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BM possibly moving... thoughts?

Dogmom1321's picture

I wanted to get everyone's opinion on here... but here is some back story first. 

In 2015, DH was granted from a judge that he could move to this state and have SD full time, with BM having visitation in the summers and holidays. At the time she was 8 hours away in another state. BM shot herself in the foot by commiting perjury. This is how DH basically got a "free pass" to move with SD. 

BM moved to our town, finished school, got a job, filed to modify custody after establishing residency here. We went to 50/50 in 2018. BM has medical decision "tie-break" and DH has educational "tie-breaker" This includes choosing schools that SD attends.  

Fast forward to 2020... SD is now 10. She prefers BMs house because there are NO rules. BM has a new boyfriend this year that lives about an hour away (another county/city). DH is worried that when SD gets older, she will "have a say" in which parent she wants to live with. I looked it up and it seems (in our state anyway) there is no magic age, but a judge might take a child's testimony into consideration. He thinks BM will try to move SD to this new town so she can be closer to her BF and take DH back to court. We have seen text messages of BM sending SD house listings. SD has mentioned that BM wants to get a house (didn't say where though, BM is still renting an apartment currently). 

So here is the kicker, with DH having final say for educational decisions, he gets to decide (currently) where SD attends school. What are the chances a judge would grant BM majority custody, permission to move, and take away DH educational tie-breaker, and BM can decide on schools? Also, we live is a fairly liberal major city (very friendly to dads). So if DH hasn't done anything wrong (abuse, drugs, endangerment, etc.) would he get his custody time reduced? 

TIA for your thoughts and experiences!

ICanMakeIt's picture

The longer the current set up is in place, the harder it would be to change things is my understanding. Unless some major circumstance. I think you have the edge but others here will have more indepth advice. 

tog redux's picture

That's hard to predict, a lot depends on the judge. Some are so mother-friendly that they will do anything a BM wants, and some give lots of weight to the wants of young adolescents. His "tie-breaker" would be null and void if they give BM the right to move away, she would likely get all decision-making, with him as the long-distance NCP.

Honestly, your best bet might be to go back to court now and get a provision in there that neither of you can move until SD is 18.

CajunMom's picture

You have legitimate concerns, so take pre-emptive action now. Find a good attorney and get that petition filed asap. As Tog said, it all depends on the judge and WAY TOO MANY judges are pro-BM "just because." Have all records in hand showing how good SD is doing in your home (over the years), let attorney know what BM seems to be up to and get moving!

Left out mama's picture

In my state in order to modify that custody order you have to show a "real and significant change" in circumstances and that making a change would be in the child's best interest. 

Dogmom1321's picture

Right... that's what I've heard before too. The move would definitely be a downgrade for SD10. She would be leaving her neighborhood friends and school. BM would be moving to a more "rural" town where pay for her job definitely isn't as high. Closer to her BF yes... but that's a perk for BM, not the child.