looking for perspectives re: cross-country move...

(25 Posts)
riverboat Fri 04-Jan-13 16:23:17

Friend has DS8 and DD13. Currently residence is 50/50 (no court order) between her and ex. They both live in the same town.

4 years ago, friend started a relationship with a divorced man in same town, with kids of his own who lived primarily with their mother. After 2 years said mother moved across the country, taking kids with her. Friend's DP followed and started a new life in this new town to remain close to his kids.

Friend and her DP have continued their relationship long distance over last two years. But friend has recently decided that she is going to move this year or next to be with man. From where she and kids live now, its a 2.5 hour train journey or a 4.5 hour drive away. She announced her intentions to her ex over Christmas and he basically hung up without comment.

50/50 will thereon be impossible of course. She says her daughter will have the choice of whether to stay with father or move with mother, but she expects her DS8 to go with her. Of course it may come down to the courts.

Her family have all told her she is being selfish and is a bad mother for even considering making this move. That she should either continue her relationship long distance, or break up with the man, rather than 'sacrifice' her children. She is defiant, but I can see underneath she is looking for reassurance and validation. I just don't know if I can give it to her...

What do you think? I'm afraid my gut agrees with her family (not without sympathy for her predicament though), but then I thought maybe there are other perspectives I haven't considered. Have been withholding comment thus far one way or the other, but I can see that before too long I'll have to weigh in somehow. Anyone have any words of wisdom or experience in situations like these?

notsoevilstepmum Fri 04-Jan-13 16:44:06

i think the answer is obvious your friend is out of line! her new partner moved miles away to be close to his children to keep seeing them after his ex moved selfishly away and now she wants to put her ex and children in the same position!

she needs to get her head straight and put her children first!

millie30 Fri 04-Jan-13 16:55:57

I think she is putting her children in a bit of a shitty position, forcing one of them to chose between parents, potentially splitting up siblings, taking them away from a parent they spend half their time with. There are plenty of valid reasons for a parent to move some distance from the other parent, but I don't think this is one of them.

bearymerrychristmas Fri 04-Jan-13 17:24:14

I think she is being utterly selfish! If they share residence 50/50 with no court order what on Earth gives her the right or belief that she has the right to move and take the children with her - an 8 yr old is a person not her property to be packed on a bloody removal van.

Making a 13yr choose which parent they want to live with and being 4.5 hrs drive from the other one is far too much pressure to put on a child of that age, how horrible for her to be given that massive choice sad Surely the 13 yr old has just started secondary school too. What if the 13yr old chooses to live with their dad, why would a mum risk hardly seeing their child just to move to be with the new man?

He rnew partner won't move due to be so far away from his children so she will take her children away from their dad? Hopefully her ex hung up to get straight on the phone to his solicitor and apply to court to stop her moving the children.

I wonder what she will do, faced with a court order stating she cannot move the children, I wonder if the attraction of her new man is enough for her to leave the children with their dad and move without them?

EMS23 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:35:43

She is out of order. DH's ex moved 200 miles away when they split. A few years later we ended up moving there too. Living that far from his DS was too hard on DH, he was miserable.

She deserves happiness etc but if she wants to move, I think she should wait till the kids are grown. Their father doesn't deserve this, believe me, it's a horrible way to live, travelling so far to see your kids and missing all the day to day stuff.

Not to mention the expense of facilitating contact, which the father may ask her to cover being as its her choice to move.

I feel really sorry for the DD as well - such a crucial age when you really need your Mum.

EMS23 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:37:51

And if she currently has 50/50 with her ex, then she has plenty of time and opportunity to continue her relationship as is, when he has the kids.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Jan-13 17:37:58

She is being thoroughly selfish yes. So her DP's children are important enough to need their father nearby but hers arent basically

namechangerforaday Fri 04-Jan-13 17:40:45

Absolutely selfish.

They should both be left with dad if she wants to go

MonetsGardens Fri 04-Jan-13 18:07:57

She's not being selfish. Thankfully people ARE allowed to rebuild their lives post separation without being under curfew or forced to live within a 5 mile radius of an Ex wink

What plans has she put in place for the childrens schooling etc ? What plans has she made to ensure that contact is as often as possible given the circumstances ? Her Ex hasn't even commented so he may be happy to find a solution to the distance.

And before anyone asks, Ex moved over 90 miles away to be with OW......

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Jan-13 18:13:27

She is being selfish. Her and her new DP are a couple. Between them, or perhaps unilaterally in hos behalf, the decision has beenadw that it is important for HIS children to have their father nearby. However clearly her children are just supposed to fit in with what's best for the new DP, and be very far from their father.

Btw my response would be different if there were different drivers for the move ( eg only way of mother finding a job or having family nearby as crucial support network if she was a lone parent. But in this case it's solely to follow a man and therefor place his children and her love life first

millie30 Fri 04-Jan-13 18:25:21

Monet, nobody is saying she isn't entitled to a new life, I moved a fair distance away from my Ex for very good reasons. But this mother is contemplating forcing one child to pick between her parents, possibly split up siblings who have always lived together and remove them from their other parent. For a man who rightly picked his own children over their relationship 2 years ago, what a pity she hasn't got the same priorities when it comes to her own children.

namechangerforaday Fri 04-Jan-13 19:03:00

She is being selfish - especially in relation to the 13 year old and splitting siblings - if there is 50"50 why should dcs move?

riverboat Fri 04-Jan-13 19:04:57

Hmm, OK so I guess that aren't that many different perspectives on this then...

