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wife wants to take daughter with her
#1
hi
please advise. 
my wife has rented a new house and wants to take our 3year old daughter with her.
things has turned upside down completely after a recent trip (but there was history), we were moving home together beforehand but now she wants separation/divorce and I cannot change her mind at all.
my wife and I are working in the same company and have similar ranks in the company (both full time). I have been a fully hands-on father, have been doing everything equaly for my daughter if not more and we don't have any other family in the uk for support. our daughter is staying at nursery during the working days.

I honestly do not know what to do. she thinks because she is the mother she can take the baby, but I don't think this is right, I think I probably have similar rights to her because of our professional working and my equal involvement in her upbringing so far. I don't want to escalate matters out of hand (police involvement etc.) but what are my options when she takes the baby with her. she says I can see her but it won't be sufficient for me (I have been breathing my baby everyday since she was born). If my wife brings her mom into the uk to help her during out-of-nursery times, does it give her an advantage?
where should I go for support first? if she stays unreasonable shall I go to family solicitor in the first place or try other routes. I am totally confused right now.
thank you for your help
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#2
If you are splitting up and she moves , there isnt much you can do about it. What you will need to look at now is with you working full time is when you can have your daughter and when your available . Could you do less hours maybe? If your available a family court would if no safeguarding issues allow you to have your daughter before ex partners mother. Before it gets really messy and cost you loads i would be looking at amicably coming to an arrangement as close to a 50/50 agreement as possible if you can manage it with your work schedule.
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#3
thanks warwickshire1,
sorry, why I can't do much about it? we both work 9am-5pm weekdays during which our daughter is at nursury (so grandma will not be involved in this time anyway-also she cannot stay in the UK longterm, the max visa she can get is visiting for 6months), I am available all evenings and weekends (like her mom) and things are pretty much equal between us. what do you mean by safeguarding issues (I don't drink or smoke and am not violent-have no records of violence).
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#4
if theres no safeguarding issues you would get close to a 50/50 arrangement. Unless which i add is rare childs mum has serious issues where she isnt safeguarding child or deemed a risk and social services involved mum normally gets custody and us dads anything from no contact to 50/50 shared care.

From what you just wrote if you went to family court you would get every other weekend and more than likely a overnight stay one day during week at the very least, but if ex partner was in agreement you could go for a shared care arrangement which may be difficult as you dont finish work until 5pm weekdays and wouldnt be able to pick your daughter up from nursery. I am guessing 1 day a week your work may let you leave early possibly so you could pick daughter up and drop back to nursery next morning. You would also get half of holidays and share special days if you can get time off work.

Lets hope you and ex partner can make arrangements without having to go to court. If talks dont work out you always try mediation to see if resolves matters
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#5
thanks again warwickshire1,
it is a bit clearer now.
I must add, so far I have been droping off and picking up our daughter everyday from nursery (mostly with wife in 1 car because we work at the same place - also the baby is at company nursery which is 5 minutes from our office). I can have flexible hours, can finish work before 5pm unless there is an urgent meeting (very rare maybe once in 6 months) and 1 day per week I can work from home. I wish to get equal residency (shared care arrangement). However at this moment I am thinking of what to do when (current) wife takes our daughter to her rented flat? should I let her take our daughter with her? can I stop her? after she left what should I do the next day (where should I go for help in the first instance)? if I collect the baby from nursery the next day and take her with me have I broken any law?
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#6
As hard as it seems and its an awful situation you are in. I would let your wife leave with daughter , but you definitely need to talk first and get something put in place. If you are already picking daughter up from nursery and also the fact you can change your work hours and the fact you work from home 1 day a week. I can see something fair been worked out especially as you are both going to be working for same company.

You may not need to do anything if you and your wife can come to an arrangement together. I would advise its best to have set days and times if you can as this is good for your daughters routine and also saves hostility between yourself and wife. there will be times when u may need to change days ,but you will both know where you stand. I hope it does work out for you and an arrangement can be reached. main thing is that you see your daughter often and both parents want the best.

I would avoid taking daughter from nursery as then it makes dealing with nursery awkward and could cause loads of complications . It doesnt seem at this early stage that your wife wants you not to see daughter , she just wants to move out . i think mediation may be worth a go if your wife agrees and you could get something formal agreed as mediators see both sides
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#7
thank you warwickshire1, you answered most of my current questions.
I will try to discuss with her for some agreement and hope for the best ..
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#8
There’s no reason to take this lying down or to aim for anything less than a 50/50 lives with both agreement. You both have similar lives, you both are as involved with the upbringing of your daughter as each other.

The one problem you may have is if she does take your daughter and it takes 6 months to get to court, they may say “well for the lat six months she’s been with you 4 days out of 14 so let’s continue that”

But it looks like your ex couldn’t do that anyway somInwouldnt sorry for now.

Get a solicitor. Others may disagree but if you can, do. And get a good one who doesn’t fob you off with some crap like “well Women get the kids”. It’s not true if you fight for it.

Best to go in with a firm, well thought out, equal parenting plan and present it to her via email. Don’t be overly specific but do say who drops at nursery, who picks up and that your daughter will live with both of you equally.

Kick start mediation Btw as that takes time. You could have a child arrangements order in 6 months if you push for it.

Oh and to add. You both have parental responsibility. She can’t “take” your daughter any more than you can.
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#9
many thanks Tamagoto for your advice.
sorry for my ignorance, but can I get a solicitor and start mediation at the same time?
is a mediator the same as a solicitor?
will I get a mediator for both os us, or each should have our own mediator (what if she doesn't take one)?
if she does not turn up for mediation the I must get a solicitor?

many thanks
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#10
A solicitor and a mediator are different things Smile

You can get a mediator who will talk to both of you (this is the usual case - I havent heard of someone having a mediator each!).

IF she doesnt turn up you get them to sign off on a "C100" form - and then take that to a solicitor, however, a lot of us here have represented ourselves.
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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