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Father of three young children considering divorce if mother takes job 600 miles away

Your Question:
My wife wants to take a job in a northern state (600 miles away). I am not going to move anywhere that is miserably cold (I have SAD). We have 3 small children (7,3, & 1.5). I certainly do not want her to take the children up there. I am very involved in their lives. I also have a good job and I do not want to leave my current company. She is adamant that she is going to take this job. If she does, can I divorce her and get custody of my kids? We have a great childcare situation where we are now and they have a great life (involved in sports, arts etc.)

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My Answer:

I think your marriage has serious problems if you and your wife can't jointly make decisions that best serve the family. My first suggestion would be for both of you to attend counseling to help come to a place of being able to put the family first, and each of your own needs second.

As I'm understanding, your primary reason for objecting to the move is that you have Seasonal Affect Disorder. If you've done any research on this, you know this condition is manageable through a variety of treatments. According to the SADA website, lightbox treatment alone is 85% successful.

I'm very concerned for your kids that their father perceives the mother is going to take a job 600 miles away come-hell-or-high-water, and the father is willing to break up the home over it too.

Of course, I don't know the mother's side, but if she's belligerent about taking this job and in the big picture, it's not good for the family. It seems like these kids have two self-centered parents.

Grow up, be a man, get your wife into counseling, and fix this ailing marriage so your three very little kids don't have to fly on an airplane a dozen times per year for the next 15 years just to see both their parents.

Is this really the future you want for them?!

In answer to your question, a court will rule as to what's best for the kids. With 600 miles between parents, one of the parents will likely have a majority of timeshare with the kids.

Seriously think about your next move. It sounds like 2007 will be the year that your children either get blessed with parents who better resolve their conflicts or get cursed with a broken home and long-distance travel between the two people who are most important to them.

Good luck.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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