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Secondary School Choice
#1
Both my children go to the primary local to where i live which is in the original family home, mother moved out the area (10 miles away).  Both children are registered at my address still with the council and schools, doctors etc... but myself and the mother do have 50/50 custody and day-to-day care of both children. 

One of my two children is about to go to high school and my preference is the local one, but mother wants the child to go to another school out the area.  

She is now suggesting after over 2years of separation that her address will all of a sudden take precedence as she clams child benefit ie. go with her choice or she'll choose a completely different school (keep in mind our 50/50 situation has been in place since the very beginning and children registered at my address).

I'm pretty sure after all this time the precedence has already been set; has anyone ever experienced anything similar?
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#2
If your child is going to high school she/he should have a say what school they want to go to. Would they really want to go to a school thats not local unless its a lot better than one in your area. Extra travel would cause your child to be tired as well after a while
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#3
If school can’t be agreed on then you’d need to apply for a specific issues order but you’d be expected to try mediation first.

Have you got anything in writing to say 50/50 is agreed? Assume her choice would mean a) she gets the free school transport and b) it’s a long way for you to travel to collect them from school. Would overnight and return to school next day still be possible.

You need to be careful here. Which is the better school of the two? Or is there not much difference? Assume this is for next September? But now is the time to put down choices. Has she already submitted the firm? They tend to send the form to the parent who gets the child benefits. Although it was an online application in my area but only one parent could submit the application (total pain). Suggest you email her and say choice of secondary school needs to be agreed by both parents with parental responsibility and suggest having mediation to try and reach agreement on which school and how arrangements will work for the children.

Then book a MIAM ASAP. Google mediators in the area, ring round and ask for an urgent appointment. First appointment you go on your own. That is the MIAM that you need to have had if you need to apply to court. Tell the mediator what’s what and she will invite your ex. If your ex won’t go then apply for a specific issues order and ask the court to determine the issues. You might also need to apply for a child arrangements order on the same firm to formalise the current 50/50. Suggest a free half hour’s legal advuce as well.

Don’t delay - she may have already submitted choice to the council.

If you can reach agreement without court that would be better but she is clearly thinking ahead to their main home being hers, nearest the school - or at least not having to do all the transport herself.

10 miles isn’t too bad. If you agreed to her choice how would transport work?
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#4
(10-06-2019, 11:24 AM)Charlie7000 Wrote: If school can’t be agreed on then you’d need to apply for a specific issues order but you’d be expected to try mediation first.

Have you got anything in writing to say 50/50 is agreed? Assume her choice would mean a) she gets the free school transport and b) it’s a long way for you to travel to collect them from school. Would overnight and return to school next day still be possible.

You need to be careful here. Which is the better school of the two? Or is there not much difference? Assume this is for next September? But now is the time to put down choices. Has she already submitted the firm? They tend to send the form to the parent who gets the child benefits. Although it was an online application in my area but only one parent could submit the application (total pain). Suggest you email her and say choice of secondary school needs to be agreed by both parents with parental responsibility and suggest having mediation to try and reach agreement on which school and how arrangements will work for the children.

Then book a MIAM ASAP. Google mediators in the area, ring round and ask for an urgent appointment. First appointment you go on your own. That is the MIAM that you need to have had if you need to apply to court. Tell the mediator what’s what and she will invite your ex. If your ex won’t go then apply for a specific issues order and ask the court to determine the issues. You might also need to apply for a child arrangements order on the same firm to formalise the current 50/50. Suggest a free half hour’s legal advuce as well.

Don’t delay - she may have already submitted choice to the council.

If you can reach agreement without court that would be better but she is clearly thinking ahead to their main home being hers, nearest the school - or at least not having to do all the transport herself.

10 miles isn’t too bad. If you agreed to her choice how would transport work?

I would suggest putting in a Rival claim for CB, as it appears you have the evidance to show they are on record at your address.
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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#5
Good idea! There is no option to have the child benefits split unless you agree it between you (any agreements or arrangements should be in writing. Text or email is sufficient).

Regardless of who gets them, education is an aspect of parental responsibility and you are both equal so if no agreement over a school it needs a court decision. Apart from the local school being near you, is it a good school. School choice for secondary school is a major thing for most parents. If the schools are about the same then it is no different to now. If the one she wants is particularly good then she may argue that is why she wants them to go there. I suspect she is trying to get sole residence though and start changing other things as well.

Has anything changed in her life recently? New partner?

Also do a bit of research to see if you’d be eligible for school transport to her home if you agreed to the school she wants. It is only available to one parent. The other one has to sort out their own transport. Just thinking it might be easier to agree to her choice of school if you can get the free transport. But does sound like there may be some tinkering intended. Eg them going home to hers when they should be with you. I am having that problem at the moment since son started secondary school and I have a court order (which I am currently trying to enforce).
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#6
I can't claim CB as i earn to much. But logistically it could be a nightmare as we have a younger child who will still be at the same local primary school. So for me i can still get both to school as they can both walk, but for the EX she has to drive to my local town where we use to reside and she has already been doing it for 3years so i.e. the court would have to chnage the status quo.

School doesn't have a great reputation but it has been improving drastically since it got taken over with new staff etc... and all his friends will be gong there plus i have local family support.

Very little in her court really other than sending him to a "better" rated school (which could change in the next 2years).
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#7
If she can claim a school Is better she will be banking on that. I would start mediation. Are things reasonably amicable?
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#8
Boyce, you can claim you are eligible for Child Benefit but decline actual payments if your earning over the threshold
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#9
"She is now suggesting after over 2years of separation that her address will all of a sudden take precedence as she clams child benefit ie. go with her choice or she'll choose a completely different school"

Just read this again. Faced with two parents both claiming theirs is the main address, and no court orders (I assume) and her getting the Child Benefits, the council where she lives may well class her as the main address, I am not sure. Because there is nothing in a court order it is tricky. Yes they live with both of you. I really think you need to apply for a specific issues order over the schooling and Child Arrangements Order on the same form. Ask for the hearing for specific issues to be the first hearing for Child arrangements (then if agreement is reached on child arrangements on the day you might get it all done at one hearing by consent). But you will need to have a MIAM first and try inviting her to mediation, but if she delays or doesn't go, get the application in and get your MIAM sign off (it needs to go with the court application).

And as the others say, ask about making a counter claim for the Child Tax credits/benefits as well. She isn't being amicable if she is trying one upmanship on this.

And it does sound like a move to be the sole parent with care to me. Try and keep talking though as amicably as possible, and try mediation. If she gets hostile it will get harder.
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#10
i guess to add to this as well, i had CMS payments dismissed and have a written statement from the Tribunal hearing that we both have equal day-to-day care and that NEITHER parent can be considered as "non-resident".
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