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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35087
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My daughter does not wish to go abroad with my ex husband

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My ex husband is taking my son and daughter (aged 13 & 11) to Spain on Monday. My daughter does not want to go because she is terrified of going without me. Am I within my rights as her mother to collect her from her father's house TONIGHT, where she has been staying this week?

The current arrangement is that the children spend 2 nights with their dad on alternate weekends.  They usually spend two weeks with him during the summer holiday.  This is a verbal agreement, as only the weekend arrangement is detailed in the proposed consent order, which is currently pending review by the court, despite decree absolute being granted on 7/11/12.

My understanding is that if either of my children do not wish to stay with their father because they are unhappy there, then they do not have to and can return home to me.  Please confirm.

Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you
I am afraid that your ex has as much right to have the child in his care as you do and if he is not willing to allow your daughter to leave with you then he cannot be forced to do so
You can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order stating that the children live with you - but you would have to do so as an emergency first thing in the morning
You can also apply for an Emergency Order preventing the holiday tomorrow - but I have to be honest and say that it is entirely possible that the court would not make the Order and would assume that your daughter was just anxious and would enjoy herself if she went.
I appreciate that this is not good news - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare.

Thank you for your reply. Does this rule also apply for my children's weekend stays with my husband? My daughter never wants to sleep over at his house. She emails me late at night feeling homesick and often in tears. I am quite prepared for her to continue to see her father, but feel the overnight sleeping arrangement is causing her too much distress. My ex always goes to bed before the children, leaving them to decide what time to go to bed. I feel this is irresponsible. This adds to my daughter's fears about having to leave the country with out me.

Usually I would have said that if you tried to stop the overnight contact your ex would be able to apply to the courts for an Order re-instating it
HOWEVER the fact that he goes to bed leaving the children up changes the situation markedly
Your starting point is to try and discuss matters with him using Family mediation ( preferably one that also works with young people so that the children's views can be brought to the discussion
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
I am sorry that you feel my service was bad which means that I get no credit for my time and which is not necessary for and does not trigger a refund.
I note I did not make it clear - because of his actions you do have a good chance of changing the overnight arrangements