Leave to remove a child: what about the parents left behind?

Children|November 10th 2010

Back in September, when  Lord Justice Wall gave a speech to Families Need Fathers,  his view of separation as a “serious failure of parenting” attracted headlines. I would like to draw attention to a lengthy but little reported part of his speech, which concerned one of the most heartrending areas of family law: when parents divorce and one parent decides to begin a new life overseas with the children.

Lord Justice Wall dwelt upon the state of current law, the approach of the judiciary to such case and in particular, the case of Payne v Payne (2001). The full text is here. Payne v Payne, in which permission was given for a divorced mother to move back to New Zealand with her daughter, against the wishes of the young girl’s father, is regarded as the leading case on the subject.

As he pointed out, the Payne v Payne decision takes into account as an important factor the potential harm that could have been caused to the mother if leave to remove the child had been refused, and the consequential impact on the child in determining the test of the interests of the child’s welfare:

The mother’s reasons for her desire to return to New Zealand were appropriate and entirely understandable. Her situation in England was not a happy one. The judge found that the effect of her being forced to stay in England would be devastating. He found that her unhappiness, sense of isolation and depression would be exacerbated to a degree that could well be damaging to the child. The father who has had a close relationship with his daughter would be able to afford to visit her or have her visit him two or three times a year which mitigated the loss to the child and to him. (Payne v Payne [2001] EWCA Civ 166.)

Not surprisingly, critics take the view that this is incorrect and that children’s interests are better served if they have two parents to raise them.

As family lawyers, we urge our clients to put their children’s welfare above all else – and that is as it should be. However I would like to take a look at the parents’ welfare – which is not so much displaced at present, as utterly ignored. Instead the parents’ welfare is considered indirectly, and the impact assessed on the child or children. This in itself is difficult to do: experts agree that the impact of relocation and the resiliency of a child to adjust to relocation is difficult to ascertain, and I would assume that it depends greatly on each child and his or her circumstances.

An application for leave to remove

When an application for leave to remove a child is made, the court must decide which option is in the best interests of the child, on the basis that the child’s welfare is paramount. There is a welfare checklist, which the judge must take into account. The approach of the court in giving appropriate weight to each of the criteria is critical. Thus, if one parent can no longer play an active part in a child’s life by virtue of distance, the court needs to attach weight to it. But how much weight? Is the presence of two parents playing a constant role in a child’s life, of such paramount importance that it outweighs every other factor?

And so the question can simply become:  “Should a child ever be permitted to leave the jurisdiction at all, if he or she thereby loses an enduring relationship with one parent?”

In Payne v Payne, the court decided that the arrangements for contact with the father were satisfactory and ordered, in accordance with section 13 of the Children Act 1989, the removal of the four-year-old child to New Zealand to live with her mother. The court found there was no breach of human rights legislation as a consequence.

The case of Re H (2010)

In one recent case, heard by the Court of Appeal on 20 May 2010, permission was similarly given for a mother to relocate to Australia with a child. The desperate father appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that the original judgment was only four pages long. He argued that the judge failed to fulfil the minimum requirement of providing explanations to the parents, covering all the section 13 considerations and the weight that had been attached to each.

The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal. It held that the judge was not obliged to go through the checklist, each in turn.

It should be noted that not all applications for leave to remove a child are granted. In another recent case, applying the same factors, the swashbuckling Mr Justice Mostyn refused to permit the relocation of a French mother and her child to France – but am I alone in thinking that he could have been powerfully affected in his decision because he is a father himself?

What about the parents’ needs?

From my perspective as a parent, losing a child halfway round the world must be the equivalent of a lifelong dagger in the heart. The carefully built nest is tipped upside down and is left starkly empty. There is little prospect of it ever again being filled with the laughter and tears of a child.  The parents undertook to raise the child together, but instead the child will grow up far away, with only one parent instead of two.

Can that ever be in the best interests of a child? Is it in the interests of both parents? Can it really be said that the interests of a child are not taking precedence to the interests of the parent who is moving away?

