You are here

Insight on moving with SK’s

floralsm's picture

DH and I are buying a house this year. Currently we are renting approx 25 minutes drive from BMs house and the skids school. 

We live remote in dairy farming country so it's remote with the closest shops and schools 15 mins away. I absolutely love the country side but now that we have been here for quite a few years and I'm pregnant with our second.. I'm thinking of our children's schooling and roots. We are very fortunate to have a lovely land lords, but it's a rental and we want our own home. 

I want to live closer to the coast (20 minutes from our home now) where over the last 5 years has been my local community and I visit my parents where they currently live. DH is supportive of that and willing to make it work with his work wise. I'm very excited for the house hunt, the only thing that has a dark cloud over it is how the skids and BM are going to react. 

She recently finished building her house 2 minute drive around the corner from the skids school. Didn't tell us until it finished and she moved in. The coast where we will be living will be around a 45 min distance from her house. I said to DH I'm a bit unsure of how this will work with the same 50/50 care and the school drop offs. The skids may need to move schools earlier if we move into our house this year. When SD overheard DH mention to me about moving she immediately was worried she would have to move schools and didn't want too. I completely understand how she wouldn't want that.. but at the same time what am I supposed to do? Put our whole life on hold so she can finish 3 more years of primary school there? DD will be 3 this year and we need to be in a stable home that is zoned for her schooling and a spot less remote. 

I said to DH there is a R-12 school that is smack bang in the middle of BM and us and can do buses. Driving the skids to a bus stop and pick them up from there is manageable and at the same time I can take our kids to school too. The only thing is I know BM will fight for the skids to be nearer to her to make her life easier and she will no way want them to go to a school only just to make our life easier. She has already told SD that she won't be going to any school that is too far away from her house. Ugh. The other option I told DH was maybe.... have the skids less? So they can go to a school they want to without the stress of trying to commute to both our houses? Oh man DH was not having a bar of that. SD is already nearly completely PAS'd out and SS will hate being in BM care full time. It's a bit of a tricky situation and it's just another annoying step parent situation where things are just not easy marrying a man with children tied to a psycho ex. 

We haven't even started looking just yet but DH said he will have to get solid facts of bus and school info before he puts the idea to BM about schools. She hinted to SS he is going to a private school and no way is DH going down that road. She will expect him to pay for it or say 'we can go half' and never pay anything. She refuses to pay for the skids school fees now. 

The skids friends and life is around BMs house thanks to DH agreeing to put them in a school in that area. Now we are establishing our own lives I feel like we are anchored to BMs neighbourhood and SS sports club too. That will be a 40 minute drive away from us and SS spends all his free time there a lot.. but I was honest with DH and said if we live closer to BM I can't help but see my home then as a compromise. Its a rough neighbourhood too and I'll be even further away from my parents. He said well that's no way to live.. so we will move to the coast. Am I a bad person to want to live where I've established myself and DD over the years instead of thinking of the skids first and putting roots down BMs way? It's going to be a shit show storm when BM learns we are moving 45 minutes away, want to put the skids in a school that's halfway.. oh and find out we are pregnant again. She's going to flip! DH said let's start our homework on schools and I'll give her factual information when the time comes. 

Im excited to find our home.. I just don't think the skids are going to be excited. SS said he doesn't want to live further away from his friends already.. and they all live 5 minutes from BMs of course. How have other people handled the transition of moving and schools with skids? 


lieutenant_dad's picture

You won't like this answer, but we moved into YSK's school district versus moving them. It was a headache, but the school was best for them and they were already in high school. It's not ideal, but it was necessary.

Your DH has more than just your mutual kids to think about. Asking him to give up time with them isn't fair. Asking him to have to potentially commute further so he can keep the kids 50/50 isn't fair. This is one of those rare "you knew what you were getting into" situations in steplife. Your DH gave BM the power to choose schools, and she did. The kids built a life in those schools. Asking the kids AND BM AND your DH to change up their schedules and lives so you can live closer tI where you want to is probably too much.

This is another drawback to being in a step situation (and really of just being in a relationship with someone else). Your DH likely needs to stay close for the sake of his older kids. That may mean you have to decide to move on your own or stay behind with him. It sucks, but he isn't free to just up and move without giving up time with his kids. If he doesn't want to do that, you're stuck deciding whether you want to go it alone or stay in the area you're at now for a while longer.

floralsm's picture

You sound exactly like my DH haha. I know that answer is the most logical. I told DH it's just unfortunate BM had a rental with a BF in that particular suburb when SS needed to start school and he was a single dad living back with his parents. It sort of concreted their location of upbringing. 
Well there are suburbs closer BM way that we thought about but they are just super expensive for the 4 bedder home we need. We need to go back to the drawing board. They will need to move schools in the next two years to start high school regardless .. just need to discuss what school that will be and figure out where we want to raise DD too. 

