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Last minute panic - can he stop me and children moving out?

(18 Posts)
CollectedWorks Thu 09-Jun-16 23:22:20

Is anyone able to advise tonight please? I'm just about to (tomorrow morning) pay out for a rented house for me and dc for 6months to get me out of the house while we divorce, and keep them with me at night times because they are little and they need me at night. Leaving early July. It's 2 streets from the family home. H says he'll legally stop me moving them from the family home - can he do that? Is it a prohibited steps order? I have to get out for my sanity, not taking them away forever and not trying to stop him seeing them whenever and however and wherever he wants to. I'm panicking that I'll pay the money and commit to the rent then not be able to take the children with me or he'll call the police and that would prejudice any court case. Is it possible to use that sort of order against such a small move? I can't believe this, after months of hand-wringing I was ready to take the jump and now this has scared me. Bloody solicitor is on holiday!

BlueFolly Thu 09-Jun-16 23:28:51

I honestly don't know the answer but I suspect he is just trying to scare you. If I were you I would rent the house and then be able to sort out residency from a place of sanity.

EasyToEatTiger Thu 09-Jun-16 23:32:23

You can live where you like. If you are being threatened, call the police. If you are in doubt, look up the Womens' Aid website Leave a message and they will call you back. Please don't live in fear.

catrin Thu 09-Jun-16 23:34:05

Much as everyone I know told me not to do this, I did this. My ex wouldn't move out and I couldn't live like this anymore. He also threatened legal action. In reality, he couldn't have cared less, plus it meant him and his current gf could live the life of Riley in my house. But I was out! Do it. By the time any legal stuff happens - if it does, which it won't - you'll be gone.
If you are divorcing anyway, you will be living separately, so it makes no difference on that point. I did, however, email him (paper trail...) to say the following:
As we are not going to be living together, I just wanted to clarify what we have discussed re child care. You have said you will have dc on such and such nights, times.... Obviously they have 13 weeks holidays, that is 65 week days, plus 5 inset days. I am attaching the school holiday dates. Do you have any dates you would particularly like to book in now? We can arrange the rest as is mutually convenient. If dc are invited to parties on your weekends, I will ensure you are informed as soon as they receive the invitation so you can respond accordingly.....

Apologies for long post. I know how grim it is. Best thing I ever did was just get out. Regardless of threats!

AnotherEmma Thu 09-Jun-16 23:34:17

No he can't stop you, that's complete bollocks.

Is he abusive? It sounds like he could be... If so call Women's Aid on 0808 2000 247 (open 24/7).

There is also the free Rights of Women family law helpline which will be open tomorrow lunchtime.

But go for it. Move out and get away from him.

CollectedWorks Thu 09-Jun-16 23:40:47

Ah... I think I'm nearly ready to admit there is emotional abuse. He is a very very unhappy man in a very bad place mentally right now. I can't discuss any changes to the status quo without him threatening to take me to court over whatever it is. I just need not to be in the same house when I file for divorce. And really hope he doesn't follow through with threats to kill himself.

catrin Thu 09-Jun-16 23:47:48

When my relationship was properly ending it was beyond horrific. I got out, then filed, it was safer. But one thing about my ex was that it was all about the control. He was so used to me rolling over and agreeing, apologising or adapting, just to keep the peace. Once I got out, I could sit, rocking and crying, while signing solicitor's letter, but knowing that I wouldn't be punished for it. (Punishment being various things - hit, ignored, mocked, shouted at, financially punished....)
And whatever he chooses to do with his life is his choice. Noone makes him do anything, so let that one go.

CollectedWorks Thu 09-Jun-16 23:53:57

That's it, Catrin! What you say is so so familiar. It's all about punishing me for making this decision. I will DEFINITELY be rocking and sobbing. But I will do so in my OWN home grin Well done to you for getting out.

WellWhoKnew Thu 09-Jun-16 23:57:37


AnotherEmma Thu 09-Jun-16 23:58:54

How many things does he do on this list, OP?

