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Recently married father of infant is planning separation with long-distance

Your Question:
I have been married for a year and we just have a month old child. My wife and I are considering separation,she plans to move to her parenTs housE in another state 8 hours away. I want to be around my child and help him grow and become a better person. I work full time and mom is a stay at home mother. How can I ensure that I can have equal time to be with my child and raise him knowning that I am his father and I love him? I would like to have equal custody of the child, but I am afraid I will not see him much because they may move too far away!

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My Answer:

If you want a guarantee that you'll have equal time with your son, you and your wife need to stay together. That's the only guarantee.

It's possible, if you were to file for divorce, you might get an immediate restraining order that prohibits either parent from taking the child out of state. That's only a temporary solution, and it's possible that the mother will eventually be allowed to move with the child out of financial necessity.

It's your reality that if you separate, you and the mother will have two homes.

It's your reality that if the mother cannot support herself, she'll probably need to move in with her parents.

It's your reality that if the mother has been the stay-at-home parent, the court will prefer that the child remain with her.

And... it's your reality that if you are 8 hours away from your child, you will have a very diminished role in his life. If you want a bigger role, you can't be 8 hours away.

As I see it, you have two options.

1. Stay together.

2. Try to separate peacefully, agree that all of you will move to the city where her parents live (i.e., you find yourself an apartment, she moves in with her parents), and agree to a parenting plan where the child has high access to both parents.

Finally, I suggest that neither of you make a decision anytime soon. The mother gave birth a month ago. Her hormones are out of control, and both of you are probably sleep deprived. Just try to make it through the next few months with as little arguing as possible, and then see where you are.

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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