Moving with children to new area where partner is?

(20 Posts)
DLCC Wed 18-Sep-13 08:42:48

I wanted some advice and to know whether anyone else has been in this position and found a solution.

I am 42 in November and have 2 boys (9&4) I separated from their father 3.5years ago and our divorce came through in April, it’s as amicable as it can be and the boys see their Dad every other weekend from Friday until Sunday with him taking the 9year old to football training one evening a week.

My problem (not really a problem just the situation) is that I have been seeing a really lovely guy for a year and he is also divorced with 2 boys (10&8) they all get on brilliantly and we spend the weekends that they’re not with the other parent together, but we still make sure we have time with our own children too. My partner has 50% care of his children so has them every Wednesday and Thursday night plus every other Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He lives about a 45 minute drive from me. He is renting as the family home got sold in his divorce, I bought a house in April 2012 with half the equity from my previous family home, a mortgage and a loan from my Dad. We have talked about living together but the thing is I can’t see how this could ever be possible, logistically? He has asked that I move closer to where he lives as he has his boys 50% of the time, my argument is that my boys would have to move schools/clubs/leave friends and family whereas his wouldn’t have to change a thing. The simplest thing would be for him to move in with me for 6/12 months, see how it goes then if it’s working we look for somewhere together, he says that this isn’t possible as he will have to drive 45 minutes to take his boys to school Thursdays and Fridays. His idea is that we get somewhere halfway for the time being until my 9 year old finishes primary (he’s just started Y5) then we can buy somewhere more in his neck of the woods and he can go to the same secondary as his boys. Thing is, what if my son doesn’t like that school and wants to go to the same school as his friends at the moment? I’ve spoken to both boys about it and they really like the idea of us all living together but stall at the idea of not going to the same school as their friends. Sometimes they’re up for it, sometimes not. The timing is crucial, if the boys were younger it wouldn’t be such a concern.

I just wanted to know whether anyone had done this successfully?

UC Wed 18-Sep-13 09:45:09

I did, but my two were younger - the oldest was only in year 1 and the youngest was still only at pre-school. And the move was only a 20 min drive away. I don't think it would have been as easy if it had been a 45 minute. My eldest had to stay at his old school for a year after we moved due to shortage of space - so you might need to look into that.

Maybe the best time would be to coincide with your eldest starting secondary school. I guess there will never be a "good" time for the boys, but they will make new friends, and they will settle in.

I don't quite understand his argument about him having his boys 50% of the time - why does that mean you have to move to him? Surely your two are with you more like 80% - so the disruption is even more for them?

On a cautionary note, don't rush it. If this is working ok at the moment, maybe don't gallop into changing the way things are. My two and DP's two got on brilliantly too before we lived together. Once we lived together, it took some time for things to shake down and for them all to feel settled with new relationships and new house. Ours were similar-ish ages, and there was quite a bit of "jostling for position" as DP calls it, competition between them. We have been living together now for 4 years, and I would say it's only in the last year that I have felt they are all settled.

DLCC Wed 18-Sep-13 09:54:40

Thanks UC, that was my argument that I have my children more than he does his so surely it would be better for him to move to me? it also makes sense as I own my house and he rents his. I think the simplest/best solution would be for him to move in with me (I have room for his 50%) and even if we taxi his boys to school twice a week it would be cheaper than having to up sticks and move into a bigger place together. It also means that if it DOESN'T work my eldest gets to go to the same secondary school as his friends. Thanks for your post though, it's good to hear it can work...

UC Wed 18-Sep-13 10:00:15

I guess the other thing about moving into your house is that if it doesn't work out, they can just move out again, and your life can go back to normal. I don't want to be a doom merchant, but something like 50% of merged families don't work out within the first year.

You may of course find that his boys like it where you are, and begin to ask to change schools to the ones your boys are at. Has DP thought of that? Although maybe that wouldn't work for their mum?!

I now feel that if DP and I were to split, I would stay here. It now feels like home and they are settled into school, friends etc.

It's complicated and has big ramifications. I would still say don't rush.

Good luck!

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Wed 18-Sep-13 15:01:02

I wish my two hadn't been the ages they were - all the advice I was given was to move before crucial GCSE options stage or stay put. In hindsight, I probably should have finished the relationship and stayed put, even though DP and are still together confused.

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Wed 18-Sep-13 15:02:09

As in, the DP I moved to be with, not my XH.

louby44 Wed 18-Sep-13 17:18:18

My DP moved to where I live as he only had his DC every other weekend. We still moved to a bigger house though as we needed more space.

I had quite a bit of equity in my house whereas DP had handed over his home to his ex-wife ( in exchange that she left his army pension alone).
If you do sell and buy together make sure you ring fence your share of the buy (it's called something, can't think of the word). My solicitor set it up so if we were to ever split I come out with my original amount + whatever the house has increased by.

It's a big thing to do. I don't know if I could have done it!

