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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34266
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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Hi there, I left my husband (now divorced) 2.5 years ago and

Resolved Question:

Hi there, I left my husband (now divorced) 2.5 years ago and after an initial dispute about residency my ex has had staying contact with the children (6&11yrs) every other weekend plus half school holidays. Initially my ex and I were living over 80 miles apart (I moved). He then moved to our local area 9 months ago as he has other family in the area. I now wish to move to Bristol with the children (120 miles away) in August to be with my new partner of two years. The children are delighted about this move and have been regular visitors to Bristol/my partners house over the last 18 months and have developed close bonds with my partners twin boys (13 yrs). Schools have also been sorted out. I advised my ex 5 weeks ago of the intended move, assuring him that the current access arrangements would be maintained although we would have to discuss pick up/drop off points. To date I have received no response, although he has been making comments to the children such as 'it's not going to work' and 'I can't afford the travel costs.' Etc I don't believe he would try to block the move but confirmation of my position would be most appreciated. Also, can you confirm my obligation with respect to his travel costs? He is unemployed and hasn't been earning since the split. As such he has never paid any child maintenance.
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.
Is there a court order for Contact?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare, yes there is. In fact I have a residency order with contact order as part of that. It's every other weekend and half holidays.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
has he been having any extra midweek contact?
has he attended school events regularly?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No, no extra contact mid-week. As part of the contact order, he was also given 3 contact telephone calls per week. He then decided around a year ago that there was 'no point' in these as the children never seemed to have anything to say to him. These were then stopped on the basis that I would let them call him if they wanted to and they don't. For the first school year or so he attended parents evening but then when I asked him he was 'too busy'. He came to Zoe's first school nativity and since then nothing. I am actually having a real problem getting my 11yr old son to go for contact full stop as he is not happy with his Dad.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
On the positive side it is unlikely that your ex can prevent the move.
he can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to delay the move until the court has decided whether or not it is in the best interests of the children to move but his lack of involvement outside of the set contact makes it unlikely that the court will support him since you have already said that contact will continue.
On the negative side since you are the one moving I am afraid that the court will expect you to bear the brunt of the travel costs in terms of both time and money
This does not necessarily mean you doing all of the travel - but certainly the majority of it and if he does apply to the court your proposals must reflect it
I hope that that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare, thanks for that. Just to be clear, you believe that as long as I am continuing to maintain the agreed contact as well as bearing the brunt of travel time/costs, you don't think the court would entertain his attempts to block/delay the move should he attempt to do so? Also, if he is registered as unemployed would he have pay for the application to court?
I am planning to suggest a face to face meeting with him so I can prevent any potential return to court. With respect to travel costs, would the court suggest a mileage rate or would I just pay for his fuel? I am trying to work out what would be a fair offer to him.
Sorry for all the questions but having been through a very painful residency battle previously, I am keen to avoid court here if at all possible!
Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
he may be able to delay it - whilst the court considers the position - but I do not think the court will block the move - unfortunately of he is on benefits he will probably benefit from Fee remission so the application will cost nothing
I suggest that you offer to discuss matters with him using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
How you resolve the issue is a matter for you - there are so many options it is impossible to guess
Clare
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