The answer that most of us would give to that last question is probably “no”. Sir Bob Geldof and his band of followers are calling vocally for a change to the law which they describe as “state sanctioned kidnap”. They call as parents, anxious to protect themselves from being deprived of the right to be parents.

Payne v Payne revisited

Then I wonder: from another perspective, is Payne really so wrong?

This blog is read by many desperate Englishwomen (and men) living around the world. They contact me and keep in touch because I am an English lawyer who may be able to offer them some assistance out of their misery. I have read heartbreaking stories of the circumstances in which they have found themselves. They fell in love, married and ended up living abroad, following their spouse’s career, nationality or simply the offer of a new life in a new country. Caught up in their hopes and dreams, they never gave a thought to what might happen if the marriage ended.

I am often contacted after a marriage has broken down and a mother finds that she is unable to return to her homeland with the children, because her husband refuses and she can’t leave their current home without a court’s consent. It is often near on impossible because elsewhere in the world, many courts point blank refuse permission for “their” children to leave the jurisdiction.

So these mothers are forced to stay, often without spousal support forced to live without a partner in a hostile environment. Living in misery, they suffer acute emotional and financial harm. Can that also be in the best interests of their children?

Should they and their children be obliged to continue to live in such circumstances? These women left the UK in ignorance of a future legal position that they had no idea could or would ever apply to them. But it does, and increasingly so. (As an aside, the number of child abductions from one country to another is growing and this, I believe, is why.)

So I can see both sides of the coin, having heard from various parents who have been caught up in this agonising dilemma.

Where do we go from here?

Perhaps a more pragmatic, conciliatory view is one way forward. For example, Stowe Family Law’s International Department recently had a case in which a child went to live with our client in a faraway country. There had been bitter battles, but I am pleased to say that following careful discussions and a hearing in a local English court, the  situation was resolved. (Earlier this year the case of AP v TD (2010) was also heard in an English court. This case concerned a mother who had relocated to Canada with two children. She had applied to the Canadian court in a bid to alter contact arrangements with the children’s English father, but the case was heard in England.) Even the most intractable disputes, involving great distances and time zones, are capable of settling.

In the meantime, what of these “difficult” cases? Should we condemn a parent to lead a life of misery in a foreign country, or give up any prospects of happiness altogether following the breakdown of a marriage?

The approach in Payne is now under attack from campaign groups and high profile individuals. As with so much in family law, however, there is no perfect solution.

At present, those who have to judge these cases shine a spotlight upon the child, working through the welfare checklist and examining each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs. But if a child’s happiness is entwined with that of its parents, as the judgment in Payne v Payne would have it, wouldn’t everyone benefit if the family’s needs were given more prominence than they are currently? Perhaps it is time to bring the parents out of the shadows.

Author: Marilyn Stowe

The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

Comments(18)

  1. Michael Robinson says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    An interesting blog, but I would like to correct one point… on ‘Bob’s band of followers’.

    Poor old Bob. Sir Bob Geldof’s involvement in the call to review relocation law came about after his having read a report I’d written. He simply agreed to write the foreword. The Centre for Social Justice and the charity Reunite have also called for a review of relocation law, as did 85% of solicitors polled in a debate in 2005 hosted by Resolution. The courts of New Zealand threw out Payne v Payne as precedent that same year, as it failed to pay sufficient regard to the impact on the child. To say it’s Bob’s mob calling for a review is a bit of a stretch, or that he leads the call for review when the current President of the Family Courts and Head of International Family Law have acknowledged the need.

    My own view, and one shared by many in the legal profession, is that there is a risk of psychological, developmental and emotional harm to a child caused by removal from a significant attachment figure. My reasoning is based on leading research by both UK based and international academics and reputable institutions. I don’t disagree that parents’ wishes should be considered by the court, simply that this must not outweigh child welfare. I believe the Children Act was well founded on the principle that a child’s welfare must always be the court’s paramount consideration.

