Can Mum take the DCs and move them away from their dad?

(55 Posts)
Poppinsesque Sat 13-Apr-13 18:00:36

Found out this afternoon our best man and his wife are most likely separating. (best man told DH while we were over for lunch). He's terrified as she has said she will take the DCs (6 and 2) and move back to the south coast which is a 3 hour drive from where they live now and where his job is. (she works at home so can essentially be anywhere).

He had wanted them to have 50/50 or similar arrangement to suit the children's needs and both parents work.

Can she do this? I would have thought she would have to have some sort of agreement from the dad to move them out of school/nursery and move them hundreds of miles from their dad. She told him as long as she stay in UK she can go wherever she wants.

Poor bloke's terrified he will lose his kids.

Snorbs Tue 16-Apr-13 09:05:56

Poppinsesque, I'd recommend that your friend get in touch with Families Need Fathers. They're a good bunch who can really help to recommend ways to resolve these kinds of issues in as non-confrontational way as possible.

Court should be left as an absolute last resort as it can end up being about winning or losing rather than what's best.

Spero Tue 16-Apr-13 08:31:23

Anyone who wants to move children a long distance for the other parent will need to show that this is in children's best interests because distance will inevitably have a negative impact of the frequency of contact with other parent.

So if you were parenting equally before and are moving just to be near friends, court might not be sympathetic.

But if mother was primary carer before the split and can show that the move will benefit her in terms of much better support or better job then she will probably be allowed to move.

But it is all very fact specific to each individual case. Moving for friends might be acceptable, may depend on what you are moving from, such as an ex who harasses you (or continues to spread rumours about your mental health)

newbiefrugalgal Mon 15-Apr-13 23:14:50

Anyone not concerned about her just moving to beneath friends?
Not family. Would the courts see that as favourable?

Or is it only his family she would be moving away from?

mumandboys123 Mon 15-Apr-13 21:49:33

oh there is an Adulterers Bible out there somewhere - they only sell it to people committing adultery. It never, ever ceases to amaze me how these situations play themselves out - men (and sometimes women) saying exactly the same thing to their ex/about their ex up and down the country...it's like they've all read the same thing. Entirely predictable. After a while, you get to accurately predict what the next move will be.

OP - with the 2 year old, who is the main carer? if they are both working but mum is working from home, who is doing the school runs for the 6 year old? Basically, he would have to go some to get full residence of children of this age unless he has been the primary carer. He would likely struggle to get 50/50 if they haven't genuinely shared care prior to this date. What the courts don't do is mess with established bonds/ties/routines.

If mum is main carer, he can try and stop her moving by taking out a Prohibited Steps Order but it is unlikely a long term option. The simple fact is you can't stop people getting on with their lives and when relationships break down, trying to work and manage children is difficult and where there is family willing to support, it is reasonable to move.

And I agree, the 'she's mental' comments ring massive alarm bells(and is chapter 2 or so in the Bible) and I would be very, very careful making any assumptions about their relationship and who may or may not be in the wrong/right. You can be a friend without taking sides.

Spero Mon 15-Apr-13 10:35:42

Of course you can't diagnose from a screen, and no one is attempting to.

But it is legitimate to recognise predictable patterns of behaviour and likely outcomes.

I could be utterly and embarrassingly wrong of course ~ hence liberal use of word 'if'.

Dadthelion Mon 15-Apr-13 10:02:56

'Actually some of us aren't amateurs'

So can you diagnose someone on what someone else (who can be slightly biased) says about them on an anonymous forum?

You're going to be rich and famous.

Spero Mon 15-Apr-13 09:51:30

Op, please consider my obvious use of the hypothetical.

I may be very much an armchair psychologist but I have many weary years of seeing just how these scenarios play out.

So tell him to talk to her, not to you. If she is not able or willing to talk after a reasonable space of time, go to court. But please don't make this about someone's mental health unless there is genuinely a concern this will impact on their parenting. Otherwise I can promise your friend he is opening a door to a World of Pain - not just for him, for all of them.

Piemother Mon 15-Apr-13 09:32:58

Since the ex wife is moving, I assume she hasn't laid claim to the family home. Therefore the exh could sell it and move. Obviously this would take time and might be difficult wrt moving/changing jobs but really this should be the first consideration if the wife is planning a permanent move. Why not?

STIDW Mon 15-Apr-13 08:26:01

Actually some of us aren't amateurs wink

Dadthelion Mon 15-Apr-13 07:10:45

And there isn't any amateur psychological diagnosis on Mumsnet.

There are more narcissistic ex's than hot dinners.

Poppinsesque Mon 15-Apr-13 07:07:18

Gosh he's taking a pasting!

