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Moving away with child
Hi all.

Been non resident parent since daughter was 6 months old, she now 3 1/2. I was told to leave no discussion no reason and dragged straight to mediation after a huge amount of violence towards me for two years which I didn’t bother reporting to anyone as who cares about domestics against men, literally no one.

Mediation failed after 3 weeks as she broke the agreement and ran away for almost a month. So We continued to work contact out ourselfves, mainly me spending time with our child in her house as our child was so young , I’d cook and shop for the house and help out with anything even looking after her abroad twice and would see our daughter every 3/4 days, regularly being abused and bullied until our child was 2.

Then a live in Au Pair arrived and I was slowly banned from ex’s house so I started bringing our daughter to my flat for the day at the weekend. Then Last summer ex disappears for 7 weeks including a whole month in USA, wouldn’t talk to me for two months before she left, I’ve still no idea where they went and I had no contact for a whole month with my daughter, and didn’t give consent either as I believed she was working illegally there and putting our child at risk as she had done twice before. So I complained bitterly before she left about her actions and she went to the Police and made a case against me for 3 years of harassment two days before departure. Despite the police actually being called to investigate her beating me up a year earlier by neighbours they warned me on the phone and she left the country without a word. Then social services got involved after a police referral, ex decided to tell them that I had been abusing her, was alcohol dependent, emotionally unstable, regularly entered her home and started fights with her teenage Au Pair and I was stopping her parenting. I was investigated, interviewed and asked to sign a safe guarding agreement, which after legal advise I refused to. Ex was refusing to let me have daughter overnight until signed it so I told her my solicitor would now have to write to her as I done everything I could to avoid court but having got rid of social services who found no reason to take any action and the police NFA’d her complaints there was no where to go but family court to put this nightmare to bed once and for all. At which point she back tacked and allowed overnights every other weekend which has been very successful now for 8 months. (Of course I missed Xmas day for the third year running and haven’t been invited to my own daughters 2nd or 3rd birthday party, but what can I do about that)

Anyway this history is appalling and isn’t the half of it, yet I have an outstanding relationship with my daughter that’s been very hard fought. Without question my proudest achievement In my life has been to have built such a close bond despite being separated from her for almost her entire life, she can even stay with me and be unwell in the middle of the night at the age Of two and be completely comforted by me and not even ask for her mother.

But now her mother for no reason whatsoever is insisting on moving over 150miles away to enrol her in a primary school. She’s not moving for work as she’s very wealthy and doesn’t work as normal people do, she is not employed. she’s not moving for a new partner as she doesn’t have one. And she could enrol our daughter in a good primary school almost anywhere 100 miles nearer, but no. She wants to move to a specific remote town 3 hours away by train And I’m told there is nothing I can do about it. Ex won’t even discuss it properly just drops it in the conversation randomly over the last three months, won’t give a reason for going either. Only says. she had planned to be away for most of the summer, has planned 3 holidays and she doesn’t want to go to the police again. And the worst of it is that she is a terrible parent and has her teenage Au Pair doing everything , bedtimes / bathtime/ all meals / all nursery runs everything. In fact her mother just went abroad for a week and left daughter with me, she’s a total nightmare but I think the law in this country is the real problem as it almost encourages this rubbish. Bye bye parenthood....
Right - you can do something. You need to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order - quickly. The court can make an order saying she is not allowed to move away. They will look at the circumstances - if she was moving for a job or partner they would allow it. But if it's just for the heck of it they won't. If it really is for a particularly special primary school (eg a top private school) they may allow it. At the same time you could apply for a Child Arrangements order on a shared care basis and I think you would get at least what you get now and probably more. That would be an order that says the child legally lives with both parents for unequal amounts of time. But even if you didn't get a shared care order, you would get a court order that specifies how much time your daughter spends with you. If for some reason ex is given permission to move away - or just moves before you'veapplied for the Prohibited steps order - maybe you could think about moving as well?
Thanks Charlie 7000,

I’ve thought about moving but I need to make a living and can’t in that location It’s too far from where my industry is based, and there seems few employment options in rural areas even if I change jobs. Also I’ve had such problems with ex, I’ve only picked my child up from nursery for the first time this month, her mother refused to let me be known to them until now, she been attending for almost two years. I can’t relocate and change jobs for minimum contact and there’s nothing to say that she won’t decide to turn around and move back again after a year, and I can’t afford to play that game. I’ve said all this but ex just doesn’t care.

And No it’s not a private school . In fact it’s a school
That I absolutely don’t want my daughters to attend . It’s one of Those alternative education schools where learning seems optional but meditation is mandatory. These are usually very expensive fee paying schools but they have a handful of free academy schools in rural areas, ex wants to relocate to get a free spot at one. She currently lives between two ofsted rated outstanding state primary schools but she wants our child to “express” herself. I think it’s a terrible idea.

Prohibitive steps order, yes I’ve investigated it last summer when ex left without consent and refused to give any information about her trip or return date, my solicitor made it sound extremely expensive but I think you can apply without a lawyer?
Hi condor,
I completely get what you mean as to your reasons for not moving. I would have gone the other side of the world if my ex signed a legally binding document that she will never again move and give me a reasonable amount of contact if I did.

Alas with the current system this is not possible. Good luck,but I think Charlie's advice is good. Apply for a shared care order. You may not succeed but don't let that stop you trying.

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