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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34026
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Hi there, I have been separated from my 4 year old sons

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Hi there,

I have been separated from my 4 year old sons father for 4 years. We were never married. I have met a new partner of 3 years and we would like to move in together with my son to be able to make a family life. He also has 2 children. He owns his house were as I rent mine. So it would be a more stable life for us. However his house is a 1 hourXXXXXfrom the Father and the Father has threatened to go for full custody of my son if I do so despite us agreeing to weekly visits even if we have to drive my son down to him. He has said that he has spoken to solicitors that have said he would stand a chance. (we have a nice life without any problems and my son is very happy but is close to his father who sees him on a regular basis) Where do I stand with this? Many thanks
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
What contact does he actually have with his father?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has him every other weekend & every wednesday, but he sees him more often than that as I currently live around the corner I have always made the effort to drop my son in or agree if he asks if he can have him an extra night. I have always encouraged contact with his father as think it is important and never stopped contact even if me and his father have fallen out. I would continue to make an effort for them to see each other if we moved house for my son, but I am terribly unhappy where we are living as am only in the area as the father asked me to stay.

What contact will you offer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have offered for him to have him every other full weekend (Friday to Sunday eve) we will do one way journey and he will do the other, and then offered for him to see him the weekends in between also if he wanted too by mutual arrangement (if he wanted to have sat & sun for example) and share half of all holidays. Me and my new partner have both said he is also welcome at anytime to come to our house. Or come to our house and take he out etc even if it is during the week. We have basically said he can see him at any time & would put it in writing if needs be.

Your ex is entitle to apply for a Residence Order - or even just a Prohibited Steps Order - to prevent your move
HOWEVER that does not mean that he would be successful
The current arrangements do not really amount to shared care - the child does not spend half the week with his father (although you may find extra requests being made to try and create this) and it is generally where there is and always has been shared care that a move is not likely to be approved.
The key is the amount of contact - you could for instance offer more of the holidays - or two weekends out of three. You may also have to take responsibility for the majority of the travelling. A flexible attitude on your part will be the key to success
You should try and discuss it with your ex using Family mediation - but no you do not have to stay put for the next 12 years
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Also can I ask while you are here, if he were to go for half custody (if we were still living near him) and I wasn't happy with that, would he get it? or is every other weekend and every Wednesday acceptable?

That is harder to assess - but he has good contact and the child is settled. It is possible that he would get the Sunday night - and certainly half the school holidays
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He already does have the Sunday night, Thank you

In that case at this age - with your son moving into "real" education it is unlikely that he would get anything extra (apart from in the holidays)

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