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Can Mum take the DCs and move them away from their dad?

(55 Posts)
Poppinsesque Sat 13-Apr-13 18:00:36

Found out this afternoon our best man and his wife are most likely separating. (best man told DH while we were over for lunch). He's terrified as she has said she will take the DCs (6 and 2) and move back to the south coast which is a 3 hour drive from where they live now and where his job is. (she works at home so can essentially be anywhere).

He had wanted them to have 50/50 or similar arrangement to suit the children's needs and both parents work.

Can she do this? I would have thought she would have to have some sort of agreement from the dad to move them out of school/nursery and move them hundreds of miles from their dad. She told him as long as she stay in UK she can go wherever she wants.

Poor bloke's terrified he will lose his kids.

STIDW Sun 14-Apr-13 16:46:10

He can fight for 50:50 shared residence but the reality is it is an uphill struggle changing the status quo and the courts don't make that many orders for 50:50 shared residence. I would have thought the last thing he needs is to risk alienating his ex more than necessary causing resentment and resistance in case she does end up moving.

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 16:53:44

I would hope most parents would be very sad about idea of their children moving three hours drive away but this doesn't have to turn into a 'fight'.

They should be talking about how to make this work best for their children, BUT as i suspect this man is shacking up with someone else and trying to feel less guilty by hinting to everyone that her mental health problems are the cause of the relationship break down.... I guess it will turn into a fight.

Or maybe he isn't much of a fighter. Doesn't seem like he 'fought' for the relationship very hard, if the youngest is only 2.

STIDW Sun 14-Apr-13 16:57:40

Xenia Sun 14-Apr-13 12:12:35

"... but how many mothers on this thread would let their husband move their children 3 hours away without at least trying to keep them closer?"

On the other hand as one Australian judge said it can't be assumed in every case that mothers desires and aspirations should be subjugated, not to the needs of the children but to the desire of the father to live in one place, without at least considering if the interests of the children would be better served by the father moving.

LtEveDallas Sun 14-Apr-13 17:01:28

I have a colleague going through the same thing at the moment - the only difference being is that he is fighting for custody.

It has become a bitter, vicious battle and is costing a lot of money.

Originally he was happy with 50/50, and it was going well. But he was taking on more and more responsibility. His wife then told him she was moving back up north and taking the children. She actually drove up there and move in with her mum.

Long story short - She was ordered to return and they are now locked into fighting with each other above all else.

Interestingly he assumed that he wouldn't have a chance in getting 50/50 let alone full custody because of his employment (forces) but the original judge threw that aside really quickly. Apparently being employed/using childcare is not an issue.

(Oh and he didn't have a new partner in the wings - still hasn't in fact)

Xenia Sun 14-Apr-13 17:01:47

Indeed. My own view is that in most cases if a couple decide to live in place X say New Zealand or UK and to start the family there and are settled there then if one wants to move away fine they can but not with the children unless there are really good reasons like the other parent is abusive. That is not the view of the courts who normally let mothers take children across the world to return to their homeland in many cases so I am not suggesting it is always easy to obtain a prohibited steps order to stop mother or father moving children away.

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 17:10:08

The last leave to remove case I had involved separated parents who had a week on week off arrangement. The mother got a job abroad and wanted to take their son. The court refused and he lives full time with his dad in the UK during term time and sees his mum in the holidays.

I just don't accept the courts are biased against fathers. They look at the best interests of the children. Fathers may have more of a struggle because often they have not been the primary carers, especially of younger children.

expatinscotland Sun 14-Apr-13 17:10:19

My guess is that he's shagging someone else.

balia Sun 14-Apr-13 17:19:14

I'm a bit shock at the description 'very sad' as a reaction to having your kids taken 3 hours away. It's all very well saying it shouldn't be a 'fight' but how else can one parent react when the other ISN'T thinking about making things work for the DC's? Unless we think that fathers are so disposable thast it really doesn't matter if they can't see him for weeks on end? Or is it only OK if he has cheated/started another relationship. Are we going to punish all married people who have affairs by taking their kids away?

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 17:25:43

We don't punish people who shag around by taking their children away. BUT if you shag around, dump the mother of very young children and then cast aspersions on her mental health, don't be surprised if she wants to move back to her family for some love and support. Ad dont be surprised if the courts let her.

Sorry 'very sad' doesn't cut it for you. It would describe how I would feel. Perhaps you would prefer a more emotive term. If so feel free to insert more dramatic term of your choice.

