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Custody when moving home

(6 Posts)
unsi Mon 14-Mar-16 22:49:41

My 14 yr old son has always lived with me. After my divorce 5 years ago he has contact with his dad 2 days a week.

This I had to get a court order for him to see his dad to which he would only agree to 8 days a month (this was as much as he could offer due to in his words "other commitments"). Court order has been in place for 10 months. I have requested an amendment as I have a new job 100 miles away. I have suggested contact each weekend and additional holiday contact with shared travelling, removing weekday contact in term time.

His dad has never had any additional time with him nor has ever wanted custody until now. He has persuaded my son, that after living with me for the last 14 years that it is only fair he goes to live with him. He continually brow beats my son and showers him with gifts when he sees him at the weekend that he needs to stay with him so that he can continue with his football team, see his friends. His dad has told me I can't have access with my son while the football season is on and would have to negotiate holidays. My son completely believes everything his dad tells him. He has also stated that he will not share 50% of the travel and that I would have to do it all regardless of who my son lives with.

His dad currently lives in a house with his new wife and 3 other children which means my son would have to share a small room. My XP works away at least 1-2 nights a week.

My son is very settled with me, doing well at school, there are no risks or issues at all. My son has been persuaded by his dad to say that he wants to live with him if asked by cafcas.

There are no other children that live with us nor will there be in the future.

There is absolutely no way I want my son to live with his dad. However I still want him to continue to have regular contact with his dad. I want my son to relocate with me and my partner (we have lived together for the last 3 years and my son and him get on extremely well). I have found a lovely school (same ofsted rating) and house which is nearer my extended family. I have tried to discuss this move with his dad, asked if he would go to mediation, but he says he will not talk to me nor go to mediation and will only go straight to custody battle in court. I also believe this custody battle is a financial reason for him to claim child maintenance for my son if he goes to live with him. Please can anyone give advice as our move is imminent. The first court hearing to amend court order is in 2 weeks time.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 14-Mar-16 23:34:26

I think in this situation, all you can do is be guided by what your son wants. he may find that sharing a room and missing you is not all it's cracked up to be, but I think it only fair at his age that he gets to make some decisions regarding his home and school life.

If he stays with his dad can he remain at the same school he is now? That must be a significant draw for him rather than moving with you and having to make new friends at such a tricky age.

unsi Tue 15-Mar-16 07:38:03

Hi my son only sees school friends in school time and not of an evening. He sees his football team of a weekend. Son will have to change schools regardless of who he lives with. However if he lives with his dad he won't be with that football team as he will be with me at the weekend, if his dad allows access. Thanks for your response.

wheresthel1ght Thu 17-Mar-16 17:18:12

About the only thing your ex might have a point on is the travel. If you are moving away then it is unfair to expect him to foot the bill for the additional travel.

However the rest is him being an arse IF it is true. Where is the info coming from? If it is your son could here be a degree of embellishment on his part because he actually doesn't want to move?

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 17-Mar-16 18:27:08

Yes, good point about travel. I'd be mightily pissed off if my ex moved a long way away and then expected me to drive the DCs around to facilitate contact.

It's such a critical time for your ds educationally and socially. I think in your position I'd be doing whatever causes him the least stress and anxiety. My own 15yo DS suffers massively with anxiety and even a small change can throw him out of whack. He hates visiting his dad's house on a Sunday as he has to remember to take everything he needs for school, particularly if it is (rare) for 2 nights and he has to plan ahead. I often rearrange their access visits to try and make things as easy as possible for them, even if that means no night at their dad's that week and therefore no night off for me!

As hard as it is, I think you need to put him first. Congratulations on your new job, but please don't let the excitement of this new opportunity cause problems for your DS.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Thu 17-Mar-16 18:29:15

And whilst he may not see much of his friends outside of school at the moment, he is getting to the age where a bit of independence is important. I'm sure he would make new friends quickly at his new school with you, but if he can keep in touch with his current friends by staying at his dad's I can see why he seems more keen on that plan.

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