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His ex is trying to move away with his child. Is there anything he can do?

(118 Posts)
EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 08:59:50

Long story short. My partner has a child with his ex. They split up as she was cheating on him whilst he was in the military. His child was a toddler at the time. They haven't been together for years, and his child is now nearly 7. She adores him, they're attached at the hip, he pays his child maintenance without fail, and basically revolves his life around his daughter (which is one of the things I love about him). He's recently found out that his ex is thinking about moving away over 250 miles with his daughter and new boyfriend. My partner is heartbroken and a complete mess as his daughter is his works. It's like his world has been pulled from under him.

What are people's opinions on this? And is there anything at all he can do to prevent this from happening? I understand that adults want to move around and try new places, but is it really the best thing to take a daughter so far away from their parent?

Confused, lost, have no control over this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 09:00:58

*daughter is his world

NorthernSpirit Sat 10-Mar-18 09:23:32

Personally I think it’s realky selfish to move a child so far away from a parent. At 250 miles each way the journey will make it difficult for the father to have regular contact.

Your OH can apply through the courts for a specific issues order to try to prevent the move. It costs circa £215 and the father can represent himself. The mother would have to prove that the move is in the best interests of the child (and not just her interests). I appreciate each side needs to move on with their lives, but moving a child so far away from the father will make contact difficult.

My OH lives only 18 miles away from his children and this distance makes it difficult to have more contact. Good luck.

ohreallyohreallyoh Sat 10-Mar-18 09:34:00

I moved. I had to post divorce to be able to make things work financially. It was a hard decision and the courts allowed me to go.

Firstly, I would apply to the courts to get a stay on any move but the likelihood is that she will be allowed to move. The courts are not in the habit of stopping people moving on with their lives. Assuming he ex hasn’t been difficult with contact so far, there is no reason to assume contact will be stopped but getting a court order would help with that.

If I were your partner, I would also investigate the area his ex is moving to in order to see if I too could move my life there to continue regular contact.

Vitalogy Sat 10-Mar-18 09:38:43

I would try the court route. Then if that didn't work, move to where child is.

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 09:40:30

@ohreallyohreallyoh the difficulty is, I'm pregnant and we are expecting our first. If he could move, I'm sure he would. I however have a good job here, I get a year of paid mat leave, brilliant pay, and spent 10 years doing numerous degrees in order to secure this career. I can't move, I just can't (I hope this doesn't sound selfish of me. Trust me, I feel guilty enough about it). So if he did move, our relationship would be over and he would be just as far from our little one. It's all a big mess. She has been extremely difficult and went AWOL at Christmas when he was meant to have his daughter. It's just a nightmare and I'm stuck in the middle of it. Trying to play devils advocate and see it from both sides. I just don't know what to do...

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 09:44:35

@Vitalogy if you see my last post (right after yours), you'll see why I can't up and move. I feel extremely guilty about this but not sure what else I can do. The court route is definitely something we will do if that's what it takes.

RandomMess Sat 10-Mar-18 09:48:32

Yes go through the courts with her going AWOL at Christmas that will further support that his ex will not cooperate in facilitating a relationship between your DP and his DD

Vitalogy Sat 10-Mar-18 09:52:11

I've just been watching the Before Trilogy, sounds like the same situation but France and the US. Boiled down to a job. Maybe try and put yourself in your partners shoes. Imagine being parted from your child to be. Out of your whole life, the time until the children are grown is short. That time needs to be spent on them.

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 09:54:50

@Vitalogy I absolutely have tried putting myself in his shoes. It's just a hard decision to make. Giving up my job which I spent years working towards, my home, moving away from my friends, my own family, his family. As I said, I'm just completely lost.

Bananamanfan Sat 10-Mar-18 09:55:41

If your partner's DD lived with you full time would she be able to stay at her school? Is that something your dp could discuss with his exW?

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 09:59:40

@NorthernSpirit we would be happy if she was moving within 50 miles. It's all just a big mess and we aren't sure what to do. I have a horrible feeling it will end up with her moving, my other half wanting to move to be nearer (understandably) and our lives being completely uprooted. What a nightmare.

TroubledLichen Sat 10-Mar-18 10:05:09

He needs to go to court. Even if she’s ultimately allowed to move (be realistic, chances are she will be) he could request to have her school holidays, or to see her one weekend a month... whatever might be realistic given the circumstances. Or he could push to be the resident parent instead (again no guarantee this would be granted, it’s probably a long shot). A formal custody arrangement and court order is definitely needed though.

RandomMess Sat 10-Mar-18 10:19:11

I agree ultimately you need a contact order so she doesn't pull the AWOL stunt I would also be making he paying for plane/rail tickets for contact part of it too...

