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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone moved after their divorce/separation agreement/custody/etc. were finalized? How hard was it to do that? The 2 places we are considering are either 7 hours or 18 hours from dd's dad. Does he just have to agree to it or will be have to go through a bunch of court hearings and stuff to make it happen? Thanks for your help!
 

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Does your divorce decree/custody arrangement specify what needs to happen? If not, if you want to tell me what state you're in, I can look up the default rules.<br><br>
Generally, though: If your ex has any custody rights, he's entitled to at least notification of the move, and likely to object if it interferes with his ability to see the kids.<br><br>
Be careful: Some states have a cooling-off period. Wisconsin, for instance, says that custody and placement determinations will not be changed within 2 years, unless the parties agree or the current scheme is actually harming the child. So if your state has a cooling-off period, you're pretty much stuck for the duration of the period unless your ex agrees or unless you can prove that staying nearby is harming the kids. (Underemployment by you, or lack of family support, usually isn't enough to prove harm--imminent homelessness, child illness caused by local climate, abuse/neglect by the other party--that's harm.) If you're in a state with a cooling-off period, it may be in your interest to get his OK before the divorce/custody order is final.<br><br>
After that, the standard shifts to a best-interest test and it becomes easier (though not "easy" if the children have a relationship with their dad that will be impacted by the move) to move.<br><br>
Generally: If your ex agrees, then all is well and you revise the custody agreement, the court rubber-stamps it (although you may have to show up and say, yes, we agree to this) and that is that.<br><br>
If your ex doesn't agree, you'll likely have to go to court and either argue that the move--including the change in access to the father--will be in the best interest of the child, OR he'll have to argue that the move is NOT in the best interests of the child (depends on how your state phrases it--these are different standards). If you're moving for a job or family support, that'll work in your favor. ("Better job prospects" are iffy, as they're intangible, but if you have a job offer in hand, all the better.) If you're moving for a change in scenery, not so much. If your ex sees your kids frequently, it'll be harder (not impossible) to show that reduced contact won't be harmful (this assumes your ex is a decent father--I don't know your backstory).<br><br>
The court may permit you to move with the kids in spite of Dad's wishes. The court also might deny you the move outright. Sometimes, the court says you're free to move but the kids stay where they are (that's more likely in a case where Dad's got a lot of custody/placement, lives in the same school area, knows the kids' doctors, etc.). Most women who are offered the chance to move without their kids understandably turn it down.<br><br>
If you are permitted to move, expect longer periods of visitation for your ex--if he has 80 overnights a year, he may end up with those same 80 overnights, but in chunks of two weeks at Christmas, one week at Spring Break, and several weeks in the summer. You may be asked to contribute a larger amount to transportation, since the move was your idea.<br><br>
How does your ex feel about this? That's important. I know my SO would allow his ex to move far away with their daughter over his dead body. Not to be mean to his ex--but to be fair to his daughter. She would be devastated to be away from one parent or the other for months at a time (and his ex acknowledges that as well). He grew up with an estranged father and has vowed not to let that happen with his child.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The move was something we had talked about before ex-h abandoned us (literally disappeared and we didn't know where he was for months) when dd was barely over a year old (she is now 3). He tried getting involved again when for the last year and kept walking out on her in the middle of visits cuz he would get frustrated at stupid, random things. He is now making some poor life choices and spiraling downward, pretty much (not showing up to work, drinking in excess, drugs, promiscuity, getting involved with teenage girls, etc.). As far as the court is concerned though, I really have no good reason for us to move (other than we were supposed to move out of this area as a family anyway) or any good reason for her dad not to be involved, ya know? Nothing that is really "evidence" and nothing that would really hold up in court. It's just been a dream of mine and I didn't want to give that up even though all of this has delayed it, ya know? If he was involved in her life (which he hasn't been at all for a few months now), it would be totally different. I'm afraid that he may not agree to us moving though just to disagree with me and pretend like he cares about seeing her even though all of his actions thus far for her entire life have contradicted that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
We live in CO right now. Our agreement doesn't say anything about moving. It has things for travelling, but not moving. Thanks soooooooooooooooooooooooo much for all of your help! Your message was very informative.
 

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A quick check of Colorado law seems to indicate you do need to give your ex notice of the move, reasons for the move, and a proposed new custody/placement schedule...and if he objects, the court has to determine whether the move is in your child's best interest.<br><br>
You have a few things going for you (in favor of the move)--the abandonment, drugs, teenage girls (!), etc., basically everything that negatively affects your child (the promiscuity itself isn't an issue unless he parades it in front of your child) but also, courts look down at parents blocking the other's move for the heck of it. If you can demonstrate he's objecting purely out of spite or to make things difficult, the court will pay attention. "Evidence" is really broader than you think it is.<br><br>
I can see why you want to get away. This is something you really should have a lawyer for (standard disclaimer: I am not one yet and not licensed in Colorado in any case, so this isn't legal advice).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much for your response! I do have a lawyer and tried to get in to see him this week and couldn't. I'm going to go by on Monday and try and get in or get an appointment, at least. Do you know if CO has a waiting period for changing things like you were takling about? I'll talk to the lawyer and then if I'm sure that's what we want to do, I'll try and figure out the best way to bring it up with him...augh. Thanks for your help and understanding!
 

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I couldn't find a reference one way or another to a cooling-off period (other than the 90-day waiting period between filing and actually divorcing). The standard Colorado "motion for modification of parental responsibility" makes no reference to a waiting period (found in a packet downloaded from here: <a href="http://www.coloradolegalservices.org/CO/StateChannelResults.cfm/County/%20/City/%20/demoMode/=%201/Language/1/State/CO/TextOnly/N/ZipCode/%20/LoggedIn/0/iSubTopicID/1/iProblemCodeID/1310100/sTopicImage/familyJuvenile.gif/iTopicID/725/ichannelid/108/bAllState/0" target="_blank">http://www.coloradolegalservices.org...08/bAllState/0</a><br><br>
I just took a quick look, though, so be sure to ask your attorney.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for taking the time to help and research for me!!! I am going by there today to talk to him or at least get an appointment. Thanks!
 
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