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UKfamsol
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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I have been divorced for 10 years and my children stay with

Customer Question

I have been divorced for 10 years and my children stay with me 2 nights a week and I spend every Saturday with my son. On other nights they stay with their mother and her partner. At present my ex wife lives approx. 1 mile away. The children are aged 17 (girl) and 13 (boy)and are both doing very well in a good school. My ex wife has now told me that she will be moving to a new house in Bath next summer - her new partner has (I think) a new job in Bath. She intends to take the children with her although they are distraught about the prospect and do not want to go. I think the move will be very damaging to the children's mental health, education, relationship with me, relationship with friends etc. She has options as she has a house in London and a house in Bath. I have suggested that she defers the move until my son finishes his GCSE's but she will not listen. I have suggested that the children could stay with me in London although I have only a small rented flat and they would need to share a bedroom. Can she move the kids against their and my will? Do I have any legal route to try in the best interests of the kids to prevent her moving the children away at this time?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.
Your wife has the civil liberty of freedom of movement so you will not get a court order preventing her from moving from London to Bath.
However, with regards ***** ***** children, you can apply for a Specific Issue Order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989. If parents disagree with any aspect of their parental responsibility with regard to a child ie to do with that child's upbringing, then either parent can apply to the family court to ask the court to decide how the issue should be resolved.
In your case, you would be asking the court to order that the children attend the named school in London. Your argument would be that this would be in the children's best interest ie for the children's welfare, and you would set out details of why this particular school is so good for the children eg Ofsted reports, the children's previous exam results & school reports, and the likely negative effects on the children if they were to be moved now. The court must consider the welfare checklist in section 1 of the Children's Act 1989, and that also includes the children's wishes and feelings. The older children are, the more weight the court must give to their wishes and feelings into account. Given the ages of your children their views would be taken very seriously indeed.
However, since as I said above, your ex cannot be ordered to live in London, you would also have to consider what accommodation you could provide the for the children if the court agreed that the current school was best for them, but their mother sold her house in London or refused to stay there with the children during the week. ie you yourself might have to be prepared to move to larger accommodation as the court would not be happy about your 2 kids sharing a room for most or all of the week, if at all.
If you do decide to apply to court, the court form you need is C100, here:-
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/c100-eng.pdf
However, going to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive, so if you can negotiate an agreement with the your ex wife that is preferable.
You can negotiate either between yourselves, or via solicitors' correspondence or via mediation. The family court anyway now requires the parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court.
Here's where to find a local family mediation service:-
http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/
You would also benefit from some face-to-face legal advice. Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor near to you:-
http://www.resolution.org.uk/findamember/
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks and best wishes...
UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for the very clear and comprehensive answer. I will leave a rating of excellent.

John

Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much! you're very welcome....