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where to live post separation?

(6 Posts)
BippityBoppity Tue 06-Jan-15 17:51:40

I was with X for 13 years and he decided he didn't want to be married anymore in April this year. We have 2 children DS(12) & DD(11). DS has high functioning autism.

We initially decided that we would try to live together while separated as X doesn't work (is a FT student) and once he finished his studies (after 3 years) he would move out. We weren't going to tell the children and try to pretend that nothing had changed. Six weeks later he met someone else and spent a lot of time going back and forth between the two houses, which I found very difficult and I asked him to leave.

He wasn't happy with this decision but eventually left in September this year.

I work full time, but my job involves shifts. We originally agreed he would look after the children while I worked as his contact days so that we would pretty much be bringing them up 50:50. However, I don't have set days to work and I'm not given much notice of my rota (still don't know what I'm doing next week for e.g.) so he said that he couldn't commit to looking after the children as it might interfere with plans he's made to see his GF.

I should point out at this stage that he pays no child maintenance at all and I pay him a monthly sum towards his share in the equity of our house.

I was furious about this but unfortunately can't force him to have the children when I need him to so I applied for set hours in work. This has been turned down as it can't be accommodated within the needs of the service.

Due to the age of the children they can't be looked after in a nursery (DD can but it's DS who needs supervision to be honest). I've contacted numerous childminders but none are willing to accept a child with special needs who is over 12. I also work weekends (some months I'll have none,sometimes I'll do 4 in a row and it's 13 hour shifts) which are proving impossible to arrange childcare for and it's far too long to leave the children alone.

Thanks for reading this much - now the crux of the matter:

I'm not a UK national. I moved here with X to live in his hometown. I now find myself here with no support network. I've lived here for about 10 years now and have made great friends but I feel stuck now. I'm considering moving back to my home country but I don't know if it's the right thing to do.

If I go back I'd have the support of my family. My mum has offered us a home for a few months until we're sorted. She's more than happy to have the children whenever I need her to around my work commitments. I'd have my siblings around me too.

But, special needs provision is poor. DS is supported well in school here but I know for a fact he won't get the same support there.

Also there's the children's relationship with their father. I don't want them to be occasional visitors in his life without a proper connection between them all. But he won't make the effort to maintain that, I know this. He won't bother with regular Skype/phone calls/emails. The flight is only 45mins and is well served by low cost airlines but he's pretty much said he wouldn't bother with regular weekend visits.

What should I do? I'm trying to be scrupulously fair to everyone but I think I'm letting everyone down. I just feel torn.

Has anyone got any words of wisdom or advice?

BippityBoppity Tue 06-Jan-15 17:52:30

Apologies for the length - I really wanted to get everything in

trappedinsuburbia Tue 06-Jan-15 21:51:01

Firstly your ex is a twunt he should be putting his kids before seeing his girlfriend.
I was lucky, my work let me work normalish hours when i split from X, no evenings or weekends, plenty other staff to cover those shifts.
You could try and find a job without the anti social hours but i know how hard those are to find.
You could pack it all in, sell the house and live on benefits.
You could move back home.
None of these options are very good, i would try my best to find another job tbh and i would stop giving your ex any money unless its legally documented exactly what its for.

trappedinsuburbia Tue 06-Jan-15 21:52:54

Im furious on your behalf.

Cabrinha Tue 06-Jan-15 21:57:54

If your mum can have the kid whenever, does that mean she doesn't work?
Could she come to the UK for 3 months to give you time to look for another job and make the decision under less pressure?

TheLittleRedHen Wed 07-Jan-15 01:24:04

I'd make some enquiries and find out what you'd be entitled to with regards to benefits now, on a low low wage, if you worked part-time and if you were not working at all.

I'd then ask STBXH to schedule set days per week. This will also help to give DS some routine. At least then you'll have maybe one day of each week covered. I'd not ask him to do any other cover for work. He doesn't care if you lose your job, he's made that clear.

I would avoid moving to a country with little support for ASD. You'll need that. I too wonder if your mum could come over and help you until things are more settled?

I'd then book an appointment with a SHL for divorce and get rid of this shitty man.

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