Here's an intersting tale for you. I'd find it funny if it wasn't true: Up until a the 10th of December this year I thought I was in the best marriage ever. My wife kept telling me that she loved me and I told her the same. In April we sold part of our garden so that we could realise our dream of owning a property in Italy. We spent 3 great weeks together in Italy with our 6 and 9 year old daughters holidaying and house hunting. In June we returned to Italy without the girls. We were there for 4 days with a film crew. We filmed an episode of the ITV show "I Want That House". They filmed us finding and buying our house (which we bought in my wife's name). We were very happy. At the end of September we went to see a Finnish rock band that I used to like in the early 90's. They had recently reformed with some new band members. We got to meet the band and we went to see them a few more times. My wife went to a couple of the shows without me and I assume that is where it happened. Two days after the tour had finished (Oct 19th) 'we' came up with a great plan. Wife and the girls would go to live in Italy straight after Christmas. I would live at my parents house and we would rent out our UK home. I would obviously visit them in Italy as often as possible. After 6 months we would then make a decision. If Italy was working I would go out there and join them. If it wasn't we would all move back to the UK house. It seemed a risk-free way of doing something quite scary. Then things started to wierd. Basically, my wife has decided to leave me and move to Finland where she is setting up home with the drummer from the Finnish rock band! It would appear that I was being taken for a ride for some time. She never intended that I would follow her and the girls to Italy. She wanted to get the girls out of the country and live away from me for a couple of months. Then, when I'd "got used to them not being around", they were going to move to Finland with drummer-boy. I accidently discovered what she was up to just over a week ago. I have managed to keep hold of the girls and send her to Finland. I have taken out a large loan to pay her off so she can set up a home in Finland. We are all going to Italy on Thursday for one night and she will sign the Italian house over to me. If you know anyone who wants a house in Italy let me know because I will be really struggling financially until the thing is sold. You can find details of the house here: http://www.casatuscany.com/buy/details.php?id=254 The whole situation is just terrible. I know I am on auto-pilot and putting my feelings to the bottom of the pile. They will have to come out at some point. I just need to get through Christmas and I will then allow myself to grieve. Just a few points: She met him at the end of September It did come as complete shock to me and everyone else No I wouldn't have her back. We have managed to keep things relatively amicable so far. I tried my best to persuade her that we should try counselling and that we should stay together for the kids. She refused to consider any of it. My immediate concern then switched to getting rid of her as quickly as possible and making sure the kids stay with me. My wife wants the girls to live with her and the drummer in Finland. She has agreed that it is sensible for the girls to stay with me for the next 6 months while they set up home in Finland. I have agreed that we will then reassess the situation. What I would really like is for her to stay in Finland and leave me and the girls alone. I don't mind her visiting but I don't want the kids to live in Finland. Do you have any advice on the cheapest and most effective way of achieving this? As soon as I do something 'official' I know things will get nasty quite quickly. I'd like to get through Christmas first. She will be with us until the 28th and then she will be going back to Finland. I don't know whether I should: a) Try to keep up the pretence for 6 months and then go to court where I could prove that I have looked after the girls by myself without any problem. b) Apply for a residence Order straight away and let her know that I never want the girls to live in Finland. Again the court ought to see that staying at home is the best thing for the girls.