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Holidays and solicitors advice
#1
Hi again all,

After having just been on a four day abroad holiday with the kids, I have asked my ex if I can take our daughter (now five) to Spain for another five days in April for my son's birthday. She has told me she is not comfortable with it as it may confuse her and as she is the resident parent - first time she has claimed this. I have disagreed and told her that we have joint parental responsibility for our daughter. There are no court orders in place, my name is on the birth certificate and I currently have my daughter 37% of her free time (often more). I believe this refusal is because our daughter told her she didn't miss her mum and loves her time with Daddy and her brother and doesn't want to leave.

I am ready to send her an email detailing how I would like to agree upon 50/50 shared care with a schedule requesting one more overnight which would give me about 46% but would like a solicitor to review it first.. I understand some solicitors offer a free hour of advice. Anyone know if this would cover reviewing my email? I do not require representation as of yet but would also like advice on how to handle the holiday situation.
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#2
(02-20-2018, 09:49 AM)Daddywidow Wrote: Hi again all,

After having just been on a four day abroad holiday with the kids, I have asked my ex if I can take our daughter (now five) to Spain for another five days in April for my son's birthday. She has told me she is not comfortable with it as it may confuse her and as she is the resident parent - first time she has claimed this. I have disagreed and told her that we have joint parental responsibility for our daughter. There are no court orders in place, my name is on the birth certificate and I currently have my daughter 37% of her free time (often more). I believe this refusal is because our daughter told her she didn't miss her mum and loves her time with Daddy and her brother and doesn't want to leave.

I am ready to send her an email detailing how I would like to agree upon 50/50 shared care with a schedule requesting one more overnight which would give me about 46% but would like a solicitor to review it first.. I understand some solicitors offer a free hour of advice. Anyone know if this would cover reviewing my email? I do not require representation as of yet but would also like advice on how to handle the holiday situation.

You can sort this yourself by making an applicaiton to Court. Note that you need Mediation before if you want Child Arrangements on it, but not if your just asking the Court for the right to do this by Spercific Issue Application.

UK law (where the child is not entitled to hold any other Passport) is that you need consent from everyone with PR to take the child out of the UK.
This changes when a Child Arrangements Order is made, as that gives the Resident Parent the right to do this for up to 30 days at a time, but it does not give them the right to do it in your contact time, without your consent.

However, unless she can show a Court risk of no return, you will be able to and what she is saying about the child thinking they live with you will not go down well with the court. In most cases, Courts award half the Quality Time each (where the Non Resident Parent asks for it), and what you do in your contact time is nothing to do with her in law.
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
Holidays abroad and the absurd objections that are raised to them are something that need to be addressed in the Court Order at the earliest stage and in the clearest possible manner.

Many Orders include wording such as 'not to unreasonably withold permission'. This needs to be challenged and a set of words that places the onus on the other parent to object put in place such as 'permission deemed to have been granted unless a prohibited steps order is applied for within x period of notice having been given' or perhaps a recital that holidays and swapped time are agreed between the parties on the following basis.

As I have said elsewhere I am trying to set a schedule for me and my ex to know the opportunity for summer holiday plans years ahead and incorporate it into the existing orders.

This is not the final draft and I am not legally trained but I would suggest something like this tailored to your needs which I have copied an posted from the post I made in another thread. Remember to include the agreement to hand over the passport (immediately if the ex has no plans before your holiday) and to ensure that any obligation you ask of her is put on you as well.

Taking ad hoc spontaneous holidays can be a nightmare. Opposition needs to be nipped in the bud and from my experience Courts will nearly always support holidays especially where there is a history of them. The only scope for confusion I can see in what you say above is that your child might wonder why their resident parent mother is refusing them holidays and be confused by that!

What I have not included below is the 'agreement deemed to have been given within x days of notice.....' you might need to put unless mediation has been started by (ex - not you)
good luck - hope this helps and it will also help if you start correspondence with her on the basis of 'I would like either of us to be able to plan and take both extended and spontaneous holidays with x and y and would like to agree the basis on which we might do so going forwards I have no doubt they will enjoy holiday time with either of us as previous holidays have shown. These are my thoughts please let me know yours' etc. etc.

