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Can you help me work this out please?

(16 Posts)
tsonlyme Wed 10-Feb-16 16:41:58

Background: Wrong side of 45, married 19yrs, together 24. Two teenagers, 19 & 16, girls. Marriage may (or an outside chance that it may not) be dissolved for complicated reasons not for this thread. If the marriage dissolves I will be selling the house as although I paid for it out of inheritances and only ever had a short term, interest only mortgage for a couple of years, I believe a court would award dh a fair chunk of it due to the length of marriage. I live in a fairly high property value area (not London). As my youngest is almost 17 I don't think there is any value in hanging on to the house by legal means until she is 18, seems like a lot of hassle to fight for something for just over a year. In this city, for what I estimate I would get as my share (60-70%?) I could buy a small house in an area I wouldn't be entirely happy with.

So, if I find myself in this position I am considering heading back north to where I grew up, my brother and his family are there and I still have contacts from my youth as a starting point for friendships. I could buy a v nice smaller property in a lovely area and stay put for pretty much the rest of my life. This area is over 300 miles from where I am now and where I brought up my family but even after all this time my childhood city feels like home.

The things on my mind are:

Since I moved south it has been a massive ball ache to visit family up north because of the distance and expense of travelling, I am not a high earner. If I move back up there I anticipate that my 19yr old will not be coming with me as she has her own almost properly adult life now (not left home yet) and her dad will still be here if she doesn't use it as an opportunity to fly the nest. She has a job and a boyfriend and after several awful years of difficult (horrendous) behaviour she is now very nice company and we get on well. I will be creating that distance from family again which will never I end, will it? And will she feel that I'm abandoning her just as things are getting onto an even keel?

My 16yr old is an anxious girl and a huge move like this will be very difficult for her, she knows nothing other than this house, we moved in when she was 3months old. I would have to offer her the opportunity to either come with me or stay in this city with her dad. She is very close to both of us and although I think I would frame it as a 'here or new start there' opportunity she would almost certainly feel it was a 'mum or dad' decision. She may very well choose familiarity and dad over a new start because of her anxiety. The thought of leaving her behind horrifies me almost as much as taking her away from her dad. I am not sure that I could even make the move if she decided to stay BUT she will be an adult herself in just over a year and could easily decide to move out of home, and so she should!

This leads me to thinking that I should delay any move for a couple of years to see where we all are then. However, I am not getting any younger, I will need to get a job up north, if I leave it until I'm 50 will my chances drop dramatically? I think my NHS skill set means that I could work anywhere in the country but my knowledge is local (knowing who the local consultants are etc) so it would involve a bit of a learning curve to change areas.

I do not want to move twice. It would eat up too much money from the value of the house, so I would have to stay in the marital home until the time was right. Dh and I separated two years ago for six months, he didn't move out, he never managed to save up even a single penny to do so hmm so I don't see him suddenly managing it this time and his name is on the deeds so he has the legal right to stay. There is no abuse so no grounds for chucking him out on the street, and nor would I want that.

I suppose in a couple of years the chances are that this house in the south would gain in value more quickly than a lovely property up north so it could put me in a better position to wait.

But I don't want to be here any more, I feel trapped! I don't like the house, there are too many bad memories now from dd1s shocking teens and the uncomfortable atmospheres and resentment between dh and I. I lost most of my friends a few years back when I made big changes in my life and although I have made some new ones I don't think they're enough of a reason to stay. I really like my job but it is transferable. I just really really want to rip the plaster off, pack up my bags and go. Why does it have to be so bloody complicated?!


What would you do?

tsonlyme Wed 10-Feb-16 16:58:16

Crikey that was long, sorry.

Tl;DR. Should I pack my bags and move 300 miles away from my almost grown family, and will I regret it if I do?

This whole thing has thrown up some anger about my own parents, incidentally. I was manipulated into moving so far away from home myself when I was dd1s age as I was seen as 'a problem' (ie not at university) and they wanted me out of the way. I was willing at the time because I was full of adventure and wonder at the world but my brother remembers it as me being bundled into a car with my three boxes of stuff and driven away with a sigh of relief. He's older than me btw, so not a child's eye view of what happened. I'm very concerned that I don't do the same thing to dd2 by taking her away from all that she knows without her full understanding of how it could affect the future.

springydaffs Wed 10-Feb-16 21:51:38

You can't leave your 16yo now. Is my opinion.

pocketsaviour Wed 10-Feb-16 21:59:37

What is your younger girl's educational plan? Is she currently taking A-levels or at college? I think it would be massively disruptive to her education to either move her now or even ask her to make the choice.

Any chance of selling up then renting where you are now for a couple of years before making a move?

Something else to consider: if you move back north, do you still have a support network up there that you've kept in touch with (outside of family)?

BlondeOnATreadmill Wed 10-Feb-16 22:00:15

IMO, it would be a HUGE HUGE HUGE mistake, to up sticks and leave your children. They are the best thing you've ever done, and you love them more than anything on this planet. If you leave them, you will have a life time of regret. You'll never see them and you'll be a stranger to your grandchildren. Just reading this, I could have screamed NOOOO at the screen.

Sell the marital home. Buy somewhere lovely where you are close to your children. If you think that things may change over the next 2 years, then stay in the area you are in, but rent.

MyKingdomForBrie Wed 10-Feb-16 22:00:30

Talk to your 16 yr old. She's old enough to be involved in the decision I think. Help your husband financially to get out, if you can? Then have a year or two in the family home to have some breathing space.

springydaffs Wed 10-Feb-16 22:11:11

Sorry, that was short.

