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TOPIC: She's taken my son away!

She's taken my son away! 2 months 4 weeks ago #94380

I separated from my wife 4 and a half years ago.

Since splitting I have seen my 2 sons on a regular basis during the week every week and every other weekend without fail. I also kept up with all maintenance payments and even over paying for the first 3 years.

11 months ago my eldest son decided he wanted to move in with me. He had just turned 13. I agreed and surprisingly to me my ex put up little resistance even tho I expected her to do so. I live half a mile down the road from my ex so it was easy for my sons to still see each other and both parents very regularly.

Around May she emailed me to inform me she was moving 130 miles away with my youngest son who turns 10 in December. There was no consultation or discussion about this. I was literally informed of her plans by email that she was moving at the beginning of August. Up until this point we had joint a joint custody agreement between ourselves.

Obviously both my sons are very upset about being torn apart as they are very close. They are also devasted at being so far away from each parent who they had regular access to.

This weekend I we went to see my youngest son, who made it clear how much he was missing both his brother and myself as well as friends. He kept insinuating regarding coming back home with us and was very upset when we had to head home that evening. It really was heart breaking to leave him behind and my eldest was in tears for much of the journey home.

My ex has never discussed this move with me, and refuses still now to talk to our sons about it. When she told us of her decision back in May, my sons being upset urged her to change her mind but she simply told them her mind was made up and nobody was going to change it. She offered no explanation or alternatives on how we could get round this and simply said she was moving for financial reasons. Even now I find they tell me of their upset and mixed emotions but when I ask them if they've spoken to their mum of their feelings they say they haven't. It's almost like they are frightened to approach her about it. Rightly or wrongly I've made myself very clear to my youngest son that he will always have a home with me and his elder brother now and in the future.

I just don't know what to do. More than anything I am distraught about my sons no longer growing up together and missing out on their childhood together. It would be so much easier and less painful for them if they where together and not growing up in different parts of the country.

I have asked my eldest if he would rather move back to live with her and if this was the case that I would understand as much as it would hurt. He says that he doesn't want to go. He has started his GCSEs now and feels it would be too much for him. He also feels very angry towards his mum for doing this. He feels as if she's walked away from him. Although deep down I agree with him, it is heart breaking to see him loose that special relationship he should have with his mum.

She won't answer my email correspondence when it's regarding issues of the children and will only answer when it's of benefit to herself. It's a complete mess. I realise my 10 year old is too young to make a decision now that will hold up in a family court but it's so hard to just sit back and watch her destroy our lives. I feel I'm failing them both.

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She's taken my son away! 2 months 4 weeks ago #94381

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Hi, my daughter was nine when she refused to go back to her mother, mother did the usual of phoning the police saying all sorts to them, in the past just the threat of her saying police made me panic thinking police will come and take daughter.
Reality is police come around ask the child if they are happy and leave, police won't remove a child. My ex has residency of our daughter, police said straight they can't do anything apart from checking if the child is safe and happy.
It's back in court and judge said daughter is happy with me and to come back in three months when cafcsss has an done their report, no contact was given to the mother in the mean time. mother hasn't seen daughter for around six months now.
So if your son does fear his mother and does want to escape and live with you do it, let her phone the police and threaten court, as long as your son makes it clear to everyone he wants to live with you I don't think she'll have a leg to stand on in court.
Don't feel guilty etc do what you can to keep your sons toghter and happy, she didn't care about your two sons feelings and them not seeing each other or you, she only cared about one person happy and that's herself. You doing what you can to keep your sons together keeps three people happy so no contest do what you gotta do I'd say.

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She's taken my son away! 2 months 4 weeks ago #94382

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Then when your two sons are living with you put in a claim for child support, play it how these fake loving mothers do it.

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She's taken my son away! 2 months 3 weeks ago #94392

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Hi there

It's such a pity you didn't take action when you first learnt of her plans, but the move has happened and it would be difficult to reverse.

What are the contact arrangements? He should at least be spending full weekends with you, is this happening? If not, I would advise that you take steps to get a schedule in place.

The first step would be to attend mediation, with the distance it might be difficult, as it should be close to where she lives. I would give a mediator a call and discuss your options, they may agree to sign the C100 form, to enable you to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order.

The general/standard schedule would be every other weekend and a share of all school holidays, with shared Christmas and birthdays. However you can ask for more, and I would certainly think about asking for every weekend, because of the sibling situation, and ask 50/50 share of all holidays.

If you get an order in place, this will give your boys the security of knowing they will have regular, quality contact and when your youngest gets a little older and wants to live with you, his wishes will carry weight.

Whilst I understand the previous posters sentiment, it's never advisable to just keep hold of your child, unless there are safeguarding issues. Your children need both parents in their lives and such action would put a real strain on you all.

Best of luck

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She's taken my son away! 2 months 3 weeks ago #94407

Thanks for the response.

Until she moved away we alternated weekends with the boys from Friday evening until Monday morning and dropping them off at school.

We have looked at visitation every weekend but this is simply unworkable due to the distance and work commitments. They have moved to South Devon and I'm in north Surrey. It is a 6 hour journey to pick him up and return home (If the A303 is in a good mood and I drive there and back without a break) This would also mean over 500 miles driving every weekend or every other weekend. It would also leave us little time between collecting on a Saturday and having to drop him back the next day. Also the costs are high and my vehicle would not cope with this.

We have agreed on shared holidays and Christmas but birthdays are "not up for discussion" in her view as are most things that are bought up by me. Holidays are every 6 weeks or so, which is far too long for my eldest son and me but we don't really have an alternative at the moment.

