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Tales of the unexpected

Not the TV program, perhaps weirder, perhaps a candidate but:

Well there has been (well about to be, although my mate Scepticism warns me to not take it all as necessarily being so) a drastic turn of events in my situation. It looks very much as if I'm suddenly to become the primary carer of my son.

For those that don't know, and I don't normally say that much about my situation. The separation happened 4 years ago. The ex found someone new online, left and moved a 6 hour drive away, although more recently for about 2 years my son has flown back and forth. Anyway things have improved and he's been feeling much better with the situation. A few months ago the ex was asking about going to the States for a holiday to meet her now husband's family. I raised that on here because I wanted ideas on how I could allow this to happen but be sure that my son wouldn't end up staying in the States permanently. The result was that I drew up a document that the ex would sign and get witnessed. That document never got signed as on a visit my son let me know that the holiday had been dropped as the other two children were considered too young to benefit. My son also told me on that visit that there was something that he couldn't tell me, I guessed that that meant she was expecting # 3. Next day he asked to phone his Mum to ask if he could tell and was allowed to tell.

Anyway on Friday I get a call at about 06:30 and the ex starts of by saying that my Son had mentioned a chat I had had with him, in that I'd asked him if he wanted to come and live with me (this was after it was becoming evident that this question was being prompted a little by my son). My immediate thought was that an ear bashing was due. However instead of that a simple "I would have preferred to have been asked first". The ex quickly moved on to explain a situation in that her husband had seen a need to move back to the States and that she needed to join him and that she had asked my son what he wanted and that his reply was "I'm not a big enough boy to move to another country".

The upshot is that it very much looks as though my Son will be living with me from next week.

We've already made many verbal agreements about some things.

I'll make the arrangements to collect my son (already hired a people mover). Although my wish is that she come down here and spend as much time as is possible with him before she leaves. We've haven't offered yet but will offer to let her stay at our house, she did mentioned staying in a hotel, she's also got a sister and her Dad living just down the road.

My son going to the airport to see his mother off is going to take priority over anything else. She is looking to leave the following weekend.

I'll not want any CS. My take is that the most important thing that money is spent on is contact.

I don't really want any orders or anything.

As long as it doesn't affect school and planned holidays (the latter which I'd let her some say in allowing them) I want her to have contact as much as is feasible. Although it may well be just for the 6 week summer holiday.

There's many things I'm thinking about to make what will be yet another major rift have as little effect as possible. School reports etc I'll forward on.

I should be happy, all those that know me and I have told, think I should be. However I'm not really that happy about the situation. I'm sad about how this will affect my son and really want to try to minimise the impact on him.

Last edit: by MikeT

left out a word

I understand the lack of excitement Mike. I can see that your son will be very sad when he realises that Mum has chosen the "new family" over him and you will cop all the fall out.

I have a friend who's son was abandoned by his mother over "the new guy" - while in a foreign country no less. The lad is now 12 and he is a very serious chap, who's had a hard time accepting (apart from his grandma) my friend's girlfriend into his life.

The fortunate thing is that you have a partner and I hope this will make it easier.

Last edit: by Artemis


Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Hi Mike,
I have been involved in a few overseas relocation matters and they are never easy. At 6 years old your son will have no concept of how far away his mum will be and how hard it will be to organise visits. If its any consolation, web cams and voip services like Skype help.
My only advice is that you probably should insist on a consent order before allowing a holiday with mum in the US. You have done well to make arrangements with less formality in the past, but the stakes are higher when you are seeking to recover from overseas.
Good luck with it.
T12,
      first thanks for your considerations, oh my son's 10 very soon to be 11, sorry if I gave the wrong impression of his age. He also understands a little about places around the world. He knows he's from England and where that is, as my partners parents come from Holland and has met quite a few of her relations he understands about Holland. Soon after the separation, in order to meet hey new guy, the ex went to the States for 2 or 3 months, without our son, so he understands a little about missing his Mum and also her being in the States. When he was 3 we went to England for a week, he remembers some of that (mainly that they have playstations on the planes).

Yep getting the passport and also consent orders is something I need to broach, saying that after the ex has gone perhaps gives me an edge. Trying before the ex leaves is not really an option due to how suddenly this has all come about.

