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Legal & money

Soon to be ex-dil planning to leave with children

(13 Posts)
specki4eyes Sat 06-Oct-12 21:07:53

My son, who is primary carer for his two children, has had a divorce petition served on him but has taken his solicitor's advice and stayed in the matrimonial home, despite being asked to leave by his wife. The divorce is not yet granted and arrangements for the children and financial issues are currently the subject of acrimonious debate. They could remain like this for some months. He now suspects that his wife is planning to take the children and go to live with her parents, albeit temporarily, until all is settled. If this happens, can anyone tell me where he stands as far as his access to the children is concerned? He will not want to create scenes in his in-laws house in front of the children.

flowerfriend Sat 06-Oct-12 21:18:31

specki Oh how I feel for you and ,of course, for your son. Surely his solicitor will lead him through what he needs to do to maintain contact with the children in this interim stage.

I'll be away for nearly three weeks from later tomorrow but you'll be in my thoughts.

Your DiL sounds like a real piece-of-work!

specki4eyes Sat 06-Oct-12 21:21:16

She is *flower" - only found this out today. Thank you for your thoughts. Safe journey. xx

vampirequeen Sun 07-Oct-12 15:04:10

If he is primary carer the courts may well decide to leave them with him. He needs to see his solicitor asap and not let her take the children until it's settled.

FlicketyB Sun 07-Oct-12 20:45:18

If he thinks she may use an access visit to try to keep the children with her permanently, he should speak to his solicitor about making sure she only has supervised access to the children, probably at an access centre.

POGS Mon 08-Oct-12 13:02:09


I am sorry I have no clever words or thoughts for you but I feel so deeply for you and your family. I wish you sincerely for a happy ending. A grandparents nightmare love.


specki4eyes Mon 08-Oct-12 22:37:09

Thank you all for your help and is awful yes but I am slowly coming to terms with it. I am amazed that so many of you are able to empathise with me and my family on this - after all, you don'tknow me or my son. My son - how can I explain how unfair this is for him, his children and our family? I would not blame anyone for privately thinking 'he must have done something awful for her to behave like that' - I would have done. He isn't perfect, who is ? He can be stubborn, he's lazy about diy and gardening, but he is quite possibly one of the kindest people I know. I feel very humbled by him a lot of the time - his honesty, his integrity, his committment to his family, the sacrifices he has made to give his wife what she wanted from the start of their marriage which was two lovely children and the ability to continue to pursue her highly paid career which feeds her obsesion with material things. She picked him up in a bar 12 years ago and he was flattered and in awe of her. Almost from the start, she spelled out her demands from him - move in with her, get engaged, get married, get her pregnant. He complied. When the baby was born, he took on so much of the day to day responsibility so that his wife could rest and recover. Then she returned to work and his own work had to take second place to delivering the baby to nursery and collecting her, dropping tools when she was ill so as to stay home with her. Then baby no 2 was demanded and the same pattern followed. He did it happily. When that child reached school age, suddenly my dil started talking divorce, saying she wasn't happy. And here we are now watching her smash it all to pieces - the grounds she has given for divorce are so pathetic, almost laughable. Its as though he has served his purpose - as sperm donor and live in 'nanny' and now he is to be chucked out with the garbage. All he cares about now is his children and they love him so much. The irony is that she can buy child carers and her parents (who should have encouraged her to stick with her marriage) prefer to indulge her every whim and will help her in her destruction derby. She cares not one jot for the psychological health of her children and how they will come to terms with not having their beloved Daddy in their home all the time. So there's the background - a faithful husband and loving father going to waste. What is the matter with the woman?

Nanadogsbody Mon 08-Oct-12 22:59:21

Oh speck this is so awful for you. You must feel so bad for your poor son and of course this could affect you too as grandmother. I'm sending you a (((hug))) as its all I can do.

POGS Mon 08-Oct-12 23:57:47


I don't usually find I could cry over a thread but you have really touched me with your words. I can tell they are from your heart and not looking for sympathy, pure and simple sadness and feeling scared for your family. You and your son sound lovely and this must be a living hell for you both to be enduring.

I reiterate, no clever words can come close to understanding this terrible place you and your son find yourselves in. It is let's face it probably the lowest ebb of your lives and I hope your love for one another helps you both to cope.

No emoticon, it would seem too trivial. Much love.

nightowl Tue 09-Oct-12 00:55:44

I can only agree with what others have said; he should not give in to her demands. As the main carer he is perfectly within his rights to insist that the children should remain in his care in their own home - if she wishes to leave then that's up to her. He really must speak to his solicitor as soon as possible and make his instructions clear. Once the children have gone his case becomes much weaker, though not lost. The courts will look at the best interests of the children and this is not always assumed to be with the mother.

Good luck to all of you.

Faye Tue 09-Oct-12 03:54:05

Specki My heart goes out to you. Recently there were changes to the Australian Family Law because children should have both parents in their lives and the idea of 'custody' has changed, I believe for the better.

It appears there are plans to change the laws in the UK but there is some oppostion by lawyers probably don't want to miss out on a assured money maker of parents fighting for custody who represent the parents.

I agree with others, your son needs to stand his ground.

specki4eyes Tue 09-Oct-12 14:05:37

Oh Pogs I didn't want to make you cry - I'm sorry. Late at night I get to brooding and it was so healing to pour it all out - I felt better and slept the night through - hope you didn't lose your sleep.
We are coping in practical terms because, luckily, my son has a very good family law solicitor who has seen everything and is usually one step ahead of my dil. (Notice I use lower case there!) The shared parenting rules are of course an improvement on the old ways, but I just have a vision of these little children being shunted from one to the other, when they should have just been allowed to enjoy their childhood under the same roof as both their parents.
What should be altered are the rules for proving irretrievable breakdown. Some young parents now just use the most ridiculous complaints just to get their freedom. (My dil told me at the beginning of all this that as she is coming up to 40, she needs to be free to find true happiness. How can you find true happiness at the expense of innocent children?)It could be said that if one partner wants to divorce then the law should accept the inevitable and take a pragmatic approach but I do so believe that we owe our children peace and stability - they didn't ask to be born. My children were much older when I finally left their father - unlike his son who is fighting tooth and nail for his children, he hardly batted an eye, and refused to get involved with them from that moment on. That attitude was one of the things that made me leave him in the first place..I was always a single parent. But I still feel bad about it and know that my sons do too.
I hope that with all the collective sympathy and silent prayers and hopes shared with me, things will not be so bad in the end. Gransnet Rules!

Mishap Tue 09-Oct-12 14:37:27

Many comiserations - how sad. I am fairly tired of people thinking that they are owed happiness at all costs. By all means leave a really miserable relationship ( as several Gnetters have had to do) having done one's best by the children; but life is not perfect and constantly moving on to seek happiness at the expense of children is madness.

Keep your chin up.