Moving to Spain (maybe)


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Joanna Dance

Well-Known Member
Feb 27, 2006
Reaction score
Northern Ireland
My partner and I have been talking about moving to Spain for a while now but had thought we;d leave it until my son (13) leaves school. BUT we're starting to get really restless here in the UK and really want to move sooner rather than later. My problem is my son has a fantastic relationship with his dad (my ex) - he sees him at least three times a week and speaks to him most days on the phone.

My ex even lives about quarter of a mile down the road from me and is in my house quite to collect my son etc. My new partner gets on great with him so theres no problem there(they even laid the decking inthe garden together this summer!)

I've mentioned moving to Spain to my son to see what his reaction was - he sort of said yeah great idea but what about my dad and my friends and school!

Don't know if any of you have been in this position but just wondered what you think.

Thanks for looking.

I don't have any children myself and have no experience of this sort of thing. I would say that it would be very hard to take your son away from his Dad, school etc at this stage in his life. Could he stay with his Dad and come out to visit you maybe ?
Hi - Thanks for replying. I know what you mean about it being a big upheaval for a child his age but I'm thinking the life he'd have over there would be so much better than here in the UK. As a typical mum I couldn't even imagineleaving him behind, I'd rather wait until he's 18 and left school.

I have 3 kids and have to say I agree with Adele.When we moved to this area from Weymouth (my home town)it was only meant to be short term.Hubby is in the forces and was based in Portsmouth so we sold up and moved here.

We were ready to buy again at the beginning of this year and so we thought we would go back to Weymouth,unfortunately things havn't worked out like that,the kids didn't want to know,didn't want to leave their friends,school or area,and this was only after living here 5 years.

I do feel for you,because I too would love to pack up my bags and kids and cross the ocean to another country but we will have to wait til the kids leave home,your son is 13 and believe me they grow up sooo fast.It wont be long before you can live your dream.

If you took him against his wishes I think it would cause more trouble than it's worth and he would end up resenting you taking him away from all that he loves.Good luck though,in whatever decisions you make.:hug:
Hi there, I would say, the older the child the harder and longer it is for them to adjust, we came back to England when my eldest was in the last year at junior school and he really didn't settle until he started senior school.
That said, a friend of my daughters went to live in France when she was 13, she really didn't want to go, normal teenage stuff, you're ruining my life etc. I year later and she spoke French like she was born there had a boyfriend and loved it:lol:
If I were you I would involve your lad in all the decisions and if he really wants to stay with his dad, well, all you can do is let him know that he can always change his mind:hug:
Tough call hun, Maybe the real answer is to buy your home out there, and rent it out untill your lad has finished school, that way you don't give up on your dream, things never look so bleak when you can set things in motion, even if you do have to put it on hold.
Thanks girls for your replies - you know what its like to be torn between what you really want to do and whats best for the kids lol. My mum and dad moved house when I was just about to start secondary school and I never really settled in so I know what it feels like and I really don't want my son to go through that but this seems like such a good opportunity.

My partner and I are going back to spain on holiday on 25 Sept so we;ll maybe have another look round then.

Thanks again for your comment.s

We brought a holiday villa in spain in June 2004. I have just come back from 3wks over there. We always talk when we are there about moving over, or our neighbours say would you ever move over and my answer is always the same, I would like to see my 2 through school over here first and they are 4 and 7.

Its nice as a holiday home but I think it would be completly different if we were out their permanetly. Also you have to think that your son is 13, so it is not going to be long until he has to start doing his exams and I think that you will be putting him through a lot to cope with if he had to start a new school in a different country and think about his exams too. I think if you were going to do it you should have done it when he was younger so it gave hime time to settle in before his exams, or now I think that you should wait, until his exams are finished and he has left school.

What area are you looking at?
We always talk when we are there about moving over, or our neighbours say would you ever move over and my answer is always the same, I would like to see my 2 through school over here first and they are 4 and 7.
The ages of your children are ideal to start school in Spain, they will pick up the language in no time at all :green:

Joanna, they have international schools in Spain, in the 'British international schools' they use the English curriculum, these are fee paying schools, but it is an option for you to think about.
You can find out more on the NABSS website... British International schools in Spain

What part of Spain are you thinking of moving to?
This is a very awkward position to be in and I truly feel for you. It is such a good thing that your son has a good relationship with his dad and my ex decided not to have any contact with my 10 year old.
What I would do if I was in this position is talk to my son and his father and get a true opinion off them. If they were seriously not happy then being the mother I would certainly not give up on my dream but I would put it on hold for the sake of my child. I would go out and make a start on the dream and maybe even buy a property out there, and use it as a holiday home/rental property until you are a bit less tied with your child.
This way you are not jepadising your childs happiness and you are still fulfilling half of your dream, only the best will be yet to come!:)
Whatever you decide though, the very best of luck xxxxx:hug:
A difficult situation mate:irked:
I am in Spain too.
When we moved here I had a 13..10 and 3 year old ( since had 2 more! ).
They have so much freedom out here and I know that 2 of them wouldn't move back to the UK whatsoever.

One thing I would say is personally I would never opt for the British Schools they have out here. My children went straight into Spanish schools with no problems. They speak Spanish fluently aswell as Valenciano...but this is native is not 'taught' Spanish. All their friends are Spanish and they are fully intergrated into the way of life.
Now I can only speak as I find and from what I have been told, but the problem is with the British school system it is great if you intend to stay here a short while and maybe have plans to go back to the UK...but they never fully learn the language ( what I am told and have seen...obviously there are exceptions ) and they do tend to stick to their own 'kind'...( again have been told and seen ).

