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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 03-22-2010, 06:47 PM
Greek to me Greek to me is offline
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Greetings!
I am in need of support from anyone who has undertaken the challenge of divorce and parenting, which would be everyone on this forum I suppose. Anyway, I am currently going through a divorce and have 4 sons (aged 9-15). Over the past year my eldest son has done nothing but moan and complain about how much he despises his father. He has skipped custodial visits and lied to get out of seeing his father. I can assure you that I have never tolerated his bad behavior.
2 of my other sons don't really like their father because of the choices he has made but I have supported the ex and done everything I can to help him with establishing and maintaining a relationship with our sons. It is proving to be difficult.
I have recently been given an opportunity to further my education significantly where I could earn a 6 figure income and establish myself financially. I was a PCA but have long since let my certification lapse. It was an awful job and the pay was barely over Canada's poverty level. The opportunity I now have now is in international business and this particular education (accredited) is not offered in Canada or the US so my boys and I would have to relocate to England for 3 years. (Also of note is that a bachelors in business takes 4 years in Canada.)
Obviously, I feel it is in my best interest to move and pursue this dream. Because of my age (37) I feel like I need to make the most out of my education and really hit the gates running. I don't feel like I have a lot of time to stop and smell the roses, if you will. However, I'm not sure about the boys. They all seem delighted at the prospect but suddenly my oldest isn't too keen on the idea. I'm not sure how to process this. As it is, it will likely be an epic battle with the ex to move abroad with the children and I'm entirely conflicted.
I was a stay at home mom while the ex pursued his dream of becoming a Pediatrician and establishing a very successful career. I don't have a job and I find myself craving to be around like minded people. I just can't see clearly if my ideals are ideal or if I will be failing miserably by taking the kids so far away. I have done the research and have discovered that by moving abroad and allowing the boys to spend Christmas and summer vacation with their father they will actually have more time with him.
Thoughts?
Many, many thanks in advance.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:04 PM
Greek to me Greek to me is offline
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I thought I should mention that the ex has as little to do with his sons as possible. He see's them every other weekend but usually stays in bed for the duration of that time. He makes grandiose promises to his sons and ultimately fails them every time. He takes incredible vacations all over the world, brags to his sons about the $500 meal he just took his gf to and then tells them they aren't good enough for Ben and Jerry's ice cream. He also goes out on late night walks to smoke pot with his gf and has been caught by my boys. He has currently planned a 10 day vacation where his accommodations are $400 a night but he refused to pay for ski lessons for the boys. Currently I don't have an order for maintenance (spousal of child). Obviously I am working on this with lawyers. (It's a long story but basically I thought we could work it out ourselves.)
As one final note he mocks my lack of education at every chance he gets, infront of the boys, in public and to our close friends. He humiliates, mocks and ridicules how "stupid" I am at every opportunity. This is probably clouding my judgement as well.
Exhale. I don't know how people survive this.
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:33 PM
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billm billm is offline
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Get the proper child support for the kids, then how he spends his money will not be your concern.

Get spousal support if warranted by the marriage, which it seems to be.

Moving the kids away is a tough call.

He can't be a father at that distance (summer vacation not withstanding).

If you can't convince the father to agree that it is in the best interest of the children, then you should not go. Note that you could offer to have no spousal in exchange for permission to go, but keep the kids needs in balance with the reasons for going.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:06 PM
Greek to me Greek to me is offline
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Thanks, billm. It's such a tough call. I'm really finding it difficult to separate the emotions and make a level headed decision. It feels like trying to understand the algorithm of the internet.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:07 PM
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I'm not judging you in any way, but as a parent I have to say that once you have kids sometimes you don't get all the career choices or lifestyle choices that are best. That is just a fact.

You have at least 3 things to sort out.

The ex can stop you if he wants. You have to have him onside. It doesn't matter how much pot he smokes or how much he parties with his GF or how much the kids adore/dispise him, you need him onside with this for it to work.

You need to frame it so it sounds like it is in his best interests (maximize your income so he isn't hit for spousal support for example). Make it as easy as possible for him to stay in touch with the kids, re visits and web cams. Then leave it up to him. Make it look like it is good for him.

Then your eldest, we all know that at this age we wouldn't co-operate with anyone on anything. He is bitter and feeling emotions that he doesn't even have a name for.

If you and your ex were still together, and you both decided on the move, he would have to go. So he will have to choose between the dad he's mad at or the trip he doesn't want to take. At his age you really have to leave it up to him.

The third thing you have to deal with is your eldest again. One way or another he needs to deal with his dad. His best interests require helping him somehow get these emotions out. He may not forgive him for years, but at the very least, you all have to know what the issues are. All of you need a chance here to heal. He will roll his eyes at therapy but he will have to go, and have some family sessions with his dad too.

Finally, have a plan 'B'. This may not work. It sounds great and exciting but everyone has to be on board and what are the odds of that?
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:04 AM
Greek to me Greek to me is offline
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Mess, no offense taken. I understand that kids take priority over chosen professions sometimes. Actually, more often than not. If I had my choice I would be a deep sea welder but that just isn't in the cards with 4 boys lol!! But one thing I wonder about is that if I am self sufficient, and able to provide a secondary education for my boys, isn't that in their interest? The ex invests as little as he can in the boys. Financially and emotionally. To him they are pawns with which to control me. (And let me stress that his lifestyle choices don't affect me personally. I don't care what he does. God, I'm so happy I don't live under the same roof there are hardly words! But it does make me sad to see the boys suffer by his choices.)
I appreciate your feedback and I am not trying to argue, I simply wanted to clarify. I really am grateful for a fresh set of eyes. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greek to me View Post
But one thing I wonder about is that if I am self sufficient, and able to provide a secondary education for my boys, isn't that in their interest? The ex invests as little as he can in the boys. Financially and emotionally. To him they are pawns with which to control me.
On the face of it, weighing a secondary education against removing them from their father does not sound like it's in their best interest but...

It's impossible for anyone here to answer that question with virtually no perspective. Obviously you bring one side to the story, no doubt he would bring another.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:15 AM
Greek to me Greek to me is offline
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I tried to be fair, but yes, it's complex and I only bring one side of the story. You are correct in this fact.
That's what makes divorce so difficult. It isn't clear cut or black and white. It is varying shades of grey. I'm just trying to do my best for the boys now and forever, and for me long term.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:43 PM
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Bottom line is that you NEED your ex on board with your decision to move. Otherwise he can block you. Period, end of story.

Your oldest deserves the choice as to stay with Dad, or go with you. At 15 he's old enough to make that decision himself and the courts will give his choice a LOT of weight. Basically unless there are MAJOR safety issues, where he decides to live, the courts will let him live.

This isn't a clear cut, black and white scenario. You need to sit down with your boys and discuss this, and then approach your ex to try to work something out in an amicable fashion.
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