ESMOD's picture

This is definitely one of the sucky things about steplife.. your life will be impacted by things like school districts.. custody schedules etc..   Unless your DH is willing and able to make the extra commute for his kids.. I think you are stuck staying in the general area.

Now.. I personally drive 2 hours each way to work three days a week.. so him doing that driving is not necessarily impossible. .but might require some adjustments...

Perhaps the kids would reduce 50/50 to maybe only one week in your house a month for him to commute.. but make up the lost 5 days by getting an extra weekend.. or by getting more time during breaks and summer?  again.... it's going to be on HIM to make it work if he wants to move.. but it may prove difficult.

ndc's picture

I can't imagine BM will agree to switch the kids' school to make it more convenient for you to move.  No court would order that school move if your DH tried to force it (which it doesn't sound like he would anyway). It just isn't in the best interest of the kids to take them away from their school and their friends.  Unless your DH is willing to give up 50/50 or do a lot of driving, I wouldn't get too excited about moving to your desired area. 

It sucks, but it's one of the many negatives of steplife.

floralsm's picture

Yeah I don't think they will be taken out of primary school.. that's my wishful thinking. At the end of the day they will need to move to a high school in the next two years anyway as their school is only a R-6. We will have to wait and see what research Hubby does and see what high school BM actually wants them to go to aswell. I think a high school that's in between us for them to go to should be reasonable. 

ndc's picture

Probably they'll want to go to whatever high school their friends are going to.  Is there a HS that kids who live where they do typically attend? 

floralsm's picture

Well it depends on families and siblings I guess. Some head up the hill and and some down the hill. Some families do the private schools that are coming up too  around the area.. two of SS friends have already left for other schools. I think there is a local High School near BM but not sure what school BM wants either. 

Survivingstephell's picture

Can you buy the beach town house, rent it out so when you are ready to move you are set with a place?  

I had 3 of my own and ended up sending my bios to a school I never want to send them to.  It all worked out in the en,  but I really recommend putting distance between you and BM.  I'd work hard to make that happen.  I don't have that and probably never will.  Our housing market combined with the economy and age makes us never want to jump in again. I wish we could move away though.  

floralsm's picture

Ohh I wish! I would actually love that but interest rates are through the roof at the moment. I wanted to actually build to start with, but we can't afford to rent and build at the same time. 

Well yeah I really don't want to be close to BM at all.. and I suggested to DH in the holidays you and BM could meet half way at a designated pick up/ drop off area? We will wait and see what schools DH researches. I think if there is a bus that will take them to school it will definitely help BM and DH. 

justmakingthebest's picture

The courts won't force BM to allow the change of schools. You have 2 options:

  1. Do the drive for SD's schools on the weeks that you have her.
  2. Give up 50/50. Go to 2-3 weekends a month and extended summer breaks. It won't be the same but you can still get a lot of parenting time and involvement. 

I know that isn't the answer you are hoping for but it is the truth. The school you are suggesting would be considered out of zone and would have to be approved every year. That means no guarantees and it is "unfair" to make SD move schools to accommodate you if BM wants to keep her where she is and is in zone. 

smto2kids's picture

Give up 50/50. Go to 2-3 weekends a month and extended summer breaks. It won't be the same but you can still get a lot of parenting time and involvement. 

The kids' BM neglects the kids. The kids are always with lice in their hair and dirty. If I'm not mistaken,, the dad has majority custody of SS and SS has benefited from being with his dad vs BM.

I do think a compromise is needed here, OP. You don't want your home to be a compromise, but you're kinda expecting four people, two of which are kids, to change their lives for the worse to accommodate your desire to live near the beach. Maybe you could wait for a few more years or manage to find transport, but it's not going to be easy.

floralsm's picture

Yep correct. She is a neglectful POS. DH actually wants to have SD one more day back in his care but BM is of course digging her heels in and trying to justify that SD doesn't want it. Not that it's up to SD. 

Well we have decided to leave the skids where they are for now school wise. I agree it is too disruptive to take them out of a PS they are established in. It's more High School that DH and BM need to work out. Here where we live it's common kids go to a high school based on their interests in education. Some specialise in sports, others performing arts, and some are agricultural and some are just normal zoned government funded.. and of course the expensive religious private schools that are quite popular where we live and BM lives. 

