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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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Clare. I have a joint residency order with my ex

Customer Question

Hi Clare. I have a joint residency order with my ex for my 11 year old son ... The order works well our son is happy with this and we are generally amicable ... But I just want to cover my back with something that's just about to happen ... How long is a residency order for? Is it til the child is 16? Also my ex is just about to move and approached our son a few months ago about going to live with him and his new family. My son isn't over keen on the new family as the children are a lot younger to than him he tolerates them and has had some good days out... I haven't got a problem with the new girlfriend.... My son said yes to his dad but was put on the spot.. I arrived to pick him up and was told this told not to discuss it with him and not to change his mind. My life had been turned upside down on an instant. We are happy living together there is no reason for his dad to have done this to our 11 year old son he didn't even discuss it with me first.....his new high Skool in sept is just across the road and he is so looking forward to going there..... He now doesn't want to go and live with his dad and we are both worried about telling him as he threatens me with court all the time .... My son tired to tell him that he doesn't want to go but he won't listen he's going to view skools on Monday .... Please help do I have any control as the main carer on the residency order? Can he do this? Does he have to go back to court to get the order changed? I'm scared and worried? We are so happy why did he have to go and do this. Our son could just seen him in his new house just the same as they are now!? He is also asking to renew his passport I'm not going to jeopardise a holiday but do I have to give consent for passport and holiday. He seems to think he can do anything his way. Just need to know my rights. Everytime I mention the residency order he just says it's a piece of paper means nothing?? Confused. Thankyou
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
The Order remains in place until the child is 16 - although it can always be changed - either by agreement or by the Court
The starting point is to make an urgent appointment with a Family mediator trained to work with young people.
Then inform, your ex that you will not agree to any changes until the matter has been discussed at Mediation and that your son will not be visiting other schools until you as parents have discussed the situation.
If he refuses mediation then provided you have attended your intake appointment you can then apply for a Specific Issue Order stating that the child will not be removed form your day to day care.
Given his age the wishes pf your son will be seen as being of great importance - and mediation is a way of ensuring that he can speak safely to some one neutral.
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thankyou. I really don't want all this again with courts etc. we are so settled and happy why is he doing this. It's so sad for our son. My son stays there on a Tuesday nite and his dad takes him to skool I'm worried he will view the skools on a weds.... Wot if he does this and doesn't take him to Skool.... If my son changes his mind and wants to go with his dad as his dad is very clever about brainwashing him. Wot can I do? He will be going for the wrong reasons? ... Wot about passport and holidays is that ok if we are amicable.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Whatever happens you follow the course set out above - make sure that your son can speak to someone independent to explore what he actually wants
You are entitled to full details of any trips abroad - and he needs your consent to them
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks again this is all very helpful ....... I know I repeat myself and I'm sorry but I have to be sure of my rites and he can turn and never believes me even when I know I'm rite ....... Just to confirm please sorry, even thou it's a joint residency order as I am the primary carer I have to agree to changes in our sons life. Can I stop him from taking our son to view skools? As this could start from this week before I can sort out mediation... He will laugh at me I'm sure if I say that your not taking him out of Skool! Thank you
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
You both have Parental Responsibility and you must both agree to any changes in his living arrangements - or get a Court Order.
You can certainly say that you do not agree to his being taken out of school - but it is not easy to enforce without applying to the court