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Ex-wife moving children to France

  • Confused67
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14 May 12 #330453 by Confused67
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I was recently divorced and we have 2 children together age 5 and 7.We have shared custody and she has residence.

To make a long story short, her boyfriend lives in France and she is about to move there with our children.

After Easter holidays she has been blocking me and my parents physical contact with them and now she is asking for my personal details so that her boyfriend will fill in ofrms to take back to France.

Although I have already a solicitor in the case, she is slow in making an appointment with me so I am asking for help on the following questions:

1. What might her boyfriend need my contact details to fill in forms to take to France? Are they trying to take me to court there for contact? residence? child support?

2. She claims that until courts sort out my contact with our children she won''t let me or my parents see them but she allows Skype calls once a week for me. Is this even legal to do?

3. Can she enroll our children to a French school without me being notyfied even though we have shared custody?

I would appreciate all your answers.

  • dizzybee
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14 May 12 #330461 by dizzybee
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Do you have a court order that states
''Shared Residence'' or ''Full residence'' to mother and contact with father?
''Custody'' is a term that is no longer used.
You both have parental responsibility though.
I am sure as France is out of the jurisdiction your ex wife cannot just up sticks and take the children with her unless you agree to this.


  • sexysadie
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14 May 12 #330479 by sexysadie
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If you have parental responsibility your ex cannot take the children out of the country on holiday without your consent, unless she has a residence order in her favour. She certainly can''t move them there permanently - even a residence order only lets her take them for a month.

You need to move fast to get a Prohibited Steps order in place before she actually makes the move. She will then have to apply for permission to move them. The fact that she has tried to do it unilaterally will count against her here, though she may still manage it if she has suitable plans for education, housing, her employment etc. in place.

I expect the details she needs from you are to enrol your children in a French school, but it could be for anything beaurocratic, probably. She is really breaking all the rules here, though, as you are supposed to be consulted about school choice even in this country.

If your solicitor is dragging her or his feet then you need to impress upon them that this is urgent or change solicitor. You need to get your prohibited steps order in place before she actually makes the move as it will probably be harder to change things once she has actually left.

Best wishes,

  • pixy
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14 May 12 #330482 by pixy
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Ditto what Sadie says but if she has been blocking contact it sounds as though you also need a contact order. It would be a good idea to assemble evidence of contact blocking or she might turn round and say you just weren''t interested enough to make an effort to see them.

  • AbsentFather
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14 May 12 #330489 by AbsentFather
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No need to worry about France.

If she removes your children from the UK for longer than 1 month without the court authorising such a move and without your consent then it is child abduction and she will have just made one of the biggest mistakes she could have done.

France is covered by the Hague Convention so without the courts authorisation to remove the children the French authorities will quickly locate the children and repatriate them.

Play along with it and see what happens. My wife who is a French national removed the children last summer and left them in France with her parents without my consent whilst she returned to work in the UK and had no idea that what she was doing was a criminal act.

If the police report she has abducted the children on a previous occassion then it will make it harder for her to then apply to the courts to take them out of the UK on a permanent basis.

  • Confused67
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14 May 12 #330509 by Confused67
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Thank you all for your replies.
They have been very helpful and greatly appreciated.

I have some news to share.

After a short contact with her I can confirm that she is trying to enroll the children to a French school, this is why her BF needed my contact details.

As it seems, she is trying to sneak them out of the UK but she is having some difficulties.

I arranged a meeting with my solicitor on Wednesday and I will find out what I should do from then on. I am afraid I should have to stop her before she moves there, so I am thinking of notifying the school and getting a Prohibiting Order as well.

I am not sure how it will be with contact with my children until a contact order is settled as she is now backing out to them spending two weeks with me in summer, that was arranged before all this madness began.

I will not contact her until I get advise from my solicitor on this, too but I don;t know how to proceed. I offered mediation but she called my solicitor and said she cannot pay for this and she cannot get legal aid either, which is weird as she is not employed and the only income she has is the child support that I am giving her. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you all for your help.

  • mumtoboys
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14 May 12 #330510 by mumtoboys
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I''m no expert on legal aid but it''s probably that she needs to be on qualifying benefits or be able to demonstrate what her income is from an employer (payslips). As she has neither, she isn''t meeting the criteria?

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