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 18-Sep-13 17:29:56

Your new boyfriend sounds very selfish. It seems that everyone must accommodate him. You, your kids (who you have most of the time) and even your ex, who would have to travel further. I'm not a 'LTB' doom merchant as a rule and while that isn't what I'm saying now, I can see red flags with his self centred attitude and lack of concern or respect for anyone else.

purpleroses Wed 18-Sep-13 19:31:42

I suppose your BF's argument is that because you have your DCs most of the time you can decide to move or change their schools if you wish. Whereas he may have no option but to keep his where they are as his ex could oppose a move. As a parent with 50% residency she'd get a lot more say than your ex would.

But given the distances, ages, etc I'd suggest he moves in with you first with a view to possibly moving nearer his boys' school in a year or so. You could start looking into the secondary options in both areas in the meantime.

balia Wed 18-Sep-13 20:07:51

I understand that you wouldn't want to move your DC's from their schools, friends etc (and Dad, although you don't mention that at all) but I think expecting someone to go from being a 50/50 parent to being a EOW is unrealistic. It isn't as simple as sticking the kids in a taxi - you'd be adding an hour and a half to their school day. What if they forget something or get sick at school and need picking up? Not to mention that their mother might not fancy her 8 year old doing the school run in a taxi.

I think his compromise solution sounds far more sensible - and if your DS doesn't like the secondary then he can take a taxi back to the one his friends go to.

DLCC Wed 18-Sep-13 20:29:57

Thanks for your replies. I think if we do consider it the fairest thing to do would be to move halfway between us so we are both having to make a compromise?

Balia, I'm not expecting my new partner to go to an EOW Dad? I was saying that he could move in with me for 6/12 months to see how it goes and taxi his boys to school and back (he has two 10&8) on the 50% he has them. if it works us all living together at mine then we look for a place together? So it's not ok for his to get a taxi but it's ok for mine?? And I did mention my children's Dad, he has them every other weekend?

balia Wed 18-Sep-13 20:48:34

I meant you didn't mention how their Dad would feel if you moved 45 minutes away.

Your DP has said it isn't possible for him to move to you because he would have to drive 45 minutes each way to get them to school. If he was happy for them to get a taxi and have an hour and a half of travelling(and I wouldn't be, for 10 and 8 year olds) there wouldn't be an issue, would there? So the only option you are offering him is to become an EOW dad. And how likely is it that after the 6-12 month trial run the mother of these DC's would be perfectly happy for him to waltz back into a 50/50 arrangement? Simple for you, you see, but not for him or his DC's.

I assumed that if you were quite happy for his kids to get a taxi to school you would be happy for your own to do it.

Stepmooster Wed 18-Sep-13 22:12:47

Will you and your new DP be expecting your ex to travel the extra distance in order to see his children for contact?

If so, do you think that's fair?

expatinscotland Wed 18-Sep-13 22:16:15

You've only been together a year and thinking about making such a huge move? Sorry, but man, that sounds really fast.

I'd stay put for at least another year if not more.

Petal02 Thu 19-Sep-13 08:47:26

Will you and your new DP be expecting your ex to travel the extra distance in order to see his children for contact? If so, do you think that’s fair?

I don’t think 45 minutes is a huge obstacle, to be honest. There might need to be a bit of re-jigging to accommodate school mornings etc but you can’t expect everyone’s life to be set in stone – ‘together’ families have to cope with changes of routine and circumstances, it’s all part of life.

Mindmaps Fri 20-Sep-13 07:05:53

I live in rural Wales, lots of kids travel 45 mins to school every day a couple of times a week for healthy boys is bigger all. Moving house will cost you £10,000 ish. Your 6/12 math option is logical and sensible.

nurseneedshelp Fri 20-Sep-13 07:24:22

Morning op, I personally think that maybe you need to slow down, what's the rush?

You've only been together for 1 year! If things are working as they are then why change it?

We'd only just introduced our children at the 1 year stage and just recently moved in together and that's after 2 years!

I think you're dp sounds quite selfish in asking you to move, I'm sure the kids are all excited at the thought of living together but reality isn't the same and you need to think about the impact of swapping their schools.

DLCC Fri 20-Sep-13 10:10:54

Thanks for all your posts. The thing that was worrying me was the timing mainly. As my 9yr old is in Y5 we have to start thinking about secondary school soon, so am worried about being in the right catchment in time for registering him for the right school etc. I think we'll give it til next spring/early summer and see how we stand. I moved schools as a child and it didn't harm me that much...

purpleroses Fri 20-Sep-13 10:46:14

I think you're right to think about the timing of a move with a view of moving schools at end of primary. We moved - just locally - but meaning my DS started secondary knowing no one. He"s been absolutely fine and made friends really quickly. Much better than being 45 minutes away from school and friends I would think in the long run. Deadline for first round of secondary applications is 31 October of Y6 nationally. You can move or apply after that but it's less certain you'd get your first choice if you do.

Mojavewonderer Sun 22-Sep-13 06:52:45

My husband is in the forces so we have uprooted the kids many times and it's no big deal. The only thing is if you are going to do it do it before secondary school!
I think personally you should both move half way. It's fair and it's logical.
I hate it when people say 'oh no it's only been a year, you are rushing' but we are all different and we all move at different rates in relationships.
I was in a relationship with my ex for 4 years before we committed and the relationship didn't work out, I married my husband after a year and we have now been together 4 years and are super happy and in love.
Do what feels natural and right for you guys.
Good luck!

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