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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34035
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am a father of two sons (12 and 13). I live in London, and

Customer Question

I am a father of two sons (12 and 13). I live in London, and they live in Chippenham where their mother moved with her new boyfriend (now husband) after we split 11 years ago. They have another son (9) and daughter (3). I have constant contact (one weekend in three and holidays) and a good relationship with my sons and they with the rest of my family who they also see regularly.The boys were due to start a new local school this September which I approved of. Their house was on the market but I was told they were staying in the area. Their mother told me by phone two days ago that they now plan to move to north west wales and the boys (who both told me they dont want to go) are to be enrolled in a school there this September. So the whole process will be completed in 6 weeks.Their step dad comes from the area and has his family there. I believe they intend to buy acres of land and start up a 'glamping' business.Although Ive not been told exactly where they plan to move Im under the impression it will be a further 6 hours round trip by car. I already do a 3 hour round trip. Ive researched that a train will take just as long and cost about £250 each time and thats even if Verity keeps to her promise of driving them 2.5 hours each time to Cardiff which I doubt. - She has not facilitated at all in my contact with them to date as I do all the travelling.Apart from further distance and logistical issues I do not feel the move is right for them in regards ***** ***** education either. Or in uprooting them from all they know and their friends in the area. At the moment I drive to and from school concerts and parents evenings no complaint at all. How could i possibly do that if they move that far away?What are my options here?
How far does she need to go with the move before I cant do anything about it?As far as Im aware no legal paperwork has been exchanged. Verity has a history of underhandedness (for example trying to change their surnames without my knowledge.)I plan to suggest that they wait 4 years until Felix and Archie are through their GCSEs. If they still wish to do so I will be more willing to go along with it.My maintenance payments have always been paid and in excess of my legal requirements. I have always done my best to not rock the boat and keep relationships good natured but this I feel is a step too far.Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
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 informtaion first

If they go ahead with the move would you wish your sons to live with you?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That is not possible unfortunately
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
they would not give up that priviledge anyway
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

Then your options are limited in terms of preventing the move.

You can certainly apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to stop the move happening until the Court has decided whether or not the move is in the best interests if the children but unless you are willing to take over their care then the Court has little choice but to approve it - as otherwise technically if the mother decides to move regardless then the children will simply go into foster care in the area. If your ex knows this then she can simply bluff it out

You do have more control over the issue of travel for contact - if they are moving then it is reasonable to expect them to take on the time and cost of ensuring that regular contact is maintained - and you can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to ensure that the move does not take place until this issue is resolved.

Of course this may in fact be all that is needed to prevent the move given their reluctance to facilitate contact in the past.

The Prohibited Steps Order is dealt with by way of a C100 and given the urgency you do not need to attend mediation first (unless you wish to)

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

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