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Father moving away with daughter

Started by rainewayward, Sep 17, 2008, 02:50:30 PM

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*Also posted in Moms Without Custody forum*

Due to financial issues, I gave up custody of my daughter in 2000. I have since moved away, married, had another child, and returned, so that now my oldest daughter lives less than 30 minutes away from my house. This has been the case for approximately 18 months. She spends every other weekend and all summer at my home.

Her father has just informed me, due to emergency circumstances, that he is moving his family from the Jacksonville area to central Florida. This will result in a 2 hour drive one way. He declared that I will still get visitation with my daughter every other weekend, and that he will provide the transportation, because he has a stepdaughter who lives in Jacksonville.

In addition to the move, I was informed (not consulted, though we have shared parental responsibility) that my daughter will be attending Florida Virtual School (online public school at home) for her 7th grade year. This raises an opportunity for me to spend more time with her, as I'm also homeschooling my 5 year old daughter who resides with me. I proposed a shared residential custody plan with him, which consisted of two weeks with him and two weeks with me. It would require no extra driving and she would be able to attend her online school from either house. He said he'd think about it.

Regardless of his agreement or not, I would like to pursue this avenue. If he agrees, I want it official so that he can't back out once he's settled so far away. Since he is the one relocating, I want it in writing that he is responsible for travel expenses, as I was the one paying when I moved. I know the courts prefer 50/50 arrangements and that is all I'm requesting. If he disagrees, I would like to have the knowledge to pursue it without his consent.

I'm not asking to take my daughter away from her father. She has two stepsisters with whom she is very close and I do not wish to break that bond. Nor do I want to stop the move. I only wish for her to spend equal time with each parent, which I believe is in her best interest. I don't mind representing myself through mediation. I would appreciate any advice I can receive, so that everything is in order when I do pursue shared custody. Thank you.