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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35050
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 children aged 16 and 13 have recently relocated to Japan

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My children aged 16 and 13 have recently relocated to Japan with their mother. I have a comprehensive Contact Order in place which allows me very good access to the children, I normally travel every month from the UK to Japan to see them. I recently contacted the children's school via their admin email to enquire on a date of a certain activity in February 2017 so that I could make adequate arrangements in advance - it was a simple question which was answered via email.My ex wife has now written the most heinous of emails to me and copying in the school, advising that I may be the children "biological" father but I have no right to contact their school..... I am assuming that as I am their father, I can ask the school anything I want ! however this was a simple question because I could not find the information on the public website. Where do I stand as I am now being threatened with all sorts of rubbish!This is a copy of the email.Dear Jonathan,
>> The school have rung me this afternoon to make me aware that you have been contacting them and have done so now on numerous occasions for information regarding the boys. You have taken it upon yourself in e mailing their subject teachers directly for this information.
>> I have discussed this matter at length with the school who were already made aware of the situation and yourself just incase any such problems should they arise. Which I had hoped wouldn't be the case but yet again you never cease to amaze me on the liberties you continue to think are yours to take. They are also aware of the court order in place and custody arrangements and fully aware that the boys schooling is our responsibility and is solely funded by myself and Rhys.
>> You had no business whatsoever in contacting the school. Whilst I am neither happy or amused that you have taken this liberty and the lengths you continue to go to in interfering wherever and whenever possible. I truly don't know who you think you are? and what affords you such privileges not forgetting of course you are the boys biological father but that's as far as it goes through your decisions and actions over many years. I have also spoken to the boys about it so they are aware of what you are doing and feel it is undermining them and making them feel stupid.
>> I will now be made aware of any contact the school have from yourself and they will no longer be giving you any further information. Therefore if you require any information in future over and above the freely accessible information communicated via the school website at an appropriate time and in a manner and content which is deemed suitable for general perusal. Such as school play dates etc then it will be through ourselves or of course there is a fantastic school twitter facility which is freely available with the same suitable content. Obviously with all pupils privacy and safety being paramount which the boys have made me aware you follow which indeed is your prerogative.
>> If you would like any further clarification regarding any of the above I suggest you speak to myself and Rhys directly about it. A copy of this mail has also been sent to the school so if any further problems arise the school will deal with you in an appropriate manner through the relevant channels as indeed we will if so required.
>> Let's not also forget that it is myself and Rhys that fund everything for the boys upbringing and that you do not contribute a single penny towards their maintenance, schooling or anything els for that matter whatsoever.
> You will as per section (C) point (xii) of the court order receive copies of the boys school reports. I quote "The mother ***** ***** agrees to arrange for provision of copies of school reports to the father when received by her"
>> I trust we have made matters very clear with regard to the above and no further clarification or action will have to be taken.
>> Yours sincerely
>> Pamela & Rhys Williams

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

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

What type of school is it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi ClareIts the British School in Tokyo, a fee paying school. My ex wife moved to Japan in August with her partner who is employed by Honda, who pay the boys tuition fees.As you can see from the tone of the email - its crazy.I am travelling every month so far to keep contact with my boys whom I miss so much - apart from the astronomical financial cost, the emotional stress is huge. All I want is to be there for them as I was in the UK, I had them every weekend most of the time.....Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here is the 1st email I sent to school:HelloMy son Morgan Bennett is in year 11.He had advised me today that he is taking part in the school play on February 2017.As I live in the U.K. I would ideally like as much notice as possible to plan a trip to see him perform, on that note could you please advise the possible dates of the play ?Morgan was a little unsure, hence the email.Many thanks for your assistance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this was the 2nd:Dear GuyI spoke with Sam today, he has advised that he missed out on the school rugby team as he did not register in time ? Sam has been a county level player back home in Wales until he recently moved to Japan with his mother, it is something that he is keen to continue, more importantly it will allow him opportunities to mix with his peers and possibly join a local club to enable to push himself forward with his rugby skills.I am unsure who I should talk to regarding this, perhaps the games master could speak with Sam - I am sure BST could do with a county level hooker ?Please accept my apologies for the email, however I am trying to deal with things from back home in Cardiff (Wales) - Sam does not know who he should or even if he can approach someone with regards ***** ***** issue.Thank you for your assistance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I really don't think that I have overstepped any line, I just want to support the boys. I can send a copy of the Consent Order if you wish
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the sealed order in case you want to check it

You have certainly not overstepped any line whatsoever - my only concern is how you deal with this with regard to the school.

As someone with Parental Responsibility you have every right to contact the school and are entitled under Uk law to speak to them directly

The problem is what you do about this

If it was a Uk school then there would be no problem whatsoever - they could simply be reminded of the law on this matter and they would continue to give you the information you request.

Unfortunately since it is in Japan then the position is less clear.

A simple formal letter to the school confirming that in the Uk you are indeed entitled to have whatever contact with the school you wish and they would have to deal with you, and that you hope that they will honour the british law on the matter and copy it to your ex.

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Clare - as you can see, Im just a very caring parent who has bent over backwards for their children. I originally fought the right to remove but on speaking with the boys, it was causing so much damage between us I relented. The DJ stated that this was the 1st case she had seen in 17 years that had been agreed by a spouse but complimented me on the significant level of detail I insisted within the order.I am really stuck between a rock and a hard place, I have been divorced for 5 years and just want to get on with my life, the boys are the centre of that.Is there anything she can do to stop me dealing with school? I am sure she has painted me in a very bad light, however I am sure they will keep an open mind in all matters.Thank you again for your help.It is most appreciated.

If the school was in the Uk there would be no problem.

Equally if they are prepared to follow Uk rules then all is well.

Unfortunately I do not know what Japanese family law says on the subject

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you