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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    4

    Default Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Parent is Unfit Due to Drugs

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

    I am a divorced man and father of a 9-year old girl.
    I am originally from France but I have been living in California for 15 years and I am a US citizen. My daughter was born in California.
    I now have been divorced for 5 years.

    The initial agreement between my ex-wife and myself was 50/50 physical & legal custody, with no child support involved.

    However for the past 4-5 years my daughter's mom has been struggling with addiction (heroin mainly) and has been in detox/rehab/sober living pretty much non stop.
    She has been arrested for drug possession and under the influence multiple times.
    About 18 months ago there was a domestic violent incident between my ex-wife and her new husband and my daughter was present. Again, drug charges were filed.
    Shortly after that I was contacted by Child Protection Services regarding the incident and other prior reported incidents and they urged me to seek full custody as my ex-wife has become a danger for her own daughter (CPS's own words). CPS went to my daughter's school as part of their investigation and my daughter described to them how she witnessed her mom shooting heroin (with a syringe) in front of her.
    This was devastating for me as I didn't know the extent of the damages.

    For the past 18 months I have been taking care of our daughter all by myself. I now have full legal and physical custody but I do not receive any child support since mom is obviously not able to work and is now on disability. She has been in rehab & sober living again since April of 2015. I just found out that she has been arrested again last week and charged with the following:
    - 11350(A) HS POSSESS NARCOTIC CNTL SUB
    - 11550(A) HS UNDER INFLUENCE CNTL SUB
    I believe that this time she faces a jail sentence.

    I feel extremely isolated here in the US and I am considering moving back to France for a few years and with my daughter, so that I can get help from my family and friends there, and have more time for my daughter.
    My daughter is pretty excited at the idea of moving to France one day. We spent the whole last summer there and she bonded with ever person in my family.

    I want to know what are my chances to have the court approve such a decision.
    Again, moving to France would only be temporary. 1 year or maybe 2 years at most so that my daughter can be safe and have a some peace, far away from the drama her mom has put herself into.
    For me, as a single dad, it would make a significant difference as I will have a entire support system there, which would also be very beneficial to my daughter.

    If a court doesn't approve my request which I would understand, I always have the option to talk my-ex wife into it and to come to a mutual agreement.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    988

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Does Mom have any visitation rights?

  3. #3
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    Sep 2015
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    4

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Quote Quoting HRinDEVON
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    Does Mom have any visitation rights?
    She does per the revised agreement. But I assumed this can be changed since she was using drugs the last time she had a visitation with her daughter (she got arrested that same night after returning our daughter to me).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Nobody can give you a yes or no.

    It is not impossible to get permission to relocate the children out of the children. Typically it's quite difficult - but you seem to have some unusual circumstances at hand and this is just one reason you need to speak with an attorney familiar with international moves.

    If you can come to an agreement with Mom, that's actually your best bet - you can then simply file a stipulated agreement with the court.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2015
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    4

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Thank you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,197

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Quote Quoting SingleDadSD
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    She does per the revised agreement. But I assumed this can be changed since she was using drugs the last time she had a visitation with her daughter (she got arrested that same night after returning our daughter to me).
    Are you a citizen or a green card holder? If you are a citizen I think that you would have a better shot than most people would to get court permission to relocate outside of the country. Not guaranteed, but a better shot than most.

    If you are a green card holder, and the judge has any familiarity with immigration law then the judge would know that you could be putting your green card at risk by such a move, and therefore the risk would be that you would not return with the child, ever.

    However even that might not kill your chances with the judge, under the circumstances, but it might make the judge make you jump through some considerable hoops.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2015
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    4

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Are you a citizen or a green card holder?
    Yes I am a citizen. I have dual US/French citizenship.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,197

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Quote Quoting SingleDadSD
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    Yes I am a citizen. I have dual US/French citizenship.
    Then get yourself an attorney and file for permission to relocate to France with the children. You are not guaranteed to win that permission, but you have a better shot than most.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    Are you a citizen or a green card holder? If you are a citizen I think that you would have a better shot than most people would to get court permission to relocate outside of the country. Not guaranteed, but a better shot than most.

    If you are a green card holder, and the judge has any familiarity with immigration law then the judge would know that you could be putting your green card at risk by such a move, and therefore the risk would be that you would not return with the child, ever.

    However even that might not kill your chances with the judge, under the circumstances, but it might make the judge make you jump through some considerable hoops.
    Tell that to Kelly Rutherford.

    No, I'm not being snarky. Yes, I'm making the point that his green card status or lack thereof is for the most part absolutely meaningless. How many times have forum members done all but buy the tickets in order to help a non-citizen relocate to her home country with her children because she's getting divorced from a citizen?

    Countless, L. Countless. And, yet, few seem to be overly concerned with the poor citizen parent left behind here in the US.

    (It's moot anyway, but the point needed to be made).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,197

    Default Re: Is Moving Out of the Country Possible if Non-Custodial Mom is Unfit Due to Drugs

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    Tell that to Kelly Rutherford.

    No, I'm not being snarky. Yes, I'm making the point that his green card status or lack thereof is for the most part absolutely meaningless. How many times have forum members done all but buy the tickets in order to help a non-citizen relocate to her home country with her children because she's getting divorced from a citizen?

    Countless, L. Countless. And, yet, few seem to be overly concerned with the poor citizen parent left behind here in the US.

    (It's moot anyway, but the point needed to be made).
    In this particular case I am not too concerned with the parent being potentially left behind. I kind of hate to say that, but she seems like a lost cause.

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