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50/50 custody and SS moving - update

Coco72's picture

Just a quick update....

After literally driving ourselves crazy over the weekend with every what-if scenario we could come up with, looking at the calendar every way possible trying to figure out how 50/50 could reasonably work, and then finally driving to the beach Sunday afternoon because DH knew I needed some "us" time before I lost it, we met with the lawyer yesterday. 

In the CO there is absolutely nothing about either parent moving, which is good and bad. In the CO they also agreed that before coming to court to modify or change anything they would first try to work it out themselves, then attend at least 2 mediation sessions, and if they still could not come to an agreement they could come back to court. Working it out themselves is a lost cause, especially because there is a RO and they can only communicate via text, so they will have to go to mediation. There are no laws in our state saying that either party needs to notify the other if they plan on moving, so at this point she isn't doing anything wrong (legally), and it really isn't going to be an issue until school starts the end of next month and SS doesn't get off the bus at DH work. Lawyer advised DH to text her and point blank ask her if she is moving so we could get the ball rolling as mediation takes time, as does getting a court hearing, which I am sure it is going to come to. DH texted BM, she read the text 2 minutes later and ignored his question. Typical. So now we have to wait for her to violate the current custody arrangement before we can do anything.

DH will not agree to anything but 50/50 custody or better on his part, so it looks like a custody fight is in our future........


Coco72's picture

No, nothing about school districts. A lot of things were left off their custody order.

just-a-lurker's picture

I read more than I post, but this is something a person close to me recently went through.  While your custody order may not specify whether either parent can move, neither parent can change the custody order without a modified court order.  So if by her moving causes 50/50 to no longer be an option she is effectively changing the order without the courts consent.  Honestly, I wouldn't wait any longer for a response from her.  If your SS has said they are moving, the house is packed and he has been to the new house, there is nothing else you need.  Your DH needs to have the change of custody paperwork drawn up so that he becomes primary if she is hell bent on moving, set up mediation NOW and get the court stuff going.

As I said, a person close to me went through this.  His daughter's BM wanted to move 5 hours away.  They had no clause about moving, but she was effectively changing the custody arrangement without a court order because their schedule would not have been possible at that distance.  She wasn't going to file a modification so he immediately filed for a change in custody, laying out that their child should not be moved, and if BM really wanted to move, the child should stay here.  Long story short, and due to her history of moving, she was denied the move and had to remain in the area.  You don't have to wait for her to violate before you start your own proceedings if you know she is planning on moving.  And as someone else said, call the district she is moving to and tell them you do not consent to the childs enrollment in that district.

Coco72's picture

Thank you for this info Lurker- I am going to suggest to DH that he try to figure out a way to find out definitely if she is moving, right now all we have is what an 11 year old told us, but I am sure it is true. We believe she is being evicted because she just moved there last September, so her year is not up, and she doesn't have a job, so she probably isn't paying her rent. I think evictions are public record. I'm not sure if she has enrolled him in the new school, but DH could call there, and also call his current school and see if there has been a transfer request. 

I'll also suggest to him to call a mediator and see if he can begin the process now.

Thanks again!

lieutenant_dad's picture

So this is sneaky BUT...

If SS has been in the same school district during 50/50, your DH should go and enroll him TODAY for this upcoming school year. If DH has SS on his first day of school, DH takes him to school. When BM puts him on the bus to another school and is truant on her time to the school he is registered in (i.e. the school he has ALWAYS attended and your DH has had no notice that he will attend elsewhere), it's going to put BM in a pickle.

Yes, it's using the child as a pawn. However, if DH can show that he is doing everything he can to maintain communication with BM and maintain SS in school, it should (in theory) be used in his favor.

I say this because a family friend went through something similar, but BM enrolled the kids in the new school district while Dad waited for court. The judge said that if Dad had taken the initiative to enroll the kids in his school district (mind you, the same district that the kids had been enrolled in for years and were COed to be enrolled in and live in during the school year) that the judge would have maintained their CO as written. However, since they were already enrolled and attending elsewhere, the judge told Dad that he could maintain 50/50 but would have to make sure the kids went to the new school, which is nearly an hour away.

I love dogs's picture

This is great advice! Mom ignored dad's very direct question so dad should now assume that mom is *not* moving, regardless of what SS, a minor, said.

Coco72's picture

We do not live in the same school district that he is currently attending, but DH works in that area so in the CO it states that SS gets off the bus on his days with us at DH's work. Whether he moves with BM or lives primarily with us he will have to change schools, so that doesn't work in our favor. What does, is that the school district we live in is rated #1 in our state, we both have stable careers, we are in a long term lease so we wont be moving, etc. Basically we can provide much more stability. Also she wants to move 60 miles away, right now she only lives 9 miles from their CO pick up/drop off location and very often she needs us to pick him up at her house or drop him off at the convenience store down the street so she can walk to get him because her car is always broke. 

I wonder what would happen if we enrolled him in our school district? There is nothing in the CO about what school district he attends.......

lieutenant_dad's picture

If you're going to do this, enroll him in the school district he has always attended. Keep things status quo and show that you are continuing to provide the same stability.

If you enroll him in your school district, you won't look any better than BM because you are also changing the status quo without informing her. 

notarelative's picture

Here, one parent has to live in the school district for the child to attend there (or special permission and tuition payment is needed to enroll). Here if BM moves from the district, the child has to be enrolled either where mom or dad is in residence. Enrolling here requires proof of residence. 

Here, you don't enroll every year. Once you are enrolled you stay enrolled.




Harry's picture

is always broken. How is she going to pick SS for her part in the 50/50. Driving 120 miles once or twice a week ?  QUESTION TWO.  Do you really want SS 95% to 100 % of the time ?  No free weekings, no free anything ..??  Is this a fight you really want to win ?  BM is not going to pay CS 

Coco72's picture

I’m so torn with this....I don’t know what to do. I don’t want him 100% or even 95%, but I also don’t want DH to resent me because I don’t want SS. I also don’t want to pay some huge amount of CS if DH becomes an EOWE dad. 

This seriously sucks and I’m hoping BM will change her plans and keep things as they are. 

pinkb's picture

Hi Harry, I was thinking about this as well... my "almost nightmare" SS(then)15 went from 50/50 to then full time when he couldn't get along with his mother.  Until then, we was merely a mild annoyance. I agreed to the kid moving in with us full time because I thought is was best for the kid to live in a stable home.

It took about a WEEK of 24/7 with the kid before I wanted to throw myself off of a bridge.  Yes, it was the right decision for the well being of the kid as oppose the total loss of my mind which I endured for four years until he graduated from high school and then another four paying for college.

If this goes down with you having him 100% (or near 100% of the time)... SET THOSE GROUND RULES NOW BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!  As a SM, you don't know what it's like until you're living it.  I hope you're one of the few who comes out unscathed but very few of us do.