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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hi, I have had my life dragged through the Scottish courts

Customer Question

Hi, I have had my life dragged through the Scottish courts (Glasgow Sheriff Court) for the past 4 years. Both divorce and numerous child's welfare hearings. I have 3 children aged 13, 9 & 5.
The children and I have lived near Burton on Trent, England with my partner of 3 years for almost 2 years now.
My ex husband has lived and worked in the Isle of Man for 7 years. The former matrimonial home was in Glasgow, where the kids and I lived. It is now sold and our divorce finally granted.
Since then my ex husband has bought a house 1 hour north of Glasgow, which he wishes to use for his contact weekends with our kids. Although he'll be in the Isle of Man for the fortnight in between, only using this house each alternative weekend.
I am stuck with a court order granted in Glasgow that states that I should meet him half way for his contact weekends on both the Friday and Sunday evenings. Half way to Glasgow means I'm having to travel to Lancaster! Some evenings on the m6 taking 4 hours each way! And also at a cost of well over £100. My ex husband has only just started paying maintenance having managed to dodge that for the past 4 years! but on the date of the order comencing for maintenance in January this year, he lodged that he had taken a pay cut of almost £20,000 per year! from over £50,000 per year! Very convenient, this mentioned that he was only ordered to pay £400 per month instead of over £650/months from his previous earnings. He is best friends with his employer, so was able to come up with some written documents from him stating about his pay cut.

My biggest issue us the order in place forcing me to drive to Lancaster and back twice a weekend for his contact weekends. Half my monthly maintenance payment is spent on travelling.
And he actually lives in Isle of Man but chooses to travel that long distance with the kids.
I have 4 bar reports, all ordered by the court in Glasgow, where a curator spoke to us all and mainly the kids and schools etc and she made it very very clear that this long distance travelling was not in the children's beat interest and had to stop or should only happen once a month at most.
But still the Glasgow court lets him away with this.
What can I do? Surely this is now nothing to do with a Scottish Court?
My current solicitor in Scotland just keeps going back in and arguing about it and wasting my money instead of getting the jurisdiction changed.
Where would this stand in an English court?
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.
when was the last Order regarding contact made?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was first granted in 2010, given my ex each alternative weekend as contact.

It's been amended a couple of times but most recently it was October 2012, when it was amended to order me to meet him half way to Glasgow to hand over and collect the kids.

The court seemed to blame me for being the one who had moved the kids to England. They wouldn't listen that he already lived in the Isle of Man, we are now nearer him, so ridiculous I think that we have to meet him away up at Lancaster just because he chooses to spend his contact away up in Scotland.

My solicitor in Scotland has tried a few times to have this changed but she doesn't seem to get through to the Sheriff that he is an Isle of Man citizen and has lodged that at his place of residence.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Do the children enjoy the contact?
Why will he not see them on the Isle of Man?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The eldest child enjoys it but the younger two get very upset and anxious going Away. They are fine once they ate they're I think when it's just the 2 day weekend. But hate being with him for holiday contact more than 3 or 4 days. They have previously managed to contact me via ipad messenger very upset asking me to come and collect them. Their dad is always very angry and agressive which scares the little ones. And he often tells them that they will never be coming home.

He has never explained why he doesn't take them to the Isle of Man. I presume it may be the cost of flights or boat that may be the reason. Would an English court expect me to meet him half way for his contact? Even if that is at great expense to myself?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Where do his family live?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

His parents and brother live near where he has bought the house north of Glasgow.

Although they very rarely visit them while on their contact weekends. He spends most his time trailing my kids round my family and friends saying awful things about myself, my partner and my parents. We are now estranged from lots of family members due to malicious things he's said about us which are untrue.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
have the schools raise concerns about tiredness etc?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The schools are (both high school and primary) very sympathetic toward mine and the kids situation. They have witnessed the distress of the younger two kids, as my ex tried to collect them directly from school on a few occasions recently, as he was down this way. He tried to remove them from school early to get on his way. But the school called me to check, so they refused to let them leave with him.
Some teachers have been working with my younger two kids to try to help them, as they see how distressed they are at going for their contact weekends. They have established that both the younger kids hate the long journey and would rather spend their contact weekends more local. Which is what the last bar report stated back in December 2012. But still the Glasgow court did not order him to do so, as they say "they can not order him on how to spend his time"
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Since the children have been Resident in England for more than 12 months it is now the English Courts that determine what the arrangements for the children should be.
Clearly the current arrangements do NOT work for the children.
You should arrange to discuss matters with your ex using a Family mediation and a mediator trained to work with young people so that their wishes are taken into account
If he refuses then fair enough - you are then free to apply to the court here in England for a new Child Arrangement Order altering the current arrangements to ones more suitable for the children.
As a note of caution whilst I agree that the alternate weekends are exhausting for the younger children the trade of may be longer periods in the holidays.
I hope that this is of some assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How do I go about getting the jurisdiction changed? Can an English solicitor get this changed to an English court/or mediat or? Or do I have to try and get the Scottish Court to listen and hands this over to the English system?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
You don't need to do anything.
You just try the mediation and then apply to the Court here in England
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. ... you've been very helpful

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
You are most welcome

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