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Parental rights with teenagers

  • jar of hearts
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21 Jun 12 #338216 by jar of hearts
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I have a few urgent questions about my stbx rights over details of his teenagers schooling etc.

We have been through several hearings for an occupation order which was finally consented to by stbx and granted with an order that he stay away from FMH. There were no orders gained regarding protection or residence. We have been through a final financial hearing and after that I have been awarded a small amount of money from the sale of FMH to buy property for myself and the girls. The lack of money is forcing a move a little away from our current area and meaning it is necessary for the girls to change schools. I have made enquiries with a new school and have secured places for the two younger girls. The situation with stbx and my girls is that they haven''t had any contact with him since we moved out of the FMH to live in a refuge in March 2011 other than incidents where he confronted the girls and one of them lashed out at him to defend herself resulting in him reporting her to the police. There is a long history of abusive controlling behaviour in the family and my children have stated that they wish to have no contact with their father at all in future. They have told their father this and asked him to leave them alone. They do not want their father to know where we will live in future or make any contact.

Stbx has contacted the girls school in the last seven days (has made no contact with the school at any point over the period since the girls asked him to leave the house in May 2010) since the girls sent him a final letter asking him to leave them alone forever. The school called me today to let me know that he was contacting them and also to check whether there was a protective order in place. I had to advise that there is no order and the school feel that they will have to advise that the girls will not be attending the school from September, but are worried that stbx is not actually interested in the children or their education but is simply trying to obtain an address or location. They are currently not replying to the e mail but feel that they will be legally bound to give him the information, despite the fact that the girls want to be allowed to stay away from him. My youngest daughter is 13 and knows her own mind and has made a rational decision on her future, but I am now worried that stbx can ride roughshod over our desires and threaten us all in future. I have tried to contact my solicitor today for advice but she was off sick and I am not sure that she will be in tomorrow.

My children, albeit the eldest is 20 years old, want to move away and cut all contact with their father who has shown no interest in the girls at all other than to cause me upset and difficulty during the process of the divorce. Should I approach the courts obtain to a protection order of some sort or instigate some other child hearings even that the girls have been and continue to live happily with me and wish no contact.

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21 Jun 12 #338224 by Fiona
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How old are the children? Both parents have equal Parental Responsibility and rights to carry out those responsibilities. That means the father is entitled to the same information about the children''s education as you are and to be consulted about a change of school.

The school are notifying you so that you have the opportunity to apply to court of an order to regulate PR. That could be a Specific Issue Order to sort out the school issue and/or a Prohibited Steps Order preventing him from approaching the school.

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21 Jun 12 #338240 by jar of hearts
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I am risking a little by giving the girls ages as I have been stalked on here but here goes. They are 20,17,16 and 13. I am being forced to change schools because of the need to move away which is directly due to stbx in that the children don''t want him knowing where they live, and also because the court settlement was too small to stay in current area.

I appreciate that stbx would have rights, but surely the more important rights are those of the children? They surely have the right to refuse contact with their abusive father and to live in peace without fear. I am assuming I will have to return to court again and spend more money I don''t have simply because this monster won''t listen to the clearly stated wishes of his own children.

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21 Jun 12 #338248 by Fiona
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Well the 20 year old is an adult and neither parent is entitled to any information. The school must by law provide parents with certain information such as school reports until children leave school. With other bits of information schools have the discretion to give information but children who are mature enough to understand the implications of a decision should be asked for their consent about personal information.

I think all you can do is apply to court for permission to change schools and to prevent the father from obtaining information and notify the school. On the application you can indicate DV and ask for your address to be kept confidential.

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21 Jun 12 #338250 by jar of hearts
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Thanks Fiona. I assumed it would be another trip to court, but the new school is the catchment school for the house I am moving to and their existing school would mean two hours a day in the car so is impossible to maintain, although we would have loved to. There is no question of not sending the girls to the new school really. My objection is that stbx is trying to find out where we will be living and is clearly not remotely interested in the girls or their education as he has a)never been interested and has only been into the girls school about four or five times in the seventeen years they have been attending a school, and b)has not requested reports or information at any time since our seperation in May 2010 until now, when we are due to complete on our house sale in two weeks time!!! His only reason for contact with the school is to find out where we live.

Will the courts take the girls wishes into account? We have received very little positive outcome from any of our many court visits so far, and this manipulative controlling man who is prepared to spend £100k on legal fees will just keep going without sense or reason to try and gain a victory over us with no consideration for his children whatsoever. He has a psychotic type of personality and tells so many wild lies that he convinces himself they are the truth. I am scared of him and so are the girls. My fear is so great that I would do almost anything to get away from him.

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21 Jun 12 #338255 by Fiona
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At 16 and 17 children are seen to be old enough to make up their own minds. Your solicitor will know your case better than me and knows the local judges so she is in the best position to advise.

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22 Jun 12 #338271 by hawaythelads
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Think logically about this.
The school may have to eventually tell him they no longer attend that school.
That doesn''t mean they have to tell him where the new school is.
It sounds as if the School is entirely sympathetic to your position.
I would arrange an appointment with the head master.It''s June the 23rd today.
They break up in a month.Headmasters only got to stall anything a month and then the ex is knackered anyway.
At the end of the day these are people they will understand.
All the best
Pete x

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