Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

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.


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.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 10:43:37

Brian I seem to have touched a nerve. What man wouldn't want to make his wife/partner happy? He can, but going with her. Or at least by compromising. What's your story Brian?

bella1968 Mon 17-Mar-14 11:01:52

Mothkin 88 I just want to say good luck to the Dad (and the Mom) because taking the child away from either parent is not good for the child. I hope that they've talked and talked about this before it got to this stage and I'm presuming that the Mom is acting as she has no other choice and feels so hopeless. However if the Dad is being a good father then he does deserve to be able to see his child whereas travelling to Ireland might add extra expense that he can't afford and the son would really miss out on living with his father too.

Can't she just go for a month or two until she starts to feel a little better then return home. Maybe in that time he could put out the feelers for a job there? I don't know what financial responsibilities that you are talking about but maybe they could investigate together what could be done? does she want to continue the marriage?? it seems very drastic to move if she's happy with the marriage.

Good luck anyway to both parties.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 11:07:18

He can go with her and then all three of them live a life of poverty and debt because he can't get a job. Suggest a compromise thats in the childs best interest then. I would be interested to hear your version of events.

My story? I work. My husband works. We pull together to create a secure environment for our children. Whatever we do is done in the best interests of the family. Not sure why you needed to know that really though. Since you're asking though, whats your story? Seeing as you think its ok for the wife in this scenario to do this. What made you so selfish??

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 11:26:00

I think the Irish among us might find what you've said quite offensive Brian.

Moving to Ireland doesn't mean living a life of poverty and debt. There is work there as there is everywhere else. If it is worse for the family as a whole then I'm sure they are capable of working that out for themselves. In the meantime it's NOT up to the father to make all the decisions about where they live. It has to be a joint decision and compromises have to be made. It is perfectly natural for a woman to want the support network of her family around her when she has young children and it's something to be encouraged, not denied for the sake of money and status.

I asked you about your story because you sound like a jilted, bitter man.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 11:41:13

Don't twist my words. I didn't say that and you know it. The op is saying that the part of ireland she is from has little work. The part of Ireland my dh is from had little work too. Which is why he moved to get work elsewhere.
And i'm not a man by the way, and certainly not bitter and twisted. Although I could understand a man (or anyone really) being bitter and twisted in the ops scenario. Not great for the child either.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 11:42:47

And your advice is still idiotic and one sided btw. And on that note, I'm off to work.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 12:10:14

Let's hope the work you involve doesn't involve diplomacy or negotiation Brian.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 17-Mar-14 12:20:57

To be frank, the DW is being a massive bitch and is probably pulling the same "if you loooved me you'd come with me" bullshit as a pp.

So she is billy no mates (wonder why) and her career in down the shitter so she just wants to take off?

What if she goes back to Ireland and decides she still has no mates there because she is clearly a pushy mare and EA and wants to go somewhere else? The DH just follows her? Because he has to prove he loves her?

OP the DW cannot respect the DH in this relationship at all. I'd say hes better off without her as she sounds absolutely dreadful but I know his heart must be breaking. Id say there relationship is over, what she has done is unforgiveable (and if she were male some of the responses would be very different) and he needs to go to see a solicitor urgently.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 12:26:24

Let's hope the work you involve doesn't involve diplomacy or negotiation Brian.

Oh it absolutely does horse. Its the whole job in fact. you wouldn't be very good at it <cough>

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 13:24:23

Brian you should be at work. Let me guess... police?

dollius Mon 17-Mar-14 13:31:25

horse He has spoken to his wife. She has declared she is leaving for NI in TWO WEEKS with their son. She clearly does not want to discuss this any further or make any compromise.

This is completely unreasonable.

How would you respond if a poster came on to say "My DH has left his job and is moving 500 miles away and is taking our two-year-old DS"?

Personally, I would be horrified and would be advising her to get an order preventing him from doing that.

Therefore, this poor sod should do the same thing!

Catnuzzle Mon 17-Mar-14 13:39:34

Brian - balanced and helpful

Horse - one sided and appropriately blinkered!

Whatever the back story, the couple have reached crisis point and if the DW is off to NI and is no longer open to discussions with her DH, then the legal route is the only one available to him.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 13:42:02

Dollius you seem to know a lot more about it than OP has stated. Perhaps you know this family personally? Or perhaps you are making massive assumptions about what has been said to whom.

Perhaps OP should come back and enlighten us as to what attempts at discussion have actually taken place.

I'm with Brian on this one !

Horse so moving to Ireland with no work and no home because he "lurrrves her" is in the best interests on the child ?. Love is a wonderful thing however love doesn't put a roof over your head or food on the table.

