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Advice after 2 years solo dad - go full custody?
Hi all,

After roughly 2 years I'm back for some advice on what to do.

Quick brief history:
2 years ago ex decided to move 200 miles away from location where we had previously shared (unofficially) 50/50 custody for 5 years and told me she was taking little one and I had to live with it.
I didn't take it, put it through court, I won.

The court ruling was that little one was to stay where she was, in the school that she was and mother couldn't take her away (she was in infant school)
And that parents to share the 50/50 they been doing so far.

Mother still decided to move 200 miles away. - and left little one behind, with me, full time.
Her offering in court was a meeting point that she said was halfway but was in fact 30 miles from her house, and about 170 from mine - everyother weekend (if she was to win in court, which she didn't)
When she decided to move away I offered the same, 30 miles from my house.

She didn't take my offer as said couldnt drive all that way every other weekend, and decided to only see little one during school holidays.
She also quit her job and doesn't pay a penny towards little one.

With this corona virus thing going on I have had little one 24/7 (as i'm lucky I can work from home) since March, 4 months. Mother always gave some excuse wasn't allowed for her to go there, but I pointed out government always allowed kids from separated parents to travel.
basically I been almost fighting for her to have little one. Finally this weekend she has gone to her mums for a month.

Sorry, this is turning quite long.

Court ruling - little one has left the school court said to not be moved from - gone to junior school, but still the same area.
and the 50/50 sharing doesn't happen because mother decided to move 200 miles away.

I don't know what to do. it has been 2 years like this.
The person I have been with for 3 years lives a bit further away and we are thinking of moving in together. Her area is better, with cheaper houses, and I don't have to commute anymore...but not feasible for little one to stay in the school she is now.
I would have to move her.

My dilemma here is.. if I say i'm going to move her (although she's already in a different school from court order, but still same area), the mother could kick off about it and say 'well, that goes against what were fight was about keeping her in the place she always been'
but to be honest, my fight was that so she could be with both parents, but her mother moved anyway...

I don't have anything legal of what is going on, just all the emails with the arrangement when ex sees little one and other discussions where she lies and everything collapses around her.

what should I do?
go to court again for full custody? is it worth it? I don't really want to do it as I'd feel bad towards my daughter as morally I feel like I'm 'taking' her away from her mother.

or just inform ex that we are moving to a better place and she's moving schools?

thank you.
sorry was a bit long, was trying to give as much background as possible
No no man, you got it wrong. sorry, it's all very confusing maybe as i was typing.
i added a bit that might clarify, where I said she still decided to move away I added that she left little one with me

I have my daughther, as the court said my ex couldnt take her out of the school that she was in, the infant school, the ex said " here you go, you have little one full time, I'm off " (been like this 2 years)
The court couldn't stop her from moving away, the court order was to stop little one from being taken from the school.

court said:
Little one stays at the school she is at (infant school) and keeps sharing 50/50 time with both parents.

Ex moved away, left little one with me. Been 2 years
She called the government body to cancel her getting child credits and then I called to move it to myself, basically saying little one now lives with me - although I don't get child credits due to salary. (I choose not to as was too much hassle for the money they give)
a year later little one moved to the junior school, because she had to due to age.

So.. it's me, the dad wanting to move to a different area (2 years on ) and now wanting moving her from the junior school. - Junior school wasn't on the original court order.

I'd still keep the same access arrangements.
her mother has her during school holidays and although I'd move further away from meeting point I'd still honour the meeting location we have had this last 2 years.

sorry, does this make more sense?
Right. clearly I read that wrong and now can't delete my post!

It does make more sense. Thank you.

I'm short - putting aide that your ex has basically decided to not be the best mother - you have had a change of circumstances and that will of course affect arra? ngemets for mother to see your child. A judge will accept that no order is set in stone. All parents may meet new partners, change jobs and move home. That's normal. You need to present this plainly to the court - without recrimination or embellishment - showing it as a natural state of things and setting out how you will minimise the impact on your daughter, what you will do to maintain contact between mother and daughter and so on.

You need to do this by seeking to vary the order and making an application in that way.

Before doing so it would be handy to write out your argument and description of the change, steps to minimise disruption and so on. Then (you can think abiut this) perhaps giving your ex a gentle heads up that changing is coming but you will do what's best for your daughter but continue to support kiddie's relationship with her.

You have a lot on your plate, but honestly I don't think this is gonna to be a massive problem. You need though to tske one step at a time.
Hi Chi, thanks for the advice

but actually, I'm not even changing anything in regards to the arrangements for mother to see the child.
Even me moving further away from the meeting point, I will still honour the current meeting point and her seeing her mother during the school holidays.
So no change at all

My concern here is I'll me moving my daughter away from where she is, and i'm concerned the ex might kick off by saying " You fought in court to keep her in the same area and now you are moving away"
but to be honest in the area there's no family, just school friends. My primary reason when I fought was that my daughter would stay in the area and keep contact with both parents, never crossed my mind her mother would move and leave little alone behind.

and seeing as the court order had that specific rule about not being able to move from that school (but she has moved anyway due to age) that court rule now doesn't apply right?
that's my understanding of it?
and the second court rule was to share 50/50... but as her mother moved away.. that one hasn't applied either and it was her decision to move and give up on that rule?

So in summary, there's no impact on my daughter, other than moving to a different school 20 miles down the road.

Maybe I'm worrying for no reason?
what I think I'm worrying is if I do move my daughter to a new area, but still keeping all the arrangements I have with her mother, that her mother could then go to court and try get things changed so little one goes to live with her?
But after 2 years and us being fine and my daughter gets top marks at school, she's like a role model at school.. I doubt the courts would give her reason?
Yes Mrjones,

I can't really see that b you have a lot to worry about.

Legally I can't be certain, but at some point yes your daughter was 'ordered' not to move from that school but that order wasn't going to last until she was 25 was it? She would have reached school changing age then what? Common sense dictates (and yes appreciate there's not of common sense in family law!) that she would have to move to a senior school.

Well, it comes back to your argument that you're going to rely on. Why 20 miles away? Because (you'll say) your daughter has a love of French Horn /swimming/athletics and that school has the best music program/swim training /athletics coaching in the county and I/we - talking it through with her - settled on that school. Or because it has the best academic results in the county/percentage of students who go on to Uni. You can also say that your daughter - after extensive discussion with you and her teachers had her heart set on that school. See where I'm going? Your only sticking point in court might be why 20 miles away, why not a nearer school. But that question can be answered with some well written text. You need to describe (overall) a nice picture of how your daughter is getting on well at school at home and you're supporting her relationship with her mum as best you can.

Can your ex kick off? Yes she can. But you simply need to stand your ground. The court will be responsive to your description of a plan for your daughter's life which has placed her interests and welfare first. Perhaps (I'm gonna say it again!) you want to have a go at writing the argument out and when you've finessed it, running past a free legal service - CAB or 30 minute free session with a solicitor.

Honestly though, Mark R's (moderator on this site) situation is similar to yours and it would be worth waiting to hear what he has to say.

But no, even if she kicks off I don't think she will have the ability to have your daughter move to live with her.
thanks for the words Chi.

its reassuring to know someone shares my views that the court might see as I do - "Sorry lady, you abandoned your child, and she's been doing well and her dad wants her to thrive even more, so, sorry but you have no saying"
That's it in a nutshell!

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