I am moving out 'with' kids, how does it look to them.?

(69 Posts)
jenny99 Sat 23-Mar-13 06:55:06

After nearly 20 yrs of marriage I would like to separate. My husband is refusing to move out saying that he is happy here and legal advice tells him don't move out. I am a sahm (for the last 15 yrs).

Last night I said we have 3 options
He moves out and rents during 6 month trial separation (without kids but somewhere with plenty of space for them to stay etc)

I move out and rent (6 months again) with the kids.

We sell the house and buy 2 properties and go straight to divorce.

We 'decided' on 2nd option because he said he is happy in the house and refuses to move out and it is less irreversible than the third option should we change our minds.

But overnight I am thinking.....it will look to the kids like I am taking them away from their home and their daddy for a smaller home with probably very small garden (big football players!)...they will end up resenting me for it.

I think going straight to divorce seems to be the only option although seems crazy?!

What is anybody else's experience of this sort of thing please?

No divorce is a fairytale.

I separated in Oct 2009 and it's been hard. My ExH chose to leave me, so I was left to pick up the pieces.

I help on a divorce course, so I'm under no illusions. I've met many people and seen the hurt they're going through and heard how the kids are suffering for it. You still sound deeply affected, and you're right, it can have a deep and lasting impact on children. It should be a last resort to divorce and I wouldn't say it was greener at all on the other side. Just different and yes, hard work as a lone parent. But I think Jenny knows all of this. I also do not think she is treating the kids as assets, I think you're projecting due to your own painful past.

Stepmooster Wed 10-Apr-13 20:26:41

The OP asked for our experiences I am relating that to her. Kids have feelings, and teens can be rebellious and act in a certain way out of hurt. You may have sorted everything out but you will never know how your kids react.

Your soon to be divorce sounds a bit too fairytale. What will happen when reality sets in for your ex, and realises your not coming back. He might dig his heels in. He might refuse to pay you any maintenance and you have to go to court.

I would if I were you start trying to find some employment you want freedom from your husband but you will never be free if you have to rely 100 pct from him. But if you're happy to rely on him like that then why are you leaving him? If you meet someone else and becomes serious you won't get spousal anymore. And what if your new love earns nowhere near as much as your ex then what? Stay single forever to get spousal support?

I am not anti divorce, or SAHM I am just sick of how kids are treated as assets to split in two when they are people and have their own voice. It really has to be the last resort, the grass is not greener for them and children usually prefer to live in one house with both parents and not lead double lives.

I don't think you need to justify yourself anymore Jenny tbh.

Stepmooster is projecting massively here and still sounds very angry and bitter about her past and transferring it. Not that I blame her but it's coming across in a very aggressive manner.

As I've said already, I am sorry Stepmooster for your difficult experience but not every divorce has to be that way, mine wasn't/ isn't and the kids are happy and thriving and my ExH and I do everything we can to co parent well and ensure the kids have a say in contact etc. Divorce is not ideal but there is a lot you can do to help protect and support the children if you cannot work things out.

I think as I have followed your thread from the beginning Jenny and read every post, that you are doing the best you can for your kids here, in a difficult situation and have thought about it a lot and I do not think for a moment that your divorce will pan out like Stepmoosters as you seem to be thinking about it all very carefully and taking our advice on board. I wish you the best of luck.

NotMostPeople Wed 10-Apr-13 13:04:22

Lots of luck Jenny, it sounds like a positive way to move forward.

jenny99 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:34:30

Thank you smile

BertieBotts Wed 10-Apr-13 10:23:47

I think you've made the right decision. Good luck/.

jenny99 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:12:24

Thank you for your support for those of you giving it.

For those that aren't, thanks for the food for thought.

FYI we have looked at the practicalities.

I gave up my career because my husband wanted me to be at home with the kids, as did I.

Yes we have looked into practicalities and we won't be renting. We will be buying another house similar size to the one we are all in. Our finances can afford this and bills etc etc. sorry if that creates resentment in any of you but as you can read above my husband has worked bloody long hours to earn what he earns. I hVe asked him repeatedly over the years to work less hours for less money.

