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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
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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I have been living with my partner for three years and we have

Customer Question

I have been living with my partner for three years and we have a two year old son. Over the past three months we have been living in Germany as I took a more well paid position in October last year. Yesterday, my partner decided to just leave me a note saying "I can't do this anymore" leaving her house keys on the table and finding all of the draws/cupboards empty of her and my sons clothes. I am extremely upset that she has left the country with my son without informing me. She has returned to England and currently lives in an overcrowded home with her parents (mum disabled) and two brothers. She has no means of income, is still claiming income support/child benefit in the UK. I believe that I will be able to provide and nurture my son in a better environment. I have a full-time job as a nursery nurse, and have already secured Elliot a place within the nursery as off September. My monthly income has doubled since arriving in Germany, giving me the financial capability to care for him. I would like to get custody of my son as I believe that he will have a much more stable and a prosperous life with me. He will automatically be bilingual, have set routines, daily access with other children to enhance his social behaviour/activities and will be able to follow one of the best mainstream education in the world. How can I apply for immediate custody? Do I have to be present at court and how quickly will I be able to get a custody hearing?

Thank you kind regards

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family 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.
Who has had the day to day care of the child until now?
Has your ex also been working outside the home?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We lived in the UK for the first 20 months of my sons life where I worked full-time in a Nursery and my partner had some part-time work, she also cared for her disabled mum on a daily basis which did not leave her with much time for Elliot. I would come home in the evening and cook our meal and on the weekend we would jointly clean and tidy our home. Since January, we have lived in Germany where my partner did not work. Again, I am in a full-time post and have done the majority of the shopping and cooking with the cleaning remaining a joint effort on the weekend.


Kind regards


Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Since the child has only been in Germany for three months it is the UK Courts which still have the right to decide matters regarding the child and accordingly you will need to apply to the Courts here for a Residence Order
You do this using a Form C100 available here
and paying the fee of £215.
You will also need to apply for permission to remove the child from the Uk and also a defined contact order.
I have to be realistic with you - the Court is likely to see the mother as the principal carer of the child and unless you can show that she is not capable of caring for the child a Residence Order and leave to remove the child to Germany is unlikely to be granted
You will indeed have to attend ALL the hearings - and the process is likely to take between three and four months before a final decision is made
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare


Yes I agree that the time spent in Germany has been very short, but this has not been the intention, as my partner has an annual transport ticket, the day before her disappearance she went with my mother to be placed onto my German bank account, I have secured my son a nursery place at which point she intended to go out to work.


However, I believe that I could provide my son with a brighter and more prosperous future, as I am in a stable job, have a good income that would enable me to provide for him effectively, he will have the opportunity to expand on his social skills and interact with children of his own age, be brought up bilingual and enter one of the top educational systems in the world. In addition, I have a fully furnited flat where all of his toys still reside, he will have a routine and we both would benefit from the help and support of my family (German origin)


On the contrary, my partner has moved back in with her parents who live in a three bedroom property, with her mother being disabled and her two brothers (aged 14 &17), she has no income and I am worried how should could provide for my son under those conditions.


Kind regards


Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
It is actually a simple legal point.
Since he was in Germany for less than six months it is the Uk courts that decide the matter
AS for the rest you will need to include your proposals for contact as part of your argument