my ex is a childrens social worker. we have two boys 9 and 12. she hinted at moving to australia when we split and i thought nothing of it. recently though she has been in a real rush to deal with finances and get me to sign over the house to her,(joint mortgage)
she has a friend in the same profession and she moved four years ago. recently the kids said mum was looking at australia on the internet.
three questions. can i stop her moving? i am in court next week for a contact order and there has been a great degree of hostility etc. if they did move its unlikely that i would see my kids again.i have been told she must agree contact flights etc but i cant see that being enforceable once she leaves.
secondly can i agree to keep the mortgage joint until the kids are older? this would put a spanner in the works to some degree and what legal clout does she have to make me sign it over?
thirdly can it be legally written into the Consent Order that if i did sign over the house she cannot relocate to austalia?
she has said nothing openly about moving and is unlikely to until the last possible minute. help!
Re apply to court for a residence order with you having a sole residence order with her having contact. Also you can apply for a prohibitive steps order which would prevent her leaving the country without your permission
Even tough she''s said nothing, you have reason to be suspicious. I would assume the worst - not sign over the mortgage etc, as realistically you would lose your relationship with your children if she took them. As matank suggests, it may be worth fighting harder now for SR or more contact.
Some points to think about - I believe there is some mechanism whereby orders made in a UK court can be mirrored in another juristiction, making them easier to enforce. Also, would you be able to relocate to Australia yourself, if need be?
You may find you are worrying unnecessarily. The idea of moving to paradise is seductive, but actually doing it is something else. 12 is quite old to relocate IMO, and she may think better of it.
I should add - I would get specialist legal advice myself, in the same situation.
Your consent or permission from the court is required to relocate the children permanently if you have Parental Responsibility. A court determination will take many months and when making a decision the courts will consider how well though out plans are for living arrangements, education, finances and contact. If there is a poor contact history and/or it is found your ex''s motivation is to frustrate contact the courts are less likely to grant permission. The motivation for opposing the move is also a consideration.
When there is a flight risk you should can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order, but bear in mind applying for one unnecessarily can be perceived as aggressive and controlling. Taking children abroad without the appropriate consent/permission is a criminal offence and if your ex relocated the children to Australia (which is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction) the children would be returned to the jurisdiction of the courts here.
If you don''t agree to the move and there is no flight risk a Specific Issue Order is seen as a more constructive way to resolve matters. Your ex would need to apply for a SIO to obtain permission to relocate from the court.
You could maintain a financial interest in the former matrimonial home or in a different property in the form of a chargeback which is paid when certain conditions are met. The usual conditions are the youngest child reaching 18 or the remarriage or death of the parent with the majority of care.