Apologies for the essay, hoping for some words of wisdom or maybe some similar experience…?
My ex-wife (been divorced 4 years now) told me yesterday she’s selling our former home and moving with our three daughters 4, 8 & 10 yrs from Cumbria to East Lothian in Scotland. We currently live separately but locally <10 miles apart) and I have the girls every Saturday and take them to after-school clubs etc one evening a week. They stay with me for portions of school hols (2 weeks this summer) but my ex-wife hasn’t yet allowed me to have stay-overs on a regular (weekly or fortnightly) basis – and I haven’t ‘gone legal’ to challenge this in the past to avoid creating long-lasting resentment and animosity.
I pay (voluntarily) more than is required of me in maintenance and ‘gifted’ her (the kids really) my share in the house after divorce – though I suspect these are probably not relevant here. I also do all (and I mean every single trip) of the transport, picking up, dropping off etc. I feel I may have made a rod etc etc…
I have a genuinely brilliant relationship with my daughters, we are very active & engaged with friends, music, outdoor activities (I live by the sea). I’ve had pretty severe depression in the past (managing it OK on the whole now) and suffice to say my girls have (quite unknowingly) helped me survive some rough times. My mum also lives quite near and sees the girls a lot.
Anyway, this moving house announcement, though not entirely a shock, has really rattled me. The location is approx. 120 miles / 2.5 to 3 hour drive each way (through the Scottish Borders). Her mum & dad and wider family live in Edinburgh & the central belt. The main reason she gave was not having enough support in Cumbria for her to get a job. But that’s not true – between me and my mother we could provide pretty much 24-hour support. My ex just doesn’t want it from us.
My really long-winded question is essentially can she up sticks with the girls to Scotland without agreement from me?
Many thanks in advance
p.s. Obviously Scotland isn't a foreign country (but it's entirely possible (very likely IMO) it will be in the near future) but I believe it is a separate legal system to England & Wales...