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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 23791
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I a currently living in the UK with my 2 children I share

Customer Question

Hi I a currently living in the UK with my 2 children I share parental responsibility with my ex husband who lives in South East Asia Do you know if he can stop me leaving the UK to also work in south East Asia? Since I plan to move closer to him I thought he would be happy about this but it seems he is intent on trying to stop me
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No courts are involved at the moment I want to leave the UK at the end of July. Do I have time to get permission from teh courts?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?
Customer: No but I would like to
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so.... This is my main questions. If he can stop me and if so how
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 16 days ago.

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

So he wants you to stay in UK? why?

how old are the children?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
The children are 7 and 8
He insists I can only live in the UK or Singapore where he lives
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Prior to this I was living in Malaysia
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
He was angry about me leaving Malaysia to move to the UK but now he is saying that me living in Malaysia did not work and I must only stay in the UK or move to Singapore
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I told him my plans to work in South East Asia back in December and last week I accepted a job and after I told him he said he will not give his consent for me to go.What are the implications of me leaving the UK without his consent?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 16 days ago.

He can not stop you leaving would you can stop you taking the children if it is not in the best interest of the children although if he lives in Southeast Asia, is going to have to attend court in the UK or send solicitors to deal with this.

In order to get permission to take the children, would need a Child arrangement order called a Specific Issue Order.

Fortunately, there is a lot of information on the Internet about Child Arrangement orders and the government have actually produced a guide on the subject which is here.

The different types of Child Arrangement order are:

1              A Contact Order which specifies when parent sees a child,

2              A Residence Order to determine who the child lives with,

3              A Prohibited Steps Order to prevent a parent doing something with the child such as moving away either in this country miles away or taking the child to another country.  Particularly relevant if there is a chance that the parent would go to another country and never return.  The parent wishing to prevent the move would have to convince the court why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move.  Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account.

A Prohibited Steps Order is to prevent child Abduction and it’s one of the few areas of law for which legal aid is sometimes still available.  It’s often therefore worth seeing a solicitor.

4              A Specific Issue Order to allow a parent to do something specific with the child such as moving away to another part of the country or indeed to another country.  .  The parent wishing to move would have to prove why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move..  Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account.  It would also encompass things such as changing school if the parents cannot agree, changing the child's name, and anything other specific.

The courts will not get involved in a Contact or Residence order unless the couple have been to mediation first.  So the couple would have to try mediation even if it subsequently fails and the matter proceeds to court.

I don’t know why there is now some urgency to leave in six weeks time the court would have expected you to have applied months ago because there is a backlog.  You could potentially make an application now along with a certificate of urgency explaining why it needs to be in court sooner rather than later but being brutally honest with you I don’t think you would get an order by the end of July because documents would have to be served on the child’s father and there would need to be a lengthy court hearing.

But as I said, there’s nothing to stop you simply going although it depends what arrangements you would then make for the children.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thanks for your response Stuart, The reason this is rushed now with only 6 weeks to go is because even though I told him my intentions back in December, he made no objection until yesterday.
So the only way he can stop me is instructing a UK solicitor?
Do you know how long it would take from the time he instructs a solicitor to me being told I cannot leave?
I basically want to know if I will get stopped at the airport or anything if I don't have his consent or does he need to go through a lengthy procedure first?
If he does instruct a solicitor is that enough to stop me leaving? Will I legally be required to stay in the UK until it is resolved?
I know you said there is nothing to simply stop me going so sorry if I am asking you to repeat yourself but please can you just clarify this for me - when you say there's nothing to stop me going do you mean with the children? Given that I leave in 6 weeks, is there enough time for him to legally stop me going?
Thank you
Expert:  Stuart J replied 16 days ago.

Thank you.  He was being smart why he’s left it until the last minute and what you should have done of course is made an application for a specific issue order back in December because being quite blunt with you, he could have waited till the day before you were going to fly and then made an emergency application to stop you.

He could get such an order on an emergency basis within 48 hours.

If he gets an order and you take the child there is a good chance that you would be stopped at the border but even if you weren’t, you would be in contempt of court and liable to immediately be arrested and returned to the UK.  That would potentially carry a short-term jail sentence for child abduction.

It’s not worth thinking about.

As I said earlier, you can do what you like, it’s taking the children which is a problem.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
That's not good news. I didn't realise he could stop me so fast even though he's not in the UK!
What does he need to do to get this emergency order? Just fill in a form? Is that the C100? We did not attend MIAM but would we be exempt since he's not in the country? We did start negotiating arrangements through the company Amicable - does that count as mediation?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 16 days ago.

He’s either got to be in the UK or instruct solicitors.

I’m not convinced he would get the order because he is not here and the children going abroad with you does not make contact with him any more difficult.

If he was in the UK there is a very good chance that he would get the order when I say in the UK I talking about living, not just coming for the hearing.

Anything done on an emergency doesn’t require mediation.

I’m not familiar with Amicable but all you need is the certificate from the mediator.

C100 is the correct form.