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Is it ok to move away, even though dc's won't be anywhere near their father?

(39 Posts)
mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 10:47:44

We live in a very rural part of the country and is one of the most expensive places to live (except London) and the wages are quite poor and don't reflect the cost of living.

My DH is from a different part of the country where it is relatively cheap to live(ie a 3 bedroom house where we live now would cost £250K where as it would cost £150k) and there are more job opportunities. DH is homesick and wants to move 'home'. Until recently I have said 'no I don't want to move' but I now I'm wondering what is actually keeping me in this part of the country. Aside from the expense of living here my DC's father is here too which is good for them but not for me.

I know it should be what is best for the children but I don't know if I can take it any more. I don't have a very good relationship with ex, as his wife has seen to it that we don't get on. She is very manipulative and manipulates dc's all the time. She doesn't like anyone she knows to have anything to do with me and has created such a fuss/atmosphere that his family who I used to get on great guns with, even after ex and I split, find it really awkward around me now because she has made it clear to them that if they have anything to do with me she will cut off contact with them (which means her, ex and their baby). She asked mutual friends of ours not to come to my wedding to DH, they didn't (I assume the same ploy was used on them too) and now those mutual friends won't even say hello to me. I'm not fussed as they obviously aren't real friends but it does make it really awkward for us and others when we are at the same weddings, christenings etc, so much so that DH and I have decided not to accept invites of things anymore when we know that they will be there.
Ex has no backbone and will not stand up to his wife but there again I'm not sure if he is just being manipulated too and just can't see it?! Whatever the reason, she definitely wears the trousers in their relationship!!

DC's are now staying with their father for 2 weeks as they do every year in the summer holidays (he only lives 5 miles away). It's nice for them to spend some time with him and it's nice for DH and I as we get to spend some time 'just us'. However, I am treated as if it is none of my business what happens with regards to my own DC's. Months ago I was told what dates he was having them in the summer and nothing was mentioned again until a few days before they were due to go. I text him and asked him was he still taking them on holiday as he hadn't mentioned it, the reply 'yes we're having them but we're not going on holiday this year'. And I was told what day he was bringing the children home, which is 2 days later than normal. I didn't argue because if I don't go along with what they want they just make life hell for me and I haven't got the energy to fight about it. I spoke to the DC's on Monday and his mobile phone has been switched off since, which I've no doubt in my mind has been done on purpose so I can't speak to them.

I feel like I need/want a fresh start, to just get away from it all but is it fair to take DC's away from living 5 miles away from their dad to 300 miles away?

sparkybint Thu 30-Jul-09 11:07:17

If your kids love their dad and he loves them you have to put everything else to one side. Moving them 300 miles away from him would be unbelievably cruel. If I did that to my daughter, it would break her heart (her dad lives closeby). How old are your kids, have you mentioned any of this to them if they're old enough?

As for arrangements/communication, you have every right to expect it to work better. It does take energy but it's worth it for the sake of the kids. Don't give up, or you might regret it later.

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 11:45:02

I'm not so callous that I want to move DC's away from their father so they would never see him again.

I need a fresh start. We are in financial difficulty and need to live more cheaply and find better jobs in order to do this. The best chance of doing this is if we move. I'm just considering other factors of what would keep us here. My ex and his wife bullying me all the time is just another reason why I want to go.

If my DC's were dead against it we wouldn't even consider it.

GypsyMoth Thu 30-Jul-09 11:49:52

what are the current contact arrangements? is there a court order?

the only way he could try and stop you legally,is by filing a prohibited steps order. these rarely get granted,as you can move anywhere within jurisdiction,unless he has a very good reason why you shouldn't.

school age kids get lots of hols. so he could have lots of time that way. would you do all/share travel? costs? depends on current arrangements really.....but his new wife sounds a witch!!

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 12:31:19

The current arrangement is that DC's see their dad every other weekend. They go to his house once in the week too (when he doesn't cancel it).

Dc's are 9 and 6 at the moment, if we moved it wouldn't be until next year and they would be 10 and 7. There are lots of school holidays and bank holiday weekends and times when we would be back to visit family anyway. If DC's to stay with him in the school holidays we could drive and meet him halfway.

I'm NOT trying to take kids away from their father or trying to be unbelievably cruel as it has been suggested. We as a family are getting deeper into debt with no way out by living in an area with no prospects. Dh and I don't have very good jobs and they certainly do not pay very well, we need to better ourselves for the good of the DC's too. I'm now worried as to how I'm going to afford new school uniforms and shoes as there is no money to pay for these things without not paying a bill and getting behind. I don't want to live like this anymore. Is that so wrong?