Anything you would like to know ask away...we have been here over 6 years but I certainly do not know everything...and I can only vouch for the area I am in.

As for the dilemma with your sons dad...that is another kettle of fish altogether! That would be the hardest thing to overcome but I am sure there could be a compromise somewhere.

Children are easily adaptable...

I live for my children...but they don't rule how I live...:lol:
I am in Spain too.
When we moved here I had a 13..10 and 3 year old ( since had 2 more! ).

Hi - thanks for all your comments.My partner and I intend to buy a bar/restaurant business on the costa del sol (where we already holiday regularly). How did your 13 year old settle in - were they able to integrate well or was it a long haul? I just envisage my son making lots of new friends, learning a new language and being able to be outside a lot of the time rather than stuck in fron of a PS2 day after day.

I'd go tomorrow but my main concern is how my sons relationship with his father will be affected - I might have a word with my ex and see how the land lies - I can just see the horrified expression on his face now!

It took a while for her to settle down...but she wasn't an outgoing person then .... boy thats changed.... !!!

It obviously depends on the child...what kind of personality they have...does your son make friends easily? Does he like change or is he very routined?
But thats not to say he wouldn't like it. They most definitely have an outdoor children are out from morning till night...about 1.30am ( summer time! ) there are tons of them and they go swimming, play football, hide and seek well anything but be is how I used to play out when I was little. They tend to come in at siesta time so that they can re-charge their batteries...

The language they pick up really easily...its only a matter of months...but its a good idea to teach them the basics before you go.

As for your sons dad...what can I say....they have a mega long summer holiday...and plus flights are getting so cheap it is a lot easier to go back and forth...even if it was for a couple of days...
You would have to have a great big discussion with both your son and his dad...I am sure there could be a solution somewhere...ultimately though the experience of another country can only be beneficial to your son.

Don't forgot we have the internet...MSN...Webcams...
It's a great way of keeping in touch and seeing our loved ones...
but she wasn't an outgoing person then .... boy thats changed.... !!!
My son wasn't very outgoing when we moved over here, he's the same, changed massively and is never home now!
My children are 16 and 14 now, we've been here nearly 4 years and neither of them would want to move back to the UK, they love it here.
They picked up the language very quickly, especially by going to a Spanish school, all of their friends (bar one or two) are Spanish.

Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been an easy ride but once you get through the teething problems re children settling down etc it is a fabulous lifestyle.

If you do decide to move here remember that your son can still get his GCSE's and/or A levels by doing distance learning, I've been looking into it for my son, the courses are just over £200 each... click here

hth's a bit :hug:
I know this sounds a bit extreme but have you thought about your ex moving out there too? He obviously has a wonderful relationship with your son and your hubby gets along great; so why not ask him. He may want to become a partner in the bar. Sounds odd but you never know. If all else fails, you could at least make yourself £500 by selling your story to Bella. Good luck. xxx
I moved to spain last december with my 9 yr old daughter, she still has a great relationship with her dad back in the uk,,, if anything it has given them a better quality of time together, as they appreciate they dont get as much time,,!!!
The logistics of it all took some working out,, but once we had achieved some middle ground with regards to when an where's it got much easier,, she spent 1 month this holidays in uk with him, an had a fab time, but was equally as pleased to get home!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck whatever u decide , i personally dont regret the move for a moment!!!!!!!!!
I know this sounds a bit extreme but have you thought about your ex moving out there too? He obviously has a wonderful relationship with your son and your hubby gets along great; so why not ask him. He may want to become a partner in the bar. Sounds odd but you never know. If all else fails, you could at least make yourself £500 by selling your story to Bella. Good luck. xxx

Hi - My OH and I had a laugh when we read this - cos we;ve been thinking along the same lines but I was afraid to put that on this site in case you all thought I was barking! My ex is a prison officer in NI at the min and he's been looking to take a 2 year career break so it would all tie in nicely - but is it just too weird to contemplate:D

As you say I could always sell my story to the Bella lol

Nothing ventured nothing gained so they say... just ask him...I don't think it sounds weird..sounds like a great idea!!!

Just one little point to think mention opening a bar. Well I am speaking for the area I am in...the Costa del Sol might be totally different.

I know a fair few people who have opened bars here...I am talking all of them have packed up and moved back to the UK or sold on and gone into other work. These people tend to be the ones who literally moved here and opened a bar. I will say most of the failures are ones that have never owned a business in their life, open when they feel like it and if they can be bothered, open with UK hours...along the lines of 9-5, think they can charge a fortune for eggs and frozen chips...then they all moan and whine that Spain is rubbish and that it doesn't pay then hotfoot back to the UK telling all and sundry who will listen that it is crap out here. ( Sorry but it gets my back up )

Moving to another country is really matter how much you want to do it. You will miss family and friends...all of a sudden you feel very nostalgic towards your hometown.. ( looking wistfully at pictures of it on t'internet lol ) there is the language barrier to contend with until you learn it...the heat!!! So many things...
I think anyone who moves here needs to give themselves a minimum of 12 months to settle took me 18 months.

I am not trying to put you off...put you down or anything like that...but I think it does need to be said that it isn't easy but it can be very rewarding.

You should come to the Costa Blanca...we are very friendly and welcoming around here :lol:


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