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Go to Oz in failing marriage, or move back to the UK?

(14 Posts)
namechanged99 Mon 01-Oct-12 10:50:53

I’d really appreciate peoples thoughts on my situation - I do really want to move back to the UK, but just thought it might be useful to get some thoughts from those who are already living in Oz or who have been through anything similar. I know this is long (sorry!) but didn’t want to drip-feed information.

I’m currently married with a 1 year old to an Aussie. The marriage has deteriorated significantly although we are still officially together. We are currently living overseas (would prefer not to say where, but it’s a hague convention country) and our plan has always been to live in AustraliaI don’t know anyone in Australia. Its always been DH’s dream to end up in Australia and I know that he would be gutted if we didn’t go there.

I have consulted lawyers and it seems that due to the Hague Convention I cannot move DC out of current country (or OZ if we were to move there) without DH’s permission, otherwise it amounts to child abduction. In the current country, I can do whats called a relocation action which is basically a legal way around the Hague convention to allow me and my DC to return to the UK without DH’s permission. I’m told by my lawyers that I would almost certainly win the relocation action.

Staying in the current country is not an option. We only have temporary visas and neither of us likes it here, nor do we think it is a good place to bring up our child.

I do believe that I would be a lot happier in the UK with our child. I have lots of friends in the Uk and family there too. Sometimes my relationship with my parents has been very difficult, but they are great in looking after DC and would be delighted to be able to help out. When I went to the UK earlier this year, I really felt like a different person – so much happier and I think DC was happier too. I have found it difficult settling in and making friends in the current country and I worry that I would have the same problems / feelings if I were to move to Australia, especially since there is a good chance that I would no longer be with DH, and also if I ended up having to work full time that could make it difficult finding time to make new friends.

If we did separate in Australia (which I think is the likely outcome; indeed DH may well be just playing along to get me into Oz), then DH would be in a financial position to give me a very good settlement, but equally he may well try and get away with paying me very little. I suspect, however, that he would probably give me an ok, but not great settlement, although if it meant moving to Oz or not, I could probably get him to give me a very good settlement. Also, I should probably be able to get a reasonable job in Australia (as I would in the UK).

In terms of practical help in Oz, we would probably only get very limited help (if that) from his family but we could if need be probably stretch to a nanny (at least temporarily, which we would probably need to at least whilst our DC is waiting for a nursery place). I don’t expect DH to be massively helpful with the childcare – whilst I’m sure he would want to take his turn in looking after DC I could easily seem him being very unflexible about it – i.e. when it suits him and i would probably remain the primary carer.

There is also a possible visa issue in getting me into Oz if we are no longer in a relationship – I’ve consulted an immigration lawyer about this, but don’t propose going into it here.

If I move back to the UK, its going to really upset DH (and he will be absolutely livid) and I’m not sure if he would ever forgive me for doing that and I hate the thought of upsetting him (and I guess I’m a bit scared of his reaction too). However, he has broken significant promises to me in the past as well, and at times he has not been a great husband (often very abrupt and emotionally distant, barely talks to me, doesn’t seem to want to spend any time with me etc.) I don’t think he is capable of changing and I feel quite emotionally detached from him now. I also have some suspicions that he has had a brief fling (if anything did happen, i'm fairly certain its finished).

Obviously I need to consider what is in the best interests of my child and so I am trying to imagine what my life would be like in Oz versus the UK, and ditto for DH and DC. My feeling is that its got to be the UK but I would love to know everyone’s thoughts. I need to make a decision in the next month or two. Thanks so much!

GreenBeer Mon 01-Oct-12 14:04:54

Have you posted this before as I think it sounds familiar?

As an Aussie living far away from my family and friends my advice would be to move home to the UK and not even contemplate moving to Australia.

If your marriage does break down once you are there then yes you could be trapped, unless you would be prepared to leave your DC there?

Your DC will be happy wherever you are. I plan to move home to Aus when my DC are school age as I think the quality of life i can provide there will be better than here in the UK. But that is because our family is there, and family is important to us.

Good luck with your decision.

