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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32986
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My daughter is aged 12 years, I have a Residence Order in my

Customer Question

My daughter is aged 12 years, I have a Residence Order in my favour (joint parental responsibility applies, her father and I were married).
As a result of a high conflict battle between her father and I, the case formed part of a 16.4 appointment; Residence granted Jan 2012 however Judge ordered that should any aspect come to Court again up until 1st July 2013, it was to be put in front of her. It would also therefore likely I am guessing, that my daughter would again have representation from her Court appointed solicitor and welfare officer.
I would like to move from Wales with my daughter following a sexual assault, we could do with a fresh start although as of yet I don't know where this would be, it would certainly be to England. Her father has already said he will fight this - what can I do; how do I approach this; what is the relevance of 1st July & what happens if this date is exceeded; can I apply for an internal relocation without knowing where in England that would be (it will be one of two places, either Devon or Manchester)?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but need further information first.
What contact does the father have and why Devon or Manchester?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Claire,


A Contact Order was put in place for 2012 which permitted father to have staying contact one weekend a month and approximately half of school holidays.


For 2013, father and I have continued pretty much on the same basis. Outside of this arrangement, father endeavors to pick our daughter up from school one night per week, sometimes that night changes depending on his commitments and what our daughter is doing after school.


Father has a rented property in Weston-super-Mare although as he works in Aberystwyth, he stays at his fiancees house nearby his workplace.


Manchester - as my partner lives there; I enjoy the area; great school in the village; more work opportunities (prospects, pay etc). If Devon, my family live in Devon although work opportunities etc not so good. I believe that if I move, it would be Manchester.


I have taken a look at travelling and how this would impact contact. Whilst the one evening per week (4 hours contact) would have to be forfeited, the distance from where I plan to live in Manchester to father's fiancee's house in Aberystwyth takes a travelling time of 3 hours (144 miles) and I would be prepared to travel half way to facilitate a handover/pickup; when he travels from his rented place in Weston-s-Mare he travels 2hrs 20 mins (124 miles); from his fiancees to my current home address it takes 1.25hrs (43 miles one way).


Please let me know if I can give any more information to help.



Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
What extra contact will you offer to replace the midweek contact?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I would propose that our daughter could stay with him during the shorter half term holidays - they are usually 1 week long (Whitsun;October;mid-February) in addition to the Contact Order agreement of half of summer, half of Easter, half of Christmas break.


In practice, already this year, he has had our daughter for the full week during Feb and Whitsun already.


This could also incorporate the weekend contact being over a bank holiday weekend to give that extra day, when these dates fall.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
is your daughter likely to be willing to move away with you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is mixed at the moment, only because she likes her school and her friends and doesn't want to be the 'new girl' at a new school.


She has said she doesn't want to live with her father.


In November 2012 I was sexually assaulted by my ex-partner, my daughter was in the house at the time and had to call to a neighbour for help. She witnessed a few seconds of the assault.


My ex-partner has been sentenced to 2 years (of which he would have served half in Nov/Dec this year and likely to be released on license); a 10 year restraining order is in place. My daughter is aware of this and has said she would like to move before he is released later this year.


I desperately want a new start for my daughter and I, outside of Wales.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
If a court application is made before July then the matter will be heard by the same Judge as before. After that date it may be heard by the same Judge but may not.
You are going to need to apply to the court to vary the existing Contact Order if you are to move
The application will have more chance of success if you can show where you are going and can show what arrangements there will be for travel
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask for whatever details you need
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



So what process do I need to follow to facilitate my move - is it literally just an application to vary contact?


I thought that I had to follow some sort of internal relocation procedure and that father could elect to proceed with a prohibited steps order or apply for residence himself (he is saying he would have to move to the catchment area that our daughter is educated in)?


I have been reading Payne v Payne and it seems as though the applications these days (as long as child is willing) are pretty straightforward - am I wrong? I am anticipating a bumpy ride from father and really need to be clear on what I need to do to progress my plans to move and what the possible and/or potential outcome could be.


Chicken and egg question: until I resolve if I can move with my daughter, it doesn't feel as though I should be applying for jobs, also I have to give 3 months notice with my own employment and I couldn't resign until I knew I was able to move.


How do I tackle the job aspect if I intend to move without being in employment first? Is a dim view taken on this approach? It just seems rather chicken and egg to be applying and taking up a job before knowing I can actually move with my daughter. Can father really stop me?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
The starting point is to go to Family Mediation - preferably working with a Mediator trained to work with children - to discuss the possible move and ways of dealing with contact
It is then up to your ex - if he applies for a Prohibited Steps Order then you will have to fight it out in court.
If he does not then you could either make the court application yourself to amend the Contact Order or just make your plans to move and let your ex decide whether to issue or not

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