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what is more important for children when a marriage ends?

Community Member

I am really stressed out trying to figure out what to do. My marriage is over and this is very hard for me to bear but I know it's the right thing.

We have 3 children together and are still living all together until we figure out a plan. Our marriage broke down because my husband was physically and verbally abusive toward me and the children, especially the children, and I couldnt live with that. We seperated before, got help and got back together, but now we know its not working. He is still verbally abusive and the pressure of trying to control his temper means he is usualy very antisocial at home and doesnt put much effort into relationships.

I am trying to decide what is more important for our children in a seperation - a well supported mum OR maintaining continuity of their everday life.

Their dad has said he will not be in a position to share custody as he plans to move into a friends place or his parents and save heaps of money. I have no support here at all. I was thinking of moving interstate , where we used to live 2.5 years ago, to be closer to my support. It would also be slightly cheaper to live there as rent is cheaper. This is a place that is familiar to the children as 2 of them have spent most of their lives there. I feel like this would give me the best shot at recovering from this break up and moving forward.

But I worry that moving would hurt my kids. They would have to be away from their dad and his family. However their dad seems ok with this and they dont see a great deal of his family for the most part. But I know my kids will care. They would have to change schools too, and we will only be able to take very limited things with us and no furniture. I worry that this much upheaval will be bad for the children at this time in their lives.


7 Replies 7

Community Member
Aside from the indecision that is really stressing me out I am just so angry. I feel like, as usual, I am the one left to be solely responsible for the children's welfare, I am the one who will have to "do it tough" financially. I am the one who has no support.  I feel like he can just walk away carefree, forget about being a dad and at the same time make me look like the bad guy (which I will be if I move away, because I will be the one taking the children away from their dad- as opposed to if I stay he will be the one shirking his kids) I am angry on their behalf that saving money, even though he could rent his own place comfortably, is more important than being a dad to his kids. He says he's happy for me to go, sign a parenting plan that states he gives permission, and keep contact with the kids by skype and occaisionally visiting us.

hi nettle

that is a very tough situation your in and i no how it feels to have all the responcerbility  but in the long run it sounds as thou you would be better off back in your familiar terrotoy you will need support and it will only make you angryer if you stay were you are and see your husband and family getting on withit and your stuck , but your there mother and youno whats best for them,my son and his wife have just seperated but are living under the same roof, its not healthy altho the mum is the one who doesnt want them or my son until she found out how much money she would be missing out on, they have just built a new home so by law have to live in it for 12mths before they can sell it , thats not going to be good i feel so much for my grandchildren and yours cause there the losers out of all of it, best of luck 

Community Member
Hi Nettle - I am Indra, and I can sympathise with you as I have been through this once and about to go through it again. The thing is that firstly do not blame yourself. Your kids will adapt and will actually probably calm when they see you not stressing as much. If your ex is not willing to commit seeing your children, that is his problem and will actually work in your favour. Financially you will get there - it's an adjustment but it's not the worse thing that can happen either. My advice on a legal standpoint is that it is in your best interest to actually get a court order in place - believe me parenting plans only work for awhile and they are not legally binding. You are best to get in contact with Legal Aid or a Community lawyer or ring around, some private lawyers will do Legal Aid cases as well. Once this is in place it will make it easier to move forward. Living seperate under the same roof is not healthy for anyone - I did this for nearly 2 years and especially if he is violent. That will not change. It is scary to move on especially when your confidence is low. Find some courage and move on - in the long run you will be happier and healthier. Take care - Indra

Community Member
Sorry I forgot to mention that you will get assistance with Centrelink and Child Support when you register. I also forgot to mention - with the court order - if you are wanting to move interstate without some formal in place your ex may contest and you may not be able to move that far. Good luck

Community Member

Thanks for your advice guys.

I am aware that my ex could order me back if I move without a court order. I rang up legal aid to ask them they said if I have his consent I have 2 chioces- do a parenting plan sign and dated, which states he gives me permission to move. Its not a legal document but it will help me as evidence if he tries to drag me and the kids back here.

Or I could get a consent order, which is a legal document, but it requires a lawyer.

I was going to go with option 1 because its cheaper and less hassle. I also believe my husband wants a bachelor lifestyle and doesnt want the responsibility of being a dad. So Im pretty confident he wont take me to court. However maybe I will look unto a consent order...

 Too bad he realises he wants to be a bachelor after 10 years of marriage and fathering 3 kids.

We are not in danger currently. His temper is much better since we split up.


Even with centerlink assistance and child support I will struggle unless I get a job. It is hard to get a job when you dont habe much experience and have been oit of the workforce for years. We have debts and a car loan- if I want to keep the car I will need him to pay that off in lieu of child support. I doubt I could get a loan to buy another car as a single unemployed mother.

Community Member

Hi there Nettle


Welcome to Beyond Blue and thank you for coming here and providing your post.


You mentioned a well-supported mum – well, I’ll take that a number of steps further and say that you are one hell of an awesome mum and that your kids are so lucky to have you.  With all that you’ve written, you’ve had to make some big decisions and choices already and have come through and out the other side.


My thoughts on this are for the move – you’ve mentioned that your children have already lived there, so there is no move that will be strange to them, so that is a big plus.


So too is the fact that it will be slightly cheaper for you, and another biggie is that you’re going to be closer to other options for support.


Your worry that moving will hurt your kids – um, but you’re in this position due to the abusive nature, both verbally and physically of your ex, so for me, taking them out of (which you’ve been able to do) and AWAY from such a threat is saving them and saving them in so many ways.  They won’t have to be subject to that kind of torment anymore and have to worry about what might happen when “dad” comes home, which I could imagine would be terrifying for a child.  So this is brilliant of you to have put this into place, this new shot at moving forward.


Also as I mentioned above, them being away from their “dad”, won’t be perhaps as sad for them as you may think – but that’s just my opinion coming from far off – I could be very wrong on this;  but I would feel a huge sense of relief if the instigator for pain and abuse was no longer in the picture.


Again Nettle, these are just my opinions, and so I’ve offered my thoughts on this situation – I hope others may come along also with their thoughts on this as well.


Please write back again, as I would love to hear back from you on this.


Kind regards



Community Member

Aw thanks very much for the kind words Neil, just what I needed today!

I agree that if my husband had wanted to share custody I would have been very worried about his treatment of the kids while I am not there to protect them- I believe this fear is what stopped me from standing up to him initially.

He is abusive, but not physically abusive anymore. The way he talks to us sometimes could be considered abusive. In that he swears a lot and talks overly forcefully like he will say "shut up" to the children. At the worst he will threaten violence "if you dont stop that I'll break your arm". He does this but he also has moments of being a good dad too. But its not enough. I am wprried about his influence on our children, our middle boy, who probably copped it the most, has very agressive tantrums. I need to get help for this boy before he grows up into his father, my feeling is I cant help him until his dad is out of the picture more or less. I have been trying very hard over the last several years (doing parenting courses and seeking help from child psychologists) but we still have issues and I think it's because he sees how his dad is.

Despite him being agro. The kids love and idolise their dad. When we seperated before I was the bad guy in their eyes because I wouldnt let daddy come home.

While he is abusive and has done some unforgivable things I do feel its not black and white, there is a nice dad in there as well. And a nice husband. 

Ok my mind is almost made up I think.  Think Im gonna move.