec-15 22:38:53

sounds as though he would be on a hiding to nothing.

TheTigerIsOut Fri 11-Dec-15 22:57:17

How long do the current arrangement been in place? That also counts too.

Foslady Fri 11-Dec-15 23:25:36

The situation has been like this for nearly 7 years - longer than it was when we were a couple (that sounds so sad).

Thank you for taking the time to reply - I suffer from anxiety, which is always worse this time of year, and this on top........but I can feel the level dropping again now that you've explained things to me

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TheTigerIsOut Sat 12-Dec-15 00:24:06

Ii really don't think you need to worry much about this. Concentrate on enjoying and supporting your DD and criss that bridge when you get there (if you ever do).

pissinginthewind Sat 12-Dec-15 01:33:21

Hi, I am a family court adviser (FCA). No such thing as contact and residency these days, it's a Child Arrangement Order (CAO).

Yes the courts like you to try mediation first except in cases of domestic abuse or where mediation has failed. Given what you say, i would not worry. The FCA does not speak to the child before the first hearing but if need be work can be done after the first hearing and the courts are very interested in what the child wants. Courts are also keen to maintain the status quo if possible and arrangements only changed if it does benefit the child.

Also may people represent themselves due to lack of legal aid. The judges are experienced in this and it's not essential to pay for a solicitor. Many courts have volunteers there who can attend hearings with you for support.

TheTigerIsOut Sat 12-Dec-15 05:53:33

Derailing the thread a bit.. Pissing,, where can I find info on how to become one of those volunteers?

Foslady Sat 12-Dec-15 09:41:57

Thank you so much everyone for explaining this to me and the time you have taken to do this, I really appreciate it. After a good nights sleep and Pissingintheeinds explaination I know that it wouldn't be seen as a better option, only a different one, and feel more settled. I know deep down that it probably won't happen, but at times she's been the only thing that's kept me going through it all, and I just want her to be happy, and I know that is here.

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