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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34902
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I was married with two children. Unfortunately a joint

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Good evening,
I was married with two children. Unfortunately a joint decision was made to get a divorce and all was quite amicable.
Unfortunately there were money issues so I took on all the debt in my name and tried to give my ex wife a clean break and I went bankrupt - which to say the least was a hard decision and really hard for the next six years.
Unknown to us at the time, as the mortgage was In joint names the mortgage company still persued some funds from my ex wife which I believe she either set up CVA or moved addresses frequently to run away from the problem.
The children were 2 and 4 and maintenance payments were agreed and times when I could see the children. At first due to work and living arrangement I saw my daughters every alternate weekend but as time has gone on (6 years) this has changed. Maintenance has increased due to salary increase and contact with my children has increased due to change of my job and becoming more financial stable to be able to provide the girls living accommodation. (Only 1 bed appt at the time of separation)
My circumstances have changed somewhat and I know see them week 1 -every Wednesday Friday,Saturday and Sunday -week 2 (when I don't see them for the weekend) Monday, Wednesday and the following weekend.
Is always paid half for school trips, school uniforms or items required and taken them away on holidays etc.
I feel I've managed to secure quite a good relationship and be part of their lives.
Relations between me and my ex wife have always been amicable.
Just recently the amicable relationship has soured (possible financial trouble has caught up to her and she still blames me for what happened!?) and she has now claimed next year out the blue she wished to up sticks and move to the coast (150 miles away) and says she'll bring the children back at alternate weekends so I can see them (twice a month) she states I don't have a choice In the matter and there's nothing I can do. I cannot tell her what to do with her children.
I feel at present communication has broken down and mediation is possibly the next step if I can get her to do so.
What legal rights do I have s their dad to be able to be a part of my children's life's? If she left what could I do - can she actually do this?
I don't want to go to court and drag the kids through hell but ultimately I want to be apart of their lives.
Either way good or bad news will help me determine my next steps.
Thanks in advance Kevin

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

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

Why is she moving there?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since our divorce both my ex wife and myself have re-married.My ex wife and partner have a caravan on the coast and go every alternate weekend. I believe my wife's partner has family in the area and just recently he has found work in that area.We both currently live on the outskirts of Bradford. In some respects I believe my ex wife believes she can have a better life there.I don't begrudge her this but in 5 years the girls will get to a stage where they just won't want to spend as much time with dad and this next 6 years is key to be part of their life.I don't want to just see them twice a month.They have all their family here, settled schooling which they are both exceeding in which is a miracle with the amount of times they have changed schools over the last 6 years. The girls have adapted tremendously and haven't really been effected by the seperation. I just think this a step too far at this stage of their life.Hope the above helps.Thanks in advance

Could you care for the children full time?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If needed alterations would need to be made but yes - ultimately though I would never take them away from their mum.They need their mum as much as if not more than me (both girls) I wouldn't want to go down this route. It wouldn't be fair on her as it isn't fair on me now.

It would be her choice - not yours.

Your ex is wrong - there is something that you can do and your ex has no right to simply make such decisions without discussing them with you and looking at different options.

You should try and discuss matters with her using Family mediation

but if she will not do so then you can apply to the courts for a Prohibited Steps Order preventing her from moving the children until the court has decided whether or not the move is in the best interests of the children.

It will then be up to your ex to convince the court that the benefits of the move outweigh the benefits of the time they spend with you.

If she cannot do so then SHE will have to decide whether or not to move without the children - not you

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would happen if she moves the girls without discussing the options with me- just ups and goes?If the courts felt that it was benifical to move the girls where would that leave myself on frequency rights? Would that be set by the court?What factors would the courts take into consideration?What type of costs would be associated to implement the Prohibited Steps Order and get a decision from the courts?Just one last question, if I decide to go down this route communication is likely to break down with my ex - can she stop me seeing the girls and reduce the time I am seeing them now if she doesn't move them as I could see she would be angry and if so is there anything official I can do so that my time with them each week is made official?Thanks in advance

If she simply goes you can make an immediate court applictaion and will be given an Order forcing your ex to return with the children

If you go to court then yes the Court will also set the arrangements for contact - to include more than half of the school holidays if necessary

The court will look at why she wants to move and how important that is and what arrangements she has made for ongoing contact

The Court fee is £215

If she ties to stop contact once the court application is made this will count against her - and you can get an urgent order restoring it

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My only other question is during mediation anything that is agreed here is it legally binding?Obviously this is impatial. Do they set out an agenda on the topics in question and stick to this and lead the meeting from getting off track. At the moment my ex wife is bringing all sorts of things up from the past which frankly have no bearing on the issue of the children.I can see any meeting between both parties being heated and could break down.Will the mediator have legal qualification, will they be aware of the information you have given me?I'm a lot happier knowing that I do have legal rights and she can't just go, but also am am aware I don't wish to split her family up as this too would have effect on the stability of the girls life's.Ultimately, I think they will go but it will be on my terms when I can see during the week, weekends and holidays etc. It's not practical, but it's life.If my daughters choose to want to move back at any stage at what age again legally could they make their own decision of again is this just desicusions between parents.Regards Kevin

An agreement made in Mediation can be turned into a Consent Order and sealed by the Court.

mediators are skilled at keeping discussions focussed and and calm - some have legal qualifications some do not - but they do know the law as it applies to the situation NUT they are not there to give legal advice in any way

Once a child is 16 it is entirely up to them where they live

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for your advice, it gives me clear indication on what my legal rights are with regards ***** *****Hopefully this can be settled ammacubly during mediation so that it doesn't effect the girls any further.Kind regards ***** ***** again.Kevin

I hope all goes well

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you:)Will all the above dialogue be sent in an email format which I can keep for my own personal records?

I believe you can indeed just print it off

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