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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35050
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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Does a father, who walked out on his young family but does

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Does a father, who walked out on his young family but does provide monthly maintenance payments of £450 for his two young children and has them for fortnightly for one night/two days, have the right to insist on taking the children on a two week holiday to Spain when they are only 4yr and 2 yrs old and have never been away from their mother/home for more than a night at a time. The mother said she would consider the request if he first took them for a week in the UK but has not yet agreed to the trip abroad. He however has announced he has booked the trip to Spain and will deduct the cost from the children's maintenance if she refuses.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Does he pay via a court order or the CSA?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Neither - he made the offer some months after the split and when the mother (my daughter) was trying to get some contribution from him and was suggesting mediation to agree an equitable arrangement. Divorce proceedings have not yet been initiated. PS - probably not relevant but we found he does have a child from an earlier relationship and was under a CSA order to pay £5 a week for that child so I guess £450 makes my daugher the fortunate one.


How much does he earn?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We don't know - his father is his accountant and he works through his own business so has always declared a very low salary - as far as we know - which is why we didn't bother fighting for more maintenance or any alimony through the courts. When he was doing contract Chef work he was invoicing over £600wk a lot of the time, but from the limited company, but shortly before that, declared such low earnings that CSA only assessed him for a £5 weekly payment for the previous child. He is now 'in business' in Birmingham and we have no information at all regarding what company he works through, it's profitability, the directors earnings etc. He does seem to go on holiday and change his car a lot but perhaps it is unfair of me to look at it like that.

Were they married?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes. The first child was born before the marriage, the second after. He announced it was over just before the second turned 1 in January last year, after only 20mths married. The main concern now however is that he insists he is going to take them to Spain for two weeks and we are very unhappy about this given the children are so young. We don't want to refuse unreasonably, but think it would be better in a couple of years when the children are a bit older. We are not sure if we have the right legally to refuse however, if it went to court.

Your daughter is being entirely reasonable - going from one night a fortnight to two weeks in Spain is not reasonable - and if he applies to the Court the he will not be successful as her proposals are sound.
If he does drop her money then she has no choice but to apply to the CSA, but she can also apply for a financial order within the divorce proceedings to force him to disclose his financial details which will help her prove his actual gross income.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much - we believe he has now (today) gone ahead and booked the trip so we will now no doubt have a long protracted argument with him over whether they should or should not be allowed to go. Can you tell me whether, if he takes them away for the week in the UK as she suggested, and if he professes it all went well but she still feels uncomfortable with them going abroad, she can still then reasonably (in the eyes of the law) say no based on their ages or would that look as if she was backtracking having put it down as an initial condition?


It will clearly be a problem unless there is clear evidence that the children are disturbed.
It is fair to say that two weeks abroad is a long time - one week might have been more sensible.
She should offer to discuss this with her ex using Family mediation (
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