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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34889
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My partner separated from his wife nearly 3 years ago. He has

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My partner separated from his wife nearly 3 years ago. He has regular contact with his son, (aged 9),but only on the mothers terms, who always dictates when and for how long. His daughter, (aged 15), has recently chosen not to see her father.
As they were married when boh children were born, he has automatic parental responsibility.
My partner's father and siblings live in Ireland, and my partner recently requested to take his son to Ireland for a few days to visit his family. The mother however, refused, despite it being school holidays, and despite allowing their daughter to go to Ireland for two weeks last year with her father. There are no domestic violence issues.
My partner is a full time student on a university teaching degree course. He is working part time aswellbut in the last tax year had earning under £4500. Over the last 2 years he has paid her wherever possible £200 a month (approx 20 months paid) for child maintenance - no formal agreement has been made. She has recently threatened to go to the CSA to make him pay more money, but I have already confirmed with them he would not be required to pay more than £20 per week even if his earnings rose to £8000 a year.
What rights does my partner have to be able to take his son to visit family in Ireland, and challenge the mothers decision not to allow this? Can she prevent him taking his son to IReland for a holiday?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What ocntact is he actually having?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My partner will currently see his son on Saturdays for most of the day, very occasionally he is allowed to sleepover (less than 4 times in the last 12 months). He also picks his son up from school on Tuesdays and Thursday and looks after him for a few hours. He has looked after him a few days during the school holidays but this is always when it suits the mother.
May I ask why he has accepted these restrictions?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Mainly to keep the rows with the mother to a minimum. Throughout their marriage the mother was incredibly controlling to my partner and it has taken a long time for him to begin to stand up to her. He fears any disagreement from him will lead to her making it even more difficult for him to see his son, and that the mother takes it out on the son because he wants to see his father. She has already turned his daughter against him.
Last month was his sons birthday, and the mother refused to allow the son to have my partners birthday present for him in her house. This obviously led to a row and the son becoming distressed. As the son is only 9 he is unable to stand up to his mother, and my partner does not want to cause any more upset or stress for his son.
The law says that a child is entitled to regular contact with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary.
This contact is not linked in any way to maintenance (although the more overnight contact there is the less maintenance is paid)
There is no reason why your partner should not have the child for alternate weekends and half the school holidays - and no reason why he should not be allowed to take the child to Ireland
The starting point is for his to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting to see if mediation could help - and if that fails he can apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order setting out the time he spends with his son
You can read more here
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. Just to clarify, if the mother holds the son's passport and is obstructive in allowing us to have this would we need to apply to the courts, or could my partner request a new passport for he son?
He needs her permission or a court order to take the child to Ireland and cannot get a duplicate passport I am afraid
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