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Moving with Child pre Divorce

  • chirst147
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21 Mar 20 #511864 by chirst147
Topic started by chirst147
Hi All.
My girlfriend separated with her husband 3 years ago after trying for years to keep the marriage gong.
I met he 18 months ago. Her little boy is now 3 1/2 and we are very happy. The father sees his son although sometimes only when it is convenient with him. He also pays no maintenance and calls me a charity for paying out for them both. He also wants me to have nothing to do with his son but that is not possible.
We do not live together and last November I moved 200 miles away with the intention of my girlfriend and her boy moving sometime this year.
He will do everything to make the divorce and custody discussions complicated as he just wants to make our lives a difficult as possible.
My question is: If she moves prior to divorce and he objects will she be forced to move back? We are happy for him to see his son as often as he wants. Will any decision take into account his lack of financial support?
Thanks

  • rubytuesday
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23 Mar 20 #511884 by rubytuesday
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Welcome to Wikivorce.

She doesn't need his consent to move, but she will need to ensure that there is a good, inclusive arrangement offered regarding child spending time with Dad (whether he takes that up or not is a separate matter).

Regardless of how much child support is paid, or how often Dad spends with child, he still has full parental responsibility. This means she can't enrol child in a new school without Dad's agreement, or permission from the court. So while this isn't a problem in the foreseeable future, it may well become an issue when your partner tries to register her child for infant/primary school in the new area.

Dad could apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent his child being moved away from the area child is currently living in - he would need to demonstrate to the court that moving child away would be detrimental to him, ie:

• The other parent is acting unilaterally, disrupting the child’s well-established routine, and shared parenting with Dad is being terminated without regard to the child’s best interests;

• The other parent’s relocation will effectively erase Dad from your child’s life;

• Dad suspects the other parent’s motives, as there was no discussion with him to seek viable alternatives;

• The other parent has no pressing need to relocate, so Dad believe it has been done to prevent contact;

• Removal from the area is not in the child’s best interests as they are settled at school and moving them away would interrupt their relationships with teachers, friends, other relatives, and, of course, Dad.

Judges don't like to restrict personal freedom of movement, and your partner would need to demonstrate that the move is in the best interests of the child, ie the proposed area is where she is from so there is a good family and friend support network, the quality of employment, housing, lifestyle, health benefits, education is superior to the area she currently lives in, etc.

I suggest your partner puts together a comprehensive proposal for child arrangements, including who will travel and who will pay for that, and requests mediation as a safe platform for discussing the proposed move. Regardless of how much child support is paid, or how often Dad spends with child, he still has full parental responsibility. Hopefully they will be able to come to an agreement between them via mediation.

  • littleproblems
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18 Aug 20 #513743 by littleproblems
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"This means she can't enrol child in a new school without Dad's agreement, or permission from the court"

Is this true??

  • rubytuesday
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18 Aug 20 #513745 by rubytuesday
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Yes, it's true, where Dad has PR.

A footnote in A v A [2004] EWHC 142 (Fam) provides a useful "pocket guide" to Parental Responsibility.

1. Decisions either parent can take independently of the other without consultation or notification:
• How the children are to spend their time during contact periods;
• Personal care for the children;
• Activities undertaken;
• Religious and spiritual activities;
• Continuing to take medicine prescribed by a GP.
2. Decisions either parent can take independently but of which they must inform the other:
• Medical treatment in an emergency;
• Visits to a GP and the reasons for them;
• Booking holidays or taking the child abroad during contact time.

3. Decisions which must only be taken following consultation:
• Selecting a school and applying for admissions;
• Contact rotas during school holidays;
• Planned medical and dental treatment;
• Stopping medication prescribed by a GP;
• Attendance at school functions (so the parents may avoid meeting each other wherever possible);
• Age at which children are allowed to watch age-restricted DVDs and video games.

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