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My children want to live with their stepmother

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My children live with their father and have done since we separated some years ago.  Our children are ten and eleven.  My ex-partner has residency, but we have shared parental responsibility.  Although I live 300 miles away I see my kids every three or four weeks and send financial support to my ex, but the big problem is that he is always trying to alienate me from my children and Im struggling to see a way forward.

My ex married and they have since had a child together who is now nearly two, however, he is also now getting a divorce from his wife and has told me they want the children to remain with their stepmother and brother in their family home.  I would like our children to come and live with me and my partner of several years.

I did not willingly leave the family home or our children, I was basically forced to leave by my ex.  Why?  The reason for this is that I had another child when I was younger and the Child was adopted.  I will always fell very guilty for this and this still hurts me to remember.  Unfortunately I did not tell my ex partner and he found out. 

A father and his children he has always threatened to tell our children about my past when we argue over visiting...

We were together for 12 years and I tried so many times to tell him, but I just could not find the courage or the appropriate opportunity to go through with it.  I loved him and our children.  I feared what would happen when I told him, and in the end it did anyway.  None of our friends or his family knew, he soon told them all and I felt so ashamed.  He has always threatened to tell our children about my past when we argue over visiting.  I struggled to find work initially and lived with a relative whilst I got back on my feet and the children remained with their father. 

Living without my children brings me so much raw pain and I hide this as much as I can.  Barely a night passes when I do not wake for a moment thinking my children are in next room, only to remember that they are not!  The heartache fills me and I grieve so much for them and the emotional pain they went through.  I was a good mother and my ex-partner has always acknowledged this. 

My children and I were very close and in ways we still are.  My ex has told me that they have said they do not want to hurt me and they love me, but want to stay with their stepmother, brother, friends school etc.  He has told me that I would have to go to court and that the courts would decide that they should stay with the stepmother.  How do I go forward?  I really want to fight for my children, but I dont know who to believe or what I should do.

By: Anonymous


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Dayara & Gustavo

Dayara & Gustavo

In my opinion you should find a lawyer and question about your rights in this case. If he says that you have chance, go ahead!
Dayara & Gustavo
18th May 13 13:59

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NIC

NIC

In my opinion you have that try fight in justice for custody of their children because you always was a good mother, despite what happened.
NIC
18th May 13 13:52

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Daniela and Josiane

Daniela and Josiane

I don't liked the father's attitude, because I think that the father was most selfish when he told about the problem for everybody, exposing ex-wife. The problem should stay just between their, and never to have told with children about it, because they're very small to understand it.
Daniela and Josiane
18th May 13 13:51

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Lua

Lua

You have to say the true for their children and to fight for them, because your ex husband can't do that.The children have to stay with you and not the stepmother.You are a good mother and your ex can't to alienate their children, it's wrong and is bad for them.
Lua
18th May 13 13:50

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Silene e Edilma

Silene e Edilma

In my opinion the history is very interesting and unhappy, because the father separated the children from the mother. It's not healthy because the kids don't have attention and the love your mother.
I suggest moving to the town where your children are settled and getting a place there so they can live with you again.
Silene e Edilma
18th May 13 13:48

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Lucasonthewing

Lucasonthewing

It's really hard to give an opinion about this situation because... well, it's the future and the will of the children, but also about the great love of a mother. We just can't take sides. It doesn't matter the side we take, somebody ends up suffering.
But as i'm almost forced to give an opinion or try to help with this, I have to say: If the mother, writter of this text, really love her children, she has to be happy if tey are happy. It's not that simple, I know... but it's the only way, I guess.
Their happiness is her happiness.
Lucasonthewing
18th May 13 13:45

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LDS

LDS

Its not for your ex to say what he thinks your kids want. You would not have to go to court, they're your kids, nothing to do with his current wife. Sorry, but perhaps its just me, but there is no way would I want my kids staying with another woman (regardless of whether she has been in their life for several yrs)!

I suspect he is saying what he is, as then he only pays CSA for 1 child rather than 3 (if they go back to you), sorry that's harsh I know!

