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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33303
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Customer Question

I have parental responsibility for my 15 year old son. He has lived with me for 11 years since I seperated from his father. We were never married. Initially his father paid towards his son but has not contributed anything for 8 years. My son sees him alternate weekends, now he says he wants to live with him and move from London to Norfolk. My ex was in a long term relationship (10 years) which ended last summer. He was living in his partners home and now has no address. He says he plans to live with his sister. He has not worked officially for as long as I can remember. The CSA has advised me that he has no earnings. My son is mid-way through his GCSE's in a very good school in London. He has told me he will not be coming home!! What can I do to get him back?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Do you have a specific question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

At the moment it is half term, I did not agree to my son being with his father for half term. After an argument at christmas time my son asked his father to collect him whilst I was at work. He refused to come home saying I nag him too much and don't listen. His father says he needs time and suggested he stayed with his uncle for a few weeks locally. My son has now told his friends he is going to live with his father and start school in Norfolk. I am sure we can fix things if he comes home. I believe his father has been planning this since he seperated from his partner last summer and my son feels sorry for him as he is alone with no home or job. they are both making wild accusations which are totally untrue. I am worried that the longer he is away from home the more damage will be done. How do i get him back

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
When will your son turn 16?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My son will be 15 on 30/04/2013 16 in 2014

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Where is he living at the moment and when did you last see him?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Have you read my previous questions? My son is currently with his father for half term. As far as I am concerned he lives with me and attends a local school. He said he didn't want to come home after spending some time with his father at christmas, I agreed he could stay with his uncle who lives locally temporarily as his father said he just needed some time and space. This was on 9th Jan. Now it has been too long and I want him home. he is telling his friends he has left school and is going to live with his father

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Should I send you my previous questions? I last saw my son on Thursday, he came from school and slept over. I've spoken to him every day since. Mums from the school have been contacting me asking if its true Byron has gone to live with his Dad. I feel desperate!!!

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Where is he staying with his father - you said your ex had no home at the moment?
Are you aware of any specific plans for a change of school or is it still in the planning stage?
Since Christmas how often has your son stayed over with you?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


His father had an address in Slough, he recently informed me he will be living in Norfolk. Usually he ncollects Byron from school on alternate fridays. I called my son on Friday and he said he was on a train to Slough, today he says he is in Norfolk. His father does not inform me of anything. I advised the school this week that his father is threatening to change his school as his father confirmed this to me this Monday morning.Since christmas I have seen my son alternate weekends and one night midweek, I have never agreed to this arrangement

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not want my son to change school or move from London to Norfolk, I don't think my sons father should be planning anything without informing me, I've been told he cannot make schooling arrangements

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are correct - unless you have signed a Parental Responsibility Agreement or the Court has made a PR Order he cannot enrol him in any school.
However that does not necessarily make things much easier as given your Sons age his wishes about which parent he lives with are seen as decisive unless there are safeguarding issues involved.
On a purely practical basis it is unlikely that your son will not be returning to go to school next week - it is not easy to find school places at the drop of a hat and your ex will come up against the PR issue.
What you then need to consider is the way forward.
Teenagers always feel that the grass is greener elsewhere - but walking away from his friends and peers and moving to Norfolk (a very different area from either London or Slough) is likely to be a major culture shock for your son - which is why you need to make it very very easy for him to return to you with no loss of face (very important at his age)
Your first step should be to try and discuss this move with your ex and your son using a Family Mediator trained to also work with young people.
Hard though it will be make it plain that you will not stand in the way of a well thought through and planned move - to be honest there would be no point in your doing so as if your ex applied to the Court and it was what your son wanted then the Court would order it
Discuss all the different issues - including the financial ones - after all in future all you will be paying is Child Maintenance (15% of your net income) and his travel fees for visits and he may well find life a little less comfortable
I know that this is not the instant fix that you would like but sadly applying to the court immediately woudl be likely to do more harm than good
Claire

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