Am I crazy to move the kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 02-01-2011, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in the middle of a divorce and my STBX would like to have shared physical custody.  To avoid anymore court battles (we've already spent $25,000 and really haven’t gotten anywhere.) I am trying to negotiate with him.  But the problem is that I want to move closer to my job (I am an hour away) closer to my family and to a better school district.  This means the kids would be about an hour away from their dad. 

 

I have suggested that he take the kids Friday evening through Monday morning each weekend, which will equal about 50/50 custody.  He insists that he must see them during the week as well, on Wednesday nights.  But I feel like this is very disruptive to the kids to drive an hour up to see dad on a school night and then have to drive an hour back on Thursday morning.  I would like to keep their weekly schedule consistent.  I am also very open to providing more time with the kids over school break or if he would like to come for dinner one night during the week or whatever. 

 

My questions are:

1)My STBX says I'm terrible for uprooting the kids from their school district (the kids are 7 and 9, 2nd and 3rd grade).  I would wait until the Fall to switch them.  Presently they have said that they do not want to move schools but I feel like at this stage of their life, that although it would be unpleasant, this would be the best time to make a move if I was going to do it.  But am I terrible for wanting to move them for the reasons I have mentioned above?  I just feel like if I stay in the same town we are presently in, I will be very unhappy between a 2 hour commute everyday and being further from family now that I will be a single parent. 

 

2)If we go back to court and the judge orders shared physical custody (for the temporary orders, he changed our situation of primary custody to shared until a GAL made a decision regarding our case) will I be forced to share custody with him in our current town or could I still move them because it would be to a better school district?  He will be buying me out of our house.  And currently, we are sharing the house until a decision is made.

 

Thanks! 

 

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#2 of 12 Old 02-01-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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Just a quick thought- would he be willing to do a Wednesday after school/evening visit in your town? He picks the kids up from school, takes them to a park and dinner and brings them back to your house to wind down and go to bed?

 

Is there a reason you're willing to give up every weekend with the kids? Perhaps you could give him every wednesday evening (if he agrees to it being in your town) and most weekends (with you getting maybe the first weekend of the month)? I don't think it's fair to the kids to have you always being "mean mom" during the school week while ex gets all the fun of the weekend.


Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#3 of 12 Old 02-01-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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Yeah, I can't comment on all your questions but can speak to the every weekend deal. It's hard. You get the time where you have to be super focused: get up, breakfast, everyone dressed,pack lunches, work, get kids, homework, bedtime routines. It can really be a grind doing it yourself. And then your ex will get them when he (presumably) has nothing else going on. It makes for a weird and sometimes exhausting dynamic.

 

I agree if he gets weekends then he shouldn't get a weekday night. He will actually get more quality time with them than you will as it stands.

 

We're flexible so I can get the kids almost anytime to take them for something fun so it kind of works for us. I don't think every other weekend is enough time for them to spend with day but I do feel that I miss out on relaxing with them. I will sometimes plan a weekend trip so I can get a weekend.

 

I can see both sides on you moving.

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#4 of 12 Old 02-02-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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I wouldn't move right now.  You already have so much going on that I think it could be detrimental.  First, giving up every weekend with your kids will be hard.  Weekend are for everyone.  You don't want to be forced into a position where you can't take a long wekeend trip with your kids because they have to go to their dads.

Who would be doing the driving.  As the one who moves, it is most likely that you would be ordered to do that.  Also, if your Ex is serious, he can ask that you can't move nad it's likely that he would win that.  I know that neither my husband nor DSD's mom is allowed to move outside of city limits.

Also, my husband has DSD every weekend and that's great for hubby but hard on DSD's mom because she misses out on a lot of fun activities.  Although our situation is very amicable and we switch timings often to accommodate the other side, they do the same for us.

Also, with cutting out the Wednesday evenings, your Ex doesn't really get an opportunity to do school time parenting with the kids, that could very quickly, turn into a Disney Dad situation.

