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Author Topic: Questions on Relocation and Major Name Changes...  (Read 2301 times)

durandal

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Questions on Relocation and Major Name Changes...
« on: Jun 12, 2008, 04:52:34 PM »
Hello SPARC Members & Guests,

I'm here to ask for opinions about two things. One of the things that I didn't fully comprehend during my initial custody dispute was that they (disputes) often are ongoing and surface again - sometimes years later.

Just to get some facts out of the way - I am the bio-dad, and have primary physical custody and joint legal custody of a two-year old child. I have been the primary for about a year - before that the bio-mom was the primary. We were never married - nor have we ever lived together, and we all reside in Virginia. During the first year, I maintained frequent and close contact with the child, filed my own child support papers/dna testing apps two-weeks after birth, and never missed a single payment - in fact I overpaid every month. I was granted custody because the bio-mom refuses to work, chain smokes in the home, has a criminal record and routinely engaged in manipulation/frustration of my access to our child. I know what you're thinking, but its water under the bridge...

Since I have been granted custody, I have been the parent to provide for 95% of the childs' financial needs, and the majority of her other needs as well. The bio-mom misses visitations sporadically, sometimes frequently, still doesn't work, still smokes in her home, and is now almost a year in arrears on her very modest (in comparison to my past) support payments. She has never paid even a penny of her support payments to her child, not to mention her other four - you read it right, (4) support obligations. Once again, water/bridge...

I'm contemplating going back to court to get our child's last name changed. The last time I asked about this, I was attacked by a very angry person who knew nothing about my case history. Please, if you need background information just ask, or better yet, check my posts - they tell *most of* the whole story. I want to do this for a few reasons - first is that I'm finding it very awkward when it comes to daycare arrangements - some of you know the drill- people mistakenly assume we have the same last name..., funny looks..., gossip..., etc. Now I can stand up to this, but what about the child, what happens when they're old enough to comprehend the subtle (and not so subtle) snubs you get?
My second reason is that the child was not given my last name as an attack - it was a deliberate act meant to harm me and to be used against me whenever she so chose. In not so many words (and not as nice ones either), she has made it clear that this was one of her modes of manipulating and aggravating me.

The other thing I'd like to get some advice on is relocating. I've wanted to leave Virginia since before our child was even conceived - for reasons both personal and financial. To put it mildly, I don't see myself staying here, the culture is very different from my own upbringing, and my opportunities for financial prosperity here seem exceedingly distant. To add to this problem, I have no relatives in the area, with the exception of our child and her mom. In essence, my support network is hundreds of miles away. This was not a problem when it was just me, and it would have been okay with the right mom, but not as it stands. I am planning to relocate to a city where my relatives live, and where I stand a chance of making a good living. Keep in mind, the childs' mom does nothing to support her child other than her occasional visitation.

So, having said enough, what say you?


Giggles

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I don't know what your agreement states...m
« Reply #1 on: Jun 13, 2008, 05:35:09 AM »
but that would be the first thing.  Does your custody agreement state anything about relocating?  If not then I would probably just notify the mother where you're going, how you can be reached and work out any arrangements w/o going to court if possible.

As for the name change, what's stopping you from filing for it?  I am of the mindset that the child is yours and SHOULD have your last name.
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durandal

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RE: I don't know what your agreement states...m
« Reply #2 on: Jun 13, 2008, 09:02:37 AM »
Nothing in the order about relocating. But it does have pretty specific visitation arrangements, which is the typical 'alternating weekends and weekday overnight' deal.

As far as the Name Change goes, here in Virginia and Major (meaning last name) change must be ordered by a judge before vital records will make the change.

janM

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RE: I don't know what your agreement states...m
« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2008, 01:31:23 PM »
I have heard that absent a clause about relocating in the parenting plan, it can default to the local or state statute that deals with it.

You may be required to send both the court and Mom letters stating your intent to move within the time frame for your state (or county?) and see if Mom objects. Then there may be a hearing on the issue and you would have to prove why a move will be in the CHILD'S best interest.

On the name change, a judge may order a hypenated version of both your last names if Mom objects strongly.

I would consult with a lawyer, if you don't have one already.

 

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