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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34133
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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i have written my ex partner a letter stating i wish to take

Customer Question

i have written my ex partner a letter stating i wish to take our 2 children on holiday this year, i have asked her if she has provisional dates herself and have given her 2 weeks to respond or i will go ahead and book the dates i have in mind, we both have parental responsibility, there is a contact order in place which i had to pay £2000 in solicitor fees for as i was denied contact, my children live with her and are 4 and 9 years old, she has point blank refused to let me take them away and is stating she does not need my permission to take them herself, could you please advise what i should do next
many thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you wish to take them abroad?
Has a Residence Order been made?
What does the Order say about Holiday Contact?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes i would like to take them abroad for a week in may half term, there is no residence order just my contact order, which she breaches as and when she feels like, i have no more funds to keep going back to court regarding where i stand so i am at a loss now, there is nothing in the contact order about holidays, as the barrister i had said it wasnt needed ??

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
What Contact does the Order actually give you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

every tuesday i have the 4 year old from 12 noon, pick up the 9 year old from school at 3pm, then return them both at 7pm.

i also have them every weekend, one week friday 3pm till saturday 6pm, the next week saturday 3pm till sunday 6pm, i was granted this by the courts as she was just messing me about with contact, i wouldnt see them for weeks, even though this order is in place she just takes them away as and when she wants to and says tough when i complain, saying its what the kids want, all she ever says is 'im their main carer, take me to court you wont win'

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Did the Court Order any Holiday Contact?
How often has she breached the order in the last three months
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

nothing was mentioned about holiday contact, in hindsight maybe i should have mentioned it myself but it cost £2000 just to get this far. she bought my 9 year old son a season ticket for a football team without my consent, and insists he has to go to these home games even when it is my set days, this same child also plays football 3 times a week and she insists he does that in my time too or i dont get to see him as she just takes him herself, so i suppose she breaches it regularly ?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

Hi I am afraid that if there is no Order dealing with Holiday Contact, and your ex does not agree to your taking the children abroad then booking the holiday would simply be a waste of money - you cannot take them out of the country - or for longer than the specified contact. Unless your order contains the words " shall reside with thexxx mother" then your ex cannot take them out of the country without your permission either. If you wish to change this then I am afraid that your only recourse is to take the matter back to court Now that Legal Aid is no longer available for such cases many people are doing this in person and there is no reason why you should not do so Asking for alternate full weekends plus one evening/night in the week plus half of all the school holidays would not be Unreasonable I am sorry not to give more immediately positive news - please ask if you need further details Clare

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

im still not sure as of what i can do next ? that was my question

how do i stop her from booking a holiday and taking the children away ? they live with her, i dont understand how i can refuse this for her in the same way she can refuse me ?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
i have waited 3 hours and have wasted £47 am no better off than i was before
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
You need to make a further application to the Court to vary the existing Contact order to ensure that you are able to have holidays with the children.
In fact it would be reasonable to ask for alternate weekends Friday to Monday (assuming that you can deal with the school run) plus one afternoon/evening in the week and half of all the school holidays.
You should ensure that the Order specifically allows you to take the children abroad.
The application is made using a Form C100 available here
and you can read more about making such application in person here
You could consider applying to enforce the existing order - but there seems little point in doing so when it does not deal with the holiday issue.
However you do need to make it clear that if she breaches the new order once it is made then you WILL enforce it
If you wish to stop her from taking the children abroad until matters are resolved then you need to apply (at the same time and on the same form) for a Prohibited Steps Order preventing this.
You can do this because as I said legally, unless the Court Order does state that the children reside with you - she has no more right to take them out of the country than you do
I hope that this makes things a little clearer - please ask if not
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thankyou i will go down that route and see what it brings

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
You are most welcome - and good luck

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