Can my ex-wife take our son out of school to go on holiday in term time? Or would this be a breach of the terms of our divorce?
She told me she can do as she wants and I can't stop her. I found a holiday to the same resort in half term for similar money but she is just having none of it. If she goes it means our son will get one week at school in April and miss the first week in May. She has told me to seek legal advice if I don't like it as she is going anyway.
What do I do? Any advice would be great
(J.O, 27 February 2009)
It can be very frustrating when you are separated from your child and their mother makes decisions that you do not agree with. Trying to work through these issues in an amicable way is often difficult and you can end up feeling pushed out and ignored.
As a parent, you do have a legal right to make decisions that influence the upbringing of your child and will have an impact on their lives. However, if your child lives with your ex-wife, then she has the responsibility of making decisions that relate to your child’s everyday life.
Unless taking your child out of school is going to have a major impact on his education, then this will be counted as an ‘everyday decision’. You do not say how old your son is but if he is in the middle of studying for his GCSEs or A-levels, you may have more of a case against this decision, or if he will be spending an extended time away from school.
It is unfair of your wife to say that you must seek legal action to change her decision – and in this case is likely to have any effect. What you do need to do is find a way for you and your ex to communicate more effectively (read our article Developing An Amicable Relationship With Your Ex on this site). You have every right to have concerns over your son’s upbringing and it is good that you want to be as involved as possible.
Although it may feel as though your ex is sticking to her point of view just to spite you, it is worth trying to see it form her point of view. She probably genuinely believes that a small amount of time away from school will not harm your son’s education. There is often a lot of resentment between ex-partners and it is easy for this to play itself out in the decision making process.
Perhaps you and your ex could consider Using Mediation so that you can voice your feelings in a neutral environment. A counsellor can help you find a way to work together and be more considerate of each other’s opinions.
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marky - 13-Jul-16 @ 11:41 AM
Jimbob - Your Question:
My ex wife is refusing to tell me where she is taking our children on holiday. In fact I am unsure if she is taking them or if it is her parents. I don't want to stop it. I just want to know where the children are going to be (and who with). I do have reservations about her parents taking them away but I have decided on balance (if this is what is happening) then the risks are outweighed by the distress stopping the holiday would cause. I have said this but I am being told that under no circumstances will she tell me where they are going or who with. My ex has demanded that all communication go through her solicitor. The pattern here is that when I make a query about access dates or similar he doesn't respond for weeks or months. His response to this has been that he has been instructed to not make any response to my request. He has also told me that if I contact her direct she will interpret this as harassment. I haven't sent any direct communication to my ex wife for over two years. When I did it was never harassing. In fact it was me that insisted we keep communication written (because she could be so volatile). She hated this and around two years ago decided to make everything go via solicitors (even basic stuff about dates and contact). Any advice? We were married when the kids were born and I have parental responsibility. This is yet another example in a long line of my ex being difficult, obstructive and vindictive.
You don't say whether you have access to your children or not. If you don't, I suggest you seek your own legal advice about taking the matter to court in order to gain an official contact/access order with set days/times. With regards to your ex taking your children away, you could again apply to take the matter to court through a specific issue order, please see link here. However, I imagine by the time this issue would get to the court hearing, your children would have returned from holiday. Therefore, in this instance you may just have to let it be.
SeparatedDads - 23-Jun-16 @ 10:53 AM
My ex wife is refusing to tell me where she is taking our children on holiday.In fact I am unsure if she is taking them or if it is her parents.I don't want to stop it.I just want to know where the children are going to be (and who with).I do have reservations about her parents taking them away but I have decided on balance (if this is what is happening) then the risks are outweighed by the distress stopping the holiday would cause.I have said this but I am being told that under no circumstances will she tell me where they are going or who with.My ex has demanded that all communication go through her solicitor.The pattern here is that when I make a query about access dates or similar he doesn't respond for weeks or months.His response to this has been that he has been instructed to not make any response to my request.He has also told me that if I contact her direct she will interpret this as harassment.I haven't sent any direct communication to my ex wife for over two years.When I did it was never harassing.In fact it was me that insisted we keep communication written (because she could be so volatile).She hated this and around two years ago decided to make everything go via solicitors (even basic stuff about dates and contact).Any advice? We were married when the kids were born and I have parental responsibility.This is yet another example in a long line of my ex being difficult, obstructive and vindictive.
Jimbob - 22-Jun-16 @ 1:20 PM
Hi.I understand you position.how long is she looking to take your child away??!?I have a 9 yr old daughter who I have had access too and cared for throughout all her life on a weekly basis. Last year her birth mother decided to move to another city and change my daughters school mid term, to a location 45 minutes away from my home. I have still continued our informal arrangements of weekly care and support payments. (.bit of back story.)She has recently informed me that she wishes to fulfill her dream and travel the world.and will be taking my daughter with her for 12 MONTHS?!. I obviously didn't agree to this and she wishes to compromise and allow me to take full custody of my daughter and move her back to our local area (and original school of my daughters since reception) IF.i agree for her to go with her abroad for 6 months.so that she may return my daughter to me for the second 6 months with full custody.This, to me, is still not a compromise, however, I have verbally agreed in order for me to start the process of the custody / school application process.as I am in the belief that the Manchester county council will not allow this travel arrangement in the first place, leaving her not much choice than for me to take full care of my daughter.(as she has already purchased her tickets for her and her boyfriend).My personal approach is two fold.as I still have a dialogue (of sourts) with her mother.however, I want to ensure that I have a strong legal standpoint if our communications break down? I am guessing the below docs would hold you in beter stead??Parental responsibility agreementChildren Act form C1residence orderAs well as an in year admissions application to her previous school to ensure that she is received into her old school for the end of year 5.Am I missing anything???Aside for this. Am I correct in thinking that she will not be able to take my daughter traveling across thailand indonesia and India in the first place? My ex was a teacher an number of years ago (of drama), however, is there a circumstance that this would be expected??Sorry for this internal monologue however, I am only really piecing this whole subject together for the first time as I type.Anyway, I hope this helps but id hugely appreciated any feedback as this is the first I am discussing this myself.The saga continues!!RegardsDave