Longdistance Wed 03-Oct-12 02:29:00

I'll give you my biased opinion. I hate it here in Oz, as don't have anyone. I'm lonely, and been here a year. Would love to come home, and leave dh to it. But, don't think it's possible. We are on 457visa's, which are really weird, as if dh lost his job, they'd quite happily throw us out confused
Are you already in Oz? It could be tricky to do a moonlight flit if you're already there.
If you're not happy I wouldn't move to Oz, as it would be tricky. I would love to go back home to the Uk where I have a support network of family and friends. And I'm not one for not trying. I'm really friendly to everyone, and have joined several groups, but not actually made any friends. It is all very sad.
If you don't want to go, don't go, and dig your heels in.
Good Luck!

corblimeymadam Wed 03-Oct-12 02:42:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SavoyCabbage Wed 03-Oct-12 02:45:03

I think you would be mad. You would be stuck here forever if you split up. And you don't even want to-not that I did either.

I base this on what happened to someone I know. She and her dh are both English and their children were both born in England. She has lost total custody of her children. In fairness, she is a total fool She had an affair and left her husband. But she has no money so she lost custody. She sees them once a fortnight. They came in on her visa and she had a good job in the UK but they couldn't find affordable childcare when they got here and he got a job first so she stayed at home.

The Australian courts act in the best interests of the child (and all Australians think people are better off here than anywhere in the world grin) and so would 'award' your ds to your dh, who would have a home and a job. They would not see it in his best interests to go back to the UK and move in with your mother or similar.

It's REALLY hard work living so far away from everyone who loves you. I have said rthis many times on MN but the worst day I had here was when my dd1 got new school shoes and she had nobody to show them to. <still sobbing even though it was three years and eight months ago>

CaliforniaLeaving Wed 03-Oct-12 05:16:27

Do not go to OZ if the inevitable happens and the marriage ends like you think it will you will be stuck there till your child is 18. He may well be playing along to get your child to OZ where he has a support system and you don't.

Alligatorpie Wed 03-Oct-12 06:46:29

i wouldn't go to Oz. As others have said, life is hard enough abroad without a support system, but added to the chance you could lose your child, I think it would be madness to go. ( sorry about the run on sentence).

Savory - did your dd Skype gp's or someone to show off her new shoes? That would make me very sad too!

echt Wed 03-Oct-12 07:38:05

Your relationship "has deteriorated".

You are "scared of his reaction".

He has "broken significant promises".

He has "not been a great husband".."abrupt".."emotionally distant".

Don't even think of coming to Australia. You'll never get your child out until s/he is 18. You don't seem to like your husband and are afraid of him at times, so he's no loss at all, something to be avoided rather. I'm amazed you even point out what it might be like in terms of support in Oz (though I can see you didn't want to drip feed) what you have said about your current situation is quite enough to say you shouldn't go there.

Go for the relocation action. Please. You'll never get a chance like this again.

SavoyCabbage Wed 03-Oct-12 09:23:18

I think she did Skype her shoes. The time difference is not good for skype. There is such a small window when my dc are up and the uk is up too.

echt Wed 03-Oct-12 09:33:08

OP - I should say I'm happy in Oz, but would not advise your leaving wherever you are. Just don't.

savoy I bet those shoes were cool as. But I know what you mean.

namechanged99 Thu 04-Oct-12 15:27:27

thank you all very, very much for your posts -it basically confirms what i thought, and i definitely won't agree to move to Oz even if it means that DH divorces me for it, its just not worth the risk.

shocked to hear the story of savoycabbages friend losing custody - the poor mum being stuck in Oz without custody of her DC, my heart goes out to her

and I'm so sorry to hear of some of your stories sad I hope things improve for you all, and that MN can at least provide you with some support.

xx

sleepingischeating Tue 09-Oct-12 15:11:06

wow, are you me OP? I'm in a very similar position and have been having similar fears. Do not go! At best get your marriage back on track and then go when the Dc(s?) is/are older and the risks reduced. I like Australia very much but not enough to be stuck there divorced for the next 16 years... Good luck, from a self interested perspective please let us know how it goes.

mathanxiety Fri 12-Oct-12 05:04:07

DO THE RELOCATION THING AND GET BACK TO THE UK. DO NOT GET MAROONED IN OZ WHERE YOU KNOW NO-ONE.

GET BACK HOME. FORGET FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT IN OZ BLATHER.

GET BACK WHERE YOU KNOW PEOPLE OR YOU WILL END UP IN OZ FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, TIED TO YOUR CHILD WHO WILL BE AUSTRALIAN EVEN AFTER HE TURNS 18, BY WHICH TIME IT WILL BE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO RETURN -- YOU WILL BE LIKE A FOREIGNER RETURNING BY THAT TIME. YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO LEAVE GRANDCHILDREN BEHIND IN AUSTRALIA.

mathanxiety Fri 12-Oct-12 05:04:20

Sorry to shout.

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