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advice required - mother wants to move to UK with my son


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I suggest you consider mediation to sort this out amicably.


Chap to call is Frank Hanna in Port Erin. Brilliant bloke. You can read his recent evidence to Juan Turner's Tynwald committee here:






Comment from Frank giving evidence:


Here is one very interesting point: the first case in the Isle of Man that I was asked to look into was a very similar case about a broken relationship and child custody. Unfortunately, we uncovered a few things that were not terribly happy. The husband in that particular case – this was back in 2007 – was so impressed with the mediation process, that subsequently he contacted us to see what would happen… how he could learn more about mediation. He eventually became one of the participants in the class and he is a qualified mediator.


Mediation can help resolve a problem and restore trust in the relationship. It's much better for the children that way.

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Matt - I have tactfully mentioned this to him- he wants to remain here.


Would it be possible compromise for him to stay here for an agreed fixed time, say 6 months, and then parents and son can see how things are working out for him?


It's a tough one for you all.

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The law is simple. I'm dealing with one the other way round. I have a short opinion I drafted for the Courts in England on what Manx courts might do if the English Courts agreed to allow a child to leave England and move to IOM with mum who was from here.


I agree it can be heart breaking, test is what is in best interests of child.


She cannot remove without either


a. Your consent, or,


b. a court Order.


If she does its Child Abduction, yes even to the UK, and the Courts in England will order her to return the child to IOM until its resolved.


If you PM me I shall forward to you a copy of my opinion of the law and cases. As I say its the other way around, the English Courts wanted to know what the Manx courts would do to enforce the English Order. But its exactly the same in reverse.


You should be able to agree (whichever parent he ends up with) generous contact, stays etc, but I know that is not the same as being just down the road.


Much 'tho I like Juan, my advice would be don't take legal advice from a politician.


At 8 the child will not want to upset either of you (whether or not he knows his mind - and even if he does he may not be able to weigh and judge) and will probably tell both you and his mum he wants to be with whoever he is talking to.


And yes, try mediation before Courts. I'm a qualified mediator, I fully endorse alternative dispute resolution..

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I can comment on this from the child's perspective rather than the parental perspective.

It's important to feel valued, but not to feel like a weapon, custody of children is often used for blackmail or bribery, or I'd be asked to say things that might be then used by one parent against another.


From reading the thread though, the separation is already there, however, it's really different to be maybe 30 minutes drive away maximum to being a plane/boat journey away. I think it's even harder if all this happens and you are plonked into a brand new environment that is all completely new. (Again, been there, done that, as it were)

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I have a plan, forget your ex and your kid, I have 2 sons you can borrow any time, they're lovely. Sadly, I'm still with their dad which means we never get any 'we time' and spend most of our lives knackered - you sound like a nice chap, how about we come to an arrangement? You can even give me the money you used to give your ex.


OFC I am joking above and hope you get everything sorted out amicably, my friend took her daughter off to the UK to live, the dad had no say and has mostly lost touch with the child (who is probably an adult now) its difficult. Good luck :)

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I am aware of a 'mother' who took two kids to England without consent. UK police advised her that she would be arrested if they did not return. That proved effective! Do you have any other kids? Have you considered moving to UK to be near your boy if she goes? Yes it is inconvenient, will no doubt affect many people and may seem impossible, but imo our kids are/should be the most important things in our lives.

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i MK'd a case a few months back, father had disappeared with 2 children 6 years ago on holiday, the mother had gone through the courts and spent 1000's but no trace. within 2 days of been in contact with me i found them, they had only been 50 miles away and not abroad, mother now has parenting time


i know 100's of father's that have no idea where their children are.


if it was me i would already have a court order in place by now


don't wait for solicitors/ advocates do your own research


best of luck

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There are mothers as well, who don't know. That is sad.


This doesn't appear a case of snatch and hide, from what OP has described. More a case of mother and her current partner relocating to be near his elderly parents. It happens and clearly has knock on effects on the child's right to contact with both parents and their duty to perform a parenting role in his life.


General suggestions, if its amicable now, don't do things that may rock the boat. She may not have realised that she needs OP's consent or a court Order. That needs arising gently. Then negotiations need opening about how to achieve what is best for son. Its pretty clear OP isn't going to move, he's here, married to someone else, and mother isn't going to be separated from her current partner.


Son has to live with one, whoever he lives with the other parent is going to feel left out, but those are the parents emotions and have to be put to one side for the benefit of the son.


Initially a fixed regime of half Christmas and Easter and summer holidays with the non resident parent, plus all half terms ad other contact, including mail, phone, e-mail, Skype and multimedia and weekend visits where the son ends up living. Shared school reports and medial information. I say initially because as he grows older flexibility will need to be worked in for his views and what he wants to do. Six months swaps aren't really a good idea, especially with schooling.


I've seen some suggestions about custody and immediate prohibited steps orders. Custody is not really relevant, there is a parental responsibility order. Custody is about owning the child and is outmoded. Taking out an injunction will inflame things and stop a negotiated resolution and ruin relationships for years and will adversely affect the child. Its an atom bomb of last resort.


No it wont be easy, not its never going to be the same as living a few yards or miles apart, but it happens in todays climate of separations and divorces and serial relationships and the IOM to North east England is not any worse than Cornwall to John O'Groats or Northern Ireland or Scottish Islands. Its something to be factored in. No one is to blame.


In 30 years experience of these types of cases its the attempt to blame which causes most of the difficulties, people get stuck blaming and don't move on to devise the best solution possible in all the circumstances. I hope that helps.


If it gets to court the court will want to see, from both parents their very detailed proposals about living arrangements, schooling, health care, child care etc and contact proposals and will appoint social workers to interview child and report to court with his views.


Ant if she tries to go, then the police will be able to return the boy, its an offence with out OP's consent or a Court order and the court will issue a prohibited steps Order requiring return and the English court will back that up.

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