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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35058
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 brother and his girlfriend are considering splitting up,

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My brother and his girlfriend are considering splitting up, they live together in a house jointly owned by them. Them have 2 children, 3.5 years and 18 months. they have both cared for the children and lived together the entirety of the childrens lives. He has parental responsibility.
She is now saying that she wants to move to a pat of the country 150 miles away, to be nearer her parents, and he either comes with her, or she will leave him (nice i know). she says she will take the children and move without him.
assuming he refuses to move, and there relationship ends, can (and why should) she be able to take the children to live with her, surely right now whilst they are together they both have equal rights, and responsibilitires to the children? there isn't a primary caregiver, or whatever the term is these days, as they both work and care for the children equally and together.
the children are both at nursery in this area.
is there anything legally he can do to prevent her taking the children, automatically adopting the role of primary caregiver. thus making his potential access to his children very inconveiniant and reduced. can he stop her from being bale to move out of the area?
And, if not, assuming htey have the same rights at the moment, why could he not do the same, i.e. boot her out of the house, declare he was becoming the primary caregiver, and not give her access until she went to court.
what rights do they both have, and what from his point of view can be done to prevent the move? and if nothing, why would it possibly be biased towards her in this way as they perform equal roles at the moment?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Just to confirm - they both work full time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They both work, he definitely works full time as a self employed plumber (contracted to the same firm ongoingly) - she works as a a&e nurse, I'm. Not sure wether it is strictly full time, when she came back from maternity leave. It is a least 3 days a week as the children are in child care then, plus possibly some evenings, I'm not 100% on how her rota works to be honest.
A thought to add. If she does leave and moves away and they end up sharing the children is it possible/probable that a court (if it came to court) would rule that they have to share the transportation of the children between the two homes, or would my brother be stuck with the 2 hour+ drive each way twice a week? This may put her off the idea.
So mum works part time (probably)
What family and other ties are there in the current area they live in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There ties to this area are,
1. They own a home here with a mortgage. They have spent considerable time and effort msking it nice for the children.
2. The children are at nursery here, and the eldest has friends, attends birthday parties etc.
3. They have various friends here , some with children that their kids play with.
4. My brothers mother lives here, and has always helped them with the children, they have a very glide relationship to their nanny.
5. I live here , I have a little boy born 4 weeks before there eldest boy, so they spend a lot of time together, plus every Christmas hitch day etc has always been a fanilly thing.
5. Their eldest has been attending speech therapy lessons locally to yelp his development.
6. Both their jobs are here. My brother has worked for the same company (though they made him go self employed) since he left school 13 odd years ago.
7. Until recently they had a horse here, though she has just sent it up to the new area, as she's confident she's eventually moving.
8. My brothers extended familly are close to here, aunts uncles cousins etc
Though up there she had her parents, plus a fair number of siblings etc with their own children.
She haas lived down here for at least 8 years, maybe longer I don't know before that.
There is no easy answer to this one I am afraid.
They both have Parental Responsibility for the children and the right to have them in their care.
In the event of a separation the children will have the right to spend time with each of their parents - and as parents your brother and his partner will be expected to agree a pattern of care - using Family Mediation if necessary
Only if no agreement can be reached at mediation will the courts become involved.
If they separate then clearly it is not unreasonable for her to wish to move nearer to her parents and family (indeed even if they do not separate it is not unreasonable) at which point a full shared care arrangement is not practical and instead one parent will have to have weekends and more time in the holidays. In that event both parents will be expected to share the transport of the children.
If his ex refuses to consider mediation and he believes that a move is imminent then your brother can make an urgent application to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent the move happening until the matter has been fully considered by the court
I will be honest and say that matters are so finely balanced I cannot predict the outcome at this stage
What he must not do is to try and exclude his partner and take over the care of the children - that would in fact achieve the opposite to what he wishes
Please ask if you need further details
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