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  #41  
Old 06.07.2021, 19:13
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

Thanks again, lot's of interesting responses and food for thought on my end. In any event I won't be making a decision until early next year so I have time to think about it and see how the covid situation plays out.
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  #42  
Old 06.07.2021, 21:07
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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Divorce is traumatic for most kids in my experience. Even when it's on good terms.
This particular boy, who is now 8 years old, has been living with his mother only since he was aged 2. Moreover, his parents took a mutual decision to separate and divorce, and they manage to get along well enough, now, to share the parenting arrangements. Thanks to those factors, the son has not been through any particularly traumatic divorce of his parents.

Since he will scarcely remember any home set-up before his second birthday, for him, as he lives now is probably just normal life. He lives mostly with his mother and visits his father (where he has his own room) on Wednesdays and every second weekends and some school holidays.

Therefore, as long as travel becomes easy, into Switzerland and into the UK, (and it's a big If, but OP is prepared to wait until a sensible status is reached, before deciding anything) the main immediate differences, for the boy, with regard to where his father will live will be:
  • No more seeing Dad on Wednesdays.
  • No longer have his own bedroom at Dad's.
  • When he spends a weekend with Dad, this will be in a hotel (or any other adventure Dad devises, like camping or visiting a farm, etc.).

There are other factors such as:
  • Dad might have a lot of extra costs from flights and hotel bills which, depending on his overall income level, may or may not affect the boy's standard of living or his future.
  • Dad might have to become a little less reliable - because flights get delayed, etc., out of Dad's control, even when he's trying to get back to Zug at the right times.
  • It'll take that much longer for Dad to rush over if ever there is an emergency.
  • Dad will be able to attend fewer of the boy's school and sport and cultural events that take place during the week.

How much any of these factors matters, to the boy himself, and to his father and his mother, probably depends on how they are dealt with currently.
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  #43  
Old 06.07.2021, 21:15
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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"I don't want to end up resenting my son later on down the road if I stay here and then can't get back to London in my 40's."
This says it all
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  #44  
Old 06.07.2021, 21:25
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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This isn't really about you, it's about your child.
WRONG!

If you are not in a position to take care of your own life, you are not in a position to take care of anyone else's.

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 06.07.2021 at 22:09.
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  #45  
Old 06.07.2021, 21:46
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

OP, you may even find a job as courier of UK delicacies to Switzerland to pay for your flights. Jokes apart: consider having a studio rented in Zug. Yes it will be expensive , yes having a “base” will help you when doing stuff with your kid and his friends (I am not saying you should buy a Switch nest for super Mario tournaments … however it would be good to have some tools “stored”, like skis and whatsnot is useful in Switzerland but not in London). Plus hotels are expensive.

I still think that moving to Zürich you would see things in a different perspective, much more time for yourself and less time commuting (you don’t even need to live in Oerlikon to have a short commute to the airport for your London’s visits).

Final note: London will be booming in the next 5/10 years, exactly because of Brexit, you will have opportunities (unless you are an EU burocrat…. that would explain your bad mood in Switzerland &#129315


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You wanted them, right? I never wanted them
Sometimes they happen, and the decision you would have made before knowing is not the same you would do afterwards. Disclaimer: happy couple, happy young adult son, never planned to breed, just happened (yes, we are animals, under our shaved furs)
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  #46  
Old 06.07.2021, 22:40
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

My son is much younger than yours... but i couldn't imagine not seeing his daft smile or getting a big hug. I accept that I haven't been put through the wringer by an ex wife and I don't have to live in a bed-sit so I know I'm not exactly walking in your shoes but it's a hell of a thing to do that you're contemplating.
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  #47  
Old 06.07.2021, 23:40
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

My dad left when I was slightly younger than your son to go back to his hometown in England (I have dual citizenship).

Although I did not see my father often (mostly during holidays), I am not resentful at all.

