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Ex moving child's school - advice saught
Hi there. I've only just discovered this forum so please forgive me if there are any common practices I'm unaware of at the moment. I could use some advice regarding my rights and a possible course of action.

I've always had a good relationship with my son's mother, who I was in a very short relationship with several years ago. My wife and I recently moved home to be closer to my son and his school. My son's mum has just broken up with her partner and is moving out of the area and back to her hometown. She has decided to take my son out of his school, which he loves and where he is liked by teachers and other kids and doing well - into a new school 21 miles away. Without consulting me. I have suggested that, as I currently have him 3-4 nights a week anyway, that he stays with me during the week so he can attend his school. I'm not sure she's going to go for it. She's recently been given a diagnosis of mild bipolar and can be difficult to debate with at times, going very defensive very quickly.

Does anyone have an idea of my rights in this case as a dad on the birth certificate? Also, what are my odds of success of I try and go through the courts for 50/50 custody?

Any general advice on what I should do?

Thanks in advance.

She can’t change schools without your permission. She’d have to go to court to make it happen and they’d be unlikely to side with her without good reason.

What’s your situation regarding PR and child arrangements orders if any? Have you got a solicitor or ever had one?
(08-26-2018, 02:59 PM)Tamagoto Wrote: She can’t change schools without your permission. She’d have to go to court to make it happen and they’d be unlikely to side with her without good reason.

What’s your situation regarding PR and child arrangements orders if any? Have you got a solicitor or ever had one?

I take it PR is parental rights? My name is on the birth certificate so I should be OK that way. We have no child arrangement orders, everything has been informal so far, as we've never had any issues. I generally have him from Thursday-Sunday, he'll occasionally get a night at my mum and dad's in that time. I've never had a solicitor.

thanks for replying!
Parental Responsability Smile

I was worried my ex would change schools. And we do have a child arrangements order. My solicitor told me she couldn’t and if she tried I could lodge a (I think) prohibited steps order. If you can get a solicitor, personally I would. Although maybe others here could advise what to do yourself if you don’t want to go that route. Time is of the essence of course in this!
Time is the thing I'm thinking of, yeah. If by the time I have a solicitor and the prohibited step is lodged, he's already in the other school, I don't want him bounced around and confused. Also wondering if a solicitor, which I'm thinking of as the nuclear option, is the way to go. Its an aggressive move that could sour relations that have been very good up until now.

I think I'm going to keep pushing for my current solution, which is inverting the days of our current arrangement to be monday-thursday rather than thursday-sunday. we'd each get the same number of days but he gets to stay in school.

Really I feel my next action is dependent on how reasonable she is to my suggestions, and most importantly, what's best for my boy.
Man - you can get this done in a single day. It should be done by the end of Tuesday because you have a time problem with school starting.

Frankly I’m a fan of going hard or going home - this is no small issue, moving his school without asking, especially after you have moved yourself. It’s selfish and thoughtless. Go nuclear and do it right away for you and your sons sake.
I thought you could change schools if there is no child arrangements order in place. my ex used to change school before child arrangements order was in place, go abroad on holiday and I didn't know where she lived either
See I’ve got an order which makes what my solicitor told me subject to that order. This might help.

Also - get the solicitor Tuesday morning and don’t accept no, some are just lazy or worse, wrong.
Thank you!
Keep pushing for the midweek nights. I would suggest putting that in writing via a formal email (formal but a friendly tone). That way if you need to go to court you have evidence of what you've proposed and your stance on son not changing schools - and her response and if her response is unreasonable that's more evidence. If she wanted to move him she would need to have good reason for moving (assume her reason is to be nearer her family) and she may put forward all kinds of reasons in court why it's good for child - a better school etc, and only 20 miles from you which is doable. So it's an unknown factor which way it would go if it went to court. But if you write to her saying you have no objection to her relocating on the basis that son remains with you Monday to Friday. Problem is she would then want every week-end (you could offer 3 week-ends in four and a full day on the fourth week-end maybe) so you'd only get week-ends during school holidays then.

The argument would be it is not fair on son to have longer commutes to and from school. Although to be honest I've done 30 miles each way before (took about 40 to 45 minutes) - not ideal but got used to it.

If she replies with a refusal of your proposal then start mediation. I would go for a MIAM now in preparation. But Tamagoto has a point - schools start in just over a week so she may just move and you'd need to be prepared to put in an urgent prohibited steps application (no need to wait for a MIAM or mediation then). Just point out in your email that a change of school requires the agreement of both parents with parental responsibility. However as there is no court order she wouldn't be in breach if she just moved so she may just do that - slightest inkling of a move and you'd need to act quick with a court application. Might be worth emailing the school and saying to them it needs both parents agreement for a change of school and asking them to let you know if child's Mum gives notice (they are usually in the office this time of year).

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