Mumsnet has not checked the knowledge, experience or professional qualifications of anyone posting on Mumsnet Talk and cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you have any serious legal concerns, we would suggest you consult a lawyer.

Mother taking son away..?

(71 Posts)
mothkin88 Sat 15-Mar-14 21:25:06

Name changed as asking for a family member...

Dad and mum are married. They live together in England and have a young son (2).

Mothers life (aside from the marriage) in England is not going well (though she has lived here for nearly 10 years and they've been together for over 8) in terms of friendships and career.

She wants to go home to Northern Ireland, but father doesn't want to go. She's had enough, she's handed in notice at work and is taking their son to Ireland to live with her family. (Marriage has been absolutely fine!) she asked him to come, due to his employment and financial responsibilities he can't leave, and doesn't want to. There's no job for him there and he doesn't want to just live with her family.

Can she just take their son?? A bit of an emergency as she is apparently leaving in 2 weeks. He is devastated.

Anything he can do, at all?? Seems a bit of a grey area google wise as its still in the uk. (But clearly still a plane ride away!!) he's an amazing dad, they both work and have 50/50 care of him splitting their days off with a nanny too to cover childcare.) this will destroy him.

Anybody?

crazykat Sat 15-Mar-14 21:36:50

I know that when a couple has split then one parent can stop the other taking the dc out of the country (if they both have parental responsibility). They would need a court order in this case.

I'd suggest he speaks to family law solicitor or CAB as soon as he can.

babybarrister Sat 15-Mar-14 22:52:26

He can try to get a prohibited steps order to prevent a move to northern Ireland even though it is within the UK

He needs to act fast though

horsetowater Sat 15-Mar-14 23:06:34

He should tell her he will go with her. He needs to make sure she understands what they are giving up in order to go to NI and allow her to take responsibility for what effect that the move may have on them - he might not find work over there etc etc. Let her think it through and understand the consequences. It is natural for her to want to be near family with young children and he should encourage that or encourage her to find another support network over here.

They need to talk and make plans for the future together. Something sounds very wrong and they should at least make an attempt to fix it.

mothkin88 Sat 15-Mar-14 23:10:42

He can't go with her. They have financial responsibility. He can't just give up his job and move to rural Northern Ireland with no employment possibility because she's fed up with her job.

Thanks. I'll tell him about the prohibited steps order.

wannaBe Sat 15-Mar-14 23:16:02

yy to prohibited steps order. and then ltb.

horsetowater Sat 15-Mar-14 23:35:39

If he loves her he would do this. He can't expect her to stay here and be miserable and look after their child. Is that what he really wants? if so then he's thinking of himself before the child.

wannaBe Sat 15-Mar-14 23:41:31

are you the dw per chance? "if he loves her" what a crock of shite. If he was the one who was miserable would it be ok for him to leave his wife and take their child with him? no didn't think so.

Relationships are about compromise, not about one selfish individual doing wtf she wants with no consideration for her husband or her child for that matter.

Anyone who just ups and leaves taking their child away from their other parent is selfish in the extreme.

And as the op said he can't just quit his job and move to Ireland with no job prospects what a ridiculous idea.

He should see a solicitor pronto. Clearly she doesn't love him or their child if she's prepared to do this....

horsetowater Sat 15-Mar-14 23:47:44

Wannabe no I am not the wife.

Relationships are about compromise. He doesn't seem to have made any.

What's more important - money or family happiness? Seems like this man is putting money first. That attitude will not go down well in a family court.

wannaBe Sat 15-Mar-14 23:52:40

well, money is pretty important if you don't have any. You can't just quit your job and live on ... what exactly? If you quit your job you are not entitled to any benefits so how do you propose they survive?

Life is not a Disney film where someone says "Oh I want to go home to live with mummy," and the husband says "yes dear," and makes it so.

She isn't doing any compromising at all if she has basically told her husband that she's going to Ireland and taking the child with her whether he likes it or not.

horsetowater Sun 16-Mar-14 00:08:41

Wannabe with all due respect you know nothing about what has happened to lead up to this situation. I think it's hardly likely that she's woken up one day and decided she doesn't feel like living with the father of her child for absolutely no reason at all and on a whim wants to go back home.

This is why OP needs to get his friend to engage in a proper discussion with his partner, not get him to fill out forms that will drive a wedge between them forever.

