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Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33364
Experience:  Over twenty-five years experience
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My ex wife and I divorced in 2006, my ex wife walked

Customer Question

Hello, my ex wife and I divorced in 2006, my ex wife walked out on myself and my daughter Eadie the day after her 1st birthday, my daughter hads always lived with me and she is now nearly 11 yrs old, this morning my daughter called from my ex wife's phone informing me that she feels "pooped" after aweekend with her mother, I told her that I would see her later, I asked my ex wife if she decided not to take Eadie to school to bring her back home at 9am as I was busy until 12.30, she text me to say that she will bring Eadie back at 12.30, I again asked that she brings Eadie back at 9am and no later, I called to speak to Eadie and my ex wife said no and hung up, She said it was not fair to upset Eadie in this way and that with the fog and Eadie being upset she would bring her back at 12.30. When I spoke to Eadie she didn't sound unwell at all. I would like your advice please as I do not wish to make the wrong decision etc. Mike
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Hello Mike
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist.
Please may I ask:
- what is the normal routine for contact?
- is your daughter due to be at school today?
- had this happened before?
Kind regards
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Is your daughter back?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My daughter arrived home at 12.27 and II took her to school straight away, my ex wife used to see Eadie for tea every other Thursday but changed this to overnight and takes Eadie to school as she moved further away to Chelmsford, she also changed against Eadie's wishes the alternate weekends whereby she keeps Eadie overnight on Sundays and takes her to school, she has been late to school a few times.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Glad to hear your daughter is back.
Did your ex give a reason as to why she didn't take her to school?
What did your daughter say about it?
Does your daughter enjoy the time with her mum?
What are your daughters wishes and feelings?
Do you have any court orders in place?
Any other concerns about mum?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She said she had a sore throat, she was absolutley fine hence taking her in to school, there are no court orders in place, her mother has dropped her maintenance from £700 to £570 and now to £377 over the past year and has given up work due to depression, she is on medication for same, she has been to the priory clinic for one on one chats which I think is ongoing, when Eadie was ready for school we past her car parked on a road near our house and she was on the phone. Eadie does not mind the Thursday stay over as long as she gets to school on time, this is her last year at primary school as is down to attend Ipswich High School for Girls next year, I asked my ex wife if she would mind contributing anything at all toward the£14,000 per years fees to which she responded " there is no way I can budget for that" Eadie wrote a letter to her mum when this change first happened expressing her feelings against the Sunday night say over and take to school.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response.
I completely agree that your daughter should not be missing school for no good reason. The school and social services will also be of the same position.
If your ex continues to drop your daughter off late then you should consider restricting that contact so that you daughter is returned in the evening.
If your ex retains your daughter at any point - then you should give consideration to making an application to the court for your daughter to be returned to your care. Normally you can't make an application to the court until mediation has been attempted first - but if the case is urgent and your daughter is being kept against her wishes and not taken to school then the court will likely consider the matter as urgent and deal with the issue quickly without mediation.
It is the courts opinion that children should enjoy a good relationship with both of their parents. It is therefore important to encourage your daughter to have a relationship with her mum - but if the pattern of not taking her to school continues then this is not in your daughters best interest and the time she spends with her mum will need to be adjusted accordingly so that your daughters educational needs are met.
Mediation really is a good starting point to help agree arrangements without the need for court- if matters don't become urgent. If mum doesn't agree with your proposals then she would need to make an application to court for a child arrangements order so that the court can decide the arrangement in line with her welfare. You can also make this application yourself if matters can't be agreed at mediation. It's therefore worth keeping detailed notes of all the issues so that you can update the court as to what's been going on.
The court do give regard to children's wishes and feelings. Children are often considered as Gillick competent at 14 in respect of what their opinion is. This depends on the child and can sometimes be older and sometimes be younger. At 11 - your daughter would still be listened too.
In respect of maintenance - the child maintenance service have jurisdiction- you should check on their website as to the mothers liability. In respect of school fees - I note that mum is currently unemployed and therefore may not have the means - if however the mother has other capital then you should consider a schedule 1 children act claim for an order that she contributes.
Kind Regards
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Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
Have you go her home yet?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
The child is home - Thomas - your response is not an answer but a question ?
Please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist further.
Expert:  Thomas Judge replied 2 years ago.
Is there a court order in place which sets out the arrangements?