Advice from someone who has been in your shoes
  Search entire web
Supervised Visitation Directory
Return to list of questions Return to topic groups
50/50 father wants to know how to increase his chances of moving away with children

Your Question:
First off thanks for very good information and advice. Keep it up.

Ok where to begin... My ex and I have a girl and a boy, ages 7 and 3. We have been divorced for a few years. I am currently remarried and have a step daughter and an infant. We have 50/50 shared custody of the kids and I pay for all health care costs.

In the years since the divorce she has got her masters degree and I am finishing my residency. She works minimally right now, making very little money, wanting to stay home with the kids.

Like I said before I am finishing residency and need to get a job. Currently there are no jobs in my field in the immediate area and we have been offered a job 500 miles away. We both have family in the area where I've been offered a job. There's no family local to us right now.

I am trying to get the kids closer to family because of the bonds they have with my family.

My ex refuses to even consider moving. She has a new boyfriend. I have offered to pay for her move.

On top of all these issues my children have expressed desires to live close to grandma and grandpa (without any prodding from myself) and are VERY close to myself and my current wife. I have asked for parent/child evaluations.

Anyways I guess my question is: is there anything else we can do to try to maximize our odds to get this done.

Thanks for your time

Custody and visitation problems? We can help. can help you win custody, change custody, or reduce child support. Recommended by mediators and therapists and used every day by thousands of parents and families worldwide.

My Answer:

Thanks for writing.

If you've read much on my website, you know that I strongly oppose move-aways and long-distance parenting when both parents are healthy.

It's irrelevant that the mother doesn't wish to move (for whatever reasons), and it's irrelevant that you've attempted to sweeten the pot for her to move. It makes sense, how you've tried to negotiate it, but it's irrelevant in court. She doesn't want to move, and you do want to move. That's your situation, simple as that.

So, the evaluator and judge must then decide what to do with these two kids, given that the parents will be living 500 miles apart.

Financial security doesn't play much of a role in the decision, unless one of the parents is destitute and homeless. I wouldn't suggest that you brag so much about your financial stability, since the court can take you at your word and order you to pay all healthcare expenses, childcare expenses, school expenses, and travel expenses... on TOP of child support.

You need to lay out what is in the children's best interest.

On one hand, we have a mother who wants to stay at home with the kids. We have an 7 year old who's already in school with friends. We have a 3 year old who may already be in preschool. Those things would be disrupted by a move. If you have no evidence that the boyfriend is a threat to the kids, that boyfriend is irrelevant.

On the other hand, we have a father who is willing to put 500 miles between parents (forcing the children to get on planes many times per year, forcing one parent to miss most special school events and activities). The father points out that extended family are nearby, but the court knows that both parents are more important than grandparents. The father has a decent reason for moving - a job - so there's no bad faith involved. The father has a stepchild and a new infant, so that means he'll have four kids in the home... a situation that has to be evaluated.

All you can do is make your case of "best interest of the children" with the evaluator and the judge. It may come down to a coin toss, really. If you have 50/50, and if both parents are decent parents, there's no right answer and there's no easy answer.

I strongly encourage you to keep the parents in the same city, no matter what. Forcing the children to travel 500 miles between parents, and seeing one parent far less frequently than currently arranged... that's simply not good for them.

And, if I were the mother's attorney, I'd argue that this fact alone points out that the father doesn't have the kids' best interest in mind. And who knows how much of that a judge would believe.

There's no guaranteed winner in your case, though the kids will be losers if only one parent moves.


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.

© 2005 ~ 2012 All Rights Reserved.