    In the UK, in intact families, the norm in today’s society (according to research by the Equalities Commission… not just my opinion) is that childcare is near equally shared. No one is suggesting stopping a parent from relocating, but if they do, the child will see their relationship with one parent significantly reduced whether they too emigrate, or remain in the UK in the other parent’s care. Balancing factors are the impact of the diminishing of their relationships with their extended family, school friends and disruption to their schooling. Cultural change and language barriers often further exacerbate adjustment difficulties that a child may face through relocation.

    I was speaking at the Relocation and Family Law Seminar in Westminster on Tuesday, and the consensus was that the issue of risk to children is not currently afforded sufficient weight by the UK courts. I agree that courts in other countries have higher hurdles to be satisfied by the relocating parent for the children to emigrate, but research supports that a more cautious view, and one based on evidence rather than a 1970s model of family life, would better protect child welfare.

    Kind regards,

    Michael Robinson
    Author ‘Family Law: Relocation and the Case for Reform’ (not Bob)

  2. Jeff B. says:

    Dear Marilyn,

    Please could you point me to any reputable research that supports the mere opinion (which is all it is) of Payne v Payne that children are impacted significantly adversely by the refusal of a mother’s application to relocate?

    If there is any impact on the child, how does that compare to the many peer reviewed research papers, of many hundreds of thousands of children that show the substantial and life changing effects of children losing a parent in their lives – emotionally, developmentally and educationally?

    As Ann Thomas (Managing Partner) of the International Family Law Group in here recent presentation on relocation law says;

    “English relocation law should expect that if the primary carer parent seeks to move abroad and yet the other parent is able to offer satisfactory upbringing and enable the child to maintain continuity in his home environment then that other parent should have the first opportunity to maintain that continuity. This must be in the child’s best interests….. Too often the child has been allowed to move to a country and yet the child has lost not only a good relationship with the other parent but also lost his roots and his source of nurturing and development over his short lifetime.

    Studies in England and Australia show a remarkable incidence of relocation being in fact only a temporary feature with the primary parent either then moving to yet another country or returning to the original home country of the child.

    Too often a parent puts a child through the immense trauma of a relocation and turns the child’s world upside down, for what she says are in the child’s best interests when, in reality, they are her own…………

    Finally, the human rights argument put up by mothers wishing to relocate can also be put up by fathers and is of equal importance.

    English relocation law has served secondary caring parents and children very badly over many years. It is now urgent for a dramatic change.”

  3. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Thanks very much for your replies.
    I deliberately posted about the extreme nature of these cases from two very polarised perspectives: both of which in fact strike me as entirely legitimate.

  4. Mr BD says:

    Dear Marilyn

    Thank you for your interesting and highly topical post.

    I was fortunate enough to have attended the recent Family Justice Seminar at The Palace of Westminster – mentioned above – and found the speeches by Mr Michael Robinson and Ms Ann Thomas to be extremely enlightening.

    I would respectfully point out that, in the case of Re D (Children) [2010] EWCA Civ 50, heard on 20 January, the Head of the Family Division himself – Sir Nicholas Wall – called for a review of the Payne criteria because, in his considered view, there was a significant risk that they relegated the harm done to children, whilst giving too great a weight to the wishes of the relocating parent.

    To date, the Court of Appeal has yet to find a ‘suitable’ case to allow through to the Supreme Court. This is presumably because the delay inherent in progressing to the Supreme Court, followed by the additional delay of a re-trial, would, in most cases, probably be deemed to be contrary to the best interests of the children.

    Mr BD
    The litigant-in-person father in Re D.

  5. Marilyn Stowe says:

    Dear Mr BD
    My heart goes out to you. I have read the judgement in your case.
    I had a hypothetical Payne -Payne discussion with my own son, and asked him what he would have regarded as the most important criteria in making a decision for him when he was growing up. His answer was that if he had the same relationships with each parent, continuity would be the most important factor. He would have wanted stability in the environment he knew. He felt that moving abroad would have been seriously destabilizing for him.
    I wish you well and thank you for your comment.
    Marilyn.

