Here I am a few days after my initial post and things are moving very fast!
I was in a meeting yesterday with my solicitor when I received an email from my ex asking me to sign under a form so that she can enroll them in a French school, which is the best option for them.
Solicitor says that it makes no difference if she lives in France or not.The court papers are going to be send to her wherever she is and if she fails to attend it will be contempt of the court.
I have read differently, that if she moves outside UK then I will have to go to France to get a court order. The UK courts cannot touch her over there.
Ex now also claims that she has contacted mediation Services although she called my solicitor and made it clear that she does not want to go to mediation. This led my solicitor writing her a letter (that she will receive today) about what I want concerning contact.
The deadline for me sending the form out to school is tomorrow and I have the feeling I stand between a rock and a hard place.
If I do not sign them, then my children will lose place in a very good school. If I do is like agreeing for them to be relocated there even BEFORE we have a court order ready. What should I do???
Is this part of a plan so that I give written consent to them moving there by emotional blackmail?
EX says I cannot stop her from moving whether I sign the forms or not and that if I try to stop her I will only harm the children. She does not reply though why she has blocked contact for me and my parents.
When a child habitually lives in the UK the UK courts have jurisdiction. It would be the criminal offence of child abduction not to return the child to the UK. Google s1 Child Abduction Act 1984. As I said before children can be returned to the UK under the Hague Convention. Only if a child has been living abroad for a few months does their habitual residence change.
I wouldn''t sign anything at least until there are proper arrangements in place. Without your consent it could take 9 months or so for a court to grant permission and another application can be made to the same school for next year. Does the solicitor mention in the letter anything about your wife requiring your consent to relocate the child abroad?
Fiona I think the issue for the OP is whether she will remove them before a Consent Order can be issued. And if he supplies details to enable her to enrol them in a French school will he have been deemed to have given consent to the removal or make it an arguable issue that he has given consent.
For the time being there are two separate issues: an imminent removal from jurisdiction and the medium/long term issue of contact.
Contact the border agency or your local police if there is an imminent risk of the children being removed. They can put a block on all ports and airports and the ex wife will have to show proof that she is only taking them on holiday (return tickets).
If you scan her letters or forward on the emails showing her intention to remove the children to live overseas and show these to the border agency or police they will not permit her to remove the children until there is a court order.
This is a police matter once she tries to take them out of the UK as she is commiting a criminal act. Don''t feel any guilt. She has to follow the correct procedures here.
pixy, I understand that and I''m trying to ascertain whether the solicitor is dealing with both. What I''m saying is that if Mum takes the children abroad the courts in the UK still have jurisdiction and she would need to return here for contact and/or abduction proceedings.
More disturbing news:
MY solicitor is in court today so I won''t be able to talk to her!!
I am left with a very difficult decision to make.
I am thinking:
Should I contact the French school and ask them if they can reserve the places for the children without me giving a written consent?
I will explain the reasons for this, of course.
I do NOT want my children to suffer but I understand it will be made very difficult once they are outside UK. She can claim illness etc and drag it out for months even years! Until then I won''t be able to see my children.
Fiona, no, my solicitor did not mention anything about this. You see, the letter was written BEFORE yesterday''s event and now I cannot contact her since she is in court!
DId you not discuss the relocation issue with your solicitor? Since your ex doesn''t appear to know she needs your consent to move the children I would have thought it would be helpful for someone to point out that relocating without the appropriate consent or permission would be committing a criminal offence under the Child Abduction Act.
Obviously if she won''t take this on board and there is an imminent flight risk you need to consider getting a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent the move until matters can be sorted properly. The charity Reunite has an advice line and my suggestion would be to contact them.