These days it's more difficult as my parents live in different countries and they're getting older... but honestly if you're unhappy here, your child will feel it and it won't be a nice experience for him so what's the point?
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  #48  
Old 07.07.2021, 07:41
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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5) Another issue is logistics. I would aim to fly out Friday afternoon's from London, arrive in Zug that evening and spend Fri/Sat night in a hotel with my son before returning him to mom on Sunday afternoon before I fly back. Pricy yes, haha, and not ideal as my son has his own bedroom in my current place so it's something else I think about. On the other hand, when he's older I think it might be cool for him to split our weekends together between Zug/London. He was born in London (speaks English) and I think it would open up some doors for him if he ever wanted to come here for university or work.

Thanks again for all your help/advice!
I can't think of a worse plan than this. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. It would mean your life is dominated by the separation. It would mean your son's life is dominated by the separation. Visiting on a weekly basis in the age that he is and is going to be will be very disruptive.
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  #49  
Old 07.07.2021, 08:21
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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WRONG!

If you are not in a position to take care of your own life, you are not in a position to take care of anyone else's.

Tom
But he is in a position to take care of his own life. He just doesn't want to.
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  #50  
Old 07.07.2021, 10:48
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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My son is much younger than yours... but i couldn't imagine not seeing his daft smile or getting a big hug. I accept that I haven't been put through the wringer by an ex wife and I don't have to live in a bed-sit so I know I'm not exactly walking in your shoes but it's a hell of a thing to do that you're contemplating.
I don't think he really appreciates the consequences of his decision. It is one thing if the decision is forced upon you, but this is a deliberate choice. I don't know any parents that have not had to sacrifice some of their own dreams and freedoms for the sake of their kids.

The novelty of having to stay with dad in a hotel at the weekends will ware off and as the kid grows up he'll want to spend time at the weekends with his friends rather than with dad. And then there are all the little things that will not happen if the dad is not in the country - popping along to seem them taking part in sports during the week, ferrying them around when mom can't and so on. Kids notice when they are the only one who's dad is not present for all the little events.

Dad needs to decide what is more important to him, the relationship with his son or himself and stop pretending he can have it both ways. It's not as if it's a life sentence, childhood is gone in a flash and it is not something I'd have wanted to miss for the world. My son is 23 now and I'm luck if I get 4 or 5 hours of his time in the week, he is busy with his life, got is how responsibilities and obligations do deal with.
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  #51  
Old 07.07.2021, 10:48
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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Parents are like religious salespeople, "You don't know what you are missing", I know very well what I will miss if I breed
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  #52  
Old 07.07.2021, 10:56
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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And then there are all the little things that will not happen if the dad is not in the country - popping along to seem them taking part in sports during the week, ferrying them around when mom can't and so on.
That has nothing to do with being in another country, the same happens when you are simply not in the same town, or even at the wrong end of town.

Tom
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  #53  
Old 07.07.2021, 18:43
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

There is nothing worse than living in another country unhappy about life. It affects every facet of Our existence unfortunately.

It will do the Child no good seeing you this way or spending weekends with a grumpy Dad.

If moving to the UK moves your life in a positive direction and you can come up with a solution to seeing the kids regularly, school holidays then i think it’s for the best even if the idea of being in another country to him is gutwrenching.
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  #54  
Old 07.07.2021, 19:34
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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Like what?? share a bit

Well, a forum princess accused me of being you with a duplicate account, so you should not be asking me any questions as you are fully capable of reading my mind Unless you are the other half of my brain that I don't have access to!

Regarding your question, bottom line is that I don't want to stress or provide for a dumb kid (trust me, my kid would be dumb)

Most of the parents I see are stressed out and have that distant PTSD look, and all the reasons they give for having a child don't even register on my "Does it appeal to me" scale. Many of them have relationships that I don't consider ideal or appealing either. That is, assuming they even have a partner who is not bored with them.

Life is too good, why the hell would I change that? Oh wait, because people on EF recommend it highly?
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Old 07.07.2021, 19:54
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

Thanks for your reply and yes we better pretend we're the same person so the princess can feel how she cracked the code:

While I totally understand the pro or contra feelings about that ..sometimes I find how people who are having a firm stance about it does puzzle me )

The thing is, it's like about sex . You havent tried it so how do you know you (let's say) dont want it ?

