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Divorce and taking the children to live abroad

(7 Posts)
user1475139767 Wed 12-Oct-16 10:26:34


My soon to be ex-husband left me for another woman when I was 7 months pregnant. It was a horrible time in my life as you can imagine. We tried to patch things up just after baby was born at Christmas, when he told me he have broken up with her and wanted his family back. Then when baby was 3 weeks old, he dropped a letter round saying it wasn't worth the hassle of trying to make things work again as he was in love with her. Baby is now 9 months old and his brother is 3 and a half and I have been living on my own with them for the last year. They spend every other weekend at their dad's, for 2 nights.

I am a French national and have no family here. I left France 15 years ago to settle in the UK with him, and I still cannot believe that I have spent all this time away from my family and friends for a man who eventually chose to cheat on me and dump me at the most vulnerable time possible.

We are in the middle of divorce proceedings and there are two issues:

I want to go back to France and take the children with me. I know I am within my rights to do so, but unless their dad gives me permission, I cannot just up and go. I have no family here, very little daily support and I miss my parents terribly. They are both still young and very hands-on and I know I will get a tremendous amount of daily support from them, and emotional support too. My ex is being very very difficult and won't hear any of my proposals for contact and visits. I can take him to court, but I would rather not as I know this could be v expensive and damage our parenting relationship.

He wants to have the boys more. He is suggesting having them on a Wednesday overnight. I find that an extra night in the middle of the week with disrupt the boys quite a lot, plus I will have to pack and unpack bags constantly. I suggested him having them for dinner then dropping them back home for bedtime but he is having none of it. I also don't want to start a pattern when the boys see their dad a lot and then take them to France when they will see him a lot less.

I would welcome any constructive advice on the above points.

Many thanks.

annandale Wed 12-Oct-16 10:33:18

I honestly feel that divorced couples with children should do everything possible to live close together, walking distance if possible. I know a couple that pretty much have the children every other night, with alternating weekends. Seemed horrendously complicated but it has remained exactly the same for about five years so far and the children seem OK with it.

Is there any chance that your parents would consider moving to England or spending more time here?

I'm only one person though, my opinion may not mean much. It's based on what I see in divorced couples around me. I have seen at least one mother move a fair way for family support, so you're not alone in wanting and needing that.

EleanorRigby123 Wed 12-Oct-16 10:38:15

This is good advice

Bobochic Wed 12-Oct-16 10:42:37

If you are miserable in the U.K. you should probably try to return to France and your family.

user1475139767 Wed 12-Oct-16 13:56:48

I am miserable here and my parents are feeling helpless and miserable in France. I have always felt guilty for coming to live in the UK in the first place but I compensated with the fact I had a lovely husband, nice house, good job and started our own family. I could have never guessed what he was up to and how he felt. He lied to me for months then chose to tell me everything 2 months before the due date.
The boys have never had a life with all 4 of us living under the same roof, which makes me very sad.
I have friends here and everyone has been so supportive, helpful and lovely, but it doesn't replace the support and love I (and the boys) would get from living close to my parents.
It's a massive step that I am not taking lightly. However, at 35, I feel it's the right time to do it as I can still re-train, get a mortgage, be employable, etc. My oldest son is due to start school in Sept 2017, and if he started in France, it would be less disruptive than starting here then going to France later on. On a personal level, I would also be more free to have a social life with my parents at hand.

Bobochic Wed 12-Oct-16 14:47:42

You give lots of very good reasons for restarting your life in France - schooling is a real issue, as is free childcare.

allegretto Wed 12-Oct-16 14:56:55

It's tricky. Unfortunately I know several mums who have been unable to take their children abroad because the father didn't want them too and they had no choice but to wait until they turned 18. You really need to get him on your side and to understand that you need the help of your parents to look after them. I think the Wednesday night problem is not fair on you at all - it might seem illogical but can't he have them for LONGER. It is the quick change around which makes it difficult and he might realise what work is involved if he had them for a few days.

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