GypsyMoth Thu 30-Jul-09 12:36:19

i think you should try to speak with their dad. its not wrong,no,not at all. but he does have a high level of contact at present.

what if he were to take it to court with a pso and a case for residency? do you think he would try that?

proverbial Thu 30-Jul-09 12:47:07

I would go if i were you. Your ex seems to care little about you or your feelings, and his wife has gone out of her way to make life more and more difficult for you. He can't have all the perks and none of the responsibilities of being a co-parent with you when he doesn't make any effort at all. If you move your childrens quality of life will be much improved.

I would tell him that you are moving and will make every effort to maintain good levels of contact. Isn't it about time he made some effort too?

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 12:51:36

He can be very underhand most of the time. I don't really know what to expect as it is usually his wife who is the driving force. At present when DC's are at their house and if their dad has to go out, DC's seem to get palmed off to his mothers and not looked after by his wife.
If the wife didn't want us to move away with kids we would have a hell of a battle on our hands and would probably lose as she is sly and manipulative but very clever with it.

I'm going to go to a free consultation with my solicitor to get some advice next week, not just about this but about the way ex and his wife seem to control our lives really as DC's are the main part of our lives. It seems that ex and his wife have got me over a barrel really. I can't stop him seeing the DC's (and would never want to) yet he can treat me however he likes and chop and change the arrangements at the drop of a hat and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. Doesn't seem right really!

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 13:07:11

proverbial, yes it would improve the quality of life for all of us, not just financially but mentally too. It's starting to take a toll on us always struggling for money and DC's aren't stupid they know there's something up especially when they can't do after school activities like their friends because we can't afford it. It's draining always being at loggerheads with their father too. I have tried on many an occasion to try and talk to him and have tried to point out that there is no need for hostility when we all have DC's interests at heart. He agrees to my face and then nothing changes so I've given up now. What more can I do? sad

detco Thu 30-Jul-09 13:26:20

Hi, ive been a reader rather than a poster but i had to reply to this thread.

I did the big move which meant my son was 3-400 miles from his Dad. I was fortunuate that my ex could see reason by then. However i would be surprised if he could have done anything legally to stop me?!

I was petrified that my son would resent me for making the decision, (he hasnt and doesnt) in fact what has happened is he now has 2 completely happy and secure parents. Deciding to move is a huge decision and a worrying one but it may just be the perfect solution for your situation.

At the end of the day its not like you are removing your children from the UK and they can always fly to see their Dad!!

flatcapandpearls Thu 30-Jul-09 13:33:40

We have recently moved from Lancashire to Dorset to improve our quality of life. Our town was awful, highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe, few jobs, lots of drug problems and I really worried about dd growing up there. we hated it so much that we were considering emigrating so Dorset was a compromise. We discussed it with her father and made it clear that the move was not about getting her away from her father . We also agreed that If the move made dd unhappy we would move back. Dd is much happier although she does now only see her dad in the school holidays. She does phone him every night, speaks to him on the webcam, writes letters and has a blog to keep him up to date. I am hoping that he will realise in time that it would be in his dd interests for him to move closer to her especially as he has a son who lives two hours from us.

If you are sure that you are not moving to get away from your ex and his wife, it will make your child happy and your dd's father is supportive I would say it us Ok to move.

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 14:21:32

flatcapandpearls we would be doing the opposite to you, moving from the south to the north. We do live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country but also one of the most expensive with the second highest percentage of holiday homes in the whole country. Everything here is geared up for holiday makers, seasonal jobs and seasonal prices! Obviously businesses have got to make their money at the busiest time of year so prices are high, which is ok if you can afford it but we can't.
It even takes an hour to get to the nearest decent supermarket, in fact it's an hour to pretty much anywhere and costs an absolute fortune in petrol to get anywhere.

We won't be moving to an area with high teenage pregnancy rates or anything. I want the chance to have something. We have no money so therefore have nothing. We will never be able to afford our own home in this area and can't even get a council house so we are paying a fortune in private rent for a house that isn't even double glazed has no insulation and has night storage heaters that are so old they don't chuck out much heat. It's freezing in our house in the winter. We can't afford anything better here but where we want to move to we could have something better but for less.

When weighing up the pro's and con's of moving or not I have to take into consideration every factor, so my ex making my life an absolute misery is one reason as to why I would want to leave just as the fact that my ex is DC's father and I have to take their feelings into account is a reason to stay.

mrsboogie Thu 30-Jul-09 14:23:57

Surely his new wife will be pleased to see you go? You will be out of her hair and she will expect to have all the relatives/friends etc to herself. Sounds like she won't be too bothered if the kids are around less frequently either. She might unintentionally be your ally in this planned move...

