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Nicola-mod
Nicola-mod, Moderator
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Moderator
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my ex is very angry with me. he wanted the christmas contact

Customer Question

my ex is very angry with me. he wanted the christmas contact to be from christmas eve through to boxing day. I offered him 10am christmas day to 10am boxing day with our two girls (7 & 8). He's very angry and believes the divorce was all my fault (I divorced him on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour with another woman).

I've been told of a rumour. He was at the local pub on christmas eve (so anger and alcohol involved) and he said he's going to take the girls to wales to live. We live in kent. The girls live with me and have contact with daddy every tuesday and every other weekend from friday eve to sunday eve. I'm really worried and don't know what to do. He has the girls passports - but you don't need them to get to wales! Help please
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Did he return the children?
What do you need to go back to mediation about?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, he hasn't had the children yet over christmas as he rejected the offer of contact that I made. He will collect the children this friday and should return them sunday - but he has said he will keep the children till tuesday at 10am. Lets hope they're there to collect.


 


I hope that by going back to mediation we can sort out contact for christmas, the girls birthdays and also holidays.


 


S

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is there any reason why he should not have them until tuesday - is this something you can agree to?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm concerned he'll take them away, but have decided on a plan - to ask for their passports as i'm taking them on a day trip and then if he takes them away without my consent, he can only do it in the uk - hopefully the police would then be able to find them.


 


Please can you answer the following - back in summer he had them for a two week holiday, when I asked him where he was planning to go, he told me it was non of my business and would only confirm they were staying in the uk - is he legally allowed to do that? thanks.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just for clarity - do you have any objection to him having them until Tuesday and are you worried that he will not return them at all?
What links does he have abroad?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have no objection as long as I know they're staying in the uk. His sister lives in france.


 


I've just said I'll drop them off at 3 and I want to collect the passports - he's said no, he'll collect and get the passports to me before the day trip to france (my excuse to get the passports). A friend is coming with me for the handover.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do you think he is intending to take then to France for the weekend or are you afraid that he will try and remain there?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no, his sister is away skiing at the mo. i think he's going to try and take them away in uk but i want to get passports so he can't go off to france - easier to get children back from uk

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I appreciate what you are saying but before you make an issue of it it is important to work out if you are afraid he will try and remove them for good - or just taken them to France for a few days - so which do you think he is actually trying to do?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

remove them for good

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The worry is that in fact what he is trying to do is not take the children for good but provoke you into an action that he can point to as showing how unreasonable you are
So how realistic is it that he is moving to France?
Does he have work he can do there? Somewhere to live?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, but we've hit pants. He can keep his house in kent thanks to the room let tenants. He could head off to any quarter of europe with a EU card for him and the girls without a care - health care taken cared for. As for me being unreasonable, I've agreed to almost every change he's suggested for contact between him and the girls until it got to christmas. Having asked you for advice, you havent' given me any legal support as as to what is legal and right. Sorry


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
In order to help you find the best possible way forward it is important to get all the information.
You are clearly worried that he will take the children from your care - and this is not an unusual fear - which does not mean it does not happen.
However unless the other parent has clear links abroad and the money to "disappear" then it is in fact most unlikely to happen
At the moment all he has threatened to do is keep the children for two extra nights - and possibly take them to Wales. You have no specific reason to think that he would take them to France - from where it would in fact be easy to recover them under Legislation designed to deal with just such issues - which means that simply stopping contact could make you seem unreasonable unless you have very clear evidence of his plans.
It is expected that parents will reach agreement between them as to what is right for their children - which is why there is no set pattern of contact that applies to everybody.
It appears that until now your ex hasn't challenged you for the care of the children - possibly because he realises that it is hard work
HOWEVER you are entitled to know where the children are staying when they go on holiday - whether they are in the Uk or abroad and his refusal to give you this information is certainly a good reason to apply to the court for a Residence Order (to ensure that the children are returned at the end of contact) and a defined contact order setting out when he sees the children.
You are clearly aware of mediation - although if he will not enter into it willingly I would question whether it is worth the time and money as it it likely that a court application will eventually have to be made in any event
Your proposal with the passports is reasonable - as is allowing him to keep them two extra nights over the holiday period - indeed each parent having half of the school holidays is a very common order made by the courts.
I hope that this gives you some ideas - the website here can give you more
http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
Please ask for any further details you need
Clare
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

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Thank you,
Nicola

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