Mother moving children away
I have a question regarding my children's Mother moving them away (it might be a long one, sorry).
I have a 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son. Their Mother and I broke up 2 and a half years ago (for various reasons but splitting up was best for everyone including the kids). Since we split up I have seen my kids almost every day. It started off as me visiting most days after work and having them stay with me every weekend. Then I moved (closer to them) and they now sleep with me 3 nights a week (and sleep at their Mum's 4 nights). I work from home (permanently) so am able to drop them for school etc but I do have to work in the office twice a week.
Neither of us live in ideal homes. I live in a 1 bedroom flat (it's just me) and she lives in a 2 bedroom with her partner, she also has 2 other kids (so 3 kids sharing a bedroom, one is a baby that sleeps in Mum's room). When we lived together I lived and paid for everything including the rent for the flat she lives in (there were 3 children at the time. Her Son from a previous relationship, my Daughter and my Son (who was a baby at the time).
She's always been, shall we say, work shy. When we split up I encouraged her to speak to the council to see if they could help move her to somewhere more ideal for (them) but she just wouldn't for some reason.
Fast forward a couple of years, she has a new partner and a baby with him. He comes from Southend-on-Sea (we all currently live in North West London - Uxbridge) and so he's decided to buy a house over there and they will all move in.
I found this out through my kids who told me "our new house is by the beach" so I confronted her and this was dropped on me.
I'm at a complete loss. Her plan is to drop them over this way twice a month (although she doesn't drive so I'm not sure how's she's planning this) so I go from seeing them every day to twice a month.
Instantly my bright idea was to go and pick them up every weekend she doesn't drop them and take them for the school holidays but I'm not sure how fair that would be on the kids, they'd never get to spend time with any friends they'd make over there.
Could I move there? Not easily. I have a job here, a partner and my whole family.
I don't know what my options are or even what I should be looking to do. Obviously there's 2 sides to every story but she isn't the best Mum in the world and tends to look out for number 1 above the kids. If I thought moving to Southend was what was best for my kids then I would be less upset (taking away my selfish view of not wanting to lose my kids) but I really don't think it's best for them although I agree they definitely need to move out of their current accommodation.
I'm devastated. Help. 🙁
Not sure if this is the best option but you could apply to the courts on a C100 form for a Prohibited Steps Order to stop her moving away. It may not be successful and will open up a can of worms but it would show you have almost 50/50 care so the children would be disadvantaged. You could apply to have them live with you. Do the children seem happy with her new partner? Will the new house be adequate for them all? You might try a free half hour consultation with a solicitor first