Re­sponses to the dad who’s think­ing of mov­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - WEATHER FORECAST - DEAR ELLIE el­liead­vice.com

Part two of re­sponses to the fa­ther who’s con­sid­er­ing leav­ing his three young sons to live across the coun­try with a woman who has three young daugh­ters (Jan­uary 26):

Reader #1: “I think your ad­vice lacked the moral clar­ity and for­ti­tude that’s re­quired in this sit­u­a­tion.

“This man owes it to his chil­dren to be there for them as much as he can, not just pop in ev­ery few months with presents.

“Very nice for him that he found a new love, but his chil­dren should be his pri­or­ity un­til they’re adults, when he’s free to do and be with any­one he wants.

“Most things in life are a shade of grey. Not this one.”

Ellie: I ap­pre­ci­ate your view and the op­por­tu­nity you’ve pro­vided for me to share with read­ers some of the think­ing that goes into my an­swers.

I be­lieve this man senses that the move’s a mis­take. Why else would he write me?

So I chose a dif­fer­ent ap­proach, ask­ing, what’s the rush? He should visit this woman — not move — and dis­cover her ex­pec­ta­tions: How of­ten he’ll be able to get back to his own kids. The time, costs, and emo­tions in­volved.

I rec­om­mended get­ting coun­selling to probe his mo­ti­va­tion, since he’s act­ing on pas­sion and im­pulse, yet al­ready rec­og­nizes he needs guid­ance. He should ask the ther­a­pist the likely im­pact of his de­ci­sion on his kids’ lives.

Reader #2: “My par­ents di­vorced a year af­ter I mar­ried in my early 20s. My younger brother still lived at home.

“Dad left Mom for “the love of his life” and be­gan a new fam­ily. My brother and I were ex­pected to un­der­stand.

“Still, 35 years later, the im­pact of the per­ceived re­jec­tion by him is still there, although Dad doesn’t see or get it. He never has, he just fol­lowed his heart.

“Dad’s on Wife #4 now. Kids are for­ever.

“At one time your “ex” was the love of your life with whom you pro­duced three beau­ti­ful kids.

“Ask your­self: Are you will­ing to risk the love, re­spect, self es­teem, and good times you could have to­gether with your chil­dren for the rest of your life? “Is it fair to do this to them?”

Reader #3: “I wanted to say how pro­fes­sional and help­ful your ad­vice was to the writer.

“I do won­der if that man re­al­izes that if he moves across coun­try to raise some­one else’s three girls that his own flesh and blood boys will, at their young age, quickly be call­ing some­one else “Dad?”

“Is he afraid of tak­ing true re­spon­si­bil­ity for rais­ing his chil­dren and how they turn out? And how could he know he’s met the love of his life?

“He’s ap­par­ently mis­tak­ing trans­fer­ence and lust of the mo­ment with deal­ing face-on with his is­sues.

“I can’t un­der­stand how some­one could aban­don their own chil­dren to raise some­one else’s.”

Feed­back re­gard­ing the man, 85, whose late-wife’s chil­dren are sell­ing her house where he lives (Jan. 28):

Reader #1: “The wife just passed away. This man needs an es­tate lawyer to con­test the will she left.

“In a ju­ris­dic­tion where Suc­ces­sion Law Re­form Act ap­plies, he will get the first $250,000 of the es­tate and pos­si­bly the rest of the es­tate split evenly, de­pend­ing on how the will is worded.

“The es­tate (her chil­dren) can have the costs or­dered against them.”

Reader #2: “Since this is a sec­ond mar­riage, if the woman’s will was writ­ten be­fore their mar­riage, it is null and void.”

Ellie: This col­umn re­ceives let­ters from across the globe, so while you may read it in a par­tic­u­lar news­pa­per or on­line, con­fi­den­tial­ity is the rea­son that the ac­tual ju­ris­dic­tion of the writer isn’t re­vealed.

That’s why I of­ten urge peo­ple, as in this case, to get le­gal ad­vice that’s spe­cific to the ju­ris­dic­tion in which they live.

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