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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2014, 12:17 PM
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@Straight ...

We have had de facto joint custody and 50/50 shared access in place for 4 years, with a recent temporary order in place for the "week about" schedule. Scheduled for another CC in late Oct.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2014, 01:15 PM
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If that is the case, then as long as she acknowledges that his schooling area won't change, I don't see the problem with her moving and him having to be driven in to school each morning that he is with her. The 50 minute thing is irritating, but I know of a lot of kids (including my girlfriend's son) who have to spend that amount of time on the bus one way each day because of large catchment zones and multiple pickups. It sucks, but you can't protect your kid from all of your ex's bad decisions.

I will give you a very related personal example. I was in the middle of finalizing my separation agreement with my ex when she decided to move 20 km out of town to a place that was on a dirt road off of the main highway. Minimum driving of 20 minutes to get into town, definitely outside of my kid's school catchment zone. I thought it was a terrible idea, but wasn't about to waste energy convincing her to not move, because it really wasn't my life to have input into.

What I DID do was get her to agree that there would be no changes to the kids schooling without both of our consent. Our daughter was already in a school in my area, in fact, my ex was actually moving AWAY from an apartment building that was right across the street from my daughter's school. So, long story short, I declined to fight about her move, mades sure that the agreement to not change schools was iron clad, and then I washed my hands of the situation.

Sure enough, 6 months later, due to her and her boyfriend only having one vehicle and very inconsistent work hours, and always running late, and always running out of money to fill their propane tank for that dream house in the country, they moved back into town. The drive wore her down for me. Ironically, the place she had to settle for moving back into was one that was ALSO outside the catchment zone, so no bus service for her, and she still either has to drive the kids to school and pick them up, OR has to drop them off at my house to be put on the bus.

In other words, if you can get her to agree to never change schools, or more generally, always require your mutual consent for major decisions, and get it imbedded in your agreement, then it won't matter if she moves 20, 50., or 75km away, the work will be on her. Your son will survive the car ride. If he starts having trouble, she will be the one that deals with the problems surrounding it, just like my ex had to deal with my kids being tired and cranky and bored and falling asleep in her car later in the day at awkward times.

You have status quo, defacto 50-50 custody. Solidify a week-on, week off situation where the schooling stays in your area. Don't try and block her moving, she can move wherever she wants - she just can't do it in a way that disrupts your child's life.

In some ways, she could be doing you a favour. If you play it right, you might find yourself getting some extra time with your son. That's what I did with my kids. She would have to leave them with me in the middle of her week or leave them with me longer if her work schedule and travelling time didn't mesh. I didn't use it to my financial advantage, but I sure did enjoy the extra time with my kids.

As long as her move doesn't mess with your 50% and your child doesn't have to change schools, don't try and save her from herself. That's for her mommy and daddy to figure out now.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2014, 01:45 PM
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@YYZ...

This is the key

Quote:
always require your mutual consent for major decisions, and get it imbedded in your agreement, then it won't matter if she moves 20, 50., or 75km away,
Ex has on numerous occassions now tried to change school, but it's more to do with type of school as opposed to location. My stance.....The current school has been the school for the past few years, and there is a bond with teachers and farmiliarity with environment.

A change of school will disrupt all this. Additionally, feedback from school is that progress is good and striving. Now why would a Judge hearing all this, then disrupt the status quo?

I concur that a person can decide they are moving to Jupiter...as long as they are able to rocket down to earth to take kid to school on time, then no harm, no foul. Trying to change school to one in Jupiter is where there will be harm and foul.

Quote:
I didn't use it to my financial advantage, but I sure did enjoy the extra time with my kids.
This...our agreement stipulates that if either parent due to work committment has to go away, the other party won't / couldn't turn around and ask for extra time to make up for the lost time.

The moving away thing will never be in the child's best interest in most cases....people do it because they meet a new partner and they can't see the trees from the forest.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2014, 03:40 PM
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@Straittohell / childfocused,

I agree with much of this approach, and kids are super resilient. However, we are far from having a final agreement (order), and she is going for sole custody.