And you might find this interesting (copied and pasted from the abuser profiles thread:


This last category is not actually separate from the others; an abusive man of any of the aforementioned styles can also have psychiatric or substance-abuse problems, although the majority do not. Even when mental illness or addiction is a factor, it is not the cause of a man's abuse of his partner, but it can contribute to the severity of his problem and his resistance to change. When these additional problems are present, it is important to be aware of the following points:

1. Certain mental illnesses can increase the chance that an abuser will be dangerous and use physical violence. These include paranoia, severe depression, delusions or hallucinations (psychosis), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and antisocial personality disorder known as psychopathy or sociopathy). These psychiatric conditions also make it next to impossible for an abuser to change, at least until the mental illness has been brought under control through therapy and/or medication, which can take years. Even if the mental illness is properly treated, his abusiveness won't necessarily change.

2. An abuser's reactions to going on or off medication are unpredictable. A woman should take extra precautions for her safety at such a time. Abusers tend to go off medication before long—I have had few clients who were consistent and responsible about taking their meds in the long term. They don't like the side effects, and they are too selfish to care about the implications of the mental illness for their partners or children.

3. The potential danger of a mentally ill abuser has to be assessed by looking at the severity of his psychiatric symptoms in combination with the severity of his abuse characteristics. Looking at his psychiatric symptoms alone can lead to underestimating how dangerous he is.

4. Antisocial personality disorder is present in only a small percentage of abusers but can be important. Those who suffer from this condition lack a conscience and thus are repeatedly involved in behaviors that are harmful to others. Some signs of this condition include: (a) He started getting into illegal behavior when he was still a teenager; (b) his dishonest or aggressive behavior involves situations unrelated to his partner, rather than being restricted to her; (c) he periodically gets into trouble at workplaces or in other contexts for stealing, threatening, or refusing to follow instructions and is likely to have a considerable criminal record by about age thirty, though the offenses may be largely minor ones; (d) he is severely and chronically irresponsible in a way that disrupts the lives of others or creates danger; and (e) he tends to cheat on women a lot, turn them against each other, and maintain shallow relationships with them. The psychopath's physical violence is not necessarily severe, contrary to the popular image, but he may be very dangerous nonetheless. Antisocial personality disorder is very difficult to change through therapy, and there is no effective medication for treating it. It is highly compatible with abusiveness toward women.

5. Those who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder have a highly distorted self-image. They are unable to accept that they might have faults and therefore are unable to imagine how other people perceive them. This condition is highly compatible with abusiveness, though it is present in only a small percentage of abusive men. Clues to the presence of this disorder include: (a) Your partner's self-centeredness is severe, and it carries over into situations that don't involve you; (b) he seems to relate everything back to himself; and (c) he is outraged whenever anyone criticizes him and is incapable of considering that he could ever be anything other than kind and generous. This disorder is highly resistant to therapy and is not treatable with medication. The abuser with this disorder is not able to change substantially through an abuser program either, although he sometimes makes some minor improvements.

6. Many abusers who are not mentally ill want women to think that they are, in order to avoid responsibility for their attitudes and behavior.

Substance abuse, like mental illness, does not cause partner abuse but can increase the risk of violence. Like the mentally ill abuser, the addicted abuser doesn't change unless he deals with his addiction, and even that is only the first step. Chapter 8 examines the role that substances play in partner abuse.

The attitudes driving the mentally ill or addicted batterer are the same as those of other abusers and will likely follow the pattern of one of the nine styles described above. In addition, the following attitudes tend to be present:

• I am not responsible for my actions because of my psychological or substance problems.

• If you challenge me about my abusiveness, you are being mean to me, considering these other problems I have. It also shows that you don't understand my other problems.

• I'm not abusive, I'm just———(alcoholic, drug addicted, manic-depressive, an adult child of alcoholics, or whatever his condition may be).

