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Guardianship - ABIU

(12 Posts)
Piercy Mon 24-Jun-13 16:52:37

Hi

Bit of a gruesome topic - but OH and I have a 10 week old DS together and have started looking at doing a will and of course guardianship has come up should (god forbid) anything happen to either of us (and hopefully neither of us).

I would like DS to go to my brother and sister-in-law they already have a 10 month old and live in Ireland (we live in the UK). OH wants DS to go to his sister who lives in Germany doesn't have any children as unable to.

We can't agree at the moment, I obviously have the tie with my brother and favor that but also they will be able to bring DS up in the 'lifestyle' we both have. OH sister is constantly on the breadline, and whilst our estate would be sold to support DS I don't feel he would have the 'lifestyle' up bringing that we would want (and I know money isn't the be all and end all to a happy childhood) but I suppose I want to give our child all the experiences I can with traveling, and being able to have every opportunity. OH also feels that should DS go to my brother his family will loose all communication with DS, and I'm sure there is a way round this to be written in the will that he sees his Grandparents during school holidays or something.

I also worry that (god forbid) DS will be distressed enough loosing parents let alone then going to live in a country where he can't speak the native language. I know Ireland isn't the country he was born but at least he will be able to communicate with other people and children, has an established bond, and a child of his own age to play with go to school with.

Additionally I feel that OH is using our son as a substitute for the child that his sister can't have as at any opportunity he is saying his Sister can look after DS. For example our forth coming wedding for OH Sister to look after DS, DS hasn't met his Aunt where he knows my brother and sister in law and his cousin. He also has feeding problems and I have more confidence in my brother and sister in law being able to cope/have experienced these than OH sister who hasn't had any hands on experience with DS.

Would welcome your views? Apologies this post is longer than I wanted it to be!!

CloudsAndTrees Mon 24-Jun-13 17:02:24

Your brother makes more sense on paper, but have you spoken to him and his wife about it yet? If they would want to be guardians, I'd go with them for all the reasons you have given.

It seems pointless for your DH to say that he worries that your ds would lose touch with his side of the family if your ds went to your brother, surely you could say exactly the same thing about him seeing your family if he ended up living in Germany?

The language thing would be the biggest deciding factor to me.

Also, is your SIL married? Because I'd go with a married couple over a single person personally.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 17:03:57

What do the potential guardians think about the matter - because you should be discussing with them before you make your mind up. It's possible, for instance, that they might not want the responsibility.

cakebar Mon 24-Jun-13 17:08:04

Your son would be more precious to someone who doesn't have one of their own. If he goes to your brother he may risk being second best to his cousin. He would also be compared all the time as they are so close in age.

I wouldn't worry about the money side as you can deal with that by purchasing insurances.

The point about her lack of experience sounds like you are looking for excuses as you could teach her how to be with him and give her the experience.

cakebar Mon 24-Jun-13 17:10:33

A single person can be more stable than a couple - no risk of divorce.

I wouldn't worry about language, kids with no english seem to be fluent within a couple of years from being at school. You could send him for German lessons if DH has family in Germany.

You can argue it either way. If you just have a gut feel then that is what you should say.

mimbleandlittlemy Mon 24-Jun-13 17:23:44

When my ds was born it seemed obvious that if I died (I'm a single parent and the ds's father doesn't have parental control) then ds would go to my brother and s-i-l and that's what my will said then, when he was a baby. However as he got older it became obvious that this would not be the best match so I changed my will a couple of years ago when he was 9 and should anything happen to me now he will go to my best friend and her husband who in fact know him better than my brother and his wife do.

Even if you make a will now you can change it later - you don't know what is going to happen between now and your child's 18th birthday so don't get too caught up in the emotional choice now at 10 weeks when you don't know what might be best for him in 5 - 10 years. And by the time he reaches 10 or 11 he might have a view on who he would want to go to too and at that point that has to be considered.

Do try and look on it as something that will have to be reviewed every few years or so rather than something that if you set it now is fixed for the next 18 years.

Piercy Mon 24-Jun-13 20:44:35

Hi

Thank you for your responses. OH sister is married to an Italian.

I realise that I need to speak to them but its a bit like the chicken and egg scenario I don't want to speak to my brother and he accepts and then we decide to go with OH's sister.

I think this situation does need to be reviewed and definitely not set in stone, as their circumstances may change as so may ours.

Something occurred to me this afternoon as well OH sister has lived all over the world since I've known my partner and that is 6-7 years - I want some stability for DS not keep having to re-establish roots, friends a new language etc.

Thank you

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Mon 24-Jun-13 20:53:34

Don't speak to anyone until you have made your minds up. If your first choice doesn't want the responsibility you can always go to your second choice.

Who will your DS spend time with?

Do you actually have friends who your DS will have a better/closer relationship with than your brother or his sister?

ChipsNEggs Mon 24-Jun-13 21:07:17

With regard to wanting your DS to have some roots, his sister moving around frequently does not mean that she would continue to do so if she ever became guardian of your son.

I'm named as the legal Guardian to my Nephews and if the worst were to happen as the adult I would be the one making adjustments. Moving to their home town and changing all my plans as my responsibilities were different. This would include less travel and taking more stable income as it was no longer just me, the same choices as biological parents take every day.

Apologies if I am reading this wrong but I get the impression that you feel as a non-parent she would be less capable and less caring thinking only of herself, frankly I find that rather insulting.

LadyInDisguise Mon 24-Jun-13 21:18:03

Well having some bilingual children, I would say that the issue of your ds ending up living in Germany with an Italian OH is a big one, he would be set for a shock tbh with the culture and the language difference.
Adding to that the fact that none of them would have had any experience with children, I think it would make it difficult both for your ds and for them.

So as much as I can see that organisation working when he is still little, learning to speak and learning the social niceties, I think it would be a very different issue with an older child.

I wouldn't be put out by them travelling. I would see it as an advantage tbh.

On the other side, your db will already have a child of the same age which means looking after your ds could be a real challenge for them but get easier when he is older.

Perhaps you can agree on one organization when he is little with the idea of reviewing it in a few years time? Your DH sister if he is little but then your db if he is older?

ChipsNEggs Mon 24-Jun-13 21:20:33

You may also find someone without their own children would also be preferable as they would be willing to uproot themselves to care for your DS and put his needs first. Something which will not happen when the Guardian has a family already.

cakebar Mon 24-Jun-13 22:18:27

It's good that you are thinking about it. When we actually came to writing our will we had a person in mind for guardianship but the way they word it is that the named person decides what is best at the time. So in my case x is named and they decide what will happen to my dc. I hope they will live with x but if my dc wanted to live with another relative and were old enough to decide that would be taken into account. Also x could end up in circumstances where they couldn't care for my dc but they would still decide where they went.

In our case we asked x if it was ok (as it happens our x person is childless and not that well off currently) and discussed what we would like in an ideal world with regards contact with other family members, where they would live, spending money we had left etc.

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