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Cathy Meyer

Will Your Ex "Move Away" After The Divorce?

By January 14, 2013

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I received an email from a distressed grandmother this morning. Her son's ex-wife had remarried and relocated with her grandchildren. Needless to say there have been a few years of trying to keep up a relationship with the grandchildren and many legal issues for her son to deal with.

I've not responded to this grandmother but when I do my first question to her will be, what does your son's final divorce decree say about relocation with the children after divorce?

It isn't uncommon for a custodial parent to want to move away once a divorce is final or once they meet someone new. It isn't common for this issue to be dealt with at the time child custody is decided and due to that some non-custodial parents find themselves separated from their children by thousands of miles with little legal recourse.

From the perspective of a non-custodial parent this can be devastating to their relationship with their children. What should you do to make sure your ex won't be able to move away, with your children post-divorce?

1. Make sure that this issue is addressed in the child custody portion of your final divorce decree. If, at a later date your ex should wish to relocate any prior agreement you have to not do so will work in your favor in court.

2. Keep a strong relationship with your children. Proving that you spend regular, quality time with your children will keep you ex from being able to prove in court that a move would not be detrimental to the children and their relationship with you.

3. Don't behave in a way that gives your ex the ammunition needed to prove in court that relocation with the children would substantially improve the custodial parent's and child's quality of life.

February 3, 2013 at 6:09 pm
(1) MB512 says:

I am the father of five children and realize now that I made a huge mistake in my divorce decree in regards to allowing my ex and children to move out of state.

My ex begged me crying in the courthouse law library to allow her to move to Indiana, (we were living in Texas and had lived here for the past 15 years) for two years to finish her nursing degree that she had been going to school for on and off for about 12 years. Indiana was where she grew up and she was going to live with her parents and four of my children to keep costs low and so the grandparents could help take care of the children while my ex was studying.

It was terribly difficult and I was a wreck in the courtroom during the final session with the judge, but I believed my ex when she said she would be gone two years and she did not want to keep the kids away from me. (She and I both grew up without our fathers) She said it over and over, I do not want to take the kids away from you.

Now we are at 20 months of my hardly seeing my children and when I asked my ex if she was still planning to move back to Texas after the two years and she said “If I really wanted them to move back in two years I would have forced her to in the divorce decree.”

I am devastated, my kids range in age from 10-19, they all feel like their mother would fall apart if they moved away though my youngest son always tells me he wants to stay with me when he is visiting but then loses his nerve when mom shows up. I miss him terribly but donít want to conflict him more than he is already

My ex does allow me to have the kids for two months during the summer but 2 months just isn’t enough. I feel like I am trying to cram a years worth of living into just 8 weeks and sometimes I can get really stressed out when they are here because I want everything to be perfect, and that just isnít realistic.

February 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm
(2) MB512 says:

I know I have been a doormat for the 17 years we were married and I really thought it would end now that she has become religious and talks about being a good and caring person but I think she is just a really good con artist. She had a falling out with her parents and now lives in a house the church subsidizes, but since she isnít living with her parents, there is nothing keeping her there.

Early after the divorce my 19 year old (who decided to stay with me and go to college in Texas) and I both offered to my ex to move closer so that we could see the family more often, my ex told me and my daughter (on two separate occasions) that if we moved closer to the kids, she would move further away. So the option of moving closer to the kids is moot.

It is a 23 hour one way to drive to see my kids and plane tickets are very expensive. My ex won’t do anything to help me see the kids and won’t even drive them to the airport unless I pay for her gas and time. The very first exchange of the children was due to take place halfway between Texas and Indiana in Arkansas and she just didnít show forcing me to drive the entire weekend to drop the kids in Indiana and then turn around and drive straight back and go to work. So her meeting me halfway with the kids is not an option, she simply does not honor her word and is one of those religious people that are all talk and no religion.

February 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm
(3) MB512 says:

My dilemma is whether or not I should be educating the kids so that they understand all of them except the 10 year old have a voice in the courtroom and could choose where they live. Should I educate them? I know their mother manipulates them and has already made them feel terrible whenever they talk to me or communicate in any way. (She won’t allow them to friend me on facebook, sometimes they sneak and friend me but when she finds out they are punished and I am blocked again) After every visit I have with them, she cuts me off completely for 30-60 days basically punishing us for visiting.

I need advice. (other than telling me what a huge mistake I made)

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