OP I hope you friend manages to stop her taking his child, I certainly would not be following her either, weather I loved her or not !

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 13:57:41

Sorry have I walked into an MRA convention here? This is the most one sided thread I've been involved in for a long time. I'm feeling slightly ganged up on. Why do you care so much about what I think? It's not my thread.

phoenixfox Mon 17-Mar-14 14:36:21

Horse, if this man gives up his job and leaves his home to go with his wife and child to go and live with her family in a rural area of Northern Ireland, he will be making a huge sacrifice for his wife and child. They will both be giving up jobs with no guarantee that they will find more.

You say that relationships are about compromise but the wife in this situation is not making any.

If he does all this but finds he is really unhappy and wants them all to move back, will his wife be unreasonable not to "compromise" and do exactly what he wants.

I think it's a bit rich that you say you feel ganged up on when you have been rude and aggressive to Brian.

Also, maybe the reason this thread seems one sided to you is because there is an obvious right and wrong here and you are the only one who can't see that.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 14:38:50

Rude and aggressive to Brian? OK...

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 14:49:38

Brian you should be at work. Let me guess... police?

I would love to know how you arrived at that conclusion. Do tell?

heliumheart Mon 17-Mar-14 15:04:25

horse, this is the second thread in legal recently where I've seen you give quite frankly, utterly bizarre advice in a potentially very serious situation. When you say 'ganged up on', do you mean 'everyone else has a different opinion to me'?

She is planning on leaving in two weeks whether he likes it or not. Surely it's clear as day that this has gone beyond a time to have basic talks. For you to castigate previous posters as being legally 'trigger-happy' when the stakes are so high and time so short, is extraordinary.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 15:14:37

The stakes aren't high. He can go with her.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 15:17:29

I'm just surpised that everyone seems to know so much about the backstory. People are giving legal advice based on one post, which I think is even more extraordinary. I would prefer to wait until OP comes back to explain a little more about the situation before i give any advice at all.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 17-Mar-14 15:18:47

I'm finding it bizarre that Horse seems to think the courts are going to be all in favour of the DW.

The fact that the DW is clearly unstable in that she is willing to just ditch her DH, upheave her poor child and take it away from its father, friends and other family just because, poor diddums, she has no friends and her career isn't great, has clearly gone right over Horses head (thankfully it wont go over the courts head)

OP, really good luck to your relation. Must be terrible to find out in this worst possible way that your DW doesnt give a shit about you

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 15:21:56

Must be terrible to find out in this worst possible way that your DW doesnt give a shit about you

This is the kind of assumption I mean, the kind of assumption that bitter angry men like to assume is behind the actions of a woman so desperate she feels she has to go home to her family.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 17-Mar-14 15:22:46

Hypocrite anyone?

Horse you say he can go with her, can you tell us how you know this? Does this family have savings hidden away somewhere that you know about that we dont? is there a company recruiting there that the DH can get job in to support everyone?

MikeLitoris Mon 17-Mar-14 15:23:28

So you haven't made assumptions? You are assuming they haven't discussed this. You are assuming that it is financially possible for them to up sticks and move at short notice.

And I stand by my earlier comment. Utterly bizarre comments. Although it seems like you have form for this so I think its just best to ignore the crap your spouting tbh.

horse if you had a ounce of sense you would know that these two people would have already talked, they have probably been taking for months. Surely the OP doesn't need to tell you this ?

horse you are presuming they don't have a mortgage here, just how is the husband supposed to up sticks and move ? In your world I suppose he could just ring the mortgage company and say "I love my wife so I am leaving the country to somewhere I have no job and probably won't find one, so I am really sorry I won't be paying the mortgage this month of probably for the foreseeable future" ?

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 17-Mar-14 15:31:53

and im not a man. how strange you would assume that

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 15:32:09

Good Grief. Try to remember folks this thread actually isn't about me.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 15:56:49

Horse assumes I'm a man too. Ok, I have a mans name, but it pays never to make assumptions. You'd do well to remember that Horse.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 16:02:39

Are you STILL talking about me Brian?

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 16:03:22

Yes Horse, I am.

Timetoask Mon 17-Mar-14 16:10:01

Well, my family is in a different continent, but I would never take my child away from his father. This is a selfish woman thinking first about her needs that that of her family (her husband and child are her family).
Poor man!
She needs to sort out her feelings, but she cannot deprive her child of a dad.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 17-Mar-14 16:14:35

Horse, to be fair, if you werent posting such attention-grabbing ludicrous hypocritical posts then people wouldn't be responding to you.

But you are, and then moaning that people have the audacity to call you on them confused

We are all just going off the OP, which doesnt show the DW in the best light at all, which I am sure will be taken into account. Times are thankfully changing and courts no longer just assume that the DCs will always be better off with their mothers. Especially, if as appears to be the case here, the mother is only thinking of herself and not the best interests of the child.

