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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34276
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 two boys ( 10 & 8) with my ex. and they both live

Resolved Question:

I have two boys ( 10 & 8) with my ex. and they both live with her.
The boys are not been looked after as they should be. Yesterday when I picked up the eldest at 12.30pm they had not even had their breakfast.
She goes to work and relies on her new partner to feed them.
There has been a history of failings on her part.
I mostly feed them when I pick them up.
The boys are very close to me.
I took the eldest to Dubai with me last week.
I take them swimming , karate , cycling etc.
She is working six days and hardly has time for them.
Boys have dental issues as she has missed many many dental appointments .
I have never missed one when I have had the responsibility .
She relies heavily on both her partner and her elderly parents to look after them.
I was going to start legal proceedings for custody.
She threatened if I ever do that or she receives any legal letters from my solicitors she will move to another part of the country or even move abroad and I would never see the boys again.
I therefore have never pursued matters as I do have unrestricted access to the boys.
However, after yesterday when I learned they were hungry from 7am till 12.30 pm when I picked them up I have decided enough is enough.
How can I make a custody application without risking her moving to another part of thew country ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What is the current pattern of contact?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Why does she not let you have them overnight?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No reason whatsoever !She in her mind believes it is her exclusive right to the boys
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

How long have you been separated and why have you not taken action to get overnight contact in the past?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The reason been she has threatened to put a complete stop from the boys ever seeing me by moving to another part of the country or aboard and not informing me where she would be moving to.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Separated for four years
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Were you married to her?

Are you named on the birth certificates?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Never married to her she was my second Islamic wife.yes my name appears on both boy's birth certificate has their father
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
as their father
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should we carry on this conversation tomorrow ?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

The law says that children are entitled to have a relationship and contact with both parent sand the courts will enforce this if necessary

There is no longer any such thing as custody and access or even residence and contact - it is about a Child Arrangement Order setting out how children spend their time with each parant

You have Parental Responsibility for the children which means that your ex is not entitled to take the children out of the oc**try without your agreement or an Order form the Court.

In addition the fact that you have such regular contact with the children means that if she tries to move away to stop this then you can apply for an order forcing her to return until the court decides whether the move is in the best interests of the children - and how their time with you can be preserved.

There is no reason why the children should not spend nights with you - and there is no doubt that a court will grant this if an applictaion is made.

There is little chance at present that you would be able to take on the main care of the children - however if you start overnight contact on alternate weekends plus one (or even two) nights in the week and they thrive in your care then there is a possibility that in a years time it could be possible.

The starting point is to try and discuss matters with your ex using family mediation

www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk

If that fails or she refuses then you can apply for a Child Arrangement Order using a Form C100 and paying the fee of £215

If she does move then you will be able to trace her and the applictaion can still go ahead

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Clare, My question is, as there is a real danger she could potentially move to another part of the country as soon as she receives any letters from my solicitor, could I make a ex party application to the courts making the children wards of courts and that she could not move the boys from their present address/school until a full hearing ?As you probably know trying locate someone in a different part of the country would be a nightmare.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Actually the Police will be able to do a safe and well check very easily - and of course the change of schools will also show where she ahs gone.

For these reasons an Ex Parte application would not be appropriate

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thank you for your kind advice
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome - good luck