We realise the children will have views and we would like to take their views into account. But we both feel we will be saying to them that we will now have 2 homes and they will have a lot of fun with dad in his home and with me in mine and both will be their homes. We will be flexible where we can if particular events fall on certain days (football matches etc) and we want to parent together and not be manipulated. Things have moved on since I wrote the original post.

However, I am incredibly sad about it.

I doubt very much he will change jobs. He is in a partnership and is tied in financially.

I hope he will find someone else who loves him in the way he deserves.

However, I do believe that I am entitled to spousal as well as child maintenance.

I have been the mother to his children and given the last 15 yrs to that. But I have enjoyed it too.

My earning power is nowhere near his.

We have discussed this and he is at the moment comfortable with it.

:/

NotMostPeople Wed 10-Apr-13 09:44:47

That's not very nice Stepmooser. What do you suggest? That the OP stay in a marriage that is making her miserable? That she totally discounts and therefore devalues the years that she was a Sahm? If you give up work to raise a family you're going to find it a lot harder to get back into a well paid job. If she hadn't been at home with the dc's would his career and therefore finances have taken off? If it was a joint choice for her to be a Sahm then they both should take responsibility for the financial fallout from that.

I'm shocked by how unsupportive people are being, I suspect it's because of the husbands high earnings, which isn't relevant.

Stepmooster Wed 10-Apr-13 09:26:16

We both feel that 50/50 would be fairest for all involved although it would possibly end up nearer 60/40 for me due to his working hours.

Two things, first your children may not want 50/50 60/40 care. If you try to force this on them without their input it could massively backfire.

Second, let me get this right, you intend not to be working when you move out and rely solely on handouts from your ex? In effect having all the benefits of still being his wife, not exactly the freedom your dreaming of.

If not you'd better go and try and find employment, then have the working hours discussion.

Have you even done anything practical like find out how much it is to rent a 3 bed near to your current home and nr your childrens school? Worked a budget for bills etc? Becuase divorce settlements can take years to finalise.

You have no idea how your STBEX will react to being a single dad. He may change his priorities in life, take a new job with better hours, fall in love again. He may not want to bend over backwards for the woman who left him, and taking his children from him. He is probably operating in a state of shock and don't put too much faith in what he promises you now.

superbagpuss Wed 10-Apr-13 08:07:06

do not leave your kids ever. my mum left home without me, 20 plus years later still feel I am worthless as she didn't want me

jenny99 Wed 10-Apr-13 08:02:42

My husband is out of the house from 6.00am-9.00pm and he and I have discussed the care of the children. We both feel that 50/50 would be fairest for all involved although it would possibly end up nearer 60/40 for me due to his working hours.

I am not trying to take the children away from him and I will encourage their special relationship. Perhaps I didn't make that clear in my post. I would be moving out with the kids but they would still be back with him for 40/50% of the time. It usually seem to be the father that finds the new place to live ime and I was just wondering.
Thank you for all opinions. Everything helps.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 10-Apr-13 07:20:46

You are free to choose what to do with your own life, but your children are old enough to have a say in what they want to do, and where they want to live.
Provided that decision is based on logic and discussion between all of you, then the situation will be as fair as possible.
It was your automatic assumption that you would take the children that annoyed me, they have rights too.

Stepmooster Wed 10-Apr-13 05:57:16

If you really feel that life would be better outside your marriage than from within. That you cannot discover your own potential with the support of your family then fine divorce your husband.

But when you talk about your children its only about how you will make them live with you, so that they can provide you with extra emotional and financial support. You do know they are going to be devastated, and you will be the bad guy not their dad.

If you want to reduce the risk of the children rebelling against you give them a choice. How will your STBEX act if his children beg to stay? Ready for a custody battle?

You seem to be longing for a better life than the rut you got yourself into. You could soon be alone, significantly worse off financially and have no job. That's the reality my mother found herself in, and she took it out on the children.

Why not go find yourself on a charity project abroad for a couple of months first?

I agree if children are being brought up within a hostile environment then yes divorce. Being a teenager and going through divorce is hell, it affects everything. I just wish more adults thought of the children more.