  6. Mr BD says:

    Thank you, Marilyn, for your very kind words.

    Your son’s sentiments are very insightful and probably very representative of the views of most of the hapless children caught in the middle of a ‘Leave to Remove’ application (in cases, of course, where parental neglect is absent).

    The difficulty faced by children, though, is that Payne actually ascribes far too little weight to their wishes – in my own case, for example, their wishes were actually absent from the judgement!

    I feel absolutely certain that, if applicant parents were to be made fully aware of the contemporary and powerful scientific research demonstrating the deleterious consequences of removal, they would then either withdraw their application OR be far less disappointed by a refusal of leave to remove.

    After all, what good parent would not place the welfare of their own children above their own wishes to relocate???

    Mr BD

  7. Jamie says:

    Hello,
    I found this Blog researching heavily on this topic. I live in the UK, and had a son who will be 3 years old next week. His father left me when he was 6mths and I was not born here. I am from the caribbean but have british citizenship due to my father being from here. I have never been able to fit in, have no friends, in northern ireland.. the people have not been so accepting either. Six years I have spent being alone most of the time. I love my son, and love his father because my son loves him. But I have met someone who lives in America, through a family visit, I met him and we want to marry and be happy. He is very well established there, and I can “live” and my son would un-doubtebly have a better life too. Raised in a home with a family, the best care that I could ever imagine of giving him.
    And contact is a priority for me with my son and his father.
    I have no hatred. And I luckily found “the one”.
    Do I give that up to stay miserable, alone or worse settle for less than the best for me and my son, all so he can have overnights once a week? With no hope of properly reaching a standard to raise him without government help in the near furture just to facilitate that? I find it unfair. His life is moving on, I am simply at a stand still trying my best and its not good enough, here. I can give him a better life, and contact with his father. But people look down on me because i’m taking his son away. I as a parent, thinks about his welfare constantly. He is all I am thinking about, Being able to finally give him siblings, a permanant home, a role model that will never let him down. I deserve happiness. He deserves happiness, and I shouldn’t be told to give it up, or that I cannot have it because a man I had a child with who does nothing for him, says no.
    Unfair.

  8. hillary says:

    That leave to remove is selfish and it is only in this country court grant that selfish interest, every child needs his father and mother even when the marriage is broken down that is when the children needed both parent in their lives to cope and minimized the grief and impact. in other country they cant even allow the hearing to proceed talk-less of granting it. it is only in this country a criminals got praise from the judge and make victim look like a wimp. British judicial system is corrupt. The court system where a serial burglar get sentenced to make his bed every morning. Where extreme provocation and intent to inflict emotional distress that led to someone becoming violence being invalid at court but the provocateur being giving tea and butter at court. the country where if you defend your home and your family against intruder and their weapons from harming you and your family you will be bundled up and thrown in prison for protecting your home and family, while the perpetrators become the victims and given support and rewards. the country where one can appear at court for 12 times without being heard or say anything. the judicial system here is lazy one and the lawyers here are the most laziest lawyers in the whole world because they want shorter statements and easy way out and this have gave the victims no chance of expression and the perpetrators easy escape and to commit more. It
    is nothing more than moral absent at Judicial system.

  9. Name Witheld says:

    Mothers wanting to relocate can just play on the weight of Payne v Payne. I know this with my case when Caffcass advised the relocation, my children including my eldest of 11 didn’t want to go and is now in therapy! My ex wife just played on how unhappy she would be how she couldn’t cope! It was never mentioned in the first hearing!!!!

    I now have 4 children on the way to the usa aged 4,610 and 11 all not wanting to go and myself who has a fantastic relationship with them unable to do a thing!!!

    British justice???? Men may aswell be put in afield and brought out to stud then cast away! At least bulls get put down and out I their misery! There is no justice for food fathers shame on the system

  10. Observer says:

    I agree Name Witheld. The child abuse that is inflicted by the state and its army of braindead judges citing case law that would even violate an animal’s rights is simply unforgivable.

