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Ex moving across the country with child.

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B

bmt

Guest
What is the name of your state? NC

i have a couple of questions regarding my subject. My husband and his ex divorced in 1997 and she has custody of his daughter, who is 10 years old. He has visitation rights and pays child support and so far, we've been able to see her whenever he wants and for the most part, the ex has been agreeable.
His ex has a live in that she now has two other children with. His family lives in California and they have visited that state about once a year since they began living together. My stepdaughter says that they are planning to move there, which we have suspected for some time, though his ex has said nothing. SD doesn't want to go and has already told the ex that she would like to live with us. All her family is here, including both my husband's and her mother's families and she doesn't want to leave them.
We have thought for a long time that it would be best for sd if she lived with us. the many reasons for this include the lack of marital commitment between the live in and ex, the additional two children (sd shares room and bed w/ a 3 year old and continually complains that she can't get any sleep), live in drinks a lot (though we've never seen any evidence of abuse in any way and he seems respectful and nice to sd), better schools where we live, we have better financial situation, etc... Things I'm sure you've all heard before. There have been past issues, like too many unexcused school absences that resulted in near-failing grades, teachers calling us because of no response from mom, repeated bouts with lice that ex tried to hide from us by telling sd to lie to us (thankfully, sd told us so that our house did not become infested and we kept her for a week to get rid of them), sd being left with persons we felt were unfit (in particular, one woman who lives in an extremely bad neighborhood and who sd reported as having fights w/ 18year old boyfriend that resulted in lots of broken glass and the addition of a rottweiler to the household. We had to threaten a lawsuit on that one so that the ex would not continue to take sd to visit and spend the night there, but everything worked out). We didn't want to force the issue until we knew sd wanted to live with us b/c we didn't want her to resent us trying to take her away from her mother. She has stated vehemently that she would like to live with us and will not go to CA.
Here are my questions....
1. Can the ex move to CA with sd without my husband's permission? -- can she force sd to go against her will?
2. Will the court uphold sd's desire to live here in NC with us and her family? Is she old enough to make the decision on her own? If not, can we use any of the above reasons to gain custody of sd?
3. If she does go to CA, will we have to continue to pay child support, though we can't be with her? Can we fight the custody agreement from here in NC and possibly get sd back if she goes?

Our wishes really are for the best interests of the sd. We feel like she would be heartbroken in CA without her family that she is close to, including her mother's parents. Is there anything that we can do before she moves that would help?
Thank you!
 


ktarra617

Member
ok first off I believe NC is one of those states that requires mom to petition the court to get permission before she can move. You should check NC law. Not all states have that "rule" but a lot of them do.

You also need to check and see what their divorce decree says. It may or may not outline residency restrictions on where mom can or cannot move.

That being said if there is not anything in their decree limiting her residence then dad can still fight. Dad should file a motion to modify he can either get a restriction limiting the child's residence or he can go for custody. The fact that the child is 10 and can articulate her wishes will go in your favor.

Now if the court grants her permission to move and take daughter with her then there is nothing you can do about it. Yes she can force daughter to go with her. Be bad move on her part later down the road as daughter is likely to resent her for it. If this is allowed mom could find herself responsible for all the travel expenses of your husbands visits with daughter. and dad getting her on most holidays and all of the summer pretty much.

Geographic location of child has no bearing on child support. if she's allowed to move with the child then your husband still has to support his daughter.

As for moving without your hubby's permission that is going to depend on the state law and their decree. She has to tell him so many days in advance to give him a chance to fight the change.

How long before they are attempting to move?
 
B

bmt

Guest
Thanks for the quick reply and advice. We aren't sure when they're planning to move, which is why we are gathering advice now. The wheels are just starting to turn and we would like to be prepared in advance. We suspect that the move may come in a few months, though as I stated before we've heard nothing from the ex. There is nothing in their divorce decree related to residency at all. I also believe that my husband should file for a modification limiting residency. If she won't go for that, then we'll know for sure she's planning to move.
When they were divorced my husband's attorney told him that his ex could not move out of the state without his assent. He also said that if she took sd out of the state, then she would no longer receive child support from him. That's why we were asking the child support question. He could have meant that if she took the sd without permission. I'll check out NC law too. If you have any more advice, I'd love to hear it.
Once again,
Thank you!
 

ktarra617

Member
I have never heard where moving from the state effected child support. That's a new one on me. Let me know what you find out.

As for the residency restriction if your hubby files for it, it doesn't matter whether his ex "Goes for it" or not. The court will decide and if the judge says no to the move then mom is restricted to whatever guidelines the judge puts in place. Whether she likes it or not. They will not tell mom that SHE cannot move, they will just say whether or not she can take the child with her.

Good luck to you!
 
H

hjallge

Guest
Has your husband tried reasonably discussing this matter with his ex? Personally, I would try that first. He needs to know as many of the details as he can before going to court.
 
B

bmt

Guest
Thank you for all the good advice. I haven't found out about the child support thing, but I'm sure that it will be unaffected by any move. My husband is going to try speaking to the ex about it first, but the bottom line for him is that he will never agree to allow his daughter to move across the country from him.
As we understand it, in NC she must first petition the court to allow her to move with my husband's daughter, at which point my husband's viewpoint and the daughter's viewpoint will be heard. Since my husband is a huge part of his daughter's life, I can't imagine that the court would allow her to move his daughter so far away. He has to have some rights. In addition to this, there are issues involved in where they are moving and the person they would be moving in with. Both my husband and I believe that each person should be able to live their life the way they choose, which is why we have tolerated his ex having children with a live-in without suing for custody of his daughter. Also, as I stated before, we didn't want his daughter to resent us, though at this point I'm certain she would rather live here. If they move to CA, it would be to live with a person who is homosexual. As I stated before, we pass no judgement on other people's way of life and are raising his daughter to be tolerant of everyone as hopefully they will of her one day. We just feel that it would be a drastic lifestyle change for his daughter and a compromise to her morality. If any of you are familiar with NC law with regards to this matter, I would like to hear what a worst case scenario could be and if anyone feels that we have any grounds for suing the ex for custody.
Thank you!
 

ktarra617

Member
I am not very familiar with NC law, however Texas doesn't have the "rule" about petitioning the court to move. However we did have to fight this fight and the residency restriction is going to be put in place.

The worst case is she allowed to move. However since your hubby has been a big part of his daughter's life its not likely. If the court says no that she cannot take daughter with her and does anyway then she will more than likely be forced to return the child to your hubby and she will lose custody. If she states to the court that she intends to move anyway it is likely the court could grant custody to your hubby right there.

But courts are starting to get more difficult in allowing people to move.

Good luck to you!
 
B

bmt

Guest
Once again, thank you for your advice and support! We hope that it works out for the best. He has spoken with her and she "thinks" that she is moving. My husband stated clearly that he does not want his daughter to move to CA. He said that he was sure that she already knew that he felt that way and hoped that it would have an impact on her decisions. Hopefully we can avoid a fight in court and can find an amicable way to settle this. We even feel that perhaps she will willingly allow my sd to live with us if she moves to CA. Hopefully everything will work out. Thanks again!
 

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