As I have had short breaks to paris objected to on grounds such as a teenager had taken too many photos from the top of the eiffel tower on a previous visit or there was a risk that I would abduct the child this one a tweenie (again in Paris). The onus and cost of frustrating a holiday need firmly to be put in the lap of the objector
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorting out longer holidays with an ex who may get increasingly difficult over time is excrutiatingly painful.

If you have the opportunity to set the principle out now for the future I would do so.

What I am suggesting (to enormous opposition) is that we (she and I) each annually take it in turns to have the first choice of the first half of the summer holidays for up to 3 weeks each (abroad if we want) with a cut off of 31st January each year for the decision (1st or 2nd half) . the other person then having a month (28th Feb) to choose whether to take that time - the first half. In either case the parent without the initial choice each year is then free to have the other half of the holidays if they want.

'Time' to be made up within 18 months or lost - each parent to agree that changes to 'time' that result are not used to gain financial advantage. that sort of thing.That way things can be planned 10 years in advance. The reason for the early cut off is it get over the claim that 'conflicting' family or other events have been organised by relatives as they will have been organised in the full knowledge of the agreed arrangements and also that agreeing the 'half' split for an extended holiday if required (otherwise we have week on week off) makes it easy to say, 'OK you have my first half and I'll take the holiday in the 2nd half' That's the thinking behind it. A default win for you and the child. And, sorted by Feb 28th latest.

Every single holiday I have taken has met nutty objections often to the Court and for some reason it is me that goes on holiday with the children. She goes on holiday with her partner. Enormous cost and stress and complete waste of time.
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#4
(02-20-2018, 10:03 AM)MarkR Wrote:
(02-20-2018, 09:49 AM)Daddywidow Wrote: Hi again all,

After having just been on a four day abroad holiday with the kids, I have asked my ex if I can take our daughter (now five) to Spain for another five days in April for my son's birthday. She has told me she is not comfortable with it as it may confuse her and as she is the resident parent - first time she has claimed this. I have disagreed and told her that we have joint parental responsibility for our daughter. There are no court orders in place, my name is on the birth certificate and I currently have my daughter 37% of her free time (often more). I believe this refusal is because our daughter told her she didn't miss her mum and loves her time with Daddy and her brother and doesn't want to leave.

I am ready to send her an email detailing how I would like to agree upon 50/50 shared care with a schedule requesting one more overnight which would give me about 46% but would like a solicitor to review it first.. I understand some solicitors offer a free hour of advice. Anyone know if this would cover reviewing my email? I do not require representation as of yet but would also like advice on how to handle the holiday situation.

You can sort this yourself by making an applicaiton to Court. Note that you need Mediation before if you want Child Arrangements on it, but not if your just asking the Court for the right to do this by Spercific Issue Application.

UK law (where the child is not entitled to hold any other Passport) is that you need consent from everyone with PR to take the child out of the UK.
This changes when a Child Arrangements Order is made, as that gives the Resident Parent the right to do this for up to 30 days at a time, but it does not give them the right to do it in your contact time, without your consent.

However, unless she can show a Court risk of no return, you will be able to and what she is saying about the child thinking they live with you will not go down well with the court. In most cases, Courts award half the Quality Time each (where the Non Resident Parent asks for it), and what you do in your contact time is nothing to do with her in law.

Fantastic advice, Thank You.

So just to confirm - my typical routine with my daughter is Monday PM to Tuesday AM and Friday PM till Saturday PM so any holiday in between these times would impact on our agreed contact time which is one of the reasons I have requested written permission to have my daughter the first five days of the April holidays and her to have the second week. We currently share school days and quality (weekend / school holiday) time. She has no reason to suspect not returning as proven by the previous holidays / every single time I have my daughter. Our contact is consistent and daughter always returned on time. I have also just agreed for her to have our daughter during my contact time for a weekend trip but she is staying in the UK so doesn't require written permission from me.

