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Tag: moving out of state

We Have Joint Custody, but I’ve Moved to Another State. Is It Wrong to Ask My Ex to Bring Our Child to Me?

We have joint custody in Nevada. I’m in California now. Is it wrong to ask them to take my child to me because of my location?

Do mean to ask, “Is it wrong to ask the other parent to do all traveling back and forth between the parents’ respective homes?” My answer is, unless there are exceptional circumstances that dictate otherwise, “no.” Not just “no,” but “no way!”

Making one parent pick up and drop off the child for every custody or parent-time is a tremendous burden on that parent’s time, money, and vehicle.

There are better, fairer ways to handle the situation, such as:

  • having both parents drive to a mid-point between their respective residences for exchanges
  • having one parent pick up and drop off for one exchange, then having the other parent pick up and drop off for the next exchange, and doing that for every other exchange
  • If one parent bears the burden of all the traveling back and forth between the parents’ respective homes, then the other should compensate him/her for half of that parent’s fuel, meals, and vehicle wear and tear expenses. If the distance is long enough that it requires an overnight stay at a hotel, that expense should be included too.

 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/We-have-joint-custody-in-Nevada-I-m-in-California-now-Is-it-wrong-to-ask-them-to-take-my-child-to-me-because-of-my-location

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Relocation: ex-wife just told me she’s moving out of state with the kids

What do I do?

My ex-wife tonight, in a fit of anger, told me that she and the kids will be moving out of state. There’s no reason–like a job or school or even remarriage–for her to move out of state.

I’m not sure how serious she is, but on the chance it does happen, how does that affect custody and parent time? We have joint custody, with her as custodial parent, and our decree says she has tentative final say, subject to my right to bring it to mediation.

As things stand now, odds are (odds are) that you will lose this fight, if it goes to court.

Why?

The “kids already spend more time in Mom’s custody than in Dad’s argument” is a good one and one that Mom will almost surely use. And let’s be honest: Mom will never claim she decided to move to Missouri “in a fit of anger.” It is ludicrous to believe that your ex-wife would ever admit in court that she is moving out of spite. Of course she’ll never fess up to that. She will deny it. She and her shyster attorney will it come up with plausible sounding reasons for the relocation. So you have to ask yourself: how will I win an argument against A) the parent who has custody the majority of the time; B) who is the all-important mother; and C) who will have no compunction against lying to improve your odds of success?

HOWEVER,

You might snatch victory from the gaping jaws of defeat, if you can show, among other things, that her move is in fact a spiteful move, or not one born of necessity, or contrary to preserving/fostering the best interest of the children, or that her move would do the children more harm than good, or that it would take the children not only from you, but from a crucial and broad extending family and friends support system, etc.

Another way is to take action to prevent her from moving. What kind of action? One thing I’ve found effective is to tell the parent who is contemplating a move that if she moves to Missouri, you will too. You’ll move to the same neighborhood so that you can ensure that you’re close to the children and then move for joint physical custody and a modification of child support due to the change in circumstances.

Your most likely path to success may not lie in trying to seek vindication within the system

Finding a way to defeat your ex-wife machinations using methods that are legal but within your power to control may be the more effective way (in various ways, whether a matter of time, money, effort, frustration, and damage to your reputation and relationship with your children). Without other arguments going for you, it would be naive to hope to persuade the judge or commissioner that the kids are better off with Dad when the children spend less time with him than with Mom.

If you can’t makes sense of it, can you at least understand it? Yes.

The simple, if unpopular, fact is that generally courts favor the mothers in these situations. It’s not fair. It’s sexist. The courts find excuses for it anyway. And you have to remember that it’s not a matter of what you know to be the case or even what your ex-wife knows to be the case, but what you can prove to the court and what stories the court will and will not believe. Most (not all, but most) judges and commissioners in family law matters are shockingly inattentive and apathetic in these situations. They often shamelessly prejudge such cases and believe they have the whole thing worked out before they read your pleadings, if they read your pleadings.

I’ve seen many cases just like yours where the parents share joint custody, with one parent spending more time with the kids than the other (even if it’s just a few days or weeks), then one of the parents decides to relocate, and the heartbroken parent who’s not moving who is trying desperately to preserve the relationships with the kids and wondering why it is that one parent can just up and leave with impunity.

I hope I’ve explained adequately why it is that a person in your position is at a clear disadvantage. It’s not fair, but it’s reality. You need to know what you’re really dealing with (not what you appear to be dealing with on the surface) before you can react in any kind of successful way.

Please understand that I am not saying there is no hope. While you have several factors working against you, I’ve suggested how you might overcome those disadvantages.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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How does child custody work if one parent needs or wants to move out of state?

How does child custody work if one parent needs or wants to move out of the current state? Is it better to let the court know up front of the possibility, or wait until custody is decided?

This is one of the best family law questions I’ve ever seen asked. Thank you for asking this very important, very tricky question. I’ll try to untangle it for you.

If the children have lived in the state where they are now for a long time, have a network of family and/or friends there, feel a strong connection to where they live, are doing well there, and would likely find a move to be anything but an improvement in their lives (especially after their parents divorce), then the only way your moving could overcome all that is if you can prove that the children will suffer even worse if they don’t live with you, regardless of where that is. That’s a very high bar to meet.