NanaNina Sun 16-Mar-14 01:30:20

I agree that the only way forward is for the father to make application to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order under the terms of S8 of the Children Act 1989. If granted it would prevent the mother (legally) taking the child to Northern Ireland and if she did so she would be in contempt of court which is a serious matter.

He needs to see a solicitor experienced in family law immediately and get the matter in the court asap.

prh47bridge Sun 16-Mar-14 08:29:27

I love the way horsetowater criticises wannaBe on the basis that she knows nothing about what led up to this situation and then launches in with her own assumptions for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Whatever has led up to this situation it seems the mother is determined to go to Northern Ireland regardless of her partner's views, the financial difficulties and other problems it would cause. I wonder if she is depressed. When someone is depressed they often try to make major changes in their life thinking it will make them feel better. It rarely works long term as it isn't addressing the underlying cause.

The father cannot stop her going to Northern Ireland but he can stop her taking their child. As others have said, a Prohibited Steps Order is the way forward.

monkeymadness1 Sun 16-Mar-14 13:59:01

As the others said, he needs a Prohibited Steps Order and he needs to make the application immediately.

A solicitor can easily do this for him. Or he can do it himself easily for a Court application fee off £215 I think it now is. He can get the forms from his local Court or print them off online. If he has evidence of her intent to move such as a letter or emails then he needs to keep that. He will be granted the PSO and she will be served the documents and unable to take their son. However, she will obviously contest the order and be given the chance to out her case forward as reasons why she should be granted permission to move. If he has 50/50 contact now then it's unlikely she will be able to take their son.

Is he willing to have their son living with him full time and facilitate contact with the mother if she chooses to move without him?

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 00:05:34

Another pointless court battle commences. Why can't they just talk to each other? And why can't they think of their child before their own selfish 'needs'?

If all the mother's support network is in NI and she's unhappy here, it is very likely going to be in the child's best interests that they move there. It's also likely that the court will see it that way too. If the father wants to go with her he can, there is nothing stopping him. If he tries to stop her doing what she thinks is best for her and the child, that's not going to look good in court.

But go to battle if you must, make some lawyers happy.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 00:13:12

I don't think it would look great in court for what she's doing tbh horse. Or don't you think the father is important? He has to work to support his family, shes not running from domestic violence or an unhappy marriage. If it was the other way round people would be suggesting legal action. This is no different.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 00:28:43

He can move his job. She can't move her family. If she feels strongly about moving he should support her or at least compromise. It sounds like he is flatly refusing to do either. And if, for argument's sake, she did just want rid of him, I think he should call her bluff on it, agree and see what she does. If she really wants rid then he will know by her reaction. If she's happy he's going with her she is genuine.

But no, take it straight to the solicitors, the solution to everyone's relationship problems. Why bother with common sense or compromise?

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 00:39:37

But he can't move his job can he. Because where her family is, there is no work for him. So he should leave with her, and then what do they live on? Or you think he should pack in his job and try to claim benefits instead? hmm

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 00:40:01

Your common sense is severely lacking horse.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 02:31:51

OK then, it makes loads of sense not to discuss things with her in an attempt to find a compromise or a solution, to go straight to a solicitor and drive a wedge between them forever. That makes real sense. hmm to you too.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 07:52:47

I wouldn't have thought they would have got to this stage without any discussion about it at all, seeing as she's leaving in two weeks time. You think the father has remained close lipped all this time? hmm And what if it was the father taking the child away from the mother, against her will. Would you still have as much sympathy then?

MikeLitoris Mon 17-Mar-14 07:59:31

What makes you think they haven't spoken about this horse?

Your attitude to this whole thing is frankly bizarre.

Good luck to your friend op. Hope they reach a resolution without too much drama for their child.

MikeLitoris Mon 17-Mar-14 08:01:06

You seem to think this a sahm stuck all alone while the dh is out at work. If you read it again you will see they both work and have equal responsibility for the dc.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 09:57:23

You say frankly bizarre I say common sense - to discuss with your child's mother about where you bring up your children.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 10:41:31

You don't think they've had any conversations about this at all then horse? None at all??? And you think that going to Ireland is in the child's best interest because then the mother will be happy. Although the dc won't have a father she sees regularly anymore. So its not in the childs best interests is it. When you have children you have to act in their best interests, not behave in a way that is detrimental to their well being.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now