When Moving Away With the Kids Becomes a Divorce Issue

One of the biggest hindrances in a collaborative divorce often comes when one party requests to move away from the residential state. In a move away there is typically a compelling reason for the move, such as a job, a new spouse, or to be closer to family.

Take for example a true scenario of Joe and his family. In Joe's situation, his ex-wife requested she be allowed to move to another state to be closer to her family. Joe was feeling guilty, he was feeling overwhelmed, and he was feeling this might help them all get over the breakup of the family. In hindsight, this was perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that Joe ever made.

Joe was trying to give his children a sense of belonging, and to give his ex-wife the support system I knew she craved. Instead this all worked against him, and became a logistical nightmare. His ex moved from his home state of New Jersey to Massachusetts. Her family was there and this was supposed to be good for everyone involved. At first when Joe had his visitation with his children, he would travel the four or so hours to his ex's new home, and he would stay there with their children. He felt that keeping some sense of routine might work best for the children. His ex would stay with family or friends on those weekends, and eventually she had a boyfriend and would stay with him. This is where things spiraled out of control.

Although Joe admitted the original agreement was less than traditional, it worked for his family. However, once a new significant other was introduced into the picture, there were other factors to consider. This arrangement no longer worked and Joe was left to scramble for other plans. Joe now had to make the long drive up to see his children and then find forced activities to do with them, instead of the family all being comfortable in an environment that felt like home to them. Likewise, during overnight visits, Joe was faced with the question of where to stay, and added costs, etc. As all parties currently going through a divorce know, money is always an issue.

According to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) if one parent takes the children into another state and with intent to set up home resides there for a minimum of six months, then residence is established there. The UCCJEA requires that all further actions be heard in the new state of residence.

The moral of the story is it is impossible to predict what issues will come up later in a divorce. For this reason it is critical parents maintain a level playing ground to work out their indifferences.

Ron Lasorsa is a father that decided to take action after an adversarial divorce. He offers online divorce support for child custody through inspiration, information, and services on his "Divorce Cures" website to reduce the emotional and financial impact divorce has on children. Get a free "Divorce & Custody Resource Handbook," when you sign up for his newsletter at http://www.DivorceCures.com.

Divorce Cures is an online divorce support for child custody resources that provides inspiration, information, and divorce services to reduce the emotional and financial impact divorce has on children.

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