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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ex and I have been divorced for about 6 years and have 2 children, now 10 and 9. Both of us have remarried, and I have 2 children (2 and 1) with my new husband. He has put in for a promotion at work that would require us to move about an hour away, we are very excited about this and really looking forward to living in this new area. Currently, my ex and I have shared custody and switch the kids week to week (both stay one week with me, one week with dad-we live about 15 minutes away from eachother now). When we move, we will be meeting halfway (about 1/2 an hour each). The issue is where we live now is in the opposite direction of our new town (we live south of my ex, the kids go to school where I live...our new town is an hour north of my ex). I'm trying to figure out a new arrangement for the kids, as the week to week thing won't work with them in school full time, but want to see them as much as possible. We are not paying support to eachother right now, but my ex is very "money hungry" and thinks that he can suddenly ask for support if he has the kids more than me (even though I only work part time as a school bus driver and don't even make enough to pay him support)...I know the court would allow the move as it is only an hour, and he only has to travel 1/2 an hour to see the kids.
I want this to be amicable, what would you do? What kind of arrangement do you do if living an hour away?
 

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Without knowing the details of your situation, I'll bring up a few things for you to consider.

Are you 100% sure that the court will allow you to move the kids? We have a situation exactly like yours (within 15 min of each other, week on/week off), but if one parent wanted to move *with DSD*, the burden of proof would be on the moving parent to show that the move would be more beneficial to the child than keeping access to the other parent the same. Courts favor the status quo, and if your ex could keep them in the same school, etc, you might be the one expected to give up parenting time to make a voluntary move. So although the court might let you move, it might not let you move the kids. It depends on the laws where you live and what your parenting agreement says. If your 50/50 custody is court-ordered, it might make things harder for you than if it is a casual arrangement.

My state has a 12 question checklist that they go through to determine whether or not a parent can move a child, and it looks pretty difficult to make a case for moving.

If you do move, you most likely would be expected to pay CS. Maybe not a lot of CS, but proportional to your income and parenting time.

Just a few things to think about.
 

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My state allows an in-state move with kids within 150 miles without court approval, so at least here, you'd be able to move easily. (Either parent can then go to court to have the placement or child support changed if necessary, but the move itself won't be blocked unless the court finds actual harm.) Even if it was a longer distance move, a job (for you or your legal spouse) is considered a decent reason (as are health and proximity to other family--"bad" reasons are along the lines of wanting to get away from the other parent, wanting to make it big in Hollywood but having no actual leads, wanting a change in scenery, trying out a new boyfriend).

We live 70 miles from my partner's ex, and we're on a weekends-with-Dad, weekdays-with-Mom schedule (with a flip to weekdays-with-Dad/weekends-with-Mom in the summer, and ad-hoc holidays/breaks). This schedule may become less workable if SD gets involved in sports or youth group or whatever, as she gets older--but right now, we can't really do it any other way, because it works around her mom's work schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Proto Lawyer...I am looking at an arrangement similar to yours-week with one of us for school, weekends with the other. We live in Canada, and the move is only an extra 15 minutes for him/me to meet halfway for the kids so it shouldn't be a problem. He is also behind 21 months on support so I know I won't owe any at least until he pays that off.
 

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The idea that anybody who is so irresponsible as to be 21 months behind in support would even get a SAY just floors me...

... but really, I'd talk to a lawyer. If your ex has the insane notion of getting money from you, he might just decide to sue for custody as visions of support checks dance through his head. It's worth the $$$ up front to have a clear vision of the law and, perhaps even more importantly, the common practice in your area when short-distance moves are considered. In the US, I think the school district move and subsequent change in physical custody would be the big deal, rather than the distance per se. I've known people who've gotten hassled for moving 5 miles, because it put the kids in a school that was less convenient for the other parent.

