Anyone moved fairly far away from their X? How did you adjust/adapt? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-22-2011, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For a long time I've been wanting to live somewhere more peaceful, smaller and more rural than the city in which I live, which although it has a lot going for it is not the place I want to ultimately settle. City living in general makes me feel frazzled - I'm a highly sensitive person and am easily affected and overwhelmed by hectic surroundings. I've found an area nearly 4 hours train ride from where I am now, which I've visited a few times and has a lot of what I'm looking for including a lovely community of people who have regular camps and who I connect with so much and would love to be a lot closer to. I've spoken to a few parents who live there and they all say it's a great area for kids, safe and lots of activities/resources, good schools (which I've checked out independently too). I think soon is a good time to move because DS (4 yo) starts school next September and I wouldn't want to uproot him once he's got into a particular school. Also would make it easier to make friends etc if we move at a natural transition point for families. 

 

. But so much fear comes up when i think of really going through with the move, because my X who currently sees our son once or twice a week (during the week he has one overnight stay, and alternate weeks he goes there for one weekend overnight stay too), lives here, is very settled here, and last time (1 1/2 years ago) I told him I was thinking of moving (that time it was to somewhere else) he really got angry and obstructive even though I said I was going to keep access as regular as possible & was totally willing to negotiate. I could of course see where he was coming from and roles being reversed I'd feel angry and sad too, but he went straight to blame and confrontation, threatening me with lawyers etc rather than trying to discuss it rationally. Eventually we compromised and I agreed to his request that I try one year of living in this city alone with DS, which I've now done ( 1 1/2 years actually) and I'm still wanting to move. 

 

So I backed off, and on and off since then the idea has come back to me, and finally I think I need to move towards what I think is best for me and DS. I don't know if this has any bearing on the situation but X is a pretty crap parent by all accounts (my own observations and that of his housemates and friends) who gives DS the bare minimum of attention, mostly sits him in front of the TV, rarely takes him out, rarely cooks for him (and he's an excellent cook!) and will sit reading a book and ignoring him half the time. All of which breaks my heart - but I know DS loves him and in his own way X loves DS,so I'm not wanting to stop them seeing each other at all, but realistically it's going to be maybe twice a month visitation, hopefully for longer periods, and hopefully a week or two each holiday if X is willing to take that much leave from work. I know X is going to hate the idea of spending money on travel, he is a heavy smoker and drinker and that is where 90 % of his spare cash goes. I live in a country where the laws are very different from the US, (England), where there is no legal obligation to provide and pay for the same amount of visitation after the move, as long as there are reasonable attempts at continuing visitation. (I consulted a lawyer last time i decided to move).

 

Please, I don't want any flames about my potential choice - I am looking for support. I want to know from other single mama's who have moved a significant distance from their X, (who has had regular visitation), how did it work out for you? In terms both of negotiating with your X and what life was like once you moved somewhere different and started again, rebuilding support networks etc. I have a reasonably OK support system here but I do still feel plenty isolated a lot, have neighbours who are friends but hardly ever get together with me, and am pretty reliant on my ex for any breaks from childcare (well, and pre-school) and I'm scared I will at least initially feel worse off in some ways... I know a few people who live in the new area but not well yet and it takes time to build friendships. I

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#2 of 9 Old 11-22-2011, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just to add - my parents live in my home country (13 hour plane ride away) so their on hands support is not available, and X has parents and a sister with children in the same county as where we are now. So I know his argument is going to be, DS's 'family' is all here (he does see his relatives fairly regularly), even though he could still see them when he sees X after we move - X mostly takes him to his parents or sisters on his weekends with him anyway. 

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#3 of 9 Old 11-22-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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Well, you read my relocation saga - the only reason it was granted (well, not the only reason, but the BIG reason) was that I was unemployed in my prior city, and was offered a great job in my new city.  It's hard to get permission, although that was my old state.  Other states are more lenient - you should have a consult with an attorney to find out the laws in your current state.  It will also depend on how far you want to go - it will be harder to move 1,000miles than 250miles.

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#4 of 9 Old 11-22-2011, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks SSM, yeah i remember you had quite a saga! As I said (you might have missed it in my long post!), I don't live in the US, I live in the UK, so there are no laws as long as you don't leave the country. I'm more looking for advice on how to handle it with my ex, talking to him about it, and hearing what life was like for you single mama's who moved and started again, leaving an old support network behind and finding a new one. I am unemployed here, studying at present, but the organisation I'm studying with provides guaranteed work after qualification (planning to finish this year!), and they have branches everywhere in the country so it makes no real diff where I live in terms of employment. 

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#5 of 9 Old 11-23-2011, 04:47 AM
 
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There are no laws?  Do you have sole custody?  What is the arrangement legally speaking?  I guess my concern (were I in your shoes) would be, Could he go to court and win custody if I move away without his consent?

 

If the answer is No, and you have some control over what the visitation would be (and come up with something reasonable for all parties - you, dd, ex) then go for it, and try not to move to a place thats completely inaccessible.  If the answer is Yes, then I would try to move to a different location that would allow the same (or very very similar) access.  Like, a suburb just outside the city you're in, or a place thats close that would allow you a better standard of living.  That may not be possible, but it is something to think about.

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#6 of 9 Old 11-23-2011, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks SSM.. We were never married and have never gone through court - split up 2 years ago, we both have parental responsibility (because he is named as father on birth cert.)and I do not formally have custody but I am what's called in this country the residential parent. So all the child-related state benefits automatically go to me because DS mainly lives with me, is registered at my local doctor, local presschool etc. 