Obviously, a lot of stuff has gone on and you seem desperate to make a new start. From here it looks like there is an element of running away. I also wonder if your ideas about 'home' may be rose-tinted.

But, without all that, this is me opinion: you can. not. leave your girl. She is 16. She also suffers with anxiety. It is out of the question to leave her now, uproot her, make her choose.

Imo this is what parenting is: you have to make huge sacrifices sometimes that may have a lasting impact on your future. That's just how it is. You need to wait a few years, at least until her A levels are done and dusted - but actually wait until she is settled, stable.

It sounds like you also need to see a lawyer - your house is a marital asset and the going rate is 50/50 eg.

lavenderhoney Wed 10-Feb-16 22:26:41

You need a lawyer because if you paid for the house outright and your DC are grown, the asset is most likely to be argued as yours. Do not be "nice"
This is your first step before making any decisions or discussing with family ( ex -dh ( who will almost certainly try to say he has 50%) yeah whatever, you are team you and your DC now. Or team you.

Your DC need a chance to discuss. What do they think? Give them a while to think and and maybe pay for private counselling for them. A person to talk to who has no hidden agenda. Even the hidden agenda of wanting what's best. See?

See a lawyer, look at college/ uni for your younger dd and her interests, and the older one, factor in you paying travel for you and them.

Could you rent a cottage for a few weeks in the summer, when you'd like to live and have your DC there as much as possible? To see what you all think?

Bluelilies Wed 10-Feb-16 22:33:00

I wouldn't move away from teenagers. They still need you at that age. Let them chose when to fly the nest, don't push them, even if it means renting a home for a few years.

And I can't see it'll make that much difference job hunting in your early/mid 50s from now. You'd still have at least 10 years working life in front of you.

tsonlyme Wed 10-Feb-16 23:01:41

Unfortunately dd2s education faltered before the end of yr11, her anxiety stems from a school phobia as a result of multiple bullying incidents so she's not in college. She has a very part time job and a couple of friends that she sees occasionally.

I do have a couple of old contacts from my youth, I wouldn't necessarily see them as a support network but perhaps as a spring board to making new contacts.

Just typing this out earlier has made me lean towards staying put, for now at least even though it makes me gnash my teeth some.

I think I would have to stay in the marital home and I definitely couldn't help dh out financially to move out without selling, there are no savings, so that would suck if the marriage ended but we still lived in the same house for years. Maybe I have to accept it for now because selling then renting then moving north later would eat away at my equity putting me in a much worse financial position and I could never earn enough to recoup the loss.

I do agree that you make sacrifices for your children and I have made quite a few of those over the years, is it ever going to be my time to make decisions for me ever again or is this it, for ever?

My extended birth family do not have a base, we are spread all over the UK (some much further, big family) and it was always considered absolutely normal for kids to leave home and go move to wherever the heck they liked, but the payoff was that you didn't have a grandparent around the corner as a child. Or a parent around the corner when you became a parent yourself.

It's such a huge decision to make. I do have at least one aunt who did something very similar on the breakup of her marriage when she was about my age with a teenager in tow and two older kids who didn't tag along, I wonder if it's worth talking to her about her experience, or do you think this kind of thing is entirely subjective?

tsonlyme Wed 10-Feb-16 23:06:33

Thank you for your responses, it's helpful smile

One thing I haven't mentioned so far which is of course and unknown factor for anyone but when you say I have at least another ten years of employability in front of me, well both my parents died prematurely (at 57 and 67, both from cancer) so there's an added fear that if I were to go the same way then what if I find I'm still living somewhere I don't want to be and suddenly it's too late?

VimFuego101 Wed 10-Feb-16 23:14:02

It sounds like DD2 will need to be gently eased into education or employment, clearly she hasn't had an easy time of it and I assume going to uni when she's 18 is not on the cards. I don't think I could up and leave her now if it were me. What do you think she will do longer term?

Cabrinha Wed 10-Feb-16 23:48:04

It's all very well wondering when the "me time" starts, but your 16 your old is - well, 16! So, even without life impacting anxiety - your "me time" isn't due yet.
You could talk to her about moving of course, but if it's not right for her to come too, don't leave her.
Is she getting professional support for her anxiety at the moment?

goddessofsmallthings Wed 10-Feb-16 23:49:16

there's an added fear that if I were to go the same way then what if I find I'm still living somewhere I don't want to be and suddenly it's too late

There are two things here, one being that living somewhere you don't want to be will be least of your problems if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness and the other being that, in that event, you'd surely want to be with, or as close as possible to, your dc.

That said, without knowing whether or not your marriage is going to be dissolved, any notion of moving is hypothetical as it presumably can't happen unless you divorce and sell up.

Even though his name is on the deeds, it's by no means certain that a court would award your h more than a minimal share of a property which was bought solely by you and it could be that taking on another short term mortgage or downsizing will raise enough to pay him off.

It seems to me you're best advised to seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in divorce and family law and give thought to a longer term plan that will meet your younger dc's needs until she is ready to leave the nest or expresses a wish to move with you which, I suspect, won't happen while her dps continue to live under the same roof.

Joysmum Thu 11-Feb-16 01:46:27

Ditto the others. DH and I want to relocate but are stuck here until DD has finished college and either goes away to uni or has learnt to drive so she can either visit us or come back to where we currently live to visit.

No way we'd uproot her in her teenage years.

springydaffs Thu 11-Feb-16 05:49:51

You could get a buy -to-let from the house sale and use the rental to rent where you are: ultimately you won't lose out financially. Though haven't the buy to let rules changed recently?

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