Vitalogy Sat 10-Mar-18 10:30:41

I'm sorry you're in this predicament OP. Maybe when your own child is here, you'll realise how heart wrenching it is to be away from them. I can understand how hard you've worked towards your career. I don't believe a career or partner should come before a child though, that's my opinion.

AmITwirly Sat 10-Mar-18 10:35:24

When you say your DH and his daughter are joined at the hip, how often does he see her? Is it 50/50 shared care or does he just see her every other weekend? As PPs have said, a court will look at what is in the best interests of the child and your DH's argument will be stronger if he can demonstrate a full and active involvement in the minutiae of DD's life.

That said, it is possible to maintain long-distance relationships if everyone works hard to facilitate it. My XH moved continents (5,000 miles away) when DCs were toddlers. For 14 years he's flown in every 2nd or 3rd weekend and the DCs fly out to him in the school holidays.

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 10:36:35

@Vitalogy I know exactly what you're saying, but I don't think it would take for me to have my own child to understand what it would be like. I understand, through my partner and his reaction, I really do. I want the best life for my baby. If we move to a rural area, where neither of us can continue our careers and need to start from scratch, are miles away from our families and friends, with no help whatsoever... I don't think that's the best thing for our baby. It's so much more complicated than choosing my career over his daughter.

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 10:37:34

@AmITwirly he has her 2/3 evenings (not overnight) per week and all weekend most weekends.

ohreallyohreallyoh Sat 10-Mar-18 10:41:47

The fact she has messed about with contact is a positive because it will put doubt in a judge’s mind as to whether the move is genuine (or to remove child from dad) and whether she will be reliable with contact.
Although I still say not allowing her to move is unlikely.

Start a diary of problems/threats/contact that doesn’t happen as this may prove useful. Keep emails or texts and do everything via email or text.

Think very seriously about having daily contact via Skype put into a contact order and maybe 2 out of 3 half term holidays, 4 weeks in summer and half of Easter and Xmas. Be specific - eg, Saturday to Saturday because I have heard of cases where half of school holidays has been reduced to Monday to Wednesday lunch by a difficult ex! Alternate Xmas. Also how travel will take place, where drops will be (specifically - not just half way), who will bear the costs of travelling.

Do you know what her partner does for a living? If so, is it more easily transferable than your job?

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 10:46:22

Thank you @ohreallyohreallyoh

I have absolutely no idea what he does. I know that her job is very transferable. My other half's is too but only really if he is in an urban area.

I feel like I may be considered selfish to consider my career and not to want to move. At the end of the day, I am able to work from home one day a week, can compress my hours so I can have an extra day with my child, work on a flexi time basis so can take days off whenever I like, get a year of full mat leave, am on great pay, get childcare vouchers, 7 weeks holiday (I could go on...). I didn't want to make this about my career as it's not the main issue. However I have to think of my child too and what is best for them.

NotLinkedInSnowedIn Sat 10-Mar-18 10:51:54

I took my children away from their father but only because if I'd stayed close to him it would have been a life time of poverty. He would have contributed but not much, certainly he wouldn't have borne 50% of the costs. He wouldn't have done 50% of the childcare and he wouldn't have paid for 50% of the childcare costs if I'd been able to take a job. I felt cornered. Absolutely cornered financially. I had to move to a cheaper area where I had support.

SO my advice with no assumptions and no judgement is very simple, ensure that she can envisage a good life nearby. A life where her child's father meets 50% of the costs of not just raising a child but bears 50% of the sacrifice of being a parent.

Vitalogy Sat 10-Mar-18 10:54:16

but I don't think it would take for me to have my own child to understand what it would be like It's a total life changer, good or bad, I don't think until you go through it yourself you can truly know. If you're in the UK in most cases people can commute to a city can't they.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think your partners ex should take the child away from father in the first place. I think he's got a good case, he spends a good bit of time with his daughter and they sound close. So I hope it can be stopped at that.

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 10:54:30

@NotLinkedInSnowedIn I absolutely understand. I have no judgement for those who do move and know that there are many, many reasons for moving away and relocating. I'm glad it worked for you and wish you all the best.

My other half is willing to take 50% custody, pay for whatever he needs to pay for, have her for half of the holidays, he would do anything. Money isn't the issue. Nor is time. He just wants to be near his daughter. It is hard for him because it is out of his hands.

Thanks for your input.

EvadneBadne Sat 10-Mar-18 10:57:35

@Vitalogy thank you. I do understand your point. I really do. I just feel that I am able to empathise more than you may think. But as you say, I haven't given birth to my child yet so am not technically a parent. I like to think that seeing my other half crying in to my arms over the thought of his daughter being taken away is enough of an indicator. It's just awful. Thanks very much for your input.

Vitalogy Sat 10-Mar-18 10:58:28

However I have to think of my child too and what is best for them. Exactly, your partner needs to do the same, although it's twice as bad as he'll have two. What a predicament.

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