There's no chance, I suppose, of getting him to agree to the new arrangement without a fight, maybe give you sole physical custody, in exchange for you no longer seeking support? Because clearly, you are not getting it anyhow
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cdnmomof4_08 View Post
Proto Lawyer...I am looking at an arrangement similar to yours-week with one of us for school, weekends with the other. We live in Canada, and the move is only an extra 15 minutes for him/me to meet halfway for the kids so it shouldn't be a problem. He is also behind 21 months on support so I know I won't owe any at least until he pays that off.
Good luck...I know there are some differences between Canadian and American family law, so what I've said may have no bearing on your case.

I do find it interesting that some people see a 30-minute drive as easy for 50/50 custody, and others see it as completely unworkable for anything other than EOW visitation. I guess it depends on how far away everything is where you live--in areas where a grocery store might be a 30-minute drive, and school a 60-minute bus ride, a half hour isn't a big deal. In my own case, I commute about 20-30 minutes, 15 miles, to work every day.

And one thing I should have added: In WI, if the parents have joint custody, they both make decisions about schools. So, if the move disrupts the school and the non-moving parent objects to the new school, that could trigger mediation or court. Still, unless there is a very good reason other than distance to dislike the new school itself (it's Christian and your kids are being raised Muslim, it's $30,000 a year and you'd be expected to pay half, it's just objectively a terrible school), I don't see a court blocking a move or a school change when the reason for a move is a job transfer.
 

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My DS's dad and I have not lived in the same state since DS was born. We currently live 2-3 hours apart. He comes to pick DS up most weekends. I had thought he would be moving closer, but he decided on a job that keeps him where he is.

Given that, I wonder what my rights are if I chose to move further away.

As for the OP's question, I see a 30 minute commute to get the children as quite reasonable.
 

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30 min doesn't sound bad, but it totally changes his parenting time. He has 50% now? Week on, week off, spending both school days and weekends with children and that may change? Sounds like it could be a big deal. Here support is based on parenting time and income of both parties, so it could be possible to owe. I think we are allowed to move within the county.
 

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Here the burden of proof is on the person who wants to move to prove that it is beneficial interms of better school, better job, etc.. I do not know how strict they are about that. We, thankfully, have not had to deal with that issue.
Going from 50/50 to just weekends will be a huge change for everybody. It is hard on the dad not to be involved in his kids' daily lives (including the daily grind of homework, school, friends, etc.), on the kids b/c they have to pick up and leave all their activities every weekend (this would be more of an issue with older kids, of course), although dad could, of course, choose to drive them to said activities to some degree and hard on you b/c you get no downtime with your kids during the school year. While it might work out, I would think about coming up with a better solution. Good luck.

I am seeing now that you would be living an hour away, and that you meant a halfway drive would be a half and hour. That would make it harder to get the kids to activities near your house on their dad's weekend, so that is something to keep in mind.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
[hard] on the kids b/c they have to pick up and leave all their activities every weekend (this would be more of an issue with older kids, of course), although dad could, of course, choose to drive them to said activities to some degree
...

I am seeing now that you would be living an hour away, and that you meant a halfway drive would be a half and hour. That would make it harder to get the kids to activities near your house on their dad's weekend, so that is something to keep in mind.
Just want to point out that there are likely to be activities in the town where the dad lives, and considering mom is moving 90 minutes from the kids' school, there's a good chance they have friends involved in activities close to dad's house on the weekends. It seems like there is often this assumption that kids who spend the weekend with dad always give up extra-curriculars, or dad has to drive them to where mom lives. We have plenty of classes and sports available to kids on weekends around here that don't require anything during the week except maybe homework or practice at home, which could be done with either parent.

It sounds to me like the least disruption to the kids would be living with dad during the week so he could keep them in the same school with the same friends, and spending weekends and most of school vacations with mom. I would suggest offering dad a certain number of weekends or long weekends during the school year, and some amount of vacation time during the summer.
 

