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Separated parents who live far apart

(14 Posts)
Fiona1984 Wed 19-Apr-17 17:46:06

My partner shares custody of his son with his ex. She moved house and now lives over an hour's drive away.
How do other families organise things like school, parties and family events when the other parent doesn't live close by?
He's still at school at 'our end', but I suspect his mum will prefer him to go to school at their side when he moves up to secondary school in a couple of years. I think he will miss his friends though, and it would mean us only having him at weekends. My partner has already said he doesn't want to be a 'weekend dad'. Only time will tell I guess.

GaelicSiog Wed 19-Apr-17 17:52:52

If you're in England, she will have to send him to a local secondary to her new address. He won't be able to get a place at a secondary in your area unless he's living with you the majority of the time.

What is your residency agreement at the moment?

Fiona1984 Wed 19-Apr-17 17:59:56

It's 50/50 custody, we have him every other weekend Friday night til Monday morning, every other Monday, and every Tuesday.
Also any other days when she's working away or he has a school or Scouts event.
We're moving soon and will be the next village on from his school.

GaelicSiog Wed 19-Apr-17 18:21:26

How does it work at the moment if his mother lives an hour from his school?

Assuming he goes to secondary near hers I think there's going to have to be some reassessment of 50/50 with that distance. Or perhaps more contact with dp during school holidays.

Fiona1984 Wed 19-Apr-17 18:30:03

I thought it was an hour, it's actually 37 minutes for her to drop him at breakfast club/childcare near school. I understand she works somewhere between school and her house.
It would prove near impossible for us to have him during the week in term time if he goes to school near his mum's. Me and my partner both work full time.
I'm not sure how the catchment area thing works. I'm hoping he'll stay over here and the current arrangement can continue. His step brother is with them every other weekend.

GaelicSiog Wed 19-Apr-17 18:40:59

She won't get him into a school near you if she's over half an hour away. Not unless the schools near you are undersubscribed, or you and DP are listed as the main residence for him.

Ellapaella Wed 19-Apr-17 18:41:32

I live 280 miles away from my ex. We never had 50/50 custody. Ds goes to his Dad's in the holidays and for the occasional long weekend at bank holidays etc. He is a teenager now and flies down to his Dad's which has made life a lot easier in regards to travelling etc. It's not ideal but you just have to try and make it work.

Fiona1984 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:12:29

IIRC she did try and get him in the school local to her last year but with no success, hence why he is still at school nearest us. But she may push for it when he moves up schools. It'll mean less driving around for her, and probably every weekend child free, if it works out that way that we only have him weekends.
We have 2 1/2 years yet before it happens, I think my partner is trying not to worry about it too much at the moment.
I know he will hate to just have him occasionally, he misses him after just a few days when his mum takes him on holiday, and he wants him to see our house as home too rather than just 'dad's house' sad

GaelicSiog Wed 19-Apr-17 19:37:51

She'll have left him there because she couldn't get a local school place, then- transfers are hard in lots of areas. Unless you and DP are his main residence, and I'm not clear how that works with 50/50, she will do his school application and unless schools near you are seriously undersubscribed, she won't have the option of keeping him at school in your area even if she wanted to.

I do think it needs to be more about DS's needs than DP's wants, if that makes sense. My ex is half an hour from me, we do EOW. More would be too much, DD's school is near me, half an hour drive there after school and back to school the next day wouldn't be doable unless it's for the weekend. She's younger, admittedly, and no way in hell would I go 50/50 with ex. But homework, socialising with friends etc really steps up in secondary. My sibling went through this a few years ago with ex and DC- it just wasn't doable 50/50 in the end. DCs' needs had to come first and they then did EOW.

Fiona1984 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:58:11

Thanks Gaelic, it may end up being something like that, we will have to see. I'm not sure if DS will at 11 be mature enough or even want to make the decision himself. His step brother is a couple of years older, and that may influence him. He's a gregarious child and I'm sure he'd make new friends if he did move over there.

WannaBe Fri 21-Apr-17 08:30:10

Once he starts secondary 50/50 will realistically need to be revised, and it's very unlikely to even be every weekend but more likely to be every other weekend, and even then, as friendships and social activities emerge DS is likely to want to spend more weekends at home because not doing so will start to impact on his social life.

You will also need to be prepared for the fact that your DP will need to start paying maintenance to his ex.

Bibidy Fri 21-Apr-17 11:34:37

Hey OP,

My OH's ex moved away with the kids after they split up (though much further, over 100 miles), and there's no denying that unfortunately it does rule him out for a lot of things like parties and having the kids' friends over, taking them to their hobbies, taking them to school...everything like that really. He has them EOW.

As others have said though, by the time this becomes an issue SS will probably have much more going on in his own life with friends etc, or if he doesn't he will very quickly after he starts secondary school, so the arrangements would probably have to change anyway.

Also when he's a bit older, he'll probably be staying up later, so maybe OH could drive over and take him out for dinner after work or something like that. You'll find a way smile

Fiona1984 Sun 23-Apr-17 09:56:38

Thanks for all the replies guys. My partner and his ex contribute 50/50 to DC financially, sometimes DP pays more if she's having difficulties. They still get on OK and have a good arrangement.
DP has talked about putting his motorbike back on the road so he can visit DS in the evenings rather than getting stuck in traffic in the car.
As you say, we will find a way.

Thistly Tue 25-Apr-17 00:46:02

Hi, admission authorities use the address of the parent who receives child benefit as the home address. HTH.

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