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To consider moving over 3 hours away from soon to be ex DH with baby DD?

(115 Posts)
tigerbear Mon 24-Sep-12 15:29:29

The situation is this (in short, or as short as I can make it!): I've recently split up with H (he doesn't want to break up) and the original plan was for him to stay in our marital home and for me to buy somewhere new within approx 10-15 min walk for ease of getting to nursery, schools in a few years, etc. The plan was to alternate the weeks each of us have baby DD (16 months), so we both have equal custody and she has 2 homes.

Up until now DD hasn't been in nursery (been looked after for past 6 months when I went back to work by both sets of grandparents who have all travelled from their homes hours away and stayed with us for a few days each week. Over the past 6 weeks she has also been looked after by a childminder).

The problems are:
- we live in a very expensive area of London where 2 bed flats are a minimum of £260k (very small, on edge of dodgy area) and I wouldn't be able to afford anywhere nice. The thought of DD growing up somewhere rubbish isn't a nice one
- For me to be able to afford anywhere, I will have to get a permanent job at least 4 days per week (my work for the past few years has been own business and freelance work) therefore DD will be in nursery 4 days per week, at least 10-11 hours per day.

We have a flat we can sell and can take equity out of our current home.

My family have suggested me moving back to them (NE England) for the following reasons:
- Decent home -could be mortgage free up there
- Family support and DD can be near grandparents and cousin
- I wouldn't need to work full-time (would only need to do 2 days per week if I remained freelance) so DD wouldn't have to be in nursery
- Better schools
- Better quality of life - clean air, near beach and countryside, less stress all round

I have proposed the idea to ex DH for us both to move (he would be able to buy somewhere out-right too, and wouldn't need to work so much) and he's completely opposed to it, saying his life is here. My family are saying he's selfish not to want a better life for DD.
He's saying I'm selfish for wanting to move away. My alternative plan is to move and bring DD back every week so she can have her week with him, and I would do one day per week of work in London. When she starts school, we'd have to reconsider things as would have to obviously live near each other.

AIBU to consider this move?

whiteroseorredpls Mon 24-Sep-12 15:33:52

Personally I think you are being extremely selfish to consider moving your DD that far from her father. If he isn't willing to move and sounds like he probably has valid reasons not to, then I think you should put that idea of moving to one side and work on finding another solution. Just my opinion

BettyandDon Mon 24-Sep-12 15:34:08

If you can't afford to live in a safe area in the SE (house + childcare) then surely you have no choice but to move. I think you need to put it in those terms to your H.

MrSunshine Mon 24-Sep-12 15:37:01

YABVU. You dump your husband and then want to take his child to the other end of the country? Of course you are being unreasonable, and selfish.

Better quality air is not a good swap for the childs other parent.

WorraLiberty Mon 24-Sep-12 15:38:18

You don't need to buy a house. You could rent one if it means keeping your DD and her Dad together.

YABVU and if I were your DH I would go for overall custody rather than let anyone take my child 3hrs away from me with such flimsy reasons.

Ithinkitsjustme Mon 24-Sep-12 15:40:02

Why does he need to stay in the "marital home", is there no way that you could sell it and buy two smaller properties with the money? I think moving a very young child that far away from a parent who is obviously desperate to build and retain a good relationship should only be considered as a very last resort and I really hope that it doesn't come to that. Maybe, if your family think he is being sooo selfish, they could sell their house and move in with you?

whiteroseorredpls Mon 24-Sep-12 15:40:57

I totally agree with Worra I would go for custody if I were your DH

Fairylea Mon 24-Sep-12 15:41:21

I moved 130 miles away but when I did ex wasn't that interested in being a parent and took about a year later to establish proper contact.

From 9 years of experience doing this I'd say be careful what plans you put in place now for travel arrangements as it will become standard as the courts see it.

Ironically for me ex has now moved to America!! So although he moaned at the tIme in the long term we have both moved about so you do have to think what would be best long term for your dc and the benefits of leaving London might outweigh anything else... I moved from south London to Norfolk.

tigerbear Mon 24-Sep-12 15:42:08

Whiterose - the original plan was to do one week with DD, one week without, even if we lived within 10 min of each other, therefore H wouldn't see her anyway on his week 'off' (also, it takes him over an hour to commute, and he's already said he will be working later on his weeks without DD, to make up hours he doesn't work on his week with her, so he wouldn't be able to just pop in after 8/9pm to my house, and she'd be asleep by then anyway)

Betty - H says we could consider that I get more of the equity/profit from the properties we own, so I'd be able to get somewhere slightly better, but it's not just about that. It's about having family support, quality of life for DD, parents who aren't commuting over 2 hours each day, being able to spend time with her, etc. I know her going to nursery is a consequence of me having to now find a full-time job, but the thought of her being in nursery all the time is really sad (I know thousands of people do it, but if I don't HAVE TO do it, then it makes me sad to think of her there all day).

