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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34275
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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I have three children, 15 year old son and 13 year old twin

Customer Question

I have three children, 15 year old son and 13 year old twin daughters. They spend half their time with me and half their time with their Dad. This has been the arrangement for about 7 years. My daughters say they want to live with me full time. What is my legal position please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How is the time actually split - and have the girls said why they wish to change?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hello Clare. Thank you for your response. Here is the information you asked for:


 


The children are with their Dad on Mondays and Tuesdays and with me on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The weekends are spend alternately between their Dad and me. Over a two week period, they split their time evenly between the two of us. We alternate Christmas and usually agree other holidays before we book them.


 


The girls appear to be quite scared of their Dad. I'm sure he would never be physical towards them, but he is extremely controlling and the girls get very nervous if they get anything wrong or do anything he doesn't like. They both have Type 1 Diabetes and apparently he gets annoyed if their blood levels are too high. This also makes them very nervous, but it is virtually impossible to keep their levels even, particularly at this stage of their lives. Our Diabetic nurse has spoken to him, but apparently he does not respond. The girls cry regularly and send me texts when they are with their Dad saying they wish they could live with me all the time. I see this as a potentially explosive situation, as I'm sure their Dad will not be pleased if they are allowed to live with me.


 


I hope this is enough information. I look forward to hearing from you further. Thank you.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What ongoing contact would they want - in an idea world?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We haven't discussed that sort of detail yet. I presume they will still want to see him, but less often - something like every other weekend. And probably holidays.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I understand that they are scared - but will they be willing to be honest about their feelings with him if need be?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I believe they will be, as long as I am there for moral support. I will not speak for them as I think that would be counterproductive.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Your daughters are at the age when arrangements do sometimes need to change to meet their needs
The starting point is to arrange to discuss the matter with your ex using Family mediation (www.familymeditaionhelpline.co.uk) and a Mediator who is also trained to work with children
This will ensure that their views are part of the mediation
If your ex will not agree to any changes at this stage then you can apply to the court for a Residence Order coupled with a defined contact order - or even a Shared Residence Order that simply changes the time they spend with each of you
Please ask if you need further details?
Clare