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Daughter packed off to mothers sister
Hi all,

I have a court order in place, my 4 year old daughter "lives with" her mum in and I have her over here every other weekend.

Arrangements were working fine until last week, when she informed me that she had lost her part time job and was taking up a full time job for the interim and was packing my daughter off to her sisters miles away for the week, as all nurseries were closed and her parents are apparently in the corona at risk group. She didn't ask me whether I could have her for the week first, I expect this is finance related (i.e. she doesn't want to lose any maintenance money)

She then said in a phone argument that her sister was staying with her to placate me as I flat out refused this idea. But after I took daughter back last night, I got a message from her saying my daughter was now at sisters house, she's refused to provide her address but has provided her phone number for our weekly teleconf call.

I'm really worried this will become more than a temporary arrangement, I don't trust her sister as far as I could throw her and its in my daughters best interest to have stability

1. can she do this?
2. there's been no cafcass assessment of the sisters home. is this legal?

Pondering whether to ring social services about this as its a high conflict situation.
Is this UK?
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.
I would advise her you expect contact to go ahead otherwise she is breaching court order. She shouldnt even be associating with her sister technically
How is the situation now? Things have changed a bit recently with the lockdown. Assume she will also not be going to work now. If her argument was genuine she would not see her own daughter! Ie leave her with sister and if ex was working she would be the one bringing the risk home for daughter to be a carrier to her parents.

Anyway with the lockdown then your daughter won’t be able to see ex’s parents so that isn’t a risk to them. If ex is working then you are no greater risk to her or daughter than she is. If she is not working and is staying at home with daughter then she might consider there is a risk if you getting the virus and passing it to her via daughter.

The thread in the legal position could help. Have a look at it - written by Judge Macfarlane. Basically you can both vary the order to whatever you both feel comfortable with, weighing up who is at risk or whether you can have a schedule that means neither of you are.

Not sure how amicable or not it is with ex but even with difficult ex’s we are all in this lockdown situation and it’s not so easy for them. to be difficult. Eg if she said she wanted to keep daughter there all the time to avoid risk to herself you could write and explain how you are managing things and have a blindingly reasonable argument that it is better for daughter to keep some normality and both of you will be vigilant. Or you might agree with her that it’s better for daughter to stay in one home and have regular video calls with you (I’m doing that for now by choice partly). Or you could say 3 weeks on 3 weeks off so time for any symptoms to appear eg.

The legal bit in the other thread says nothing is a breach of you agree a varied schedule in writing during this periods, after looking at the whole situation. And if one parent unilaterally decides they are keeping the kids there for genuine self protection reasons then they must have regular video contact, online gaming etc with the other parent and if their reasons are not good or genuine then in the future the courts will take account of what they did.

I would try and write to her, email, as if you are accepting she has genuine concerns and say something like as everyone is staying at home and you are both working from home, then providing no- one has had symptoms for two weeks it is safe for daughters usual schedule to continue. But you suggest a holiday schedule of longer periods eg two weeks on two weeks off. Or 3 on 1 off kind of thing. Sound like you are taking the health risk view into consideration- and also say that it is in daughter’s best interests to keep normality with both parents as much as possible.

In my case I wrote to ex saying that during this time we need to keep in regular contact and let each other know if anyone has any upper respiratory symptoms and adjust accordingly. Because if they have symptoms they have to self isolate for two weeks, not just stay at home. Not quite the same thing. So everyone knows when it’s safe for the pattern to resume. However I know my ex would not tell me that and think they do have symptoms and aren’t telling me! She knows I am high risk. So I have opted for now to have video calls for a period. My ex is also not giving clarity on whether and where she is working. Trying to get me to think I will be at risk via son because she is working in a hospital- but not sure if she actually is or has just volunteered to be in a bank.

Thing is - once this antibody year is available soon people will know if they’ve had it and have immunity and then it’s safer for kids to go back and forth as normal - even if one is high risk - if the kid is immune. Some children have such mild symptoms it’s not known if they’ve had it or not- and that is why people are scared they pick it up at the other parent’s house and pass it on to them - especially if they are diabetic or asthmatic eg. It needs as much communication as possible and gritting teeth and sounding like the responsible, reasonable one. Because if someone does take advantage it will come back and bite them later.

If you get no contact , even agreed regular video contact then an emergency application could be done but best avoided if possible. Good threat but only if prepared to carry it out.

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