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12yr old, Scotland, no court action yet, where is 'home' ?
#1
Hi,
New to all this hope it's in the right section.
Background - my wife moved out 3yrs ago and took both children, I stayed in rented family home for 1yr but had to move to current smaller rented flat.
I have always had children 1 day every weekend during term time and 2.5 days during holidays, but have been refused term time school day overnight stay by wife, despite official guidelines stating both parents should be involved with homework etc.
Eldest child now 12 never wanted to move but mother never asked either child nor discussed it with them, although I knew in advance she was going.
Youngest child age 8 was more attached to mother but now states wants to live with me.
Both children say I am more fun and have more time for them as mother sits at computer with headphones on and they have to shout to attract her attention. 
They live in a flat and stay in at least half of holiday times, but I fling them outside in my garden to get fresh air and play like normal children do, and eventually they have fun and agree it was better to go outside.
Mother asks them if they want to go out but they refuse and stay home reading, using tablets, or watching television. They say it is because their mother is no fun that they opt to stay in when asked.
Last weekend matters previously discussed between children and I came to a head and I informed my wife at their flat that eldest wanted to live with me - she asked the child who very bravely stood up to their mother and told her in no uncertain terms they wanted to be with me.
Eldest brought some school clothes and stayed at my tiny flat for past few days, and will return to mother for two days, then back to me for four or five. 
The child and I want this to continue for several years, but divorce and custody matters have been instigated by wife and she says that the child's home is with her. The child wants me to be the main carer and to make decisions concerning their life, but obviously my wife has been to solicitor and perhaps been told that 95% of child's stuff is at her flat, and so that is the child's home, and I am worried that if that situation continues until custody hearings, it is more likely that my wife will retain custody.
Does anyone have any similar experiences, and would it be worth trying to get more of the child's belongings into my flat to try and show that it is in fact my flat the child wants to be their home ?
I was told by an independent specialist solicitor (Scottish Child Family Law Centre) that if the mother refuses to let the child move possessions to my place, the police can be called to obtain those items bought for the exclusive use of the child - don't want it to come to that, but negotiations with my wife are only possible when she is having it go her way.

My solicitor seems reluctant to advise me on these matters, perhaps as he doesn't want to be seen to influence impending court proceedings, but I will of course push him for a reason on my next appointment.

Sorry for the length of this, but was trying to give any details which might be of use to others with similar circumstances.
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#2
I believe that CAFCASS (Or the Scottish Equivalent) will ask the child what their needs and desires are.
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
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#3
Thanks for the reply, yes I believe that's what will happen if my wife and I cannot agree at a preliminary hearing, some form of report will be made, probably interview the children at school.
My thought was to try and have the eldest with me as often as they want, so we can show the court that they are happier and more relaxed with me, and perhaps that could overrule the usual tendency of 'mother is best' in custody cases.
The child is intelligent and articulate enough to be able to indicate their wishes clearly and forcefully if needed, but my worry is that the mother can say I have no experience and as she has coped 'very well' in the past, she is best placed to continue with that.
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#4
It will likely be a Section 7 or equivalent report.
The opinions here are not that of Separated Dads, but merely a loving father who has been through the process and has come out the other side.
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#5
Have you actually made a court application for residence of child?
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#6
Thanks for the reply.

I went to a solicitor and he was going to do a court application, but the mother then told me she had already started divorce proceedings, so my solicitor has to draft a new letter now.

My eldest stayed alone with me for four nights earlier this week, and we had a few arguments with the mother, but nothing she can do until court proceedings.
The child wants to stay with me and is much more calm and relaxed, so that only reinforces their wish to be with me full time.
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