  11. anna says:

    my husband was forced on the day of court to consent to hix ex wife taking their 2 pre teen children to live in paris for 3 years- that was in november. his children are british, as is he and his ex wife. however she met a new partner who took a job in paris, he was also british and they did not live together before the move.

    his ex wife refused to discuss the situation prior to court or provide information about where they would live, go to school, who would finance it or what commitment they would havefrom the new partner- all of this came the day before court. 12 months after first raising the move.

    our cafcass officer sat on the fence for 6 months- although she did say no emotional distress would come to the mother if she was refused permission.

    the cafcass officer then changed her mind on the morning of court after recipt of information and said it would be more beneficial for the kids to experience a new life overseas than see their father on the weekly basis they currently did ! ( he had then 4-5 nights in 14 for the last 4 years since the divorce). we were advised to agree to them going as the judge cannot disagree with cafcass unless he thinks they are negligent. We were advised that we should use the oppertunity to at least negotiate the visitation that was best for us all. we went with the cafcass recomendation of every 3 weeks and half the holidays, plus 3 calls per week.

    that was 6 months ago, my husband has seen his children 7 days over 2 visits in total. the ex comes when she pleases and wont faciitate access or phone calls. When he calls to discuss when she is bringing them back, if at all she shouts at him, then she also discusses all of the ‘stress’ my husband is ‘causing her’ with the children, which is turning them against him.

    her view as soon as she was out of the country is- take me to court, theres nothing they can do to me anyway.

    the disgusting thing is, 2 sets of lawyers have told us its true- she has no assetts and they are unlikely to give her a penal sentacnce. so whilst we can submitt a form to court stating she is breaching the order its not going to get us very far.

    my husband has gone from being fully involved in their lives to being completly cut out. he is an amazing dad, and always done everything he can for his kids.he is terribly depressed now and is very worried she wont even return them at the end of 3 years. i can see in the way the children speak to him (when he can get hold of them) that the mother is poisining them against their father. the law cant be fair . the cafcass officer even said my husband was an excelent father who the kids love and want to see at least every 3 weeks. how can the law let this happen- especially as everyone is british. we are both at our witts end . . ..

    my husband is being treated as though he was a criminal, not a loving father- in actual fact in my view she is the one who is breaking the law- she never had any intention of sticking to the order- she broke it the first weekend.

    please tell me there is something that we have missed???

  12. Dana says:

    Hi,
    I read your blog and noted that in public law a whole new set of rules seem to apply. The Judge does not seem to concern himself with the damage caused to a child when losing his /her parents or extended family. When that child is in care, as they are generally taken, even Contact with that child is diminished, suspended or stopped altogether. How is this possibly in the child’s bests interests?

  13. Luke says:

    I believe a child needs both parents and that the relationship with both of them should not be violated.

    It is sad that some resident parents want to go far away from where they are residing and cannot but it is TOTALLY their fault that such a sad occurrence has come to pass.

    There is only one situation under which I can see it being reasonable:
    The resident parent says they are going to go anyway and agrees to sign over residential custody and for whatever reason the non-residential parent declines to take over.

    Otherwise they should put the child abover their selfish ‘needs’.

  14. JamesB says:

    Perhaps the answer is for men not to get too attached to their children as separation from someone with whom they have an attachment would not be good for the children. Thus perhaps Ulrica Johnsson is the trail blazer with having 4 children by 4 fathers and we all go about visiting different women. Fine by me. Hurting children is something I am very much against and if I have no say in the matter (example Payne vs. Payne), then perhaps it is better not to get too attached in the first place. Perhaps there is no longer such thing as society, merely individuals doing what they like without regard for long term relationships.

  15. Observer says:

    Dana,

    There is nothing about family law that is in the child’s best interests. It’s all about ‘the appearance of justice’ and the ‘appearance of the child’s best interests.’

    Barristers and judges make no secret of this either. The reason things are like this is because there is no accountability or transparency in the secret courts.

