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Ask The Legal Expert -I Cannot Agree On My Son's School Move With My Ex

View profile for Jill Bulteel
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My ex-wife has been offered a job in another part of the country and she plans to relocate, within months, with our 12-year-old son. I’m very unhappy about him switching schools, since he’s had behavioural issues, but is now settling. She feels there is a better school on offer in the area she is going to. How can we resolve this?

Disputes such as these can be stressful, and the best solution is always to try to come to an amicable solution together as parents, via mediation.

I assume both you and your ex-wife have Parental Responsibility for your son. If your ex were to move with your son to another country without seeking your consent, this would be a criminal offence. A move to another part of this country would not constitute criminality, but, any plans she makes for your child must take into account future contact with you, as the other parent.

If you cannot come to an agreement between yourselves, you may want to consider applying to the Family Court for a Prohibited Steps Order. These are used to control what a parent can and cannot do without Court consent and, if granted to you, it may prevent your wife from moving your son to a new school.

When assessing the case, the Court’s primary consideration will be the welfare and best interests of your son. You can support your case by gathering supporting evidence to show, for example, that your son is now doing well at his school, and that he has a strong support network of family and friends nearby.

If this relocation is likely to affect any Child Arrangements Orders already in place, governing your contact with your son, the Court will consider this too, before making its decision.

A Court will, under normal circumstances, work on the presumption that it is better for a child to have regular contact with both parents who should be involved in major decisions in the child’s life.

Since your son is old enough to understand the situation, it is likely the Court will ask him his feelings on the matter too. These matters can be legally complex, so it is wise to get tailored legal advice from a Family Law specialist on these matters.

For more information, contact Jill on: 01443 490880 or email: jill.bulteel@jcpsolicitors.co.uk

For further advice, please contact our specialist Family Solicitors in:

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 22 5472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671
  • Pontypridd: 01443 408455

The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation.

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