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Shared Custody - Can One Parent Move Away?

19 replies

YesAnastasia · 11/04/2015 14:06

In a separation (not divorce yet...) with no legal custody arrangements. Dad has daughter half of the week & Mum the other with alternate weekends. She has a bedroom in both houses.

The Mum has a 'new' boyfriend with a child of his own. Can she take her daughter out of school, away from family & friends to live somewhere else if the Dad objects?

OP posts:
YesAnastasia · 11/04/2015 14:13

It is not amicable btw...

OP posts:
HowardTJMoon · 11/04/2015 14:52

One parent can move away. Whether a court would agree that that parent could take the child with them is another matter. The father could apply to court for a prohibited steps order to stop the daughter being taken away.

Depending on how far the move is, how significantly that would affect contact between the daughter and her father, and the reasons for the move then the court might agree that it's ok or it might not. The mother would have to persuade the judge that the move is in the best interests of the daughter and, given there is existing de facto shared care that presumably both parents agreed to, that might not be easy.

YesAnastasia · 11/04/2015 15:33

Would you recommend the Dad getting a legal shared custody agreement in court (if such a thing exists). He doesn't want her to move schools or the family.

OP posts:
HowardTJMoon · 11/04/2015 18:06

It depends how imminent and definite the move is. If it's going to happen next week then he'll need to talk to a solicitor to start court proceedings for a prohibited steps order ASAP while also applying for a more permanent order. If it's more vague and distant, though, it might be worth talking to Families Need Fathers in the first instance rather than going straight to court. They're a good bunch and have a lot of experience in this area.

YesAnastasia · 13/04/2015 10:05

Great, thank you Howard Smile

OP posts:
STIDW · 14/04/2015 00:49

In the UK legal custody was replaced with Parental Responsibility more than 25 years ago and residence or shared residence orders no longer exist. PR gives both parent equal responsibilities and rights to carry out those responsibilities. That means important issues such as living and contact arrangements need to be agreed.

When there is a dispute either party can apply to court for a court order to regulate PR. The new Child Arrangement Programme sets out the process for dealing with applications for child arrangements orders to determine living/contact arrangements and it is designed to help parents reach an agreement, where possible without a court order. There is a legal requirement that in most cases the applicant arranges a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting before the courts will hear a case. Try googling Child Arrangement Programme and "What the Family Court Expects of Parents. "

IF no agreement can be reached about about moving a child a distance away the parent who wants to move may apply to court for a Specific Issue Order for permission. Alternatively a parent who wants to prevent the move can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order. If the move is imminent it may be necessary to apply for a PSO to prevent the move at least until the court hears the case and has time to carry out investigations.

When the court makes a decision the judge must give regard to the welfare checklist in s1 Children Act 1989 and children's welfare is paramount. Other factors include the views of the the children according to their age and maturity, the family background, how settled parents new relationships are and the likely effect of any change of circumstance. If the 50:50 shared care arrangement is quite recent it can be an uphill struggle changing the status quo. The biggest obstacle to 50:50 shared care after parents separate is the absence of shared care 50:50 before they separate.

On the other hand if 50:50 shared parenting has been established for some time it may be deemed less disruptive to relationships, schooling and friendships for children to live with the parent who isn't moving for the majority of the time. Alternatively care can be still be shared say by the child living with one parent most of the time during term time and the other parent for most of the school holidays and half terms.

YesAnastasia · 15/04/2015 18:59

Wow, that's a lot of info. Thank you for taking the time.

He keeps saying that he has no rights, it's all for the mother so this is reassuring. He won't give up though.

OP posts:
Mesal · 03/01/2016 00:01

Hi All, I'm a mum of 3 kids ages from 9 to 5 years. I have separated from my Ex in July 2014 the split was very bitter having to go to court battling for the kids. In short the judge ordered shared care of 4 nights with me 3 nights every week. This order has been in place since May 2015 and has been going well. I have started a new relationship with a great guy also with a kid in the Midlands, 120 miles away from my Ex in London. As the family home I shared with my ex was up for sale I find I cannot afford to buy in London and have been living with the kids at my parents house. A temporary solution while I find permenant employment. I love my new partner and moving to the midlands make sense, I can also get the same job there. I really want to move and marry my new partner but am frightened that my ex will find a way to block me. I do want contact to occur, but clearly it will have to be less frequent . I know my ex will refuse and the matter go to court. Any suggestions.? I have been with my new partner for 8 months. Thanks in Advance ....