  16. Mr J says:

    I lost my child who lived with me to this ridiculous system, purely because the English mother decided to marry abroad. My child was happy, we had our own enviable home in the country and she went to a local private school with friends. The child and had the extended family on both sides within a few miles. The court plucked the child from the totally know into the totally unknown in a strange country with no friends or relatives and a new unknown father-in-law purely on the basis of Payne v Payne ie. “An unhappy mother leads to an unhappy child”

    Never in my life could I have imagined having such little faith and regard in the “justice” system as this. If only the general public understood how fundamentally flawed this whole area of law is. There shouldn’t even be a debate. You make your bed you lie in it. Leave the county when the child is 18 if you wish should be the stance.

    Despite the claims, Payne v Payne is given about 75% weight because the mother will always claim that she will be stressed out if she stays in the UK. But the law should take the stance that the mother chose to have a child in this country and it is in this country that the child should remain if there is another parent capable of looking after that child. Any mother worth her sorts would man up and say “if I do have to stay in the UK, my child is my priority, I won’t let my temporary disappointment affect my child”. I mean come on is the law saying that if mothers can’t do what they want they are so week that for the next 18 years they will be depressed

    I think some mention should also be made of the cost to defend an action like this should a mother make one. It could extend to £100,000 if it ends up in the high court. Most fathers just couldn’t afford to defend a LTR application made by a mother and just have to sit by and let the insult of this area of law continue and watch their own flesh and blood be disappear.

    Finally you will have the insult of being told that you can’t tell anyone or do anything about it or you will be in contempt !! What happened to your human rights there then!

  17. anon says:

    I have read all of the comments above and agree with the majority, if the father is actively involved in the child’s life. They shouldn’t be taken out of the country.

    However, my situation is somewhat different. I, myself am currently going through the process. My Fiancee is in the forces and we plan to join him next year in Cyprus.

    The difference is, my daughter’s father has a very on and off relationship with our daughter. Currently he hasn’t been in contact for a month. No phones calls, visits or anything. We went to court two years ago where I was awarded residency (as her father failed to appear in court.) I am certain when our proceedings get underway he will not turn up again. Although he will not give written permission purely out of spite.

    My fiancee supports both me and my daughter financially, I receive five pound a week csa from my ex partner. Although it’s currently been stopped. We are with my parents at the moment as we are saving before the move. My daughter will have an excellent education and will be back in the UK in two years.

    In situations like mine, I find it different to a father who sees his children weekly and consistently. Then it is not fair to leave, however in situations like mine it’s very very different indeed. Be careful not to label all us “Selfish” mothers as sometimes it’s a different story.