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 14:37:30

mrsboogie that is exactly what I'm hoping but didn't want to say so as I've already been slated once today.

The wife was the OW that broke up our marriage. He said he wanted to be with her so I just let them get on with it. But she has a MAJOR problem with me. She's got the man, the marriage and now the baby so what more does she want? I couldn't care less about them, I'm really, really happy with my DH and have absolutely no problem with her or him other than they can't seem to just get on with things, they want to make life difficult for me. It's almost as if she enjoys it, gets some kick out of it. To me, life's too short and we've all moved on so I wonder what the problem is.

So yes she might be glad to see the back of me and DC's but part of me thinks she'll kick off just because that's what she's like.

sparkybint Thu 30-Jul-09 14:48:20

How can you be sure your DCs aren't against it? If I asked a child of 6 such a huge question there's no way I would expect them to be able to give me a meaningful answer. But only you know what feels right and I'm just saying that for me, I'd find it hard to live with myself if I removed my child so far away. My ex was a complete bastard to me and I'd love never to have to see him again but there you go. Money wasn't so much of an issue though and I can see the problem there.

If it means them having to fly to see him, then that's a really long way. Couldn't you move somewhere a bit closer, say halfway? But you need to speak to your ex. You're lucky by the way to have two of you working. My ex doesn't give me a bean in maintenance and I'm on a low wage, considerably less than the national average. I have to be tough with DD about what I can afford and it's good for her to know the value of money.

sparkybint Thu 30-Jul-09 14:55:55

Sorry, just seen your post mampam. I was expressing how I would try to deal with this and apologise if you feel slated. Anyway, this seems to be more about your ex's new wife than the kids.

I do feel very strongly about childrens' rights to have reasonable access to their fathers, no matter how badly the father has behaved with regard to the mother of their children.

Stretch Thu 30-Jul-09 14:59:51

I don't see why you shouldn't move. Legally or morally. After all, if he was the one that wanted to move, there would be very little you could do about that!

Visits would have to be less, but for longer IYSWIM?

New wife sounds a little paranoid! You gave him up quite easily it sounds like, now maybe she's wondering why?? grin

flatcapandpearls Thu 30-Jul-09 15:04:37

Sparklybint it is hard to judge if a child is happy, my dd who is 7 has sIx to us a number of times unprompted by us that she is happier here. People who visit say that as a famy unit we are visibly happier and that is even though we have been under immense pressure. But it is hard to judge, you just need to trust your instint and be honest

edam Thu 30-Jul-09 15:05:27

How often would your children get to see their Dad? How would it actually work in practice?

I don't think there's any need for you to be on your ex's doorstep. But 300 miles is a long way. You need to sit down and think about the practicalities. Because however much of an arse your ex is, your children do need to see him.

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 15:21:46

I just want a fresh start not just for financial reasons but feel it is being made impossible for us to carry on living in this area any longer. Is it so wrong to want to live a hassle free life and just to get on with concentrating on just me, DH and DC's without outside influences?

I have always and will always ensure contact between DC's and their father even when he hasn't been bothered either way (especially with DS 6).

I don't need these financial worries and have a light at the end of the tunnel if we move. I also don't need these hassle's that I get from ex and his wife. I've had 5 years of it and you would have thought they would give it a rest by now but no they haven't so the prospect of another 5 years or more of it isn't worth thinking about.

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 15:25:56

It's 300 miles away because that is where my DH has lived for most of his life. He has family there and we have friends.

edam Thu 30-Jul-09 15:30:51

VERY good point there that no-one would dream of preventing your ex moving, so why shouldn't you?

But you do need to think about how contact would work over a distance of 300 miles. Nothing to stop you going, but how would the dcs stay in touch with their Dad?

mampam Thu 30-Jul-09 15:41:34

As I've said before there are lots of school holidays and bank holidays and as my family live here it's not like we are going to leave never to return!
Phonecalls, texts, emails.....

detco Thu 30-Jul-09 15:43:20

300 miles sounds further than it actually is!! Maybe the worry is how devoted a father he will become when the distance is between him and his children? Will his wife allow him to travel to see them? Children cope with separation, an unhappy Mummy less so..

CarGirl Thu 30-Jul-09 15:50:51

I think you should do it, you can't afford to live where you are, your social life has been curtailed, you are miserable.

I would recommend telling your dc that next year you are planning to move and I would tell your ex in writing that due to financial circumstances that you need to move to a cheaper area and that you will need to discuss changing the current contact arrangements when it happens.

As long as you still reside in England they can't do anything about it.

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