Yes I would stay in my marriage. I'd kick myself up the bum, retrain and start a career (reflexology imo is not a career to support a family on) and purpose in life. Then I would try to recreate the initial spark with my husband. He seems very keen to support you, he sounds as though he loves you a lot. You know you may never find that again. On the downside He's no mug and refuses to give you his home (why should he?)

It can be just as damaging to stay together sometimes. That's not a healthy environment for kids either. My ExH came from a marriage like that and it didn't do him any favours at all.

When we all post our opinions on here, it is based on our experience and sometimes those experiences are painful and can bring fresh insight to others.

I'm divorced and have offered my opinion, stepmoosters is based from a child's painful experience. Each situation is different, all you can do is weigh them all up and do what feels right.

I'm sorry for your painful parents separation stepmooster but not every divorce has to be like that, if handled sensitively.

You have thought about this long and hard OP. It's a very difficult decision. I personally think in your situation separation is best, as long as you co parent well, never speak badly of the other parent and allow the children some say on residency as well. It can work. It does for my kids but obviously I wish I hadn't had to divorce sad

jenny99 Tue 09-Apr-13 14:18:02

Thank you for your comments.

Are you suggesting I should be unhappy and stay? What sort of role model does that provide of a marriage?

I no longer have loving feelings for my husband. We have been trying to change this for the last 2 years and have both had individual and couples counselling.

Are you suggesting I would be doing the right thing by carrying on in a sexless, loveless marriage for the sake of the kids? My OH has said he doesn't want me to do that. So should I pretend?

I know I would have major lifestyle changes.

What other options would you suggest?
Thank you smile

Stepmooster Tue 09-Apr-13 06:20:18

You do sound a bit selfish. I feel sorry for your children. They are going to be told one day soon mummy doesn't love daddy anymore so mummy and daddy have decided you're going to move out with mummy.

I can tell you right now your children will not react with, 'oh ok, I'll just go pack my things.'

They will cry, scream, shout at you, blame you, hate you, start to question their faith and trust in other people and relationships. Grow up with commitment issues etc etc...

All because mummy chose to marry someone who worked hard enough to give her and his children a good life and she got bored.

Stand by your vows. My mother thought she could do what you did, but my sister and I point blank refused to want to go with her. She never got her head around the fact we were not her posessions because she had been SAHM. As soon as we were old enough to we went to be with our dad. And as young adults we spent more and more time with dad.

The fact of it is, your kids love mum and dad equally and they will hate you for this.

Have you thought what will happen if your reflexology career plan fails and you are trying to scratch by on spousal and Child maintenance. You do realise that you're going to have to have some major cutbacks to the standard of living you have now? Do you even know how much energy, council tax, water, rents, mortgages, insurance costs these days?

My DH ex was just like you, 4 years later she is a bitter woman who is up to her eyes in debt expecting her ex to bail her out.

How would you feel if your DH re-married and your kids went to live with them FT? And you only saw them EOW?

Be sure you can live with all the consequences of your actions before you blow your children's lives apart.

Xenia Sun 24-Mar-13 15:39:55

If you don't want to stay in the current house don't. The only reason to stay is if you want the children to spend more time with you than him - teenagers whatever rota parents' arrange virtually never stick to it and like to be in one place and can hardly be forced from one place to another like you can a 6 year old.

We were much happier after divorce and the children (they had asked for the divorce which is unusual so they were delighted but I am sure that hardly ever happens). It does show divorce can be the best thing for some people.

They will probably want to know that things will not change much, same schools, an easy routine (if any effort like travelling is involved parents will do it all for them as parents caused the problem), no resulting shortage of money, same allowance. Eg if their father never cooks for him you could make sure he learns before you leave so that he can cook their meals or he hires someone in to do the cooking on the days he is home and learns to do their washing or finds someone to do it for them when he's the one they are with and stuff like that. They also need to know it's not their fault and that you want the divorce and not worry it is some other reason like their behaviour or their father had an affair or something that isn't true.

I think if you're pragmatic about things and try to stick to facts not feelings as you start this process, nothing should hopefully be an issue.

Who knows what you may agree if you both handle this situation right.

