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Author Topic: Relocation- custody concerns.  (Read 6374 times)

redbabyblue70

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Relocation- custody concerns.
« on: Jul 21, 2011, 07:10:39 PM »
I am hoping for some help/suggestions/guidance from anyone that may be or has been in this situation.  My husband and his former wife have a custody arrangement in the state of PA  with a 50/50 shared joint and physical custody of their three children.  My husband has been looking for full time permanent work for almost three years now in our area and has had no success.  He has found temporary work, but not permanent work.  Thankfully, I have a job that provides medical benefits.  I also cover the children since both my husband and his former wife do not have jobs that provide adequate health coverage for their children.  The company I work for has locations throughout the United States and in Germany.  We decided to research what positions are available in different states (preferably where it is not as cold as it is here).  I found a position that is open in our Dallas, TX office. 
 
Here comes the questions:
 
1) How do you go about sharing custody when you move outside of the state where right now both parents live?  Per the custody order, he is required to inform the county and his former wife of his relocation
 
We feel this move will be in the best interest of our family.  Jobs seems to be more plentiful in this location.  We also feel the school district in Texas is a great improvement compared to the school district the children currently attend. 
 
We both feel his former wife is not going to cooperate with us once we inform her of our decision.  We hope to inform her of all the good points, and come to an arrangement where the children live with us for the school year (with visitation to her during holidays) and then live with her during the summer months.
 
Has anyone ever gone through a move where one parent lives in one state, and the other parent lives in another state, where an original custody order is a 50/50 arrangement?


tigger

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #1 on: Jul 21, 2011, 07:40:54 PM »
You and your husband can move but there's no valid reason for the children to go with you.  And 50/50 isn't really possible long distance.
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redbabyblue70

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #2 on: Jul 21, 2011, 08:08:29 PM »
I find it interesting that you feel a better education is not a justified reason for the children to be relocated-.  I know it has been quite a while since I have posted in the forum so maybe I should provide some additional background information.  We have a PFA against the BM's boyfriend because he elected to hit my stepson for not finishing his dinner (he had a bite or two left).  He was (and probably still is) touching my stepdaughters in appropriately.  BM's home was foreclosed on, and when she moved into the apartment where they are now living, she told the children and my husband that her boyfriend was not moving in with them.  Well, it is almost 2 years later and he is still living there with them.  Not only does this man have a PFA against him from my stepchildren (filed by their father), there is a PFA against him on behalf of his own daughter.
 
Unfortunately, the PFA has special circumstances, in which the custody order between my husband and his former wife is still in place, which is why this man is still able to reside with them.  Imagine having to live in the same home with your abuser??????  There is nothing else we are able to do to protect them until he HURTS them again.
 
We are looking for guidance/advice from anyone that has filed for custody arrangements when one parent is living in one state and the other parent has moved to a different state.  I understand 50/50 is difficult, but I am sure it can be done.

tigger

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #3 on: Jul 21, 2011, 10:50:21 PM »
I find it interesting that you chose to initially post only the educational part and not the abuse.  If you had no objections to the education the children have been receiving prior to your decision to move then there would be no real reason to use that as a change in circumstances in asking the judge to grant you primary care custody and allow a move away.  I based my response on the information presented and came to a logical conclusion . . . feelings had nothing to do with it.  I didn't go back and research your history. 

I'm not sure why you are so certain that 50/50 is possible with thousands of mile in between you but perhaps someone can has some experience to support your certainty. 

What are the ages of the children?  Perhaps they are old enough to voice their desires and the reasons for said desires.
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redbabyblue70

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #4 on: Jul 22, 2011, 12:05:16 PM »
I really didn't want to discuss all the gory details if I didn't have to- but since you said there was no valid reason to relocate them (and I'm sorry, I still feel the ability to provide a better education opportunity for all three children IS a valid reason) I shared that additional information as well. 
 
The oldest girl is 15, next girl is 12 and the youngest (son) just turned 10 on the 18th.  They may want to come along on their own.  I am in the interview stage of the new job, so there is no point asking them until plans are more definite.  I am trying to research our options once we know we are definitely moving.


Kitty C.

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #5 on: Jul 22, 2011, 09:05:11 PM »
'...and I'm sorry, I still feel the ability to provide a better education opportunity for all three children IS a valid reason...'
 
YOU may think so, but the court does not.  That is the reason for tigger's response.  As tigger said, 'If you had no objections to the education the children have been receiving prior to your decision to move then there would be no real reason to use that as a change in circumstances in asking the judge to grant you primary care custody and allow a move away.'
 
If you already have an original order, what you are contemplating is a modification of that order.  And in order to prove to the court that they should grant a modificaton, YOU have to prove 'a significant change of circumstance'.  In most family courts, that means something extremely detrimental has to be affecting the kids, to the point that radically changing the original order is the only way to protect the kids.  A better school doesn't meet that standard.
 
'Unfortunately, the PFA has special circumstances, in which the custody order between my husband and his former wife is still in place, which is why this man is still able to reside with them.'  I'm not understanding this at all and I can't see CPS/DFS going along with it, either.......but that is the ONLY issue that is going on that might be considered a significant change of circumstance for modification.  BUT....if this situation was known before the original order was signed, it's a moot point, because your DH knew it was going on and signed the order anyway, giving his approval.  And even if the order was signed before the PFA became necessary, you yourself said it's been going on for more than 2 years and the court will find it hard to believe that it should be considered an issue now.
 