Why is it that when a woman Is with a controlling man and talks To a close friend about it she is told she's brave for confiding in friends and brave for leaving but when a man does the same he's accused of "withering to his mates" and calling his wife a "nutjob" or "nutter" and people say "he hasnt tried very hard if his youngest is only 2". How long should any individual have to live with someone whos EA (it is me who recognises this in her btw, not him slagging her off!) He said to one close friend that he was concerned because she is fragile and I don't think that constitutes pulling a "she's a nutter" card.

As for him shagging someone else... I would be hugely surprised as he's not the type - but they never are are they? I don't know what has given him the final push to try and make the move out but I don't think that wanting to leave an unhappy marriage is necessarily the worst thing to do.

He's off to see a solicitor this morning apparently so hopefully there will be some more light shed on the situation with the kids.

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 21:58:56

Couldn't agree more.

If this bloke is a 'nice' bloke, if this relationship has genuinely broken down because two people just couldn't get along anymore, if he genuinely has the best interests of his children at heart, he will stop going on about how concerned he is about her 'fragility' and how it was her being a nutjob that broke them up...

In fact he will stop wittering on to all his mates and talk to her. If she is too hurt and bruised to talk, he will give her time and space and stop spreading unpleasant stuff about her.

If he really is genuinely concerned about how her mental state impacts on her parenting he will make an application for sole residence of the children.

LineRunner Sun 14-Apr-13 21:15:39

Oh God yes, this stuff goes on into their adulthood for so many children. Always being made to take sides, choose which lies to tell, who to avoid, subjects to avoid, all the way to therapy. Very damaging.

And it all starts with the comment, back when one parent leaves, 'S/he's not right in the head.'

Talkinpeace Sun 14-Apr-13 21:10:57

Both of my parents are grossly immature - especially about each other.

LineRunner Sun 14-Apr-13 21:07:09

I think it's important that parents try to work together.

When one immaturely tries to cover up their guilt or garner sympathy by accusing the other of being a 'nutter' then it's desperately bad for the DCs, and the partner who is being maligned will understandably want to withdraw.

STIDW Sun 14-Apr-13 21:02:04

There should no preconceptions and relocation needs to be worked out on a case by case basis. My ex moved 400 miles away but we remained civil and regular every other weekend was feasible because our children were old enough to fly and at that time flights were very cheap if they were booked long enough in advance. The quality of the relationship the children had with my ex was the same as when he lived near by.

Other separated couples live nearer and aren't civil so contact breaks down or is minimal. The relationship between separated parents is so poor that children are damaged and can't learn by example to communicate in their own relationships in adulthood. That's why it is important for parents to try to work together, or at least not against each other, and resolve problems constructively rather than fighting damaging long term family relationships.

Xenia Sun 14-Apr-13 19:01:26

Thankfully most parents aren't like that. Most parents do stay near and arrange regular contact between themselves without courts. Not always possible however.

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 18:25:21

And worst thing is, the line is trotted out to all family and friends who lap it up, mother feels more and more isolated and alone... And wants to move.

LineRunner Sun 14-Apr-13 18:20:35

It's the oldest trick in the book, isn't it, calling the ExW a 'bit mental'.

Piemother Sun 14-Apr-13 17:49:00

So she may have mh issues which require social support. I say 'may' because my dick head exh would cast that aspersions on me if it suited his agenda. Anyway....so he's allegedly concerned about her coping in her own but doesn't want her to have any support because a its inconvenient for him. And he wants his own way but he doesn't want to go to court.
Wonder if the ex wife is a mner wink

ZZZenagain Sun 14-Apr-13 17:31:13

yes, I think she probably can

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 17:25:43

We don't punish people who shag around by taking their children away. BUT if you shag around, dump the mother of very young children and then cast aspersions on her mental health, don't be surprised if she wants to move back to her family for some love and support. Ad dont be surprised if the courts let her.

Sorry 'very sad' doesn't cut it for you. It would describe how I would feel. Perhaps you would prefer a more emotive term. If so feel free to insert more dramatic term of your choice.

balia Sun 14-Apr-13 17:19:14

I'm a bit shock at the description 'very sad' as a reaction to having your kids taken 3 hours away. It's all very well saying it shouldn't be a 'fight' but how else can one parent react when the other ISN'T thinking about making things work for the DC's? Unless we think that fathers are so disposable thast it really doesn't matter if they can't see him for weeks on end? Or is it only OK if he has cheated/started another relationship. Are we going to punish all married people who have affairs by taking their kids away?

expatinscotland Sun 14-Apr-13 17:10:19

My guess is that he's shagging someone else.

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 17:10:08

The last leave to remove case I had involved separated parents who had a week on week off arrangement. The mother got a job abroad and wanted to take their son. The court refused and he lives full time with his dad in the UK during term time and sees his mum in the holidays.

I just don't accept the courts are biased against fathers. They look at the best interests of the children. Fathers may have more of a struggle because often they have not been the primary carers, especially of younger children.

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