Tell her dad or not?

(9 Posts)
Natsku Fri 05-Aug-16 13:25:02

Help me please, I need to decide before tomorrow morning when DD's dad comes for his visit.

Basically, I live abroad and me and DD are flying to England next week because of a bit of a family crisis (might be our last chance to see her uncle) but her dad (my ex) doesn't know yet so technically I don't have his permission to take her abroad.

He is not a reasonable person so cannot approach this in the way you would approach something with a normal person. I have two choices here - I can ask him tomorrow to sign a letter giving permission (as I usually do, although I've never been asked to produce a letter at border control), thus letting him know about the trip and giving him the opportunity to deny permission (as he did last year when we were planning a holiday so we couldn't go) and possibly even try and contact the authorities claiming I'm going to abduct her or something

Or, I don't ask his permission, don't tell him about the trip (but risk DD telling him - she's 5 so she can't understand and of course I'd never ask her to keep something from her dad) and then inform him once we are in England (because he will be missing one of his fortnightly visits with her. I will of course offer the following Saturday for the visit instead)

I do have a letter he signed last December (when he was fresh out of the psych ward and on his meds, so reasonable) saying that I can take her to England this summer but its dated so I doubt it'll hold much weight if he denies permission now.

So ask permission tomorrow or not?

tribpot Fri 05-Aug-16 13:35:03

Tough one. UK law says you could take her abroad (meaning from the UK) without permission if you have a child arrangement order that says the child must live with you. What does the law of the country you're living in say?

In practice you are more likely to be asked for proof of permission if she and you don't don't share the same surname, so that may partly guide your decision.

However, I really don't think you can announce after you've left the country that he will have to miss a contact visit. Do you think he might try to report her so you're stopped at the border if he knows you're going?

twoundertwowillbefun Fri 05-Aug-16 13:35:12

I don't know what the answer is but surely once you've already done a trip out of the country he can't very well stop future trips. He's already set the 'tone' legally speaking.

I would tell him you are going though and ask what he would like to do in regards to the missing visit (make it up another time etc) but make it clear he hasn't got any choice in this matter. I think you may only have a problem with the fact you are taking away his regular timings.

Someone with better knowledge will probably set me right though confused

Natsku Fri 05-Aug-16 13:49:44

DD has his surname but we've travelled a few times without being asked for a letter of permission, only for proof that she's my child.

I am scared that he might try and report that I'm kidnapping her so we'd be stopped at the border but I'm not entirely sure what the burden of proof is for him to report such a fear. It seems parents can take their children abroad and the other parent can only stop it if they have a very good reason to fear kidnapping, or the child is being taken to a dangerous place (like a warzone). And I just looked up a case where a father tried to claim the mother kidnapped his child because she took the child on holiday during which he missed some visitation time but the case was dismissed because it doesn't qualify as abduction for that so it seems precedent would be on my side.

Natsku Sun 07-Aug-16 10:40:17

Well I told him (he swapped his visit day to today) and he refused to sign it. Fuck.

mummytime Sun 07-Aug-16 10:46:03

Well you could try going on the existing letter, and hope he hasn't bothered to inform the authorities. Or you could try getting a court order.

tribpot Sun 07-Aug-16 10:59:18

He'll be expecting you not to go, as happened last year when he refused to sign the letter. So I would go - it seems very unlikely he will contact the authorities and report you for abduction. Unless you're flying from/to Canada, I don't believe you are required to have a permission letter, but I would take the one you already have.

Then when you get back, you need to sort this out legally so that he can't unreasonably withhold consent to travel from you. As I noted above, in the UK if you had a child arrangement order that the child was to live with you, you could travel for 28 days without permission. Does something similar exist in the country where you're living?

Natsku Sun 07-Aug-16 12:40:56

I'm going to go on the existing letter and hopes he doesn't contact the authorities. Reckon you're right and he'll expect me to cancel again.

Have emailed my lawyer - this should be a good reason to get sole custody as he can't be reasonable.

Natsku Sun 07-Aug-16 12:43:17

Don't know too much about the laws here. We have joint custody but I'm the 'close' parent so she lives with me and I have slightly more rights than him but not entirely sure what those rights are.

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