Can Mum take the DCs and move them away from their dad?

(55 Posts)
Poppinsesque Sat 13-Apr-13 18:00:36

Found out this afternoon our best man and his wife are most likely separating. (best man told DH while we were over for lunch). He's terrified as she has said she will take the DCs (6 and 2) and move back to the south coast which is a 3 hour drive from where they live now and where his job is. (she works at home so can essentially be anywhere).

He had wanted them to have 50/50 or similar arrangement to suit the children's needs and both parents work.

Can she do this? I would have thought she would have to have some sort of agreement from the dad to move them out of school/nursery and move them hundreds of miles from their dad. She told him as long as she stay in UK she can go wherever she wants.

Poor bloke's terrified he will lose his kids.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 13-Apr-13 18:02:28

He needs to take legal advice ASAP. She may be hurting and lashing out?

YouYoniLiveTwice Sat 13-Apr-13 18:06:00

He needs to get advice about applying for a Prohibited Steps Order and/or Shared Residence.

Spero Sat 13-Apr-13 18:10:04

If he doesn't agree to them moving she will need to get permission from the court. So he must make it very clear he doesn't agree and if he thinks she might just up and leave, he can apply for PSO as Youyoni says.

If she ends up with a sole residence order, generally the courts are sympathetic to primary carer's wish to move within England and Wales, for work or family support etc. but she will have to show good reason, if it is just to put distance between her and ex to spite him, court won't like that.

MrsLHofstadter Sat 13-Apr-13 18:11:02

Poor guy, not surprised he's terrified.

Yes, it's possible she is just lashing out or trying take some control as she feels everything else is falling apart. Doesn't mean she will act on it.

HeySoulSister Sat 13-Apr-13 18:11:45

Yeah sadly she'd probably can!

You need good reasons to gain a pso...

Poppinsesque Sat 13-Apr-13 18:14:47

Yes - I thought it would most likely be her using the kids to try and make him stay in the relationship. (she has some relatively minor mental health issues). DH told him to go and see a solicitor as soon as possible.

So is it likely he could stop her? He is a great dad and would be devastated to only see his kids every other weekend. He's also worried how his wife would cope with the kids alone as she has depression. ( not that people with depression can't cope with kids but she often struggles with the kids alone now.)

Thank you for the advice

Spero Sat 13-Apr-13 18:18:18

It depends on why she wants to move. If is for family support or similar good reason, court might be sympathetic. But any move that makes regular contact with other parent more difficult will have to be supported with good reasons. She can't just up and go if he does not consent.

But much better to try and talk this through that go to court, if you can avoid it. Often the adversarial process causes significant and bitter rifts. But it may already be very bitter.

Poppinsesque Sat 13-Apr-13 19:27:47

She wants to move because her friends are all there. Her family live near where they are now.

I think she is very hurt and is lashing out. But I also think its very selfish to take DCs who will be going through a lot already away from their dad and grandparents.

Tough situation isn't it as I can completely see her point as well.

Spero Sat 13-Apr-13 19:40:05

It is always hard when parents split. I don't think there are ever any winners, mostly you are just trying to find the least worst situation.

I hope they can sort it out by talking.

LineRunner Sat 13-Apr-13 19:47:33

Yes - I thought it would most likely be her using the kids to try and make him stay in the relationship. (she has some relatively minor mental health issues).

What a very cruel thing to say.

Spero Sat 13-Apr-13 20:01:41

Please don't make this about mental health, unless there are reasonable and serious concerns it will impact on her ability to parent.

It is perfectly understandable and likely that if she didn't want to split up she will be in a great deal of emotional pain and lashing out could be part of that.

Did he leave her for someone else? If so, he is going to need to tread carefully and not be insisting for eg that new girlfriend is part of any arrangements anytime soon.

Talkinpeace Sat 13-Apr-13 20:09:11

my mother moved me over 3000 miles from my dad
I saw/see him for a couple of days each year
he's still my dad though and we have a reasonable email long distance relationship 45 years later

LineRunner Sat 13-Apr-13 20:11:20

Telling DCs that either parent is 'not right in the head' (or however it is phrased) after a break-up never ends well.

Xenia Sat 13-Apr-13 20:13:11

His lawyer can help him. The 6 year old may be settled ni school. The father's family may be near by. The father may be very involved with the children. I am sure a case could be made. Perhaps he should suggest he has the children and the mother moves 3 hours away and the mother has them every other weekend and see how she likes the sound of that.

Spero Sat 13-Apr-13 20:18:29

And if father is in full time employment, how likely is that eh?

If I had a pound for every father who agreed to give up his job to look after the children, I would have er about 4 pounds. In ten years.

Please don't adopt a combative approach immediately. If she is going to be utterly unreasonable then you may have no choice, but turning this into a battle is just a recipe for probably years of misery and enormous legal bills - no legal aid now unless you are going to throw domestic violence into the mix.

Poppinsesque Sat 13-Apr-13 20:43:09

Good point xenia - DFriend told DH that he didn't want to go through courts if they could avoid it as he didn't want to cause extra emotional stress for anyone. He also said he wouldnt want to fight if she wanted to move as he feels bad enough he wants out of the marriage. I know he wouldn't want to do that to her (although he told dh he'd love the kids with him all the time.... But I think he's probably underestimating that!) but I feel sad for him that he has to feel he's 'losing' his kids just cause he doesn't want to fight.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 13-Apr-13 22:48:59

So he's gutted about losing his kids but doesn't want to fight?

Hmm.

It doesn't have to be a fight. Can they work through a mediator?

How long has it been since he told her he wanted out?

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 09:44:39

So why did he want 'out' of a relationship where he has fathered two very young children? To be with someone else?

If so, then don't be surprised if she is gutted and needs to be living somewhere where she will get emotional and practical support. All our choices and actions have consequences.

Poppinsesque Sun 14-Apr-13 10:33:44

I believe (from what DH tells me of their man to man pub chats) that they've been having a tough time for over a year. They are very different people and she is very controlling. (I've seen this many times first hand). He is a shell of the man he was when I met him. He doesn't want to fight for the kids as told DH it would break his wife if he got full custody and as she is quite a fragile person he would be worried about what that would do to her. He still cares about her a lot I believe. She's the mother of his kids after all. I think that's why he wanted to try and do 50/50.

As for meeting someone else... I asked DH this and he said "no" although he did look a little uncomfortable with the question so I wouldn't be surprised if he had and that's given him the final kick to get out.... Also crossed my mind maybe MY DH has someone else! But I think that was me being paranoid about his shifty

Poppinsesque Sun 14-Apr-13 10:34:55

About his shifty look.... (posted too soon)

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 11:54:44

I think it is very rare for a man to leave a relationship without someone else lined up.

If there IS someone else and he is spreading the word that its all her fault for being so horrible and controlling then be prepared for this to get ugly very quickly.

Xenia Sun 14-Apr-13 12:12:35

Sometimes they do and may be this lady is a full time worker as I was and her husband does more at home than she does. I certainly agree a fight is best avoided but how many mothers on this thread would let their husband move their children 3 hours away without at least trying to keep them closer?

He might find it very convenient if he has a new lover not to be involved with his children and leave it all to his wife,. perhaps the conversations about wanting 50/50 are just to mask his relief his wife is going to take on the full burden so he can spend all his time with the new lover without having to wash children's clothes and supervise look after the children . Hopefully not but you never know.

Talkinpeace Sun 14-Apr-13 13:02:25

Agree with spero : all the marriage breakups I've watched have involved Men sticking with the bad option till a better one comes along and then they go.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 14-Apr-13 15:59:30

He can fight for 50:50 without fighting for full custody.

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