  18. Shiz says:

    I am currently going through this process and to be honest I disagree with you all. Every case is different. Every person is different and every family dynamic is different. Also, every reason to leave is different and every non resident parent objects for different reasons. I don’t think their should be a case to follow .. It seems barbaric to me when every single case will turn out its own facts.
    My situation, I’m the parent with care of three children by two fathers. The first father of two children left us when our second daughter was just short of 1 year old. Our elder daughter, now 12, loved him so much at the time and despite of the domestic violence and other problems I experienced at his hands, I fought tooth and nail to keep that relationship intact for my daughter who I love so much. I wrote him letters, made numourous calls, emailed his mother and sister etc and the last resort was getting a solicitor to send him letter after letter proposing contact until they literally told me there was nothing more they could do, the father couldn’t be forced to have a relationship with his children. I was sad. Sad for my daughter mostly, but more sad because of my own choice to have two children with someone so callous and cold hearted. It took my eldest a long time to get over his abandonment and I’m sure the emotional scars she carries will forever effect her future relationships. All I could do back then was reassure her it wasn’t ger fault and it was his loss and I also told her he must not be thinking straight for good measure. The last thing I wanted was her blaming herself and eventually she didn’t but it turnt into resentment for her younger sister who’s arrival she concluded must’ve put extra strain on our relationship causing us to break up and her to lose her father. She was wrong of course but 5/6/7 year old only have a limited capacity to see things objectively and once she was told her sister was planned this somewhat subsided and her and her sister are close. 7 years have now passed and their father has not so much as sent a letter. As for my youngest by the second father, they enjoy regular but somewhat short contact and despite this have a good bond. Her father literally works 24/7 and so no contact is set up or planned and I have to call him daily to ask if he’s like to come round. On average he ends up seeing maybe 3 hours a week over 2/3 visits and mostly just bathes and tucks her into bed during this time. We have been apart for some time, we don’t like each other but we both love her and seek to make sure we are both flexible and co operatively parent to ensure contact happens. It’s not an ideal but as a result of our co parenting, contact happens.
    I now have a fiancé who is an American citizen.. We want to get married, we have a house in America, the girls have fantastic schools lined up and the children have a great relationship with my girls and vice versa. Despite working full time he manages to see my children and to put it in prospective for you, our of the last 36 weeks, he’s spend 22 of those with me and my children here in the uk, and 6 of which in America. What annoys me is that yes ok it’s not ideal for the non resident father left behind to compromise some of his time with the child/ren if they emigrate but if my fiancé can frequently visit us, why can’t these fathers stop moaning and stop trying to strip mothers of any chance of happiness they may have and deprive their child of a better lifestyle all because they claim they can’t or won’t get on a plane to see their kids who they apparently love so much. Fathers human rights, like it or not, should not trump those of the parent with care and neither parents human rights should trump those of the children. In my case, both fathers are objecting to me removing my children from the jurisdiction, all if which want to go. The distress a refusal would cause me and my children will obviously cause harm since it would be a normal human reaction to effectively imprisioned. Yes I decided to have children with the said fathers, one has never been interested since our split 7 years ago and still isn’t just merely wants to stop us going to he can “watch from a distance) and the other has no concerns about contact continuing abroad, just simply doesn’t want to have his relationship reduced yet under my visitation proposals he’d see more her once we move than he does now and he’s already said he can get time off work should we move, just not if we say apart from the odd Sunday which would only be a one off. So what? Is mine and my children’s future happiness none and void because non residents parents can’t suck it up and cooperatively parent to the point that they are more interested in securing a contact plan they can live with than causing friction between themselves and the mother to such a point that once she’s gone, she literally sticks to the contact plan that the court decides that neither party is happy with to spite the father because of the gruelling process his dragged her their children through when had he of consented she would’ve made it open door, paying for flights whenever he or the child concerned asked. I myself whatever happens will go above and beyond what the court orders for the father of my youngest because although he’s dragging me through this process I understand his feelings and loss about the whole thing and sympathise. The other father on the other hand can go to hell. He’s chose not to have contact all these years but once he knows he could be very happy all if a sudden wants to makes decisions for the children that are contrary to what they want and without even asking for contact or residency even at this stage. If the role was reversed, as a mother, there wouldn’t be anything that would keep me from my children, not a mountain, not a ocean, not imprisonment or a kidnapping, I’d move heaven and earth to maintain a relationship with them. It should also be noted, I’ve offered the father to have the children and low and behold neither father has said they will or can or offered any details of how they could or would accommodate Erc, facilitate contact with menor between the children themselves but I’ve laid it out as an option contrary to my children’s wishes so all avenues are explored for this isn’t about, separating them from their fathers, it’s about my right and my children’s right to be happy and find a solution that could work for us all. Thanks for reading, sorry if it sounds abrupt, just annoys me these fathers for justice and resolution compaigns.. They’re not loving father missing their children, they’re fickle men who can’t be bothered to get on a plane or support someone who they decided to have children with, whom is the full time carer of their children, or listen to their child’s wants or needs. They can’t look beyond their own needs to see the needs of this children and would rather spend 5000-10000 on fighting mothers than saving it secure and enable their own relationship with their child. I have to rant the whole thing is a pathetic. If children are so important which they should be, how come absent fathers aren’t forced to have a relationship with their children they’ve abandoned where their children want the relationship? This needs addressing before anything else if you ask me

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