I wish you lots of luck though. If you can both be civil it'll help the children enormously x

jenny99 Sun 24-Mar-13 11:56:23

Lol. How could I earn £500k?! I haven't worked for 15 yrs!!!

Would love to tho!

We have agreed on telling the children in April after school trip for eldest and since starting this thread I can see the benefit of being honest and not giving false hope and just saying we are divorcing. Otherwise I guess for months or longer the kids keep hoping we will reconcile

I think he wouldn't go through with stopping work because his parents hit the roof at that idea an his mum is very forceful. I also think that unfortunately that will be his only thing left and his 'identity'.

I think if we do what you suggest and say these are the new living arrangements the kids will go with it. They don't have any friends with divorced parents and they don't know that they can kick up a fuss. They do love both of us and to start with will probably do it at least.

The problem with me going for our current house is that OH knows that I hate living here. Have wanted to move for about 10 yrs and that is one of my issues. I don't want to move far just he knows I don't like being here. That could be a problem?!

Xenia Sun 24-Mar-13 10:03:08

I see you said earlier the younger children would choose to be with you even if he had to move to a smaller house and the older would feel torn. The longer you take the more likely the younger child will be older and end up preferring to stay at home.

If i were you I would tell the children, petition for divorce and try to ensure you get the house, not your husband. That way your children are more likely to stay. If you are fighting for a large % of the joint assets, a share of his business if he has a business, half his pension and say £100k maintenance for life plus support for the children and their school and university fees paid he might let you have the current house if you let go of some of those other claims.

There is no need for mediation if you both reach an agreement. We had none. We had lawyers but we reached the financial deal ourselves which the lawyers then wrote up. It took 7 rather awful months of stll living together

I think it's vital teenagers are told the truth and are very clear about everything. It does not help a child to have parents pretend they are trying to work on things but it may be they stay together. Much better to say mummy does not love daddy any more and wants to live apart so we have both agreed these new arrangements and these are what they are. Now they may say no way I am only going to live in one home and that is with my mother or with my father but you can at least try them and if one parent refusing to have the child then the chidl just to put up with what the parents have agreed or run away or live with a school friend (and plenty of teenagers do the latter).

And on work etc I worked full time and kept the 5 children here and paid a full time nanny. It is perfectly workable for the full time working parents to have the children with them
Your husband has threatened tos top work. Lots of men actually follow through with that to ensure their wife does not get a penny so do we cautious and perhaps look at ways of supporting yourself. It would be huge fun to see if you could out earn him next year. Aim for £500k a year. That might shake things up a bit. Put his £300k a year into the shade.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 20:04:57

Does your husband want the children to stay with him?
If they choose differently to the lawyers, will your husband support their choice?
Will you?
You have a very long journey ahead of you, so it's good that you are thinking calmly about it and planning ahead instead of reacting to situations and developments.
How do you think your children will feel about it in the long run?

jenny99 Sat 23-Mar-13 19:37:41

I would love a squeeze thank you.

He is threatening to give up work or to take compassionate leave. Tbh I can't see him doing either. And I have spoken to 3 lawyers who all say that I have been the main carer for 14 years so really it isn't in question that they should be with me.

I think it is now becoming clear that divorce is the only option. The realistic chances of us getting back together after a separation are minimal especially now therefore it seems I will have a better arrangement re my rights, the kids, etc if we take advice at this stage and move to divorce. If we have a very 'woolly' separation I'm not sure what happens after that.

Thank you all for your continuing input xx

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 23-Mar-13 19:30:28

'him having to employ a nanny and housekeeper in your place would he decide it's more practical for him to go?'

On £300,000 a year and no mortgage? he can probably cope!

MajaBiene Sat 23-Mar-13 19:25:35

If he is refusing to go and expects you to move out, what is his plan for childcare? If he is faced with the prospect of you going and him having to employ a nanny and housekeeper in your place would he decide it's more practical for him to go?

If he really won't consider leaving then a divorce and forcing everyone out seems like the only option he is leaving you with.

I would just start divorce proceeding if you're sure. It will be hard but things do get better again. Wish I could give you a squeeze x

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