ZZZenagain Sun 14-Apr-13 17:31:13

yes, I think she probably can

Piemother Sun 14-Apr-13 17:49:00

So she may have mh issues which require social support. I say 'may' because my dick head exh would cast that aspersions on me if it suited his agenda. he's allegedly concerned about her coping in her own but doesn't want her to have any support because a its inconvenient for him. And he wants his own way but he doesn't want to go to court.
Wonder if the ex wife is a mner wink

LineRunner Sun 14-Apr-13 18:20:35

It's the oldest trick in the book, isn't it, calling the ExW a 'bit mental'.

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 18:25:21

And worst thing is, the line is trotted out to all family and friends who lap it up, mother feels more and more isolated and alone... And wants to move.

Xenia Sun 14-Apr-13 19:01:26

Thankfully most parents aren't like that. Most parents do stay near and arrange regular contact between themselves without courts. Not always possible however.

STIDW Sun 14-Apr-13 21:02:04

There should no preconceptions and relocation needs to be worked out on a case by case basis. My ex moved 400 miles away but we remained civil and regular every other weekend was feasible because our children were old enough to fly and at that time flights were very cheap if they were booked long enough in advance. The quality of the relationship the children had with my ex was the same as when he lived near by.

Other separated couples live nearer and aren't civil so contact breaks down or is minimal. The relationship between separated parents is so poor that children are damaged and can't learn by example to communicate in their own relationships in adulthood. That's why it is important for parents to try to work together, or at least not against each other, and resolve problems constructively rather than fighting damaging long term family relationships.

LineRunner Sun 14-Apr-13 21:07:09

I think it's important that parents try to work together.

When one immaturely tries to cover up their guilt or garner sympathy by accusing the other of being a 'nutter' then it's desperately bad for the DCs, and the partner who is being maligned will understandably want to withdraw.

Talkinpeace Sun 14-Apr-13 21:10:57

Both of my parents are grossly immature - especially about each other.

LineRunner Sun 14-Apr-13 21:15:39

Oh God yes, this stuff goes on into their adulthood for so many children. Always being made to take sides, choose which lies to tell, who to avoid, subjects to avoid, all the way to therapy. Very damaging.

And it all starts with the comment, back when one parent leaves, 'S/he's not right in the head.'

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 21:58:56

Couldn't agree more.

If this bloke is a 'nice' bloke, if this relationship has genuinely broken down because two people just couldn't get along anymore, if he genuinely has the best interests of his children at heart, he will stop going on about how concerned he is about her 'fragility' and how it was her being a nutjob that broke them up...

In fact he will stop wittering on to all his mates and talk to her. If she is too hurt and bruised to talk, he will give her time and space and stop spreading unpleasant stuff about her.

If he really is genuinely concerned about how her mental state impacts on her parenting he will make an application for sole residence of the children.

Poppinsesque Mon 15-Apr-13 07:07:18

Gosh he's taking a pasting!

Why is it that when a woman Is with a controlling man and talks To a close friend about it she is told she's brave for confiding in friends and brave for leaving but when a man does the same he's accused of "withering to his mates" and calling his wife a "nutjob" or "nutter" and people say "he hasnt tried very hard if his youngest is only 2". How long should any individual have to live with someone whos EA (it is me who recognises this in her btw, not him slagging her off!) He said to one close friend that he was concerned because she is fragile and I don't think that constitutes pulling a "she's a nutter" card.

As for him shagging someone else... I would be hugely surprised as he's not the type - but they never are are they? I don't know what has given him the final push to try and make the move out but I don't think that wanting to leave an unhappy marriage is necessarily the worst thing to do.

He's off to see a solicitor this morning apparently so hopefully there will be some more light shed on the situation with the kids.

Dadthelion Mon 15-Apr-13 07:10:45

And there isn't any amateur psychological diagnosis on Mumsnet.

There are more narcissistic ex's than hot dinners.

STIDW Mon 15-Apr-13 08:26:01

Actually some of us aren't amateurs wink

Piemother Mon 15-Apr-13 09:32:58

Since the ex wife is moving, I assume she hasn't laid claim to the family home. Therefore the exh could sell it and move. Obviously this would take time and might be difficult wrt moving/changing jobs but really this should be the first consideration if the wife is planning a permanent move. Why not?

Spero Mon 15-Apr-13 09:51:30

Op, please consider my obvious use of the hypothetical.

I may be very much an armchair psychologist but I have many weary years of seeing just how these scenarios play out.

So tell him to talk to her, not to you. If she is not able or willing to talk after a reasonable space of time, go to court. But please don't make this about someone's mental health unless there is genuinely a concern this will impact on their parenting. Otherwise I can promise your friend he is opening a door to a World of Pain - not just for him, for all of them.

Dadthelion Mon 15-Apr-13 10:02:56

'Actually some of us aren't amateurs'

So can you diagnose someone on what someone else (who can be slightly biased) says about them on an anonymous forum?

You're going to be rich and famous.

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