Mediation has been tried, but it felt like she was using it as a beating stick to get her way. And then there is not fulfilment from her to keep her side of agreements made at mediation. Although mediation is supposed to be neutral, I found it to be anything but. I even tried to change mediator but she refused and would only see the one dealing with the case at the time (this was before she moved away). An example of the stupidity of the mediator, she suggested I bought a mobile home in the west country in order to make visitation easier and so I had a base there. This was even though she could see through my finances I could not possibly afford this.

As I said originally, I was not spoken to about any of this before hand and feel it was all done in a very underhand manner. Yes I do regret not doing anything more at the time and I feel I was advised badly but that is now past and need to deal with what we have now, the main thing being 2 very unhappy siblings at being so far apart.

My question is this. What should I do or can I do if my son decides he doesn't wish to return after one of our visits or after a holiday. I guess I'm worried that I will not find it in me to force him back specially as I want him with me. I also don't want to turn it into a tug o war between two parents but how can I do what goes against the grain as a dad?

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She's taken my son away! 2 months 3 weeks ago #94408

Agreed. As for the fairness... She portrays herself as "super mum" and her friends and family lap it up. But what sort of mum leaves her eldest son 130 miles away to start a new life in another part of the country with his brother?

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She's taken my son away! 2 months 3 weeks ago #94409

Thanks for replying. Yeah been threatened with the police a few times if I "even dare think of taking him back". Good to read your story and how it's turned out for you.

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She's taken my son away! 2 months 3 weeks ago #94426

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honcot22 wrote: Agreed. As for the fairness... She portrays herself as "super mum" and her friends and family lap it up. But what sort of mum leaves her eldest son 130 miles away to start a new life in another part of the country with his brother?


Exactly so why see her as your kids mum, she clearly doesn't care about anyone apart from herself. Some women view their children's fathers as "sperm donors" that have no rights to be in the child's life. And they try their hardest to make it happen.
Why can't a man view a woman who is not a proper mother in the same way?
I'd say if your son refuses to go back to mother as a dad I'd support him, he'll be happy with his brother and father and mum can come to visit by making the long journey.
Don't worry about police, I'd heard stories of mums getting children back with help from the police and it causes fear, you just can't help it. Speak to the police yourself ask them what can they do and it'll put your mind at ease.
I personally know a family who the dad nearly killed the mum, he's the nicest guy you'll find adores his family and loves his home, his wife was awful to him and the kids, one day he snapped and he nearly killed her proper blood bath. He goes to prison.
His family try to get the children, 7 of them.
The grandparents go to court, no contact at all is given not even letters are allowed to be sent.
The kids get put into foster care in the next town, a family member sees them in a supermarket with their foster parents, one of them sees them and runs up to the family member and family member manages to whisper run away. Foster parentsquickly ushers them away.
One day the eldest who was 11 ran away and ended up at the grandparents house, grandparents phone social services and tell them, there's a heated discussion over the phoney mainly the grandparents were worried cos anything could have happened to the 11 year old granddaughter after she managed to run away and she threatened to run away agn and wanted to live with family not foster parents. Social services say they will be there shortly to remove the child using force if necessary. police and social services turn up. Kid legs it upstairs to a bedroom and sits behind the door,, and refuses to come out.
Police can't kick the door down it would have injured her. Police and social workers left after a hour,, another two kids ran away and all three lived with family. They only got were thy did cos they were advised at how to do things and what the authorities can and can't do by a Asian solicitor who told them you won't get anywhere legally so do this instead. He is no longer a practising solicitor lol Was it wrong yes, but thankfully they got to family safely. Lesser of two evils kind of thing

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She's taken my son away! 2 months 3 weeks ago #94493

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If you're determined to keep hold of him, due his distress at returning after a visit with you, it would be advisable to make an urgent no notice application to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order, to prevent him being removed from your care, and a Child Arrangements Order to state that he lives with you. You should do this in person at the court, the next morning, getting there when the doors open first thing.

You would need to impress on the court that the decision to move was decided without consulting you, that you didn't realise you could have tried to stop it through the court until recently, after you took advice. Explain that your son is so distressed at being separated from his brother and you, that he has refused to return and expresses the wish to live with you and visit his mother. That his distress is increasing as is his brothers, separating them wasn't in their best interests and you are worried about their emotional well being.

It's likely, though not guaranteed, that an interim order would be made for him to stay, but a further hearing would be set to give the mother an opportunity to put her side forward, it's not a done deal and the interim order could be reversed, there are no guarantees of success.

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Not legally trained... just plenty of experience and common sense!

She's taken my son away! 2 months 3 weeks ago #94512

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I agree with Mojo.

At age 10, your son's wishes can be taken into consideration in light of his age and understanding

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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

She's taken my son away! 1 month 2 weeks ago #95240

Hi, thank you for your response and advice. I didn't see it until today.

I've just gone through another episode of my youngest son not wishing to return to his mother this weekend as I had him over the half term break. Totally heart breaking

With regards your advice and going to court in person in the event of my son stating he doesn't wish to return to his mother. Are you referring to a local (magistrates) court? Excuse my ignorance. This is so new to me. I really want to make sure I do this correctly and fairly

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She's taken my son away! 1 month 2 weeks ago #95242

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It would be your nearest family court, if you google family court with your area it should come up. It may be that it will be the magistrates court, but usually urgent applications are dealt with by a higher judge.

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