A common scene after an emotional separation would be your partner packing all her clothes and then walking out of your home. A common, yet worse scene, is when she takes the children with her.
Question: Can she really do that?
Answer: It depends on a few legal matters – specifically, Parental Responsibility.
Section 2 of the UK Children Act of 1989 discusses the parental responsibility for the children. It dictates that if you and your partner are legally married, you equally share parental responsibility for your children. This means that your wife taking your children away is within the bounds of the law. The police won’t be able to rescue or bring back your children simply because your partner also shares the same right to your kids. If this happens, the safest thing to do is to contact your counsel and discuss an application for a Child Arrangement Order.
However, if you’re not married with your ex, the law immediately reserves the right to parental responsibility to the mother. This means that you cannot do anything the moment they leave.
Yes. The moment they leave, it’s also advisable that you don’t do anything rash. Avoid committing any acts or manifestations of violence, harassment, pestering, or intimidation. This is something that can be used against you in courts, thus leading to your loss of child custody.
But doesn’t mean you won’t do anything at all.
The single, yet most important step that you should take after your ex takes your kids is to seek and get in touch with your attorney. They can instantaneously provide you advice and a list of legal procedures to undertake, especially if there is a possibility that your former partner intends to go abroad.
Be reminded that seeking legal aid is only the beginning of a long series and battle for child custody with your partner. It will be tiring – physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. It’s best to be prepared and to always keep in mind that the future of your kid rests better in your hand, and you will do anything to make it happen.