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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34893
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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My sister has been divorced for a few years now and has two

Customer Question

My sister has been divorced for a few years now and has two children aged 10 and 12, the father of said children has nothing to do with them, no contact of any sort - this is his own choice. However my sister is worried that now the kids are getting older and becoming more independent that one day after an argument they may run away to him and she wouldn't legally be able to take them home. Is there any way she can prevent this happening as we know that even the police would not be able to remove the children back to her as they were married at the time of birth of the kids? Would a Residence Order be any use etc? Thanks
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 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 did they last see their father - do they know where he is?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi, they last saw him officially a few years ago, maybe four or so? We know roughly where he lives and he knows where his children live and still has nothing to do with them. He knows nothing about them.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
In that case may I ask why your sister has this worry since the children apparently do not know him?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The children do know him, he knows nothing of their lifestyles etc is what I meant. My niece has a form of autism and despite knowing that he wants nothing to do with them, she has an adoration of him regardless, it's just the way she is, she still hopes he'll send a birthday carddespite not having received one for year's. Our cousins daughter is 14 and she ran away to her fathers house and there is nothing her mother can do as she had nothing in place prior to this so the police etc won't help her get her daughter back and this has brought my sister into worrying about if this happened within her household.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
In fact even if your Cousin had had a Residence Order in place the Police would not have forced a 14 year old to return to her mother's care - and neither will the court
Your sister can apply for a Residence order as if he did retain the children at the moment they are of an age when the police would intervene - however there seems little point in doing so as her ex clearly has no wish to have the care of the children and is unlikely to be willing to take them in whilst they still require care.
Once they are 14 or so if they do go to him then as I said the Order has little force if the child wishes to be there.
I can certainly explain how to make the court application if you wish - although by opening up the matter your sister may then face a claim for contact from her ex.
Please ask if you need further details