So if you merely want to move but don’t need to move out of state, moving puts you at risk of losing whatever custodial arrangement you have.

Bottom line: generally speaking, if you don’t need to move, don’t move.

Next question: if you must move, should you notify the court up front, or wait to see what the custody award is?

Obviously, if you and your spouse currently exercise joint physical custody and if neither of you is claiming to be the better parent, then the parent who isn’t moving has the advantage, sort of a rebuttable presumption that the kids should stay put. (see above as to why).

But what if you and your spouse are fighting over sole custody of the kids, and you have to move? I’ve seen this played both ways, meaning that I’ve seen a parent wait for the final custody award, win (or lose) sole custody of the kids, and then announce, “now I’m moving”, and I’ve seen a parent disclose the impending move before the final custody decision is reached.

Frankly, the right thing to do is disclose as soon as you become aware of it, but I’d be lying if I told you that the courts reward and/or don’t punish doing the right thing. If you wait to move until after you are awarded sole custody, you might just get to keep the kids with you when you move; the thought being that because you were deemed the better of the two parents when it comes to physical custody the kids should remain with you when you move. But if it appears that you are moving to distance and alienate the kids from their other parent, the court can and likely will ding you for that. The law does not look favorably upon parents who move to deprive them of contact with the other parent.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/How-does-child-custody-work-if-one-parent-needs-or-wants-to-move-out-of-the-current-state-Is-it-better-to-let-the-court-know-up-front-of-the-possibility-or-wait-until-custody-is-decided/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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My ex is threatening to relocate out of state with our kids!

QUESTION:

My ex-wife tonight, in a fit of anger, told me that she is going to move to another state with our kids (her current boyfriend lives there).

I’m not sure how serious she is, but on the chance it does happen, how does that affect custody and parent time?

We have joint custody, but she has the children in her custody a about a month more than I do each year, and our decree provides that my ex-wife has tentative final say on legal custody issues, subject to my right to bring it to mediation or review by the court.

ANSWER:

As things stand now, odds are (odds are) that you will lose this fight. Sorry, but it’s the truth. Why, and what can you do to improve your odds?

First, there is a bias in favor of awarding children to mothers. This bias is weakening and continues to weaken, but it’s still there. It’s easier to overcome than it’s ever been, but it’s still something you will likely have to contend with.

Second, under the terms of your divorce your ex has the kids in her custody more than you do, so when determining who will have primary physical custody of the children after the move, the presumption is that we keep the children with the parent who already has them in her custody more of the time already under the current provisions of the decree. And the fact that she has that damnable “final decision-making” authority also serves to marginalize you as a parent in this situation.

Third, and let’s be honest: Mom will never claim she decided to move to Missouri “in a fit of anger” or otherwise out of spite, and courts are reluctant to believe such a thing (so unless you have conclusive proof or at least some extremely compelling evidence of a “spite move,” you may actually be better off not even raising the subject for fear of looking like a paranoid crank).

The simple, if unpopular, fact is that courts favor the mothers in these situations. And you have to remember that it’s not a matter of what you know to be the case or even what your ex-wife knows to be the case, but what you can prove to the court and what stories the court will and will not believe. Some judges and commissioners prejudge cases and believe they have the whole thing worked out before they review all of the evidence or review it fully.

I’ve seen countless cases just like yours where you have joint custodial parents, one parent spending more time with the kids than the other, and then one of the parents decides to relocate, and the heartbroken parent who’s not moving who is trying desperately to preserve the relationships with the kids and wondering why it is that one parent can just up and leave with impunity.

The idea that your ex-wife would ever admit that she is moving out of spite is ludicrous. Of course she’ll never fess up to that. She will deny it. She and her shyster attorney will come up with plausible sounding reasons for the relocation. So you have to ask yourself: how will I win an argument against the parent who has custody the majority of the time and who is the mother and who will have no compunction against lying to improve your odds of success?

It is naive to hope to persuade to judge or commissioner that the kids are better off with Dad when the dad that the children currently spend less time with than the mother.

HOWEVER,

You may be able to snatch victory from the gaping jaws of defeat, if you can show, among other things, that her move is a spiteful move, not one born of necessity or preserving/fostering the best interest of the children, that her move would do the children more harm than good, that it would take the children not only from you, but from a crucial and broad extending family and friends support system, etc. While marrying a man who lives out of state or whose job requires him to move out of state is a legitimate argument, moving merely to be closer to a boyfriend is a pretty lame excuse for moving.

Another way to improve your odds is to take action to prevent her from moving. What kind of action? One thing I’ve found effective is to tell the parent who is contemplating a move that if she moves to Missouri, you will too. You’ll move to the same neighborhood so that you can ensure that you’re close to the children and then move for joint physical custody and a modification of child support due to the change in circumstances. Easier said than done, I know, but if you can manage it, it has a strong preventative effect. Your most likely path to success (saving money, time, effort, frustration, and damage to your reputation and relationship with your children) is not trying to seek vindication within the system, but trying to find a way to defeat your ex-wife machinations using methods that are legal but within your power to control.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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