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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 09-25-2015, 02:52 PM
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Default Steps to relocation?

Hello everyone, I have a question about relocation.

History : Been divorced 7 years. Split custody 50/50 until last year, when ex decided to move out of town. (He simply announced his move at the last minute and did not take the kids with him, so all was fine.) In moving, he did not respect our divorce agreement that neither of us should move outside 50km radius of the matrimonial home. He is now app. 2 hours away and the kids see him about once a month. All is good.

My question is : if I choose to relocate in the opposite direction (and have my turn at breaking the divorce agreement), do I need to get a judge's permission (as stated in our agreement) or can I just move away since he clearly gave up his custody of the kids? (my ex would then be at 3-4 hours distance.) What are the steps to be taken to obtain such permission? In your educated opinion, what would be my chances of obtaining such permission? Am I kidding myself in thinking that I've already won this?

My kids are 14 and 11 and I understand that they could choose to go live with my ex instead of following me.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:15 PM
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Your ex was an idiot for moving and giving up the vast majority of his parenting time. However, you ex didn't relocate the children, like you are proposing. You would either need your ex's permission to relocate the children, or a court order.

If your ex refuses to agree to you moving the children, your chances of succeeding in court are reasonable. But only if you provide a comprehensive plan for how you will facilitate his parenting time. Will you drive the kids to the old location for exchanges? If you want him to drive it all, will you accept reduced c/s to compensate him for his increased costs? Are you willing to provide extended time in the summer and holidays/March Break in the event your choice to move the kids impacts his parenting time.

Would I say you are wrong in thinking you've already won this? Yeah, but only slightly. If you can prove that the move is in the children's best interests, than you are likely to succeed. Examples of this would be moving closer to family, or for a significantly better paying job or better schools for the kids. If you are moving because you met some guy a couple cities over online and want to shack up over there, your chances decrease because that is all about you, and not in the kids best interests.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzie View Post
Hello everyone, I have a question about relocation.

History : Been divorced 7 years. Split custody 50/50 until last year, when ex decided to move out of town. (He simply announced his move at the last minute and did not take the kids with him, so all was fine.) In moving, he did not respect our divorce agreement that neither of us should move outside 50km radius of the matrimonial home. He is now app. 2 hours away and the kids see him about once a month. All is good.

My question is : if I choose to relocate in the opposite direction (and have my turn at breaking the divorce agreement), do I need to get a judge's permission (as stated in our agreement) or can I just move away since he clearly gave up his custody of the kids? (my ex would then be at 3-4 hours distance.) What are the steps to be taken to obtain such permission? In your educated opinion, what would be my chances of obtaining such permission? Am I kidding myself in thinking that I've already won this?

My kids are 14 and 11 and I understand that they could choose to go live with my ex instead of following me.

Thanks in advance for your input.
Just because your ex broke the agreement does not give you any legal basis to do the same.

I would suggest formalizing the CURRENT arrangement with an amended agreement, that says you have majority access, get full CS, he has access once a month, etc. That way, you have an up to date agreement that covers the current situation.

Then, I would think hard about why you would move. Unlike what your ex did, what you propose would uproot the children from their school, friends, activities, etc. It's a much bigger upheaval in their lives, that would ordinarily have to be well-justified by the potential gains to relocating. However, a father who would move away like this one did probably doesn't care that much. As long as you could demonstrate that your move wouldn't impact on his current, much reduced access to the children, he probably won't care where they live, from the sounds of it.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:41 PM
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for added information, my main reasons for moving would be :
a) get closer to my roots, my family and aging parents
b) obtain a much needed change in my career (which is impossible in my current town)
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzie View Post
for added information, my main reasons for moving would be :
a) get closer to my roots, my family and aging parents
b) obtain a much needed change in my career (which is impossible in my current town)
Getting closer to family is in the children's best interests. You getting a much needed change your career is not in the children's best interests unless it comes with a) significantly better working hours/flexibility and/or b) a large increase in pay.

So right now your reasoning is somewhat at a net-neutral state.
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Old 09-30-2015, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzie View Post
Hello everyone, I have a question about relocation.
My kids are 14 and 11 and I understand that they could choose to go live with my ex instead of following me.
Did everyone miss this? Or am I reading it right?

What your saying is, if you move your children will not want to move with you and will go and live with their father.

Your children are 11 and 14, it is unlikely a judge will by the time you get to trial (the children who will likely be 12 or 13 and 15 or 16 by the time you get to trial) rule that the children must live anywhere, it'll be up to the children.
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:23 PM
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You're in a slightly different position from your ex because you're not just moving yourself (like he did), you're moving the kids.

I suggest you follow Rioe's advice and amend your current agreement to reflect that the kids have primary residence with you and see Dad once a month (or whatever). It would then be up to you to facilitate them seeing Dad, which might mean the transport costs would fall on you. That way, there would be no impact on his current relationship with the kids from your move and no reason for him to object.

The issue of whether this is good for the kids or not (changing schools and friends) is a different one altogether and needs to be worked out with them. I don't see this as a family court issue.

It's also not true that an 11 year old and a 14 year old can choose where they want to live. They are still minor children. Their wishes would be taken into consideration by a judge, if it came down to that, but they don't have the power to just up and move in with Dad. There are a lot of stories on this board about teenagers deciding Mom (or Dad) is a drag and wanting to move in with the other parent, and it's important to remember that while adolescent children can have opinions on where they live, they should not be given the impression that they drive the bus.
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:38 PM
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Stripes - is there a case law basis for the mother bearing the entirety of the costs for access given the distance?

I'm seeing that you might have given me gold for my ownbcase.
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:59 PM
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Given the history, I wouldn't file anything, I would let him know you are moving in a with 60 days notice and if he has a problem he can file a motion.

____
Hi Ex,

Just letting you know we are going to be moving to X in a couple of months.

Thanks,
Y

____

If he complains about the move. Tell him he now owes you full table child support and to pay up... then you take some of that child support and pay for the 2 hour additional drive he has to do.
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:31 PM
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Any consideration to what kids now have to face (a 3 - 4 hour commute to see the other parent)?

Best interests and all that....

Pity the kids in this.
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