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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My ex wife and I have a family based arrangement care

Customer Question

My ex wife and I have a family based arrangement for the care and support of our two children (10 and 6 yrs old). We have both remarried. The children spendth majority of time with their mother and are with us every other weekend and during school holidays. The original reason for this was so that after the divorce the children should stay near their established base. I moved away from the area but collect and drop off the children each weekend. My ex wife has recently moved house (further away) and is now intending to move the children's school so that they attend 2 different schools, making it impossible for me to get to them and drop them off as per our original agreement. There is no court order in place for the care of the children and I am sure that they may wish to explore the option of being based with me. As there is now the change imminent, what are my rights in having a say on where the children go to school? Can i block this proposed move as it would prevent me from seeing my children? My ex has already stated that she is unwilling to allow the children to be based with me, but at what point do the children have a say. Can she dictate this? What are my options to counter this move by her? Thank you in advance
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
As long as you were married at the time of their birth or if not that your name is ***** ***** birth certificate at the time of their birth, you have parental responsibility. This means that you have to be consulted in relation to major decisions regarding the children's upbringing, which will include which school they go to and any relocation. If no agreement can be reached then the court will need to make a decision and this can be done by submitting an application to your local family court for a specific issue order under form C100 and a £215 court fee.
At the same time as this you can make an application for a child arrangement order, which can be done on the same form and there will be no need for an extra fee payment. The court can make an order regarding where the children live (this can be a shared basis) or when they spend time with you. The court will take into account the following criteria when reaching decision:
1. The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings
The mother cannot dictate this unless there are concerns about the level of care you provide the children. The court will usually take into consideration your children's views when they reach the age of 12/13.
Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HIMy name is ***** ***** I have been a family lawyer for more than 30 years.My colleague has accurately described the procedures but I do wish to add some practical points which may assist youThe first is that your ex has no right to change schools with out consulting you and discussing what is best for the chidlren.You can apply for an urgent Prohibited Steps Order to prevent any school move happening until the issue has been fully discussed and the court has decided whether or not the school move is in the best interests of the children.Since it is an urgent order you would not need to attend mediation first - however it would still be a good idea to make an appointment with a Family mediator as soon as possible so that you can discuss matters fully I note that you have already moved away - so even if they lived with you attending the current school would be a problem on a daily basis - and of course the elder child is due to change schools in any eventThe wishes of your older child will be of some importance - although much will depend on his or her actual comprehension and ability to discuss the various issues involved.This website may assist
Expert:  Harris replied 2 years ago.
Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively as I will not be credited for my response without a rating.