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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Mother Wants to Move Out of State with Child

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Florida

    My ex-wife and I have been divorced for over 10 years and she has primary custody. In our divorce agreement it states that she cannot move out of Hillsborough county without my written permission. About 5 months ago she lost her job and now has gotten a new job in out of state. At first she agreed to let my son, who is now 15 years old, move in with me. Now she has reversed her position and wants to have 1/2 the year up there and 1/2 the year here. I told her no, that is not in the best interest of my son. My son wants to move in with me, he wants to spend the last 3 years of high school at the high school by my house and he absolutely does not want to move out of state with his mother. Her household has been a VERY unstable environment and I have had a VERY stable environment. My current wife and I want my son to move in with us and we think it would be in his best interest to do so.

    My ex states that her attorney says we should do some kind of attorney mediation, but I'm not sure what good that would do as I won't change my position on this.

    Can someone tell me what my rights are? What are my son's rights, especially being the age of 15? And what are my chances of getting custody if we end up having to go to court over this?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Mother Wants to Move Out of State with Child

    Under the circumstances, it appears that even if you come to an agreement, it should be spelled out in a modified custody order. Which suggests you may need to go ahead and file a suit for modification, and leave it open to being one that may yet be uncontested. At least this will start the ball rolling, as these things can move fairly slow.

    But given such a suit will almost surely require spending several thousand dollars if it is contested, you might consider one last attempt to come to an agreement in advance of filing suit. And her proposed terms of six months on six months off suggests she may have some problems accepting the possibility of her paying support.

    In which case your making an offer of reduced to no support payment from her, including very liberal summer and vacation visitations for her, might be sufficient to get her to agree to your having primary custody and to keep this uncontested. An uncontested modification should cost less than a thousand dollars.

    If you take this to court to force a custody modification, and she wishes to keep full custody, and also to relocate, it is quite possible that you could lose on both counts. But that is a risk analysis that is best discussed with your attorney, based upon the specifics of your case and who your judge is.

    Even if keeping this out of court costs you a bit more in the long run, it would be worth it if it keeps things amicable between parents and child.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Mother Wants to Move Out of State with Child

    Take the high ground and talk about the importance of your son having strong relationships with both parents. I believe courts/mediators consider your sons input in where he desires to reside; however, it is more important to focus on both parents being an integral part of his life. Don't focus on who is the best parent or stable enviornments as he won't care. Instead of being confrontational, try being supportive of your spouses new job, even though out-of-state. It is vital for both families to be free to explore job opportunities and stability.

    Tex11 offers the best solution. Your son could be with her the entire summer, long weekends, most holidays with reduced or no child support. Meet halfway when driving to share the burden. Try to support his activity schedule to allow him to visit his mother on long weekends. If he stays with you, try to be flexible on the holiday visitation schedule. You would have him all the time. High school students don't like conflict or change, but either way most adapt. Even though courts consider a 15 year old's input, you both are still the parents. Your son will appreciate his parents working out living arrangements where it allows him ability to relate with both vs the courts.

    I have the exact situation, although I am the mother. Remember, what's best for the child is the ability to have a strong relationship with both his parents! Not parents fighting. Really think about if your thoughts are really about what you want or are they really about the child. Cliche' "this is what's best for the child". I let my ex husband keep the kids, while I established a new home...different, but stable. It was very hard, but I had to relocate due to work and it was best to keep them in their schools. They lived with me over the summers. I have difficulties with him scheduling activities that prevent them from visiting our new home, hence, my comment to be sensitive while your are primary caregiver. My children are to relocate to my new home in July, provided he follows the agreement without filing modification to keep them. Be fair! I believe BOTH parents share an integral part of raising children. Neither is better, more stable etc (unless drugs, abuse). So everyone should get along for the sake of the children!

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