Good luck with whatever you decide, at 10 and 11 they'll adjust to new surroundings etc, so long as they're happy thats the main thing xx
LDS
23rd May 11 21:32

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MyTwoCents(Pence)

MyTwoCents(Pence)

I don't know if this is timely. I would encourage you to talk to a counselor ski11ed in family law who can help you to plan a way forward. I also think you have to be honest- you may not have wanted to leave your home, but you did/ you may not have wanted to conceal your past, but you did. Your kids are settled, and you have an obligation to parent them with their best interests in mind. You can be a strong force for them and not be the resident parent. The first thing you need to do is stop cowering around your ex, stop keeping secrets, and stop thinking about your own pain to the exclusion of the tactical requirements of the decisions facing you. Your journey back from the abyss of having been marginalized will take time, and you must, in my estimation, take accountability for your choices. That doesn't mean accepting a scarlet letter from your ex, or allowing anyone to continue to foster shame in you. But OWN it, it's the only way you can deal with it. I hope you will find your way to a great life and peace with yourself and your family!
MyTwoCents(Pence)
23rd May 11 21:08

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-26
kirk

kirk

come and join facebook page, protect our children from cafcass for advice
kirk
20th May 11 17:40

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-16
Gherkindangler

Gherkindangler

"@Gherkindangler: There is no point in saying, you should have done this or that 12 years ago - it doesn't help."

True, and no offence intended. My fault - people hiding things from their nearest and dearest because they "don't like to talk about it" is one of my pet hates. Perhaps I should post that as a separate gripe !
Gherkindangler
19th May 11 19:12

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pro freedom of speech

pro freedom of speech

I suggest moving to the town where your children are settled and getting a place there so they can live with you again. You could try looking for your other child then introduce your other children to them so they are aware they have an older sibling.
pro freedom of speech
18th May 11 16:05

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charmbrights

charmbrights

At 10/11 the children should choose.

First - you tell them about your first child. That defuses your ex-'s weapon.

Second - You find out what they really want, preferably by getting a third party to ask them (eg a court appointed social worker). Remeber that even a ten year old does not have much interest in, or bond with a half-sibling eight years younger.

Third - You let them do what they want - if the courts approve it. It is extremely unlikely that residence with a stepmother would be granted by any court over a claim by a natural mother with a stable home life and already holding parental responsibility.

@Gherkindangler: There is no point in saying, you should have done this or that 12 years ago - it doesn't help.
charmbrights
18th May 11 08:54

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Gherkindangler

Gherkindangler

You should have told him about your past before you moved in with him. I can't tell what's in your ex's mind, but if it were me I would have accepted your past without rancour if you had told me early on whereas if I found out 12 years later I would be unable to stop wondering what else I didn't know and wasn't trusted to know .

Having said that, his current behaviour is still completely out of order and you're better off without him. If your children really prefer to live with him ( and you need to hear that from them rather than from him) then you need to think very carefully before trying to force some other arrangement through the courts. As a previous poster said, the important thing is to be there for them. Remember too that they'll be teenagers all too soon and they'll start to make their own decisions about whose they really prefer. Good luck !
Gherkindangler
17th May 11 18:30

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Rogues View

Rogues View

I agree with Muffin, he is out of line. You obviously had to make a hard choice when you where younger, its not an easy choice to make for anyone, he has no right to treat you that way.

Your children are young. But they are also going to have to make choices which are hard for them. Be there for them and suportive with their choices. I think sitting down with them and having a heart to heart would be a great start.

Also the counsellor ideas good. Sounds like you need to speak honestly with someone who is outside of the situation. They could give you fresh ideas and advice. And to help increase you confidence, sounds like you have lost some over the years because of this.
Rogues View
17th May 11 15:25

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muffin

muffin

I think your ex-husband has found your 'achilles heel' and is holding the adoption of your first child over you in order for you to do things 'his way'. I think the way he has acted is disgusting. Have you thought about how/when you will tell your children about their older sibling? maybe that is the first step, they will have to be told one day and I think it's best coming from you rather than your ex. The way he has acted previously indicates that if he tells them it won't be in a supportive way.
I would also suggest you go to see a solicitor and find out what your rights are. Would you be comfortable about talking to your children about their father's divorce and what you would like to happen and ask them what they want? these two children will be going through the divorce process too and it will have a huge impact on their lives. Everything they know and all their securities must be tied up within their home/school and homelife.
I think maybe you need to speak to someone about getting some emotional support i.e. a counsellor who can maybe help you come to terms with your 'guilt' relating to your first child.

Good luck x
muffin
17th May 11 12:12

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