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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35091
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'm currently going through a divorce. We separated 2 yrs

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I'm currently going through a divorce. We separated 2 yrs ago.
I was forced to leave family home with kids in tow and move in with my dad. Their dad then moved 20 mins away from us with his girlfriend, and We moved 20 mins away from their school, 9 months ago, but I kept them at their current school, as my son goes to secondary school next year. We live 22 miles away from their dad. I'm planning to move near my boyfriend, and apply for secondary schools there. This would only be 22 miles from their dad which is the same distance we are from here. He has gone mad and wants to know how he will ever get to see his kids. He's telling the kids they are going to school where he lives. I'm the primary carer, we share them 50/50, although he is always cancelling on them, or going on holiday without them. He is demanding my sons birth certificate but won't tell me why. He's very controlling towards me which is why I left.
Where do I stand on putting them at school where we will be living?

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How old are the children and what time do they actually spend with their father?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The children are 10 and 8 next week.
He has them Tuesday and Thursday, from school, and then every other weekend too. So 50/50 in a 2 week period. Although his weekends he dumps them with his mum or girlfriend. And cancels them frequently.
So all in all, I have them far more than him.

Have you kept a diary note of this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, but I can memorise the times he has cancelled.

You need to record that into a diary - and keep it up.

When do you intend to move?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
By summer next year. He drops them to school late everyday it's his turn and is usually late to collect them.He is demanding I give him my son's birth certificate today but he won't tell me why.
Is it worth me going for full custody or getting a judgement to move schools?
He pays me no child maintenance cos he says he can't afford the £30 a month. That's how little it is. He didnt pay a penny towards our son's school trip which cost me £320 plus all the stuff he had to take.
I don't trust him which is why I'm not giving him the birth certificate without knowing why.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He currently has both their passports aswell.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to know what to do Now. Rather than a diary. I have only got 2 more weeks before the deadline to apply for schools.

Do mean to get an old diary and record the missed ones that you remember as well as ongoing issues.

You do not have to give him the Birth Certificate - if he wants a copy let him get one.

Since he has Parental Responsibility you are under a duty to consult him on the schools - which you have done.

Now you can go ahead and make the applications for the schools of your choice.

If your ex objects then he will have to apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order so that the Court decides which school they will go to (and given the history you have nothing to fear from that)

However there is also the issue of the contact - and you may wish to consider whether the children are benefiting form the current arrangements - and the frequent cancellations and whether or not you need to make alternative arrangements - via the court if necessary

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Clare.
I have asked for him to return the kids passports to me but he is refusing to.

Are you going away in the near future?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No but I know my son's passport needs renewing. But he is just being awkward because I refused to give him their birth certificates. He texted me to say that 'what goes around comes around - NEVER FORGET!!!'.He has registered them at his drs without telling me even though I'm primary carer and they were at my drs. I found this out when I took my daughter to the Dr last week and they said she's not a patient as she has moved house. He should not have been able to register them without a birth certificate or allowed to do it without my knowledge.

Have you re-registered them at the Doctors?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have asked for them to be 're-registered. I'm not sure if they can put a block on him doing it again though.
it's me that takes them to the doctors, but I think he's trying to make it look like he does everything, as he is after having my tax credits. He thinks that it's not fair I have it because he can't pay his bills. I live on my own and only earn 8k. He's self employed and earns far more than me, lives with his jobless partner, and doesn't even pay any child maintenance because he says he can't afford the £28 a month he is supposed to pay.
He is just very aggressive and controlling, and clearly wants to ruin me.

Are you willing to start the court process if necessary?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm fed up of him treating me the way he does. I'm seeing a solicitor next week, and I suppose I wanted some advice to know if what I'm doing is right in the meantime. And what else I can do. Because I can't always get hold of my solicitor to talk to. So your service has been very helpful.
Do you think I'd have a case.? Knowing this would help a great deal. I haven't slept in a week, and the stress is making me ill again.

What he is doing is abusive to you and the children

In the long term you need a Prohibitive steps Order to prevent him changing doctors without informing you (or at all)

and sorting out a contact arrangement that he will actually stick to

You also need a specific issue order to determine where they will go to school

The starting point is for you to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment meeting with a Family Mediator.

It is unlikely that mediation is suitable in these circumstances (of him being a bully) but you need to have attended one in order to go to court - so make an appointment as soon as possible.

Please do not let him bully you any more - you are being reasonable and he is not and you need an Order stating that the children live with you for your security - and theirs

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would we both need to attend mediation together because I can't be in the same room as him. I feel so uneasy. I was once given a risk asessment because of it. He scares me. Not because he has ever touched me but because he is so dominating and controlling. I just don't ever feel strong enough against him.
We have separate parents evenings at school because of this.
He doesn't have the best interest of the kids in mind whatsoever.

At worst you might have Shuttle Mediation - where you are not in the same room - so please do not worry

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you