I don't mind driving 10-15 mins to drop them to a bus stop that can take them to a high school they want to go too. There are heaps of transport options for schools especially where we are now being remote. 

We don't have a court order just an agreed child support care arrangement. If she takes SD more against DH will, she won't receive any more money from him as he didn't agree to the care and he has evidence to show it was forced. She tried to do this before and gave SD back when she learned there was no dollar value to it. 

There is a brand new school that was just built that DH thought the skids would like to go too (15 minutes from her) we just need to see if there are bus services. If there are, then that is definitely a green light, but neither DH or BM are zoned so the school did say they take on 'special circumstances' students where their homes are seperated either side. We just hope BM agrees, and as it's in a suburb she herself grew up in I don't see why she wouldn't say no. This school is very nice and 2 minutes from SS sports club too. This Biatch is the type just to say no to make it harder for us so we shall have to wait and see. 

Rags's picture


They go where htey are told to go. THey are kids. These decisions are adult decisions. Not kid decisions.

Full disclosure, I am not one who has anything remotely close to a stability and roots perspective.  Growing up we moved internationally 5 times, I attended two different elementary schools (on two different continents), three different Jr. High Schools (on two different continents), and two different HSs (in two different States).  

These were not my decisions though I was all in when our parents sat us down to talk about those moves.  Except for the last school change. That was not my decison, but it was my fault.  My first Sophomore year of HS was a party fest. So, my second sophomore through HS graduation was at a Military School. I did what I was told though I did push back with "I am 16 and won't go." But that is another story.

justmakingthebest's picture

The difference here is that BM has 50% custody and would not want to move them. A judge will side with her on this. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Big difference between an intact family that moves together and a divorced family who doesn't.

If Dad moves, then someone either has to give up some visitation time or someone has to commute more. And the parents won't get to decide who does that if they can't agree - the court will.

Plus, moving isn't always a good or positive experience. Minus your military school experience, you likely had fun being able to explore new cultures with your whole family. But for someone like my YSK who moved a lot because of ET's instability, it created a lot of stress and trauma. YSK moving in with us after having spent their life living FT with ET was a huge change. Making them switch schools would have just added to their stress and negative feelings about the situation. Yes, we could have told them to "suck it up" but that wasn't what was best for them.

And really, while I'm not all about making the world child-centric, I do think adults have the responsibility to do what is best for their kids above what they want to do. What is best for OP's SKs is to not lose time with their parents and to keep stability in school. OP won't suffer greatly by not getting to move to the coast, but the kids (whether they be OP's kids because her DH is gone more to commute with the kids or the SKs who lose custody time with their dad) most certainly could. That's not fair to them.

ESMOD's picture

they live currently 20 min from the coast.. so that is really pretty close in my opinion anyway.

Military moving can be a bit different.. esp overseas.. since the rest of the kids are more in the same boat... where in the civie world.. it didn't always seem to be as common.



Yesterdays's picture

If you do move to the coast , I wouldn't expect that the step kids would go to the school there because it just doesn't make sense for them to have to change school districts when their mother lives 2 minutes from the other school that they are currently in. So if you move there is a very strong possibility of the step kids staying where they are at for school and you would provide all the driving or the alternative, that you end up with something more like EOWE with midweek visit. If miraculously you did end up getting the skids to go to school near the coast they would be livid as would bio mom. 

When my kids were in grade school I set it up so our house backed onto the school and it was so nice for them, easy and stable. To uproot them from their school feels wrong, imo.

From my perspective, I would wait till she was starting high school, then move, or else move and they still stay with their moms school. 

floralsm's picture

Thank you for all your perspectives on this. DH said we might look into the after school care option until the skids are ready to transition into high school if we do move earlier. So he can swing through and pick them up in the way home from work to save me two trips in a day. They loved after school care as a lot of their friends go aswell. We already drive 25 minutes to drop them and pick them up from school and where we will be living on the coast will be an extra 10-15 ontop. We may have to suck up the extra 15 minutes of driving so the skids are still happy with their school and won't ruffle BMs feathers. By the time they are ready for HS my DD will be in PS and we can work out which school that will be with BM. This will be good as they won't be invested in any school yet and yep kids here go to all sorts of high schools depending on what their parents want for them. The options are quite overwhelming so DH is going to do his research now to bring some solid information to the table for BM so she doesn't dismiss anything that easily. I know the skids getting on a bus will be easier for BM and us so at least we have that in common and fingers crossed find a school she agrees on that DH suggests. If it was her choice she would want a private school that she will expect DH pay for the entire thing and we cannot afford that with our two on top. Ours won't be going to private either lol DH will have 4 kids to provide for. We jusy don't have that money.