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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34131
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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Some background - I separated from my wife over 7 years ago

Resolved Question:

Some background - I separated from my wife over 7 years ago and just finalising the divorce / financial settlement through the Court of Session in Edinburgh under Scottish law. My children aged 11 and 12 years live in Chester, UK, with their mother and have been going to local schools (i.e. Upton High). Their mother now wants to send them to boarding school in Llandudno, North Wales about 1.5 hours away mainly because she is now working in Basel, Switzerland.I am not consenting to them going to boarding school unless my ex-wife confirms that she will not try to force me to contribute to their school fees e.g. by insisting on higher child maintenance than prescribed by the Child Maintenance Service or tries to use the fact that she is paying school fees to get a better financial settlement (as I cannot afford it and am generally against boarding school as would prefer that they resided with me when can go to local schools in Richmond, Surrey, but lost a custody battle at the end of 2014). I need this to be agreed before hand as I am not prepared to spend the next 7 years of my life in and out of court fighting over issues such as payment of school fees as my ex wife always rushes to court over everything.Do my demands seem reasonable and does it make sense for me to try to get her agreement to my conditions? And if she did agree now, could she at a later date still try to force a contribution to fees through the courts or push to get higher CMS payments above the normal maximum?If she does proceed to send them to their new school WITHOUT my approval or consent, which I suspect she will do with them starting on 6 September, will she be breaking English law? And is so, what specifically / clauses? (I believe this is because since we both have parental responsibility for the children through marriage / jointly adopted the children even though they are officially resident with her, any major decisions regarding their upbringing such as education, move/change in location, etc. requires the consent of both parents)
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Sorry, I didn't mean to respond to this.

I'll opt out for others.

Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

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

How long have they lived in England?

Were her plans to work abroad considered at the time of the Custody battle

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi Clare,
I have agreed to switch to a live phone chat as may be easier.
Meanwhile to answer your questions:
They have lived in England for nearly 2 years, since January 2015
No, her plans to work abroad were not considered at the time of the custody battle. She claimed Chester was more or less permanent as she worked at Siemans in North Wales and was the reason she moved with the kids from Scotland
Thanks,
Michael
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I see you are unable for a call now but I am happy to continue with online conversation
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

Are you sure she is permanently working in Switzerland?

Are you up to a battle to get the children again?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No, she says that her job in Switzerland is not guaranteed and may end as soon as November
No, I am not up to battle for them anymore - it was far too costly, stressful and do not have energy so have resigned myself to let them go. Now want minimum if any legal expenses for my kids as feel they will come to me when they get older.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
They are aged 11 and 12 years
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

In that case there is little option but for the boys to go to Boarding School.

You can if you wish make an application to the court in England for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent the change of school - and say that if she still wishes to take the job abroad then the children should move to live with you.

This is something that a court would support - or alternatively you can have it written into the Order that she alone will be responsible for the fees

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for your answer. Yes and I feel that in the circumstances boarding school would be best for them so do not want to prevent this. (However good to know that likelihood is that I could get them to live with me if she wishes to take the job abroad but note that she has already been working there for almost 6 months and took on an au-pair to look after them during the weeks as she returns to Chester for weekends).Good idea to get it written into the Order that she alone will be responsible for the fees.However it is likely that she will proceed to send them to their new school WITHOUT my approval or consent, modifying the current court Order, responding to a letter from my solicitor asking for her to accept my conditions and ignored all my emails requesting the same, so what do you suggest? My solicitor is Scottish and has been dealing with Scot law up to now and he is totally unfamiliar with English law which I believe is now appropriate. Is this correct?
And if she proceeded to send them to this new school in a week, would she be breaking English law? And if so, what is the clause / specific issue?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

It is indeed English Law that applies.

She is not breaking any law as such - she has to consult you on the move - she does not have to have your permission to make it.

It is only if you obtain a Prohibited Steps Order regarding the move that she is in Contempt of Court of she goes ahead

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
OK thanks but not what I expected. I thought per English law that she needed my permission for our children to change school and effectively more town of residence. Is this not similar to the fact that if she wishes to leave the UK for a holiday with the children she needs my permission or is this too not correct?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

In fact if she wishes to go out of the country for less than 28 days she can as she has a residence order - it is only if she wishes to go for longer she needs your permission

I am afraid that she need only consult you on the other matters - it is then up to you to apply for a prohibited Steps Order if need be

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
OK thanks very much for clarifying and answering my questions - much appreciated. Michael
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

You are welcome I hope all goes well

Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34131
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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