I believe she is staging it so that *when* the distance starts becoming a problem, she will try to use that to her advantage in the sole custody argument.

She has:
- LARGE house
- 3 adults at home to care for our son; backup coverage
- Ample time, as she is unemployed

Myself
- Apartment
- By myself, or friend/babysitter
- Employed full-time (minimal travel, decent hours) and can't compete with her availability

Additionally, there is no way I'd be able to travel to see his extra-curricular activities (baseball, skating, swimming, etc). There is no way he's be able to take part in weekly extra-curricular activities every week. I see this as a negative impact on our son.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2014, 03:56 PM
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Nothing that she has will likely trump status quo of 50-50 if you have a solid history of being a committed parent. The fact that you are in an interim week on, week off means that the wind is slowly blowing in that direction.

Here's the thing, she can't unilaterally put him in the extra-curriculars of her choice if you guys have joint custody. So, let's assume for a moment that she moves, because really, that's what she is going to do anyway. She can try and get sole custody and cite the supposed stability of living with her parents, but here is what can be argued to a judge:

-Your ex is not doing this move to accomodate a new job that will enrich the life of your child, so a judge won't likely consider her move to be allowed to erase your status quo of 50-50 that you have had for four years.
-Your ex may live with her parents in a big house, but that just means your child gets the benefit of closeness with grandparents. That house is not hers, and your grandparents won't be considered by the court to be a subsitute for a dad that has been present for all of these years.
-Your son already goes to school in your area, courts don't rush to change that unless dad is dropping the ball as a parent and mom is moving for work. Doesn't sound like that here.

Unless she is able to get sole custody over these points I listed, and she likely won't, she wont' be able to put him in extracurriculars without your consent. Or, at the very worst, she can put him in an extracurricular in her town, but you won't be obligated to bring your son to it. Courts aren't in the business of forcing one parent to take their kid to something that the parent didn't consent to.

Since he is already familiar with the area he is in, and the school, the more logical location for extracurriculars will be in your area. Or, you guys can get crazy and do different extracurriculars on each of your different weeks, but your little guy will hate that.

You can offer to settle with her. He goes to school in your area since you aren't initiating any moves. You do a week on, week off. Put in generous provisions for you to both help each other out during your respective weeks so that your son gets maximum time with you, your ex, and his grandparents instead of a babysitter. Make sure that such an offer doesn't allow her to track the time that she takes him and penalize you. Offer to have do half of extracurriculars in your town, half in hers.

Also, think of it this way. The judge will ask her why she is moving with her parents just so that she can continue living with them and being unemployed. She will struggle to answer that in a way that makes her seem like an independent adult. The reality is that relying on her parents for everything that she does is putting her position at risk. If something happened to one or both of them, she would have no leg to stand on. Even if it didn't, will a court favour a parent that is able to run their own life and has a job, or someone that can't function without money and help from mommy and daddy?

You're not in a weak position. Stop acting like you are. If she is going for sole, she's boxing you into a corner to do the same. You may as well. Go for sole and indicate that you will settle for 50-50, week on, week off. She is putting herself at a disadvantage by trying to move to an area that is not familiar to your child.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2014, 04:12 PM
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@YYZ.....

It's common practice with high conflict parties asking for 'sole custody', to do it because they want the freedom to just move wherever they want, without having to ask for the other person's permission, as well as for the financial side of it.

You won't be the first person to be a victim of this, and you sure ain't going to be the last. As mentioned above...if you have always played a part in the child/ren's lives, and can document this with timelines, then you are golden.

Think of it as a game of poker....she is calling your bluff, and hoping you will cave in. It behooves you to get the ball rolling, stacked with facts in your documents, then wait for the response. Only then will it be clear that you haven't got time for games when it comes to your child/ren.

An unemployed person asking for sole custody...that is just ludicrous. Someone has obviously advised her to remain just that, so she can say she is the "primary caregiver"
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 07-31-2014, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straittohell View Post
You're not in a weak position. Stop acting like you are.
Tough love - awesome!

Thank you both, sincerely. @Straight & @Child !
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