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  • question about mobility

    Background: I am currently going through a separation. My stbx and I have drafted a separation agreement and will hopefully be signing it this week. We've agreed to joint custody, with our 3 year old daughter residing primarily with me, as I've been a stay-at-home dad for the past 2 1/2 years.

    When I thought we were going to be together for the rest of our lives, the plan was for me to return to school when our daughter starts full-day SK in September 2014. Now that I'm going to be a single dad, and the support from my ex isn't going to be nearly enough to live on, I would like to start school a year earlier.

    There isn't a school in the city we live in, though. I don't have a car, nor can I afford one. If my stbx and I stayed together, we were going to be able to afford a small car for me to take to school by the time we planned on me going in 2014. The school I want to go to is about a 40 minute drive from the town we live in. I want to move to the city the school is in. I've already found a really nice apartment that my daughter and I could live in. It's a new development, with big units that have ensuite laundry, a pool, a fitness room, a playground. It's in a nice, safe part of town. There's a french immersion school 3 km from the building (my stbx and I agree that we both want our daughter in french immersion). It's a single 25 minute bus ride from the apartment to the school I would be going to. And There's 4 identical high-rise buildings, and they're mostly 2 bedroom units, so I doubt I'll have any trouble with one being available when I want to move.

    My stbx doesn't want me to move to this city. She said that if I plan to, she will fight me on it. I get that it's a bigger city, and we both prefer a smaller city feel. But the thing is, my stbx works in the city I want to go to school in. She commutes every day. She's at work for 9 hours, cuz she gets an unpaid hour long lunch, so she's gone for 11 hours a day. If, however, our daughter and I lived in the same city that my stbx works in, my stbx could actually see our daughter more than she does now. Other than her two days off per week, my stbx spends no more than 5 hours a week with our daughter, because by the time she gets home from work, it's only a hour until our daughter's bedtime. If our daughter and I lived in the same city that my stbx works in, it would take her 5 minutes to drive from her work to my apartment, and she could see our daughter for 2 hours before her bedtime. I've already told her, and it's in our agreement, that I'm okay with this. I don't mind her coming to my place two or three days a week to take our daughter to the park or play in her room or whatever for a couple hours. And when it's my stbx's weekend with our daughter, she'd be able to pick her up after work on Friday almost an hour earlier, and I'm perfectly okay with her keeping her until Monday and dropping her off at school/daycare on her way to work Monday morning. I've told her all of this, and she won't accept any of it.

    So my question is, would she really be able to prevent me from moving to the city that she works in so that I can go back to school, get off spousal support, and be better able to support our daughter? I'm currently qualified to do just about nothing. I have a year of university, but I stopped after our daughter was born to be a stay-at-home dad, cuz neither my stbx or I wanted her in daycare.

  • #2
    Also: in the town we currently live in there's only one french immersion school and it starts at grade one, so our daughter will have to go to a different school for kindergarten. In the town my stbx works in and I want to move to, french immersion starts at SK, so our daughter won't have to transfer schools between SK and grade one. I've read somewhere (gonna try to find it again) that the transition from kindergarten to grade one is the most difficult school transition for kids, and that if you can avoid them having to change schools at the same time, it can help ease the transition.


    • #3
      If your ex doesn't want you moving to that city, what is her counter proposal?

      Usually when one parent moves, it's far easier to get agreement from the other parent, than it is to go to court over it.

      HOWEVER, you sound as if you have a couple of bonus points for you.

      1. You are going back to school to try and upgrade your education to be better able to provide for yourself and your child, given the change in financial circumstances.

      2. The city where you are proposing to move, has an early french immersion availability, which you and your ex have already agreed is in your child's best interests.

      3. Moving would allow MORE time available for the mother, AND would decrease the upheaval in the child's life.

      It sounds as if the ex doesn't have a whole lot of grounds to contest.
      Here is what I would suggest:

      1. You research the school in the current area vs. the school in the proposed area. Does one have better programs? Does one rank higher than the other? etc.

      2. Research the crime rate in the proposed area vs. the current one. Is the new area safer? Does it have any kind of community programs in the general area that your child would benefit from?

      Things like that are part of what you need to do if this goes to court.

      Put together a comprehensive plan and proposal for the move. Focus on how the child benefits from it. Then submit it to your ex. If she agrees,great. If she doesn't then file motion with the court to be allowed to move.


      • #4
        Just to add a couple of points to what NBDad said, if the mother is working in the same city the child is going to school, this works out better for co-ordinating pick-ups and drop-offs at the school. If school starts at 9am she will be in a far better position to get to work on time if she is already in the city.

        If the child is sick and needs to be picked up in the middle of the day, or injured and has to go the hospital, she'll be in a much better position to come to the school quickly. It really doesn't help the child if the school is out of town and both parents are downtown during the day.


        • #5
          You are currently qualified to be an incredible Dad! Don't forget that.

          You note that you actively encourage your ex to have a more active life in your daughters' life which would be possible if you moved, yet she wants to fight you on it. This has nothing to do with the move on her part; it is her way of attempting to have control over you.

          I understand that you desire to attend a specific school which would require you to relocate with your daughter (and up the time Mommy has with her). But, have you considered investigating other options for your own schooling? I managed to obtain a college degree from home (via Contact North which has a vast selection of obtainable diplomas) and decided I wanted to further my education with a university degree, but couldn't imagine going through court again to request permission to move (the father would have been vehemently opposed). Lo and behold if I didn't find a university in Ontario which offered a full degree via correspondence in the exact field I was pursuing. So here I sit every morning in my own home, in my comfy pj's, actively pursuing my degree while my children attend school. It is something you may want to look into!


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