Munchkinlady · 01/08/2017 20:34

My son's wife had an affair last year..ended that in September then got with another man whilst still being married and living with my son..they have a 4 year old girl who me and my husband have looked after since she was born so they could both work. December she decided they needed a break so my son moved out for a while or so he thought but within a month she had changed her name and got her fancy man living with her...shes now moved 300 miles away and my son will get to see her every other weekend but he has to go get her and take her back...he will also have her during school holidays..but my grand daughter keeps saying she wants to stay with daddy she doesn't like the new house or school. She doesn't know anyone whereas if she lived with her dad she would go to school with children she's been in nursery with got 3 and a half years. This move was for the mother no consideration for the child or father...would my son stand a chance of getting sole custody??? Thank you

C0untDucku1a · 01/08/2017 20:39

Ive no legal advice but mesal 8 months?! No you should not change your children's whole life after 8 months!

CosmicPineapple · 01/08/2017 20:42

He can make an application to court but will be requested to try mediation first.

Did the ex tell him she was moving?
I am not sure anyone could predict an outcome and he is best seeking legal advice.

Only advice I will give is that he and you need to keep the personel feelings you have out of it. The judge is not interested so no using the words fancy man or putting the mother down.

Munchkinlady · 01/08/2017 21:14

I don't mean to put her down she's a good mum very harsh but good. She did tell my son she was going to move and he begged her not to get reply was you can't stop me..ill do what I want...we just think it's unfair that after 1 month a new bloke is living there and 6 months after there moving to live near his parents. It's not fair on the daughter...but thank you for advice I will get a solicitors Appointment for him if he wants to do that.. .many thanks

CosmicPineapple · 01/08/2017 22:02

I know its hard I really do.

He should have taken out a prohibited steps order when she told him she was moving. I dont think its fair or proper to rush in to new relationships either. My ex introduced his new gf to DC after 3 weeks of knowing her. It did mess my childrens heads up for a bit.

Legal route is best.
I hope he gets a fair contact order.

Munchkinlady · 01/08/2017 22:32

Thank you cosmic...its so heart breaking especially when she cries because she doesn't want to leave her daddy x

Minime85 · 02/08/2017 13:20

My friend moved her and her daughter to Spain 17 years ago. Courts put in place that she had to bring dc back so many times a year to dad. Was not amicable. Now 18 relationship is fine and whilst dad didn't keep up his side of going to Spain, my friend always bought her dc back to England to see her dad. Mine was in best interests of child to have a better lifestyle. Fathers do have rights but rights of child are what should come first.

Xxxtxxx · 17/11/2017 18:02

I live in n.ireland and want to move to england my ex partner who has just got 1.5 hours contact with just our D.D once a fortnight not our D.S due to D.S saying he hurt him.. i have to get court to agree on me moving... what are the chace court will agree has anyone ever been through this ? Thank you ...

adviceneeded2018 · 12/07/2018 00:05

Hi I really need some advise and opinions please! I have split up with my partner, we have a 4 year old son who is due to start school in September. I moved to this area when Our son was 6 months old. I am and always have been the primary caregiver. Now we have broken up he is seeing more of our son then he ever has and having more quality time. I’m not convinced this will last but he has moved house and is having him 2-3 nights a week. My family are from a different part of the U.K. it is a 2hr30 drive. I really want to move back to where I am from and be with my family and friends and I would ideally like to do it sooner rather than later before son gets settled in at school and older etc. There is nothing particularly wrong about the area we live in now but there is much better opportunity for me if I were to move. I would also have the support of my own family. His mum does help out now and ds does have a good relationship with them. I know he won’t agree to the move. How likely is it that if it came to it I would be stopped from moving? Thankyou. Break ups with a child are the worst

bluetrampolines · 12/07/2018 11:04

STIDW Your post is very helpful. Thank you.

JeremyWilliams · 25/10/2018 22:21

We have two girls aged 4 and 6. The marriage has broken down and my wife recently filed her divorce petition. It is clear that she intends to move from Manchester, where we live, to Colchester to be closer to her mother. There are no other family members in Colchester and very little in the way of a network to rely on.

The kids are happy and settled in school / nursery and have lots of family on my side within a short drive from our home.

The thing with our set up is that I, as a father, have done a little over half of all the childcare since our children were born with the exception of maternity leave lasting 9 months each time. The balance of childcare to date is easy to prove and is not really in question.

We are still living together in the family home whilst the divorce takes place, and there are therefore no contact arrangements in place because we are all together every day anyway.

We completed mediation but still do not agree re relocation, so this is heading to court. But being a father, it feels as though it will be an uphill struggle to convince the court that the children’s best interests are best served by remaining in Manchester. I know this is 2018 and the child’s welfare is paramount, but I still can’t help feeling as though I have a tougher battle to face than my wife does.

Having read this thread, I’m keen to get some advice for a father who is majorly involved with their children’s upbringing and who should potentially be regarded as the primary caregiver, rather than someone from a more traditional setup where the mother is primary. Should I be looking at trying to become the primary carer post divorce?

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