• If you challenge me, it will trigger my addiction or mental illness, and you'll be responsible for what I do.

CollectedWorks Fri 10-Jun-16 00:11:26

Mmm.. Some of that list. Definitely some but nowhere near all. Maybe a quarter or less. But the mentally ill / addicted abuser profile - gosh. Just wow. Yes.

CollectedWorks Fri 10-Jun-16 00:13:53

Thank you wellwhoknew, I just needed to hear I can do this and he can't bring my dream of a lovely peaceful (ha ha with small children) HAPPY (except when I'm grumpy) home crashing down.

AnotherEmma Fri 10-Jun-16 00:35:50

No one does everything on the list. If he did just one or maybe even two, you could probably try and work on it. But if he does more than five things on the list, that is emotional abuse and it's not acceptable. There's another article on emotional abuse here.

Anyway, I don't want to distract you too much. Just encourage you to stick to your guns and get the hell out of there as planned!

DetestableHerytike Fri 10-Jun-16 00:50:10

You Cando.this, op. Godspeed to your new place.

HeartsofOak Fri 10-Jun-16 01:01:43

Remember if you are or feel threatened you can ring 999 .

Or you can ask in advance to make an officer available to escort you and dc out of home. They might be able to oblige.

Ignore his pathetic attempts at frightening you to stay. You are perfectly entitled to leave and take your dc too.

Iknownuffink Fri 10-Jun-16 01:22:32

My EX kept me in the family home because he convinced me that I was not a fit mother.

I was the primary carer, he did not give a fuck about me or the DC.

Eventually when I thought our children were old enough I told them of my plans to leave.

It was very telling that they did not betray my trust.

goddessofsmallthings Fri 10-Jun-16 03:24:07

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, while he can't stop you from moving out, as he shares parental responsibility with you the father of your dc can apply for an emergency ex parte Prohibited Steps Order to expressly prohibit you from moving your dc from their current home/address.

This, of course is not to say that he will make any such application or that he will be successful but if he does, and if he is, you're unlikely to be aware of it until the order is served on you.

However, please DON'T PANIC as, if he's making this threat in response to your plan to move out with the dc, there's every chance he's bluffing and you're best advised to be as cunning as a barrel full of monkeys as he is.

To this end I suggest you avoid making any further mention of your plan and, if he is aware of your appointment later today, give the impression that the property you're signing up has unexpectedly fallen through or that there is some delay in the proceedings, as once the deed is done and you have moved into your new home with the dc he won't be able to force your/their return.

Don't worry that you'll lose your 6 months rent money as an emergency PSO is merely a means of ensuring that the status quo is maintained pending a further Court hearing at which both/all parties are present and, should you be served with any such injunction, you can challenge it before the date for further hearing that will be shown on the order which is customarily within 28 days of it having been granted.

That said, I reiterate that you have NO NEED TO PANIC as emergency PCOs are, in the main, used to address situations where the welfare of dc is at risk and, as I can't imagine that a judge would grant such an order where the respondent is taking the dc to live a short distance from their present home because she is being abused by the applicant, it's probable that he may have to lie fudge the truth of the matter in order to temporarily prevent you from moving out with the dc and this will inevitably count against him in the longer term.

I hope you've stayed with me so far and can accept my assurance that, should push come to shove, you will prevail and can be confident that, one way or another, you and your dc will be moving into your new home on or around the date shown on your tenancy agreement.

A guide to emergency PSOs and other injunctions can be found here:

If you have any reason to feel in fear or danger of what your h may do to you/your property/himself, please don't hesitate to call 999 and, when they arrive, ask the police to remove him from your home.

As the national helpline is often oversubscribed, you can find your nearest Women's Aid service here but it's unlikely to be available 24/7.

CollectedWorks Fri 10-Jun-16 21:23:44

goddessofsmallthings thank you very very much for your post. That was incredibly helpful to me and exactly what I needed to know. Really, thank you. Now I can get on with it with eyes open.

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