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Originally Posted by aricha View Post
Just want to point out that there are likely to be activities in the town where the dad lives, and considering mom is moving 90 minutes from the kids' school, there's a good chance they have friends involved in activities close to dad's house on the weekends. It seems like there is often this assumption that kids who spend the weekend with dad always give up extra-curriculars, or dad has to drive them to where mom lives. We have plenty of classes and sports available to kids on weekends around here that don't require anything during the week except maybe homework or practice at home, which could be done with either parent.

It sounds to me like the least disruption to the kids would be living with dad during the week so he could keep them in the same school with the same friends, and spending weekends and most of school vacations with mom. I would suggest offering dad a certain number of weekends or long weekends during the school year, and some amount of vacation time during the summer.

Sorry-certainly didn't mean to imply that the dad wouldn't/couldn't enroll them in activities-more that, as they get older, they will probably want to be in those activiites through their school and/or with their friends, which would tend to be where they lived for the weekdays, whether it is with mom or with dad.
 

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Just a few thoughts:

* My sympathy is with the parent that is not moving, especially if they are forced to give up the time with the kids based on promotion that the other party is making decision to take.

* Not paying CS is irresponsible. That being said, even though DSD's mom does not pay CS, doesn't mean DSD would be better off not seeing her mom, or watching her parents argue about money. (we have physical custody and do not receive cs)

* Whoever has children 5 days of the week, will carry greater financial burden. That person should receive CS. If he did chose not to pay CS for 21 months, then you can certainly not pay for 21 months without any guilt. From then on - it becomes not about "what's right", it becomes about "because I can", imho.

* What would you tell your ex if he told you he is the one moving one hour away and taking the kids, and you will see them only on the weekends from now on? That's the same reply you should be ready to hear on your own behalf.

I hope this did not come across badly, I was just offering my perspective on the situation.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Just a few thoughts:

* My sympathy is with the parent that is not moving, especially if they are forced to give up the time with the kids based on promotion that the other party is making decision to take.

* Not paying CS is irresponsible. That being said, even though DSD's mom does not pay CS, doesn't mean DSD would be better off not seeing her mom, or watching her parents argue about money. (we have physical custody and do not receive cs)

* Whoever has children 5 days of the week, will carry greater financial burden. That person should receive CS. If he did chose not to pay CS for 21 months, then you can certainly not pay for 21 months without any guilt. From then on - it becomes not about "what's right", it becomes about "because I can", imho.

* What would you tell your ex if he told you he is the one moving one hour away and taking the kids, and you will see them only on the weekends from now on? That's the same reply you should be ready to hear on your own behalf.

I hope this did not come across badly, I was just offering my perspective on the situation.

i agree.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
* What would you tell your ex if he told you he is the one moving one hour away and taking the kids, and you will see them only on the weekends from now on? That's the same reply you should be ready to hear on your own behalf.
Well put.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cdnmomof4_08 View Post
Proto Lawyer...I am looking at an arrangement similar to yours-week with one of us for school, weekends with the other. We live in Canada, and the move is only an extra 15 minutes for him/me to meet halfway for the kids so it shouldn't be a problem. He is also behind 21 months on support so I know I won't owe any at least until he pays that off.
I'm not really clear how he's behind on support when you guys share parenting 50/50?

And, FWIW, even if that's the case, if you are ordered to pay child support they Do Not Care how far behind HE is. YOU will be expected to pay. Period.
 

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Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
I'm not really clear how he's behind on support when you guys share parenting 50/50?

And, FWIW, even if that's the case, if you are ordered to pay child support they Do Not Care how far behind HE is. YOU will be expected to pay. Period.
We've had 90% and still had to pay, just weird quirks in the system when they take into account income and parenting time.

I don't know what it is like in your state, but it might be worth looking into. My cousin's ex was years behind with all his kids, then his son came to live with him for 1 month as a teen who wanted to try it out-- the guy filed for support during that one month and it was ordered! So, he still owed her thousands and thousands, but she also had to pay him (and it was for more than one month, several months as when the child moved back it took some time for the paper work to go through!). Total mess. So, I don't know if he being behind would excuse you from paying.
 
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