Some say it's nice but then others say how much of a trouble it is , causes frustration, fights , disappointment ... then what, ...you wouldnt have sex because it's just looks way too complicated, they both look somewhat tired and it's something that lasts ,some 25min (and if..)

other than that I do of course understand the rational/irrational fear of responsibility and all that..
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  #56  
Old 07.07.2021, 20:06
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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The thing is, it's like about sex . You havent tried it so how do you know you (let's say) dont want it ?

If you don't like sex, you have the option not to have sex ever again, you might even be able to get a refund Once a child pops out, you are done for life. You can't shove it back in Go ahead, have a few. I am not stopping you.
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Old 07.07.2021, 20:17
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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Thanks for all the replies and yes, it's a tough decision to make for all involved. Just a couple of points from my side:
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1) I won't go anywhere until I fully understand what the "new normal" looks like after covid. I have no idea how easy it will be to travel between countries and I cannot make this move if it means I have to spend time in quarantine or pay for a PCR test every time I enter the UK or CH. So realistically I would make a decision next year once I have a better view of things.
Very sensible. I like that you're not rushing anything, but turning this over in your mind (and heart), slowly.
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2) My ex-wife has a new partner (they don't live together yet afaik) so while I feel bad about the extra strain this might place on her I take some comfort from the fact that she is settled here and is happy and has some support.
Do you know this man, and can you and he conduct a reasonable conversation, if need be, about arrangements? Children can have more than one father figure, after all. Does your son get along with his mother's new partner? Can this man be trusted to kind and strong and generally reliable, with regard to your son? Does he have children and, if so, how do they (and their mother) influence the dynamics in the relationships? I ask this because, if you're further away, those people will effectively become his everyday family (not take your place in his heart!) and if it were me, I'd want to know how supportive an environment that will be.

I know someone in a patchwork family where they've written down which decisions the new partners are allowed to take, in lieu of the biological parents, e.g. to fetch the child from a sports event, get him to a doctor if he is ill, or sign him up for music lessons, not.

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3) I don't want to end up resenting my son later on down the road if I stay here and then can't get back to London in my 40's. Jobs in my field get harder and harder to come by in your 40's and it's not clear that the option to relocate will always be on the cards for me.
I wonder how remote work will affect this, since increasing numbers of people are living in one place while being employed in another. I think the authorities will tend to make this easier, or at least to specify the rules for this, so that changing jobs will not necessarily mean relocating, at least not as automatically is it did pre-Covid. You might be able to live here and work there, wherever there turns out to be. That's worth watching, in your field, as the next year rolls on.

Perhaps it's also worth seeing whether there's anything you could do to counteract the fact that work is, as you say, harder to find, in your field, in your 40's (are you sure you're right about this?). If you're a model, well, then there's not much you can do about ageing, but if you're in some other field, could you increase your employability by adding on another qualification, e.g. to go upwards in management, or else to change direction?

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4) I have thought long and hard about whether or not I am chasing nostalgia and to be honest I have no idea what London (or any big city) will be like post covid. What I do know is that, having lived in both NYC and London, I prefer fast paced, aggressive and career focused cities over quality of life/work life balance cities. I travel back to London regularly for work (at least before covid) and so it's not like I last lived there 15 years ago.
This remark is the one I keep turning over in my mind. You're yearning for the faster pace and the more aggressive dynamics, and yet you say that your employer would enable you to work in the London office, which means that right now the part about competing in your career isn't really the issue, at least not for as long as you work for this same employer. That leads me back to what others have asked you, too: can you more clearly identify, for yourself, what it is that you find attractive about London or NY, (what does that face pace do for you?) and is there any way to get more of it (perhaps online) while living here?