So if she denies to provide me with written permission for the holiday I need to make an specific issue application to the court and she shouldn't be able to stop it without good reason.

Hope I got this right. Thanks again

(02-20-2018, 10:20 AM)herewegoagain Wrote: Holidays abroad and the absurd objections that are raised to them are something that need to be addressed in the Court Order at the earliest stage and in the clearest possible manner.

Many Orders include wording such as 'not to unreasonably withold permission'. This needs to be challenged and a set of words that places the onus on the other parent to object put in place such as 'permission deemed to have been granted unless a prohibited steps order is applied for within x period of notice having been given' or perhaps a recital that holidays and swapped time are agreed between the parties on the following basis.

As I have said elsewhere I am trying to set a schedule for me and my ex to know the opportunity for summer holiday plans years ahead and incorporate it into the existing orders.

This is not the final draft and I am not legally trained but I would suggest something like this tailored to your needs which I have copied an posted from the post I made in another thread. Remember to include the agreement to hand over the passport (immediately if the ex has no plans before your holiday) and to ensure that any obligation you ask of her is put on you as well.

Taking ad hoc spontaneous holidays can be a nightmare. Opposition needs to be nipped in the bud and from my experience Courts will nearly always support holidays especially where there is a history of them. The only scope for confusion I can see in what you say above is that your child might wonder why their resident parent mother is refusing them holidays and be confused by that!

What I have not included below is the 'agreement deemed to have been given within x days of notice.....' you might need to put unless mediation has been started by (ex - not you)
good luck - hope this helps and it will also help if you start correspondence with her on the basis of 'I would like either of us to be able to plan and take both extended and spontaneous holidays with x and y and would like to agree the basis on which we might do so going forwards I have no doubt they will enjoy holiday time with either of us as previous holidays have shown. These are my thoughts please let me know yours' etc. etc.

As I have had short breaks to paris objected to on grounds such as a teenager had taken too many photos from the top of the eiffel tower on a previous visit or there was a risk that I would abduct the child this one a tweenie (again in Paris). The onus and cost of frustrating a holiday need firmly to be put in the lap of the objector
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorting out longer holidays with an ex who may get increasingly difficult over time is excrutiatingly painful.

If you have the opportunity to set the principle out now for the future I would do so.

What I am suggesting (to enormous opposition) is that we (she and I) each annually take it in turns to have the first choice of the first half of the summer holidays for up to 3 weeks each (abroad if we want) with a cut off of 31st January each year for the decision (1st or 2nd half) . the other person then having a month (28th Feb) to choose whether to take that time - the first half. In either case the parent without the initial choice each year is then free to have the other half of the holidays if they want.

'Time' to be made up within 18 months or lost - each parent to agree that changes to 'time' that result are not used to gain financial advantage. that sort of thing.That way things can be planned 10 years in advance. The reason for the early cut off is it get over the claim that 'conflicting' family or other events have been organised by relatives as they will have been organised in the full knowledge of the agreed arrangements and also that agreeing the 'half' split for an extended holiday if required (otherwise we have week on week off) makes it easy to say, 'OK you have my first half and I'll take the holiday in the 2nd half' That's the thinking behind it. A default win for you and the child. And, sorted by Feb 28th latest.

Every single holiday I have taken has met nutty objections often to the Court and for some reason it is me that goes on holiday with the children. She goes on holiday with her partner. Enormous cost and stress and complete waste of time.

Brilliant proposal there... is this something you would communicate directly or have made legally binding?

She will also try to reject permission due to her son's reactions to our holidays but that is now her issues to deal with. She is welcome to take her son / our daughter away but she has never been able to manage holidays alone / with help. A three day trip to Devon ended early as she couldn't cope with her sons behaviour and that was with support from her mum.
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#5
Thanks. It is a work in progress.

I have suggested it to her several times over the years and asked for her input to no avail. Each time objections to any planned holiday. I have suggested it again. I am going to try to 'idiot proof' a final version before sending it to her in plenty of time prior to another 'final' hearing coming up. I am then going to put it in my position statement and bundle and ask the Judge to incorporate it into the Child Arrangements Order.
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