NanaNina Mon 17-Mar-14 16:34:04

Have any of you noticed especially Brian and HTW that the OP has not posted again after her original OP. She got the info she needed in the post from a legal expert very soon after she posted. I think all this squabbling is irrelevant because none of us know what are behind these posts. I have noticed that there is a lot of this going on lately and I admit to being guilty of being drawn into squabbles on some of these threads.

Maybe it's the "nature of the beast" as we can all post anonymously and freely and accusations and counter accusations can be made etc. I'm not sure what the answer is. One thing though I do think people jump to conclusions very quickly and dish out advice in a definitive manner, which is sometimes totally incorrect (this happened on a legal thread very recently). We make judgements about the "rights and wrongs" of situations and at the end of it all, we are but a few lines of text on a screen.

Maybe I should have started a new thread on this but would be interested in any comments on this issue.

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 16:36:16

Thank you Nananina, this is why, rather than assuming that the mother was simply running off with the father's child out of spite, I was trying to get OP to encourage his friend to talk to her and find out what's up.

Giving rash legal advice is never a good idea based on one single OP. Ask some questions first.

BrianTheMole Mon 17-Mar-14 16:45:01

Yes I did notice NanaNina. But doesn't mean that people have to stop posting. And ops often come back days later.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Mon 17-Mar-14 16:46:10

im bowing out now as i have a feeling i know what the agenda is and dont want to waste any more time on it.

op, hope he gets this sorted

STIDW Mon 17-Mar-14 17:01:29

I agree discussion and negotiation is the best way forward when at all possible. Someone recently did some research and found the court granted permission to move in 70% of court cases when the dispute was about relocating in the UK. Going to court tends to leave parents feeling resentful and resistant. The last thing someone needs is to be living a distance away from their children with the other parent who is hostile.

However when agreement cannot be reached the correct thing to do would be for the parent wanting to relocate with the children to apply to court for permission rather than acting unilaterally. If a mother (or father for that matter) is intent on moving without discussion or permission from the courts the other parent has little option other than to apply to court for a PSO to prevent the move so that negotiation can take place. That way the court investigate and at ensure arrangements for contact and travel are in place before the move. Leaving it until after the move would mean the parent left behind would be at a disadvantage.

STIDW Mon 17-Mar-14 17:06:05

That should read "the court can investigate and at least ensure arrangements for travel and contact are in place.. "

horsetowater Mon 17-Mar-14 18:05:28

Call me an optimist but I think the vast majority of women want their child to have regular contact with the father. Some women may think they don't want contact, but go on to regret it later on when the child grows up and asks questions. It is this long term view that I like to try to get people to see.

When your children are young and you don't have confidence in the future you don't see the bigger picture and how your actions affect your child long term. A child is an adult-to-be. They will have their own children, they will make up their own minds as they get older. If OP's friend and his wife could both see this I'm sure they would come up with a compromise and put the boxing gloves away. It's not about them, it's about their child and his future.

mothkin88 Tue 18-Mar-14 14:57:04

Wow, thank you for all these replies!

I've spoken to him and he's looking into a prohibited steps order. She refuses to discuss anything, she says she loves him but she needs to go home. Hopefully they can work it out before anything drastic has to be done.

mothkin88 Tue 18-Mar-14 15:11:38

I've just read through and there were a few questions.

They have a very recent mortgage, barely a year into being paid for. Selling now wouldn't be smart, conveyancing fees, stamp duty etc. and they can't rent it out because there isn't enough equity in the property.

That isn't the biggest thing, as he has said he obviously wants to be with them both, but her brother, BIL, sisters and father are all out of work. He has looked into it but there really is no work. He can't leave credit card debt, car finance, mortgage etc and walk away from a steady job he has been doing for nearly 20 years.

He's not an unreasonable person, they go to Ireland very regularly at the sacrifice of family holidays and other luxuries. He spends every Christmas there with her family instead of with his side. She has been having a bad time at work, she's just had enough. It's very hard.

OP he is doing the right thing, if he moves to Ireland they will be financial shit. If he moves too and it doesn't work out, he will find it very hard to get back on his feet again and it will all have been for nothing. Best of luck to him.

BrianTheMole Tue 18-Mar-14 17:07:09

Hope it all works out ok op.

horsetowater Wed 19-Mar-14 01:03:48

Perhaps he suggests to her that he takes a couple of weeks off and she can go back to visit her family on her own, check out the work situation etc etc, look for flats, etc etc and he can look after the baby?

By the sound of the way things are with her family she will very likely come back quickly.

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