Monet, I think as she has only very recently decided that ultimately her objective is to make this move within the next year and a half, the details are all very much up in the air. I think everything re: schooling; how any new contact arrangements would work etc is on the table to be negotiated with the kids' father, but I know she plans to do lots of bending over backwards to continue contact as best as possible.

Incidentally the reason her DP's mother moved herself and DP's kids across the country was related to her career. So (debatedly) not entirely unreasonable. I believe that the DP then took the decision to move himself pretty unilateraly (ie without giving my friend a say in whether he stayed or went) - but his relationship with his kids was already complicated/difficult and I think he basically knew it would be very likely to break down completely if he didn't move to stay close to them.

Sigh. I think I'm just going to refrain from commenting to her unless directly asked to give my opinion, because TBH her parents, siblings and other friends have already spoken very baldly to her and explained exactly why they think she is making a very bad decision. I think that, knowing her, she might still change her mind...but she loves this man so much, and seeing him only once or twice a month for the next 10 years is such a difficult prospect that it's hard for her to face up to the prospect. (But then of course you can say the children are going to have exactly the same problem re: long-distance contact with their parents for the next 10 years...)

namechangerforaday Fri 04-Jan-13 19:13:40

I wouldn't be surprised if ds refuses to go and she can't uproot a 15 year old just before gcses

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 19:18:52

She is being selfish, it seems the only reason for her to move there is because she wants more out of her relationship with her DP?

She may well be in for a shock.

I think its entirely possible that the current arrangement suits him just fine.

I can see why he wanted to put his relationship with his children first and that is right, but its not him asking her to move is it?

purpleroses Fri 04-Jan-13 19:41:33

Has she already told her kids of her plans? If so, I think she should talk properly and openly to her 13 year old about it. Friends are very important to most 13 year old girls, and it's quite likely her DD would prefer to stay where she is with her dad than move. I'd encourage her to talk to her and see what she thinks. Would seem very sad to separate herself from her DD, her DS from his dad, and the two kids from each other all so that she is nearer her DP. If she separates the kids, then travel to see the other parent would become much more complicated as presumably she wouldn't send the 8 year old on a 2.5h journey on his own, but might be able to send the two of them together.

I think in your posistion, I'd just help her think through the practicalities, and not go down the route of telling her it'll all be OK, or that she's right to do it. Quite likely if it all goes to court that both kids will end up with their dad full time, I would imagine, if that's practical for him.

MonetsGardens Fri 04-Jan-13 19:51:31

OP maybe try posting this thread in lone Parents ? there are quite a few mums and dads who post there who are living the reality of this situation every day and the responses may be slightly less hostile to the prospect of a mother stepping out of line wink

millie30 Fri 04-Jan-13 19:57:39

Monet, I'm a lone parent who moved away from my Ex. I still think this woman is wrong.

EMS23 Fri 04-Jan-13 20:18:03

My DH's ex moved because she had no family or friends support once they split. At the time, DH was working long hours in a stressful job and she needed support.
He doesn't blame her for her move and I completely sympathise with her reasons. Although her decisions have massively affected my life in the long run, I think she did the right thing.

This mother is moving for selfish reasons and anyway, if its travel time she's hoping to cut down on she is just going to end up doing it in reverse to facilitate contact for her kids.

MonetsGardens Fri 04-Jan-13 20:30:57

Wooohahhhhhhhhh - how much projection is going on in this thread ? Nobody, including the OP can know exactly how much support this woman may or may not be getting from family or friends ? Nobody can understand what her life is like or how she may be feeling. nobody knows what her 13 year old may want - for all you lot know she might tell her mum to get stuffed and live happily with her dad. But hey - she's an Ex Wife so she's automatically a selfish, psycho bitch wink

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 20:37:14

Monet

Im not a step parent! I am a lone parent.

Im not projecting anything, I think she is acting selfishly because it appears only she will benefit from this.

Im keen to know what her DP thinks of her plans.

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Jan-13 20:50:59

I'm not projecting either. I'm a step parent and I think she's being selfish

allnewtaketwo Fri 04-Jan-13 20:52:37

And I didn't see anyone else saying or suggesting pshyco except you Money. Most other peoria are saying selfish. Not sure why you're making up unrelated terminology

namechangerforaday Fri 04-Jan-13 21:36:35

But I am an ex wife - I was a single parent for 6 years - I had a LDR with a man from 280 miles away - I wouldn't have dreamed of moving my DC away from dad.

Also what the dd wants is almost irrelevant - she will be mid gcse studies at the time of the planned move.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 04-Jan-13 22:07:53

Monet - I know a lot of separated parents who have agreed not to move away in order to ensure that the DCs can maintain regular contact with both parents and that both parents can play a part in their lives - school activities, medical emergencies etc.

We live in a remote part of the country, and moving away would add significantly to travelling cost and time.

Far from being considered unreasonable, remaining living within defined boundaries is an idea that local family solicitors and mediators actively encourage their clients to consider!

Whether the OPs friends is justified in her particular case is very different from assuming all parents have the right to move away from their DCs in order to 'start a new life' - each case is unique - but on the face of it, the OPs friend does seem to be placing responsibility for the nature of her families future life on the shoulders if a teenage girl hmm

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