You and your DH have your work cut out for you....
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

redbabyblue70

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #6 on: Jul 23, 2011, 06:09:33 AM »
"You and your DH have your work cut out for you.... "
 
You are very correct Kitty, we do have our work cut out for us.  Ultimately, all anyone wants is what is in the best interest of the children.  From all the posts I have read on this site, this is true, no matter how upset the parties are with each other. 
 
Since I have the "dreaded" title of "stepmom", or even worse "second" wife, it makes things harder.  I always say the children are not children of my body, but they are children of my heart.  I love them as they are my own.  My husband spoke to his children even before he asked me to marry him, to make sure they were ok with it.  He waited and made sure he had their blessing before he proposed.  They are his first priority, and I understand it.  We thought long and hard about this move.  I wish the job market was better in PA, but it isn't, and it doesn't look like it is going to get any better.  The cost of living here is high, compared to Texas.
 
In response to your mention of the PFA, the PFA order was AFTER  the custody order.  In general, a PFA is usually used for domestic issues between a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband and wife.  The reason we went for the PFA for the children, is because our youngest child requested his father to do something about the situation.  The judge explained that he believed what the children told him (alone in his chambers), and honestly his recommendation was for my husband to go to the custody office for a change.  The reason he did not do that is because it was not totally what the children wanted, and they were told by their BM that her boyfriend would not be moving with them to their new location.  We know the children need both their BM and my husband in their lives, on a full time basis.  We do our best to keep the peace and trust me, I bite my tongue alot around the BM for things she says and does.  Every time my husband has a new job, we receive yet another visit from CYS for some made up charge.  The social worker always finds the charge unfounded and once again my husband gets a lecture about needing to work together with his former wife.  We try, but we can not stop her from calling with false accusations.
 
I guess bottom line is all we can do is hope she will be in agreement with allowing the children to spend part of the year with us in Texas and part of the year here in PA with her.  I KNOW what ever is decided I want in writing filed with the court, so she doesn't try to stop him from spending much needed time with the children.
 
Any thoughts or suggestions anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

gemini3

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #7 on: Jul 23, 2011, 11:24:34 AM »
If you were relocating for the father's job you might have a chance.  But you're relocating for your job (you're not a parent), and you already have a job (discretionary relocation).   

If you want a change in custody because of abuse, etc., you should file for that if you think you have enough.  If not, there's no way a court is going to grant it.  A better education is subjective, and will never take precendence over involvement with a biological parent.   

If you move you'll be giving up the 50/50 arrangement, you will end up with less time, and you will end up having to pay transportation for the children to exercise their visitation with dad.

Davy

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #8 on: Jul 23, 2011, 02:20:03 PM »
Just IMHO I agree with others concerning educational opportunities as it relates to the judical process but at the same time I took the issue from you as a "point of practical parenting".

As an intact family we went through all the considerations (in the short and long term) as you and  many familys do in any relocation while keeping the children as the primary focus especially our parental responsility to provide for them financially as wll as other quality of life issues. Of course at the time we did not have to deal with the approval of a court.  A huge motivator was  my wife's drunken, pill-popping  mother constant dysfunctional interference in our family.

You might want to CONSIDER the following as you proceed in this matter.

Historically, many courts approve/condone a relocation to maintain the quality of a child's life.  The father may also want to seek employment in the new location, any employment, even if it is outside of any other expertise.   

Thinking outside the box (probably way outside) it MAY BE helpful/advantagous if the father could earnestly (hint hint) have a heart - heart with the mother to also consider relocating with the need for the children to have both parents nearby.  BTW, if there already exist a negative experience with the boyfriend then do not be surprised if matters worsen with an absent father.  Yike !

What you are considering is not unusual ... ya'll will be in good company.  In the 1990 census, it was reported that 75 % Plano, Tx  (Dallas metro)  residents were NOT native Texans.  Several elementary and middle schools were nationally ranked (whatever that means).

Today, in my little neighborhood just a little north of Plano we have clubs for Ill-and-noise, Ohio, NY, Nebraska, to name a few.  I think you may find Collin County Tx is still one of the fastest growing counties.

I also do not what the acronym PFA or the importance of such but if the children have met with a judge in chambers that recomemded a change then one would think the father would have a leg up in the judicial system.

Whatever you do continue to stress the importance of the children maintaining a relationship with both parents.  Your posts have been refreshing as you reflect on all concerned.  Best to ya'll !!!

Kitty C.

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Re: Relocation- custody concerns.
« Reply #9 on: Jul 23, 2011, 03:06:59 PM »
'In response to your mention of the PFA, the PFA order was AFTER  the custody order.  In general, a PFA is usually used for domestic issues between a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband and wife.  The reason we went for the PFA for the children, is because our youngest child requested his father to do something about the situation.  The judge explained that he believed what the children told him (alone in his chambers), and honestly his recommendation was for my husband to go to the custody office for a change.  The reason he did not do that is because it was not totally what the children wanted, and they were told by their BM that her boyfriend would not be moving with them to their new location.  We know the children need both their BM and my husband in their lives, on a full time basis.'
 
Thanks for the clarification, but because of that, I also see criminal implications.  I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the judge did not automatically grant physical custody to your DH when he issued the PFA.  Either that, or order the BM to ditch the BF immediately or lose custody.  It may not be what your DH wanted, but we're talking the safety of the children which (IMO) comes first.
 
And this is what scares me:  because your DH did not ask for a change of custody then, basically what he's telling the court is that the PFA doesn't make any difference to him.  And if something were to happen that ends up getting law enforcement and CPS involved, he could just as easily be accused of allowing it to happen, because he KNEW (having filed the PFA in the first place) but failed to protect the kids.  An accessory, in other words.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

 

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