I'm pretty sure that the ex will not be at all keen on orders. I think she felt stung by the ones she got me to agree to and sign, that's perhaps the biggest hurdle. I'll certainly look into putting some together. What if she refuses to collaborate? What sort of timeframes would we be looking at if she weren't to collaborate?

One thing that I'd do, albeit reluctantly and with great inner pain though, is, if that's really what my son wants, is not to rule out the fact that he may one day move to the States.

Skype is certainly an option and my son has used it with myself. I've actually approached the powers that be on here and have got a tentative OK to utilising the VOIP that FLWG have recently introduced. I've also thought that this is perhaps another offering that FLWG could perhaps extend to others, perhaps they could even get some sort of funding to support this.

Artemis,
          I'm a little reticent to consider what she's doing as choosing his family over my son (although note that my partner sides with you on this, and I realise that I'm perhaps too lenient or passive for my own good). I see it more that the situation demands a pretty earth shattering decision and in some ways it's a forgone and logical conclusion as it's 3 children being with their mother and father or 1 child being with their mother rather than their father. I'm going to try to explain that his mother had a very very hard decision to make and my son understands some of the factors that I'm not willing to divulge. In a few years the situation may be completely different and I very much hope so. I'd hope that they could return and live close enough for very much a 50/50 situation. I think I'm going to also have to explain again about different love and also that love does not diminish with distance, perhaps even that it gets stronger especially the love between a parent and a child or children.

Yep, undoubtedly my partner is very supportive and understanding and deserves a medal. In my opinion she has a fantastic relationship with my son and vice-versa. Sheesh it's often me that is on the sidelines. My son has enough confidence in her to confide in her, especially about myself.
I'm not sure where I got 6yo from. Sorry. Re the orders, you have the upper hand. It is not unreasonable for you to adopt the position - No orders no trip overseas, although I'm sure you will put it more diplomatically than that.
T12 said
No orders no trip overseas, although I'm sure you will put it more diplomatically than that.

How?  ;)

Yep the cogs are grinding and the grey matter swirling.
MikeT said
T12 said
No orders no trip overseas, although I'm sure you will put it more diplomatically than that.
How? ;)

Yep the cogs are grinding and the grey matter swirling.
With very careful and selected wording - Poms are good at that.:thumbs:

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
I can understand why this is all very raw especially if it all has come as a quick decision as far as your part goes, it may be the case that this has been in the pipeline for some time and things have just surfaced, this may mean your son has had an idea and has been ask to keep quiet till she had made her mind up, perhaps not the best decision in regards to your son.

There may well be some very positive aspects of this that will benefit your son environmentally and although you will be the one dealing with the problems it may be that you are best qualified to.
I tend to agree that the reason is not as important as the need to ensure that your son knows he is loved and that sometimes parents have to make decisions that they may not like but try their best to make the right choices whether you believe this or not isn't as important as if you can sell it.

I wish you the best with the up and coming changes, perhaps the orders could be reflected on when the topic of travel comes up with regards to asurety that your son needs ?

      
Miket you have a generous heart where your ex is concerned.

I'm sorry if I came across harshly. I suppose I identify too closely because of the anguish my friend's son has been through.

Also, while it may appear that I am crazily pro-father I am actually pro-parent and strongly believe that children need both parents. It makes me sad to think that a parent could willingly absent themselves from their child for long periods.

If the ex is leaving in a cloud of dust, I would wait until she brings up the topic of overseas holidays. That's when I would bring it up as a need to be clear and organised about who would pay for what. For example, what if the child is on holiday and for some reason the ex cannot raise the funds for the child to return.

I'd want it in writing that this is a holiday and not an agreed change of residence. Just tell her it keeps it fair and above board with no confusion after the event.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Artemis said
If the ex is leaving in a cloud of dust, I would wait until she brings up the topic of overseas holidays. That's when I would bring it up as a need to be clear and organised about who would pay for what. For example, what if the child is on holiday and for some reason the ex cannot raise the funds for the child to return.

I'd want it in writing that this is a holiday and not an agreed change of residence. Just tell her it keeps it fair and above board with no confusion after the event.
I think Artemis makes my point on diplomacy well.

" We need to be clear on the dates and so I would like to see return tickets", " we need to be organised", "I need to be sure that this is just a holiday." etc

Or you could always try the good parent/bad lawyer routine… "my lawyer advised me that without an order I should not allow him to even visit".
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