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5) Another issue is logistics. I would aim to fly out Friday afternoon's from London, arrive in Zug that evening and spend Fri/Sat night in a hotel with my son before returning him to mom on Sunday afternoon before I fly back. Pricy yes, haha, and not ideal as my son has his own bedroom in my current place so it's something else I think about. On the other hand, when he's older I think it might be cool for him to split our weekends together between Zug/London. He was born in London (speaks English) and I think it would open up some doors for him if he ever wanted to come here for university or work.
If at all possible, if you do go, I'd also recommend (as others have done) trying to keep some sort of base here, even a smaller, cheaper place than you have now, so that you and your son didn't have to be in hotels. Even if you have but one room, I imagine it'll still be more appealing for your 10- or 12- or 15-year-old to have a place where he can put up his own posters on the door, and bring over his friends to watch movies and eat homemade popcorn, than to be without a base. His friends' parents are more likely to give permission for this, too, if it is to your pied-à-terre, rather than to a changing hotel address. Of course I appreciate that finding the right room, to keep, that's not too much more expensive than checking into a hotel, will take quite some research. And yes, later, as long as he's a sensible lad, he can travel to visit you... it's just that he might not want to do it every month.

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Thanks again for all your help/advice!
You are to be commended for keeping your cool, even when coming under quite some criticism, as you're thinking this all through. Thank you.
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Old 08.07.2021, 08:45
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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Very sensible. I like that you're not rushing anything, but turning this over in your mind (and heart), slowly.

Do you know this man, and can you and he conduct a reasonable conversation, if need be, about arrangements? Children can have more than one father figure, after all. Does your son get along with his mother's new partner? Can this man be trusted to kind and strong and generally reliable, with regard to your son? Does he have children and, if so, how do they (and their mother) influence the dynamics in the relationships? I ask this because, if you're further away, those people will effectively become his everyday family (not take your place in his heart!) and if it were me, I'd want to know how supportive an environment that will be.

I know someone in a patchwork family where they've written down which decisions the new partners are allowed to take, in lieu of the biological parents, e.g. to fetch the child from a sports event, get him to a doctor if he is ill, or sign him up for music lessons, not.


I wonder how remote work will affect this, since increasing numbers of people are living in one place while being employed in another. I think the authorities will tend to make this easier, or at least to specify the rules for this, so that changing jobs will not necessarily mean relocating, at least not as automatically is it did pre-Covid. You might be able to live here and work there, wherever there turns out to be. That's worth watching, in your field, as the next year rolls on.

Perhaps it's also worth seeing whether there's anything you could do to counteract the fact that work is, as you say, harder to find, in your field, in your 40's (are you sure you're right about this?). If you're a model, well, then there's not much you can do about ageing, but if you're in some other field, could you increase your employability by adding on another qualification, e.g. to go upwards in management, or else to change direction?

This remark is the one I keep turning over in my mind. You're yearning for the faster pace and the more aggressive dynamics, and yet you say that your employer would enable you to work in the London office, which means that right now the part about competing in your career isn't really the issue, at least not for as long as you work for this same employer. That leads me back to what others have asked you, too: can you more clearly identify, for yourself, what it is that you find attractive about London or NY, (what does that face pace do for you?) and is there any way to get more of it (perhaps online) while living here?


If at all possible, if you do go, I'd also recommend (as others have done) trying to keep some sort of base here, even a smaller, cheaper place than you have now, so that you and your son didn't have to be in hotels. Even if you have but one room, I imagine it'll still be more appealing for your 10- or 12- or 15-year-old to have a place where he can put up his own posters on the door, and bring over his friends to watch movies and eat homemade popcorn, than to be without a base. His friends' parents are more likely to give permission for this, too, if it is to your pied-à-terre, rather than to a changing hotel address. Of course I appreciate that finding the right room, to keep, that's not too much more expensive than checking into a hotel, will take quite some research. And yes, later, as long as he's a sensible lad, he can travel to visit you... it's just that he might not want to do it every month.


You are to be commended for keeping your cool, even when coming under quite some criticism, as you're thinking this all through. Thank you.
Thanks again and quite a lot to go through there.

