14/10/2010 05:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Semi-Detached Parent: House Wars

It's house wars again. My ex's reason for not moving out is - and aways has been - that he does not want to be away from his son. There is also an element of him not wanting to leave the house he has ploughed lots of money into just to walk away and live in some cramped flat above a shop - whilst still paying a hefty amount of upkeep to maintain the family home.

I can understand both those points.

It goes without saying I would never, ever, leave my child, or even contemplate living away from him. I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like for the estranged parent in that situation. The house situation is more difficult. My friends are constantly telling me just to move out of the family home and rent somewhere for my own peace of mind and so I can get on with my life. If only it were that easy.

I own this house. I have invested time and money in to it. I do not want to give it up. My son was born here. His 'life' is here. He is a child who resists change, choosing to keep the smallest bedroom because it is 'his' rather than upgrading to the far bigger middle room. How can I take him away from everything that is familiar to him?

If I walked away from our home, I honestly do not know where I would end up living. Property prices in my local area are high - I certainly can't afford to buy a family sized house on my own, and the thought of renting - being somewhere that is not permanent, not mine - scares me to death. And, just like my ex, I don't want to live in a flat above a shop, either.

When we first bought this property some 13 years ago, it had been divided up into flats. We spent years restoring it back to one family home. Parts of it still aren't finished. There's some sort of weird irony there.

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