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#5 of 12 Old 02-02-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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Darn - double post again.  I'm obviously having difficulty.  Sorry.

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#6 of 12 Old 02-02-2011, 10:51 PM
 
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In regards to moving if you already need to move do to the change in financial situation as you become a single parent. You haven't mentioned if this is necessary but I know this is the case most of the time. I can't imagine an hour's move being turned down by the court if push came to shove. I could move an hour just within my city limits with no problem. Really there is a lot that the children will gain from the move. More time with you as you will spend lest time commuting, greater extended family support, and better schools. You might be ordered to do all the transporting but again an hours travel is reasonable time to cross most cities so this is not given.

 

Giving up all weekends seams very disruptive to normal family life to me. As a PP pointed out that leaves the week day parent as the task master with no true family time to spend while there is a real risk of the weekend parent becoming a Disneyland as they never have to take on any of the weekday responsibilities. Only being responsible to weekend time which tends to be much more relaxed. My daughter really looks forward to her Mummy weekends which really are very different in feel then our week days. Weekday evening visits seam very disruptive to me. I can't imagine my ex ever making them work for our daughter. But I am hopeful someone will chime in about how their family has made them work well for their family.

 

Co-Parenting is a very messy business and is difficult for everyone involved unless the parents truly commit to doing what is in the best interests of the children.

 

I absolutely hated being the child of a single parent but in many ways I now see our fathers' marginal involvement in our lives was a blessing. In many ways their trust that our mother would make the right decision for us was a huge gift that I am very thankful for now. I have had many children express to me how they feel like they are living out of suitcases and how they never feel they are at home because they are constantly moving back and forth between parents. Or how disappointing it is to have pop up parents who appear and disappear regularly from their lives. I have no clue what the solution is but I hope we find it soon.

 

I wish I could spare my daughter (and others) the pain she is going thru now and likely will for many years to come. 

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#7 of 12 Old 02-10-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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I haven't posted on MDC for a while, but I thought i'd come check out the single mom forum since that's me now.  Your post sounds a lot like where i was a year ago.  I was doing 1.5 hrs commuting each way on public transit, and it was gruelling.  Last summer I made the move, and I now have a 30 minute commute, and half that time is spent walking my dd to her much better school.  My mom is now close enough to help out, and overall it's just a much better setup for me, and much less stressful.  You're not terrible for wanting to improve your own situation - less communiting means a less stressed mom and more time with the kid during weekdays - that can only benefit them.  Maybe your ex is calling you 'terrible' because he knows your moving away means negotiating shared physical custody will be problematic and he risks losing out on time - so he wants to discourage you from doing this.

 

In my situation, my ex lives nearly an hour away.  My move didn't make much difference to that...this is all still within the same city.   He sees DD 1 day on the weekend, as well as Wednesday overnights.  The Wednesday overnight is hard - when i pick DD up from school/daycare on Thursday pm, she is always tired and crabby, having had to wake up an hour early just to make it to school.  The staff have noted it too.  I don't really know what to do to make that easier for her - her dad isn't really interested in changing it.  I don't much like it, but I've had to accept it.  I don't see a judge finding a 1 hour commute to school 1/wk to be that objectionable, so I don't see why a judge would force you to stay. 

 

But I echo the other posters on the Wednesdays plus every weekend.  That's more than 50% physical custody for him, and when will you ever have any quality time with the kids?  If I were in your situation, I'd negotiate every other weekend and a midweek overnight, and longer stays with dad during school breaks, or reconsider whether 50/50 physical custody is practicable due to the logistical difficulties around distance.

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#8 of 12 Old 02-10-2011, 03:00 PM
 
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Yikes!!!  Don't give him every weekend!  I would rather have a long commute than to do that.  You would never have real time with your kids!  And it would be terribly disruptive to them.  Also, they would never be able to do weekend things with school friends, or anything... no activies where they live.  It just isn't a realistic schedule and I've never even heard fo that.  I would fight him on the 50/50 custody, first of all.  (Because honestly?  He sounds very unreasonable - he wants both weekends AND Wednesdays?  Crazy stuff.)  And THEN, if you are forced to have joint physical custody, then weigh your options.

