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Advice on consent
#1
Hi All,
New here and I know I'll have to get legal advice at some point, but would like to see if any of you have gone through my situation/have any views. Hopefully, i'll keep this short. Split up with wife, my choice, after 12 years (9 married) in December 2016. Stayed in spare room in family home until Mid March 2016 because she did not feel strong enough to tell the kids. Finally told them and I moved into my own place - still paying 100% of the mortgage, bills etc on the family home. We have another home, bought by her before we met, but re-mortgaged in both names in 2009 in order to buy the family home. Other home is rented out.
The marriage has been dead for a few years, but I stayed because of the kids. I have been seeing someone for 3 months now, the kids have met her, but she was introduced as Daddy's friend. She does not live with me and doesn't see the kids everytime I do. She seems them for a few hours every few weeks - I see them at least 3 days a week and we're not "inappropriate" in front of them ie. don't kiss, hold hands etc etc. We do the things that I would do with true female and male friends - hang out, play in the park, go out to dinner, cinema etc etc. Ex is claiming she doesn't care about my new partner, but says her presence is having a negative impact on the kids. This is rubbish and the only reasons the ex can give is that the children play up. The are kids and have always played up i.e. fight each other, throw strops etc, but now they're doing it because of the breakdown of the marriage and because of my new partner. Ex has asked me several times not to have my partner around the kids, but because she can't give me a proper reason why not and because the kids get on well and even ask when they're going to see her etc. There is absolutely no truth in her claims that they are negatively affected. I was planning on taking the kids to Portugal next month. Ex confirmed she was okay for me to take them and was okay with the dates. We have hired a villa with other members of my family, all flights are booked, kids are excited and I have invited my new partner. Ex is not happy that new partner is going and has actually got her solicitor to write to me saying that "..the holiday was booked without her consent and knowledge and has been booked on dates which our client has not and does not agree to." I have messages to prove she has agreed to it, so I'm not worried about this bit. The letter goes on further..."Given that Nicole is going to be present, when our client does not feel this is in the children's best interest, then we wish to confirm that our client does not provide her consent to the children travelling to Lisbon with you from 7th-17th August 2017. Further, our client would ask that all further contact between you and the children takes place without your partner being present"

We have joint parental responsibility and no court order. Can she really not give her consent? What if I go ahead as planned. Can she refuse to hand them over to me or if I take them as planned, can she accuse me of kidnapping them? We are trying to go to a mediator, but even if the mediator tells me that I shouldn't see my partner when I have the kids, I know my kids better than them and will not agree with them. Can they enforce this nonsense? I believe only a court can, but just wanted to check my options which seem to be fight it or comply.

I'd like to reiterate that I love my kids to bits and there is absolutely no way that they are negatively impacted by spending a few hours, every few weeks with my partner. I put this all down to jealousy.

Thanks for your time and apologies for the length.
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#2
(07-11-2017, 03:39 PM)BigMan Wrote: Hi All,
New here and I know I'll have to get legal advice at some point, but would like to see if any of you have gone through my situation/have any views. Hopefully, i'll keep this short. Split up with wife, my choice, after 12 years (9 married) in December 2016. Stayed in spare room in family home until Mid March 2016 because she did not feel strong enough to tell the kids. Finally told them and I moved into my own place - still paying 100% of the mortgage, bills etc on the family home. We have another home, bought by her before we met, but re-mortgaged in both names in 2009 in order to buy the family home. Other home is rented out.
The marriage has been dead for a few years, but I stayed because of the kids. I have been seeing someone for 3 months now, the kids have met her, but she was introduced as Daddy's friend. She does not live with me and doesn't see the kids everytime I do. She seems them for a few hours every few weeks - I see them at least 3 days a week and we're not "inappropriate" in front of them ie. don't kiss, hold hands etc etc. We do the things that I would do with true female and male friends - hang out, play in the park, go out to dinner, cinema etc etc. Ex is claiming she doesn't care about my new partner, but says her presence is having a negative impact on the kids. This is rubbish and the only reasons the ex can give is that the children play up. The are kids and have always played up i.e. fight each other, throw strops etc, but now they're doing it because of the breakdown of the marriage and because of my new partner. Ex has asked me several times not to have my partner around the kids, but because she can't give me a proper reason why not and because the kids get on well and even ask when they're going to see her etc. There is absolutely no truth in her claims that they are negatively affected. I was planning on taking the kids to Portugal next month. Ex confirmed she was okay for me to take them and was okay with the dates. We have hired a villa with other members of my family, all flights are booked, kids are excited and I have invited my new partner. Ex is not happy that new partner is going and has actually got her solicitor to write to me saying that "..the holiday was booked without her consent and knowledge and has been booked on dates which our client has not and does not agree to." I have messages to prove she has agreed to it, so I'm not worried about this bit. The letter goes on further..."Given that Nicole is going to be present, when our client does not feel this is in the children's best interest, then we wish to confirm that our client does not provide her consent to the children travelling to Lisbon with you from 7th-17th August 2017. Further, our client would ask that all further contact between you and the children takes place without your partner being present"