 

Some interesting points to mull over... I have chosen this particular place after looking more locally for a couple years now and not finding what I'm looking for. But I'm keeping an open mind...going to spend a few days next month staying at the new place checking it out more thoroughly. I wouldn't say its inaccessible, it's on a bus route from a train station so a bit of a mission to get to but not excessive I'd say. 

 

I know that he can get some court order to stop me leaving, but the legal advice I got was that the courts would be very unlikely to award custody to him as long as I can clearly show I've done my research on this place, and because I've been the residential parent all this time. Testimonials from friends on both sides (although I can never assume his friends would testify, even though they know he's a shitty parent and have told me so), would clearly show DS is better off with me. My legal advice was that if I think he will be obstructive I should get the court order for permission to leave, showing my proof of having checked out that this area is a better place for DS and me, before he applies for an order to stop me. It's all a bit complicated. In this country it's really an exception to award custody to fathers - only if the mother is clearly incapable, drug addicted etc - and I know this also from an acquaintance who works with separated fathers. So, it's more about, how do I deal with him. Am speaking to him tonight to discuss it, so we'll see.

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#7 of 9 Old 11-23-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaya View Post

Thanks SSM.. We were never married and have never gone through court - split up 2 years ago, we both have parental responsibility (because he is named as father on birth cert.)and I do not formally have custody but I am what's called in this country the residential parent. So all the child-related state benefits automatically go to me because DS mainly lives with me, is registered at my local doctor, local presschool etc. 

 

Some interesting points to mull over... I have chosen this particular place after looking more locally for a couple years now and not finding what I'm looking for. But I'm keeping an open mind...going to spend a few days next month staying at the new place checking it out more thoroughly. I wouldn't say its inaccessible, it's on a bus route from a train station so a bit of a mission to get to but not excessive I'd say. 

 

I know that he can get some court order to stop me leaving, but the legal advice I got was that the courts would be very unlikely to award custody to him as long as I can clearly show I've done my research on this place, and because I've been the residential parent all this time. Testimonials from friends on both sides (although I can never assume his friends would testify, even though they know he's a shitty parent and have told me so), would clearly show DS is better off with me. My legal advice was that if I think he will be obstructive I should get the court order for permission to leave, showing my proof of having checked out that this area is a better place for DS and me, before he applies for an order to stop me. It's all a bit complicated. In this country it's really an exception to award custody to fathers - only if the mother is clearly incapable, drug addicted etc - and I know this also from an acquaintance who works with separated fathers. So, it's more about, how do I deal with him. Am speaking to him tonight to discuss it, so we'll see.


After seeing this, my main concern would be that if you choose not to go through court and just move - even if he "agrees" - then neither of you have actual court ordered custody, and there is not court ordered parenting plan.  If you were to move, and then he just didn't bring DS back from a visit you would have an awful time getting him back through the courts.

 

He could also go to court after you move to get custody switched - which would be a PITA to say the least (and at least in the states jurisdiction doesn't transfer to the new location until later).  I'm not a fan of doing things without a court order - but thats b/c my particular situation is really really bad.

 

And, a train, then a bus?  How long does it take by public transit to get to this new place?  We are a 4-5hour bus ride, OR a 3.5hour train ride - which also made it easier to convince a court that moving was OK.  It's a hard call - and your Ex is a jerk, he won't agree (mine NEVER would have - if he had his way I would still be unemployed and broke and hopefully homeless)

 

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#8 of 9 Old 11-23-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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My advice would be to file a move away with custody and a visitation schedule. That way if your ex has any visits with the child he won't attempt to just take him which he legally could. Be prepared for long visits away from your child. I would offer alternating holidays and part of the summer plus every other weekend. Show how willing you are to upkeep the relationship between father and son. Give all relevant info about the place you want to move to including the school system, your support system, work, etc. I say all this because it sounds like the father won't just agree and without an order in place the father could equally take the child.

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#9 of 9 Old 11-23-2011, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post


After seeing this, my main concern would be that if you choose not to go through court and just move - even if he "agrees" - then neither of you have actual court ordered custody, and there is not court ordered parenting plan.  If you were to move, and then he just didn't bring DS back from a visit you would have an awful time getting him back through the courts.

 

He could also go to court after you move to get custody switched - which would be a PITA to say the least (and at least in the states jurisdiction doesn't transfer to the new location until later).  I'm not a fan of doing things without a court order - but thats b/c my particular situation is really really bad.

 

And, a train, then a bus?  How long does it take by public transit to get to this new place?  We are a 4-5hour bus ride, OR a 3.5hour train ride - which also made it easier to convince a court that moving was OK.  It's a hard call - and your Ex is a jerk, he won't agree (mine NEVER would have - if he had his way I would still be unemployed and broke and hopefully homeless)

 


 

It's a 5 hour bus ride or a 3 hour train ride AND 40 minute bus ride. He will still freak out about it though. 

 

Avani, thanks for the advice - nice to hear it clear cut like that. I like the idea of alternating holidays. Sure I'll miss my son but it will also be good for me to have concentrated time alone as I have lots of courses and things I like to pursue that so far have been very difficult with only getting a max of one overnight at a time. And he will still be able to see his extended family during those holiday weeks too, so it could work.

 

I will suss his approach tonight and call my lawyer in the morning. I hadn't thought that he might just not bring him back, after a visit, b/c he works F/T and has no local support with childcare so he would be totally screwed if he just kept DS. I don't think he even wants him all the time, he just doesnt like the idea of me moving on and not being under his control and making choices he doesn't like. 

 

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