 

Since you say you wouldn't move them till summer, presumably (in time for school), I would just say it was something you were thinking of due to your commute, but I wouldn't stick to it and get him riled up over it right now.  Is it possible to get a job closer to where you live?  In the end, that might be easier than moving, having less custody and having them change schools.

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#9 of 12 Old 02-11-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post

Yikes!!!  Don't give him every weekend!  I would rather have a long commute than to do that.  You would never have real time with your kids!  And it would be terribly disruptive to them.  Also, they would never be able to do weekend things with school friends, or anything... no activies where they live.  It just isn't a realistic schedule and I've never even heard fo that.  I would fight him on the 50/50 custody, first of all.  (Because honestly?  He sounds very unreasonable - he wants both weekends AND Wednesdays?  Crazy stuff.)  And THEN, if you are forced to have joint physical custody, then weigh your options.

 

Since you say you wouldn't move them till summer, presumably (in time for school), I would just say it was something you were thinking of due to your commute, but I wouldn't stick to it and get him riled up over it right now.  Is it possible to get a job closer to where you live?  In the end, that might be easier than moving, having less custody and having them change schools.

I don't really understand this.  I don't understand how the father is being unreasonable because he wants to have his kids 50/50 yet IYO, the mother isn't being unreasonable even though she wants to move the children an hour away which makes it almost impossible to do 50/50

 

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#10 of 12 Old 02-11-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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IMO the weekday visit is unreasonable if there is a move.  You may regret giving him the whole weekend every weekend too.  My visitation schedule is every weekend, but we split the weekend so I get a day too.  Maybe yall could do that?  Maybe he could pick them up from school Friday and bring them home Saturday evening?  Also the person who mentioned the friend activities is right!  Make sure something is in your agreement that the kids get to stay to go to activities with reasonable notice.

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#11 of 12 Old 02-13-2011, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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 Thanks for all the great information and opinions.  At this point we have renegotiated again and it's back to him having EVO weekend, Fri-Mon and Wednesday nights and then I had to add in one more Saturday night.  So instead of another weekend for him, he will just have them Sat afternoon to Sunday afternoon.  This is the bare minimum he will accept without us going back to court.  We have also agreed to 50/50 during the summer. 

 

So overall, it comes out to him having the kids 44% of the time over the course of a year.  So it still leaves me with being the primary parent which is important to me. 

 

I am still planning on moving the kids after this school year is over.  I will meet STBX half way on the weekends but I said that if the Wed night until Thursday morning is that important to him then he needs to pick the kids up at school and drive them back on Thursday mornings.  At least this way he can get some "face time" with the kids friends and teachers, ect...and it's the only way I can see any value in the distruption in their normal week at school.

 

We have a meeting this week with a divorce mediator to try and wrap up this situation so we can both move on with our lives, get the kids adjusted and stop the financial "bleeding" that the divorce has caused up until this point.

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#12 of 12 Old 02-14-2011, 06:28 AM
 
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I don't know what your court experience has been thus far, but are you sure a judge might not actually cut you a better deal than what you're arrived at with your ex?  A judge might possibly see the value of you moving - since it's not taking the kids that far from their father - if it better enables your employment, etc.  And a judge might realize that doing that distance in the middle of each week IS disruptive - so I guess my point is, I don't see how it could get much worse, and it might be better.  And, is 50/50 physical custody even common in your area, or is just something your ex is "demanding"?  I'm glad it's back to every other weekend, but am not sure what adding a Saturday in means ...is that per week?  If so, that's still every weekend and I think you'd certainly regret never being able to have a full day off with your kids!  Anyway, good luck on this.

 

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