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Can my H refuse to let me move out with my DS?

18 replies

dialup · 13/12/2006 08:38


I am in the middle of marital breakdown at the moment and my H and I have agreed to split.

I can't afford to stay in the house we are renting with just myself and my DS, so I have found a flat to rent. I have agreed to move in three weeks, however my H has now said that I cannot move out with my DS as it would be abduction. Is this correct? Can he stop me from moving out with my DS?

Any advice would be very much appreciated - this whole process is a real minefield!


OP posts:
LIZS · 13/12/2006 09:58

No I don't think he can stop you but you really need good legal advice(as he sounds as if he'll be awkward now anyway), you can usually get an intial solicitor's appointment free or contact the CAB who can advise you and/or refer you to one.

xmasmummy · 13/12/2006 10:50

you are perfectly within your rights to move out with your son. if his name is on the birth cert and ds was born after 2003 he will have parental rights which will mean you have to give him access but if he wants ds to stay with him he will still have to apply for custody

dialup · 13/12/2006 11:03

Thanks very much for the advice!

Would it be worth applying for custody myself to ensure that H doesn't do it before I do?

As I will be moving out in three weeks, I'm afraid H might apply before I have a chance to move.

OP posts:
hoolagirl · 13/12/2006 14:35

Go and see someone quick, could you possible move in with a friend just now until you get the flat as it sounds like he may become more and more difficult the closer it gets?

MerryPiffmas · 13/12/2006 14:39

it is not abduction, taking him out of the country would be.
Legal advice asap if he tries to restrain you from leaving it is worth involving police liaison in advance so that you have someone to call should he be an arse about it.

sunnysideup · 13/12/2006 15:08

It's not abduction, no, but you really need to either agree with your dh where your ds will live, or get legal advice asap.

There is nothing that says you have the right to have your ds with you any more than your dh does, iyswim, so if there is complete disagreement then you would need to get a court to make a decision on where the child lives and on contact with the non-resident parent.

It really is a horrible process and it's horrible to have your child's future being planned by strangers.

If you possibly can get a reasonable chat with your dh, it would be so, so much better to agree this between you....I feel for you both, you are in a horrible position but then again for a man, losing that day to day contact with their child can be incedibly scary, even if they haven't been the best of husbands and fathers....maybe present it to your dh that you ought to agree it between you because if it went to court he may get less contact than you are offering?

gigglinggoblin · 13/12/2006 15:35

agree with ssu. you both have equal rights to your son so you saying you are taking him is just as unreasonable as your h saying he is keeping him. court is a long, horrible process which is also v expensive and generally wont help keep things civil. you need to sit down and sort out contact rather than just assuming you will get custody as there is no guarantee you will. it wont make any difference who applies to court btw, but it might be worth seeing a solicitor for advice. however - you need to remember some solitors can be fairly bloodthirsty and if you go along with everything they say (depending on solicitor of course!) you can upset h and make things worse rather than better. please try to sort it out nicely between you if at all possible, your ds will thank you for it

Judy1234 · 13/12/2006 15:43

Would you be happy if he moved your son out with him? You'd be devastated. Fathers feel as upset as mothers by this kind of thing. So you need to think of compromises which helps you both have a lot of contact with the son you both love. A court would do just that. Yes, he coudl get a court order but they tend to maintain the status quo so if he's a house husband and you work full time then he's likely to get his order but the other way round he's not.

Perhaps you could agree to have your son for half the week each which works well for some families.

sunnysideup · 13/12/2006 15:43

that's a good post giggling. I think many people have difficulties discussing this stuff together (understandably) and mistakenly think getting solicitors involved will make things easier. It SO won't. It adds another 'layer' of people in which just results in chinese whispers and miscommunications occurring, and the system itself is confrontational and oppositional.....

I think huge deep breaths are required and some serious thinking about how to communicate with the dad in order to be able to agree on residence/contact. But definitely it ought to be borne in mind that there is no automatic right for the child to live with the mum....don't come at it with your ex as if you are 'giving' him contact, more that you are agreeing between you as equal parents.

Even if he's been a terrible dad and you are NOT equal in the parenting currently!

It's hard I know.

SantaGotStuckUpTheGreensleeve · 13/12/2006 15:54

Abduction? He's a dinosaur. He's trying to scare you into staying. Of course you can move out and take your son with you. If he wants custody he'll have to go through the courts.

SantaGotStuckUpTheGreensleeve · 13/12/2006 15:55

And totally disagree with Xenia that shuttling the child back and forth for half the week is a healthy or viable option. That thinking is centred on the parents' needs, not the child's.

gigglinggoblin · 13/12/2006 16:01

greensleeves i have to disagree. that attitude will not help. so she moves out and takes her child. next time dad sees him he refuses to give him back. nothing she can do unless court order is in place, huge chain of misery begins.

badly handled this could screw up your child for years, believe me i have been there. having the attitude that you are female and so can do what you like is not only wrong, it is likely to count against you if you do go to court. talk to him, show him this thread and get him to ask questions of people who have been there if he wants. you both need to act like adults and it will be the hardest thing in the world to do, but it will make the next few years sooooo much easier if you start out being reasonable. if you cant talk, write to each other (remembering that anything you write can be shown to the court!)

ProfessorGrammaticus · 13/12/2006 16:02

You have agreed to split, now you have to agree the arrangements with your DH.

You both have equal "rights" but that's not the point - your son's needs are paramount and you need to work out between you how to meet those needs, before you separate. Have a talk to your DH, if that doesn't work consider mediation to try to agree how things will work once you are a separated family and no longer a family that lives together.

Always bear in mind that once he is old enough to have a view (?teenage), a DS may prefer to live with his father and visit his mother, rather than the other way around.

SantaGotStuckUpTheGreensleeve · 13/12/2006 16:03

I haven't suggested she stop talking to him, or deny him access to the child though! I just think she is within her rights to move out with the child, and I think the "half a week here, half there" arrangement is a bad idea.

sunnysideup · 13/12/2006 16:27

The dad would be equally within HIS rights to move out with the child too! It's just far far better at this stage that we talk about agreements rather than leap straight to 'move out and let him go through the courts'....that's the place you want to end up as a last, last, last resort after you have turned yourself inside out trying to agree between parents.

It's so much better for the child if the parents do this rather than the courts.

JollyOldSaintNikkielas · 13/12/2006 19:32

How old is DS?

dialup · 15/12/2006 11:59

Hi All

Thanks so much for all your very helpful advice! My DS is 3.5.

The very good news is that my H saw his solicitor Wednesday and has now agreed that I can have residency and that he will have weekly contact, so the crisis is over!

Thanks everyone for getting back to me. I have been trying really hard to keep things amiciable, but I know my H is really thrown by all this and is lashing out at me.

Don't know quite what his sol said to him, but I think it was along the lines that he would be unlikely to keep custody if he tried to get it given DS's age.

Thanks again!

OP posts:
JollyOldSaintNikkielas · 15/12/2006 20:25

Great news

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