1) I do not know my ex-wife's new partner. I believe he is Swiss or German and does not have any kids of his own. I trust my ex-wife and she is very level headed so she wouldn't move in with someone if our son was against it or if she didn't think it would work. My guess is, if they ever do move in, that conversation between all of us will naturally happen. I'm generally happy that she's met someone so on my end there are no hard feelings at all.

2) On the work front, I want to stay somewhat anonymous so I wont mention my industry, but London is the "Premier League" of my industry in Europe and all the talent, money, and jobs are there. The compensation at the higher end is multiples of what I can make here and generally the Anglo-Saxon mind set is to reward talent and performance whereas in Switzerland it's more about rewarding loyalty and rank/tenure (something I can't stand). My colleagues in our London office get paid substantially more than we do in the Zurich office (for doing the same job) with the justification of (i) "that's the market" and (ii) you're supposed to be happy living in Switzerland which should make up for the lower comp.

3) What do NYC/London offer to me personally? They are cities that embrace non-conformists, foreigners, and reward talent and ability. Basically the opposite of this place which is conformist, suspicious of outsiders, and rewards "connected/local people."

4) On the logistics side, I wasn't sure if it was possible to keep a place here if I'm not a resident/permit holder here? I'm guessing to do so I would need to stay registered here which means (i) paying for Swiss health insurance, and (ii) paying taxes to Switzerland - just sounds quite complicated.

Thanks again and I appreciate your response.
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Old 08.07.2021, 09:34
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

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This particular boy, who is now 8 years old, has been living with his mother only since he was aged 2. Moreover, his parents took a mutual decision to separate and divorce, and they manage to get along well enough, now, to share the parenting arrangements. Thanks to those factors, the son has not been through any particularly traumatic divorce of his parents.

Since he will scarcely remember any home set-up before his second birthday, for him, as he lives now is probably just normal life. He lives mostly with his mother and visits his father (where he has his own room) on Wednesdays and every second weekends and some school holidays.

Therefore, as long as travel becomes easy, into Switzerland and into the UK, (and it's a big If, but OP is prepared to wait until a sensible status is reached, before deciding anything) the main immediate differences, for the boy, with regard to where his father will live will be:
  • No more seeing Dad on Wednesdays.
  • No longer have his own bedroom at Dad's.
  • When he spends a weekend with Dad, this will be in a hotel (or any other adventure Dad devises, like camping or visiting a farm, etc.).

There are other factors such as:
  • Dad might have a lot of extra costs from flights and hotel bills which, depending on his overall income level, may or may not affect the boy's standard of living or his future.
  • Dad might have to become a little less reliable - because flights get delayed, etc., out of Dad's control, even when he's trying to get back to Zug at the right times.
  • It'll take that much longer for Dad to rush over if ever there is an emergency.
  • Dad will be able to attend fewer of the boy's school and sport and cultural events that take place during the week.

How much any of these factors matters, to the boy himself, and to his father and his mother, probably depends on how they are dealt with currently.
Doropfiz, usually people already made up their mind when they ask here and are looking for let's say validation. Maybe it's not the right word, but something like this.

OP appears to know what he wants, what I (or others) believe it's neither here nor there. Obvisouly, every family/parent/child is different, I personally would like to be closer to my child if I was OP, that's all.
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Old 08.07.2021, 09:56
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Re: Divorced Dad - to stay or to leave?

Make sure your place in London has a room for your son. Then he can visit in school holidays (my daughter goes to her dad’s near London for two of the fortnight holidays and half the summer minimum, normally an extra week and, if he does not have the Christmas break, at least a few days around Christmas).
Swiss also do an unaccompanied minor service, right now it costs CHF95 per leg, my daughter has been using it since she was 6. But, obviously, she had been flying to the UK and back regularly for 3 years by then).
I’m sure your kid would love to be part of your life there too. And, as he gets older and wants to do things with friends at the weekend, longer trips where he can settle and be at home, will be better.
The 6.5 weeks plus that she spends in the UK also really helps with the 4 weeks work holiday vs 13 weeks school holiday issue.
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