Update on the march to a Relocation Hearing
We finally got the relocation notice from BM's attorney on Friday. Now we are just waiting for the court to schedule the hearing.
The notice itself wasn't very surprising -- she wants DH to see SS/SD7 for about 5 weeks in the summer and alternate choice holidays during the school year. (DH and BM have currently 50/50 custody, no child support and it's been that way since SKs were 2 years old.) The notice also says that her reasons to relocate with kids is for employment, finances, support, family, opportunity, stability, and well-being. Attorney thinks she's going to have a really hard time convincing the court that a move like this is in kids' best interest, especially since we are moving into their school district (moments away from closing on the house, actually), we have documentation that proves DH (and myself as a backup) are super involved with school, activities, doctors, etc. We also have plenty of documentation where BM has fallen flat on her face -- forgot to pick up SKs on her days, doesn't always get kids to their activities, has to keep switching days around, etc. I don't think the documentation we have really paints her as a "bad parent," but it does illustrate that she's not as on top of what kids need as DH is these days. SS was also diagnosed with an adjustment disorder with anxiety that will also make relocating a harder sell. My boss even offered to give an affidavit or testimony stating that when I was hired, it was with the caveat that I be able to take care of SKs' needs should it come up -- including working from home if we had a sick kiddo; he really encourages me and other employees to volunteer in kids' schools, take time off for family vacations, etc. The office I have is really supportive of keeping the stepfamily arrangement we have as a positive one for me and the rest of our family and he's already proven that before this came up with BM.
BM's family is also going to be a hard sell -- closest family to where she wants to move will still be 3.5 hours away, her mom passed away, her dad has been convicted of insurance fraud (who also ran a porn service from his home), and her half-brother is about to stand trial for the first degree murder of her stepfather. BM's husband doesn't have a job there, but that could change between now and then. Twins' family in this area is about the same distance (3 hour drive away) but no one in DH's family has any serious issues like BM's family and they're all quite involved with twins. We drive to them or they come here about every 4 to 8 weeks and it would likely be more often now that we are getting a bigger house and SKs might be here even more. I have a really great in-law family, honest -- I totally lucked out.
The notice also includes the house she's found. We looked at it pretty closely and it's quite a downgrade from the one she has now. She's going from a 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 3,700 sq ft single family home to a 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1,500 sq ft duplex. Attorney says that the court won't care too much about that -- a home is a home but it does surprise us she's downgrading so much. Not really sure what she's planning to do with everything she has since she has so much stuff it doesn't fit in her current house. (Honestly, I don't care much and it's her problem, not ours.) Still a surprise all the same. We are also finding that the neighborhood we are moving into is crawling with kids from SKs' classes and teachers. BM's current house is too isolated for that kind of community/kid-neighborhood environment.
BM is sending weird messages to DH or to DH and myself. She had SKs for a few days last week and she was sending quite a number of pictures of kids doing nothing particularly exciting -- SD in her martial arts class, SS playing, SS/SD walking. The best we can figure is that she trying to make a case that if she moves with them, she'll send us lots of pictures -- like it'll sway the judge to let her move with them because "See! I'll let DH (and SM) feel connected to them through pictures!" She's also bee sending DH messages about job listings she's looked into closer to where we are all currently located and last night she sent DH a message with a job posting for a gig for him about 3.5 hours away from where she wants to relocate.
It's also hard to say what SKs are going to tell the judge. They say that they don't want to go but I'm sure they tell BM that they want to go with her. Just seems awful to put seven year olds in this position. BM also says that the judge is going to side with her because she also has two other sons (half brothers to SKs ages 16.5 and 2.5).
I hate dealing with this. It's got me so stressed out that I feel worn down and sick. I'm ready to get it over with...