We have joint parental responsibility and no court order. Can she really not give her consent? What if I go ahead as planned. Can she refuse to hand them over to me or if I take them as planned, can she accuse me of kidnapping them? We are trying to go to a mediator, but even if the mediator tells me that I shouldn't see my partner when I have the kids, I know my kids better than them and will not agree with them. Can they enforce this nonsense? I believe only a court can, but just wanted to check my options which seem to be fight it or comply.

I'd like to reiterate that I love my kids to bits and there is absolutely no way that they are negatively impacted by spending a few hours, every few weeks with my partner. I put this all down to jealousy.

Thanks for your time and apologies for the length.
What you need to do is apply to Court for a Specific Issue Order.

State that consent was given for the holiday, and evidence it.

Explain that after you had made the booking, she is claiming it was made without her consent, so you are now asking the Court to grant you consent for this, as there is not enough  time before the Holiday date for it to be sorted via Mediation or Child Arrangements Process.

Your current legal position is that your both on the same legal standing. You both make decisions about what happens in your own time only. All she can do is a Sarah's Law application on your new partner, and then if it flags up any concerns, ask for a Prohibited Steps Order to stop the children coming into contact with her.

However, where a child is only a UK National, you need to the consent from everyone with PR or the Court, to take the child out of the UK.
Its up to her to show a court there is a risk of no return. Normal requirements are you tell her
a, flight details
b, where staying
c, who going
d, providing her with an emergency contact number.

You will need Mediation before you can go to Court for Child Arrangements, but you will get along the lines of Friday till Sunday every 2 weeks, and up to half school holidays if you ask for it.

You might get mid week visits or stay overs, if you can show shared care is workable.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#3
Its common this... everything is OK until you meet someone who makes you happy
Its a control thing... she has not moved on and wants to keep that control over you, which she had in the relationship and probably forms part of the reason you left

Apart from the Sarah's law application as MarkR says .... its really nothing to do with your ex who you have a relationship with and if you decide to introduce them to your kids... it when kids are with you so you make the decisions

I dont suggest you do this as a method to 'get at her' but maybe start looking at the mortgage, the amount you pay on rent, the child support you give her... she seems to have a nice life... so maybe she wants to consent to you taking the kids away on holiday as her only objection is you are happy with a new partner.

Your kids deserve to see you happy...
I quote my new favorite phrase:
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#4
Gents, thank you very much for your very helpful replies. We have got appointments to see mediators. I'm seeing one on my own this week and she is seeing one on her own next week, Hoping to have a joint meeting the week after next. Hopefully we'll come to an agreement, but my fear is that we don't and the holiday is booked for 7th Aug. Should I;
a) respond to my ex and her solicitor providing evidence of consent
b) provide the evidence to the mediator or
c) apply to the court now?

Thanks again
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#5
If it was me.... c) and then a) ... in that order

You need the court process running just in case and you can withdraw it if she consents.

MarkR will have more experience here so await his response + advice of others
"Being a good father, for its own sake, does not require your ex to see it or agree"
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#6
(07-12-2017, 09:11 AM)BigMan Wrote: Gents, thank you very much for your very helpful replies. We have got appointments to see mediators. I'm seeing one on my own this week and she is seeing one on her own next week, Hoping to have a joint meeting the week after next. Hopefully we'll come to an agreement, but my fear is that we don't and the holiday is booked for 7th Aug. Should I;
a) respond to my ex and her solicitor providing evidence of consent
b) provide the evidence to the mediator or
c) apply to the court now?

Thanks again

While the Mediation is needed for Child Arrangements, you can still go for this Spercific Issue Applicaiton, asking for it to be heared Urgent as a stand alone case.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#7
An update. I replied to the solicitors letter and included text message evidence that the ex was aware of and agreed to the dates. We attended a mediation session which was pointless, but we did agree that the ex and current partner would chat. They chatted and the ex spent most of the time quizzing her on our relationship and slagging me off - hardly mentioned the kids! During and after the mediation session I said that I'd be applying for a Specific Issue Order. A day later, the ex backs down and gives consent for me to take the kids away.

I've still got the pain and expense of the divorce to go through, but at least, for now at least, I can relax and enjoy my holiday!

Thanks for all your help/advice
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