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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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On his last visit (every three weeks)My 11 year 0ld son has

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On his last visit (every three weeks)My 11 year 0ld son has said he would like to live with me and my partner, I am divorced from his mother, and he lives with her and his stepfather. However because of his loyalty to her he found it difficult to ask, and did not want to go back. I took him back and she has talked him out of it, but I have a feeling he will not want to go back after being with me for next half term. Would I be breaking the law if I kept him with me? He has been brought up to celebrate Christmas and birthdays etc., but his mother and stepfather are Jehovah's Witnesses and he does not have the proper childhood he was used to.

My name isXXXXX will be able to help you with your question. First I need a bit more information:

- is there currently an order setting out the contact arrangements, or is it just as agreed between you?

- how long has your son been saying that he wants to live with you?

- how much contact does he currently have with you? (one weekend every three weeks?)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Mac,


There is no order other than the written agreement between my ex-wife and I that I would have him every other weekend, which she reneged on very early on.


He has hinted before a few times but on the way back to his mother last weekend he said he'd been wanting to say this for about six months.


I have him at Christmas, I have to go to him on his birthday unless it's a weekend, and he comes to us half terms and a couple of weeks during the summer. this might change as his mother is expecting their second baby around the spring time and they already have a 16month old son.

You would not be breaking the law if you did not return him at the end of a weekend. However, it would be a very confrontational step, and she might well immediately go to Court to try to get an order for his return.

You might try suggesting mediation to her - in writing, so you can show you have done so.

Ultimately, you could even make an application to the court for him to live with you. During those proceedings, your son would be interviewed by a trained child officer, and therefore have an opportunity to express his views - which, if expressed with maturity, would have some weight with the judge (but not be absolutely definitive).

But, to reiterate in answer to your specific question, no you would not actually be breaking the law.

I hope that is helpful. If you would like me to clarify anything, please ask. If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

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