Sassybeast Mon 24-Sep-12 15:43:30

I am normally very supportive of the rights of parents to rebuild their lives post separation even if that means moving a distance away from another parent. But tbh, your reasons don't sound valid and are certainly not good enough, IMO to consider the move. You don't NEED to be mortgage free - there are plenty of rental properties which are perfectly adequate. And you DO need to consider working longer hours to help support yourself and your daughter. If your parents are already travelling regularly to see you, why can that not continue ?

tigerbear Mon 24-Sep-12 15:43:48

Ithink - the marital home is TINY - a small 2 bed place - there's no way we could go any smaller!

flowery Mon 24-Sep-12 15:43:59

How does being 3 hours away from one of her parents = a "better life" for your DD? Surely the best life for any child is near or with two loving parents if that is at all possible? Material things like bigger houses or whatever are not important to children.

trixie123 Mon 24-Sep-12 15:44:06

difficult one this, and I think some of the above posts are harsh. We don't know the circumstances of the break up so to say "dump the husband" suggests its not been a difficult and painful decision which I imagine it is / has been. I can entirely see your reasons for moving OP and we would go NE like a shot if the right jobs came up (very specific so unlikely) as all DPs family are up there and it IS a better quality of life if you have a certain type of job and income (though statistically QOL is less good up there). Don't underestimate the practicalities of doing that journey weekly though. Its closer to five hours than three, once your DC is in school they are not going to want to spend half of every weekend on the train or car and you will resent it as well. As the one who moved away, your soon to be ex could reasonably ask you to bear the brunt of this both in time and costs. Best of luck - give your DP some time, can you rent for a while and wait til the dust settles? He may come round to the idea - if not, how about moving out to the northern home counties? V quick train links to London and the NE and more affordable housing.

QuintessentialShadows Mon 24-Sep-12 15:44:13

If you have a marital home, and another flat, I dont see why you cannot find a way for you both to be decently "housed".

lynniep Mon 24-Sep-12 15:44:48

I think thats a pretty dire thing to do to your Ex as well. I do see your point. But her family is you and your ex, as much as you would like the support of your other family. He wants to have 50/50 custody - I think you need a better plan (ferrying her up and down the country sounds like a disaster as well)

tigerbear Mon 24-Sep-12 15:44:51

Thanks for your opinions everyone. I'm on my lunch break at work atm, but will log in again later.

WorraLiberty Mon 24-Sep-12 15:46:12

And the thought of her living that far away from her Dad doesn't make you sad?

Never mind the rest of the family, if they want to visit your DD then they'll make their own arrangements.

Your DD's immediate family will be more important to her.

And even if he wouldn't be seeing his DD during the 'week off', he still could if he wanted/needed to.

I don't think you're thinking very long term about this and so far everything you've said is about what's best for you...not what's best for your DD.

flowery Mon 24-Sep-12 15:46:15

If you have enough cash to be mortgage free and only need to work 2 days a week up North, then surely you have enough to manage to find adequate housing in London?! Or at least nearer than 3 hours away.

SoupDragon Mon 24-Sep-12 15:47:26

Moving 3 hours away is not the only option. You are being ridiculously selfish.

Rubirosa Mon 24-Sep-12 15:47:29

Moving 3 hours away doesn't sound reasonable, but 1 week in each house sounds a bit impractical too. Lots of people manage to raise children perfectly well in London (even the less expensive bits!) so I don't think there is much of an argument that you have to move out. Could you not consider a cheaper suburb that is still within commuting distance? Both of you move to cheaper 2 beds and work 4 days a week each to split childcare?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 24-Sep-12 15:48:36

I think you need to work out a way to stay.

Have to say you sound utterly selfish - the marriage breakup is your choice, and you have seen a route to an easy life, clearly influenced by your family.
Your daughter needs both her parents, not to be so far away from each of you on the off weeks - what if there is an emergency when she is with your H? How quickly will you be able to get there? What if he is unwell/has an accident. Do you really want to be 3 hours away?

And what happens then when she goes to school? You move back to London? With your talk of schools etc, clearly your plans to move north are long term?

BettyandDon Mon 24-Sep-12 15:52:12

If your H will see her the exact same amount of time regardless of where you live then I don't see an issue moving at all tbh. 3 hrs is not a long time really when you consider commuting times and traffic probs in the SE. Not sure where in NE but you can get to Leeds on the train in an hour for example from London. Could he rent a second home/flat in the NE ?

Doingthedo Mon 24-Sep-12 15:56:56

when does this hour train from Leeds-London run????? I only seem to be able to find one that takes 2hr20mins minimum!??????

edam Mon 24-Sep-12 15:57:11

I don't think the OP sounds 'utterly selfish' and what's wrong with looking for an easy life, exactly? And why is moving near to family support 'looking for an easy life'?

Some of these posts are really shrill. Plenty of couples move out of London/closer to their families when they have children. I don't see why splitting up means you are forever condemned to stay living in the place where you did when you were in a relationship.

However, OP does have to consider the needs of her dd to see both her parents - how would being three hours away work in terms of contact time with her father? Is there a way to make it work?

LeggyBlondeNE Mon 24-Sep-12 15:57:27

The fact that in 3 years she'll be going to school means that any ove north you make now is necessitating one of you getting primary custody then, unless he moves too (and he shouldn't have to).

While I'm a big fan of the NE (obviously!) and would hate to live in the metropolist, I don't think you can force him to leave, nor to essentially propose that he lose joint-custody when she goes to school.

Or would you be happy for her to live and go to school in London and only seen her for alternate weekends, after a 6 hour round trip...?

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