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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    18

    Default How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children Before Divorce

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

    (note, the title was changed and not by me, but this is not AFTER the divorce, but before). I want to leave my abusive husband and then divorce him because he will not do any paperwork or fight for the kids or do anything until I take the first steps. I have been with my husband for 12 years, but married for only 1 year now. We share 4 biological children together between the ages of 2 years and 7 years is our oldest. Our relationship has always been rocky. My husband is and has been abusive to me and my children. In the past physically abusive to me. When I was pregnant with our first child he didn't want the baby and wanted me to abort. He kicked me in the stomach and told me he hoped I died and he hoped the baby died or was born with a birth defect because he thought maybe I wouldn't want my baby if it was born with a defect. I said no to the abortion, but gave him the option to leave and even told him I would NOT come after him for child support or visitation if he didn't want any part. I don't know why, but he chose to stay. And I was so stupid and stayed with him and things got worse and worse until I left him for a month, but then came back when he promised to be different. We went to counseling and he did change a little bit and got a little better. But is always still such a sad and hard rollercoaster of his emotional and verbal abuse and I can't take it anymore. He is no longer physically abusive to me but VERY, VERY emotionally and verbally abusive. I have no proof except for him admitting this in couples counseling to the therapist as well as some Facebook messaging. He can be very verbally abusive to the children and sometimes hits them and it breaks my heart. We fight in front of the children all the time, it's so unhealthy. Asking him to stop or leave doesn't work, one time he literally spit on me and then only walked away only because he HAD to leave for work. He curses and yells at the children and I can't take it anymore. He has some serious anger issues and I strongly believe some serious mental problems. He smokes weed and drinks a lot, weed is legal in WA. However, I do believe this has affected his moods. Again, I have no proof except for he admit this to our couples counselor (but she may not legally be able to be a witness) and some Facebook messaging. However, my oldest son especially has grown to dislike his father and one conversation with our son and he will tell you everything his father has done to him and how mean his father is to him and he wishes his father was nicer and my own son has been asking me to leave his father. It's so sad. However, my son is only 7 and might not be able to speak for himself yet. So I don't know that I have any proof and it's his word against mine. And I know he will paint a totally different picture.

    Anyway, I need to leave my husband and I want to leave the state and have full custody of my 4 children. I'm breaking and my children are suffering from the toxicity. I do not want to deny my husband visitation or contact. I am worried about how he will treat them without me there, but I do feel them seeing and knowing their father is important. So I am okay with him visiting them as often as he would like to. But I want full custody and want to move out of state. I am a stay at home mother and have been since the birth of our first child. I am the children's primary caregiver. I have been out only TWICE in 7 years with a friend without my children because I'm always with my children. My husband works 40 hours per week, plus goes out with his friends a minimum of an additional 12-15+ hours per week. So he is gone a lot. I have no family and zero support here and he has no family or support here. We are also poor and on welfare. We are on section 8, food stamps and every other welfare benefit and I HATE it. My husband works but only has a GED and does not make much money. I just graduated from college with my bachelors degree and in the future want to be a public school teacher. I want to move to a state with a higher paying teaching wage and lower cost of living and have found the area I want to move to. If I leave Washington which is too expensive for us and move somewhere with more jobs and that is more affordable, I can actually afford to support my children. Me and my husband own nothing together and there is no money or property to fight over. The kids are the only thing to fight over. I have the ability to transfer my section 8 housing to a different state and live there and I will also be closer to my mother who is retiring soon and may be able to help me with childcare so I can apply for jobs and get a full-time job. I will also be making more money than my husband when I start working.

    I have told my husband of my plans and desire to divorce him and move and let him visit the kids. I even told him I would set some of the child support money on the side each month to help him pay for airline tickets to come visit our children at least 3-4 times per year. I'm trying to be adult and civil about this. But he has told me he wants 50/50 custody. He also told me he will go to a judge and force me to move back after I've left or that he will try to keep me here. He has threatened to do things like take away things and money from us to make it harder on us, as well as try to find ways to not pay child support. This scares me. He will not have the emotional capability of caring for the children without me 50% of the time. The section 8 is under my name and will transfer only with me. So I will have secure housing for me and the children where me move to. He will not, he may be able to afford a studio or 1 bedroom in our expensive area but that is not suitable for 4 children. This is not about me keeping them from him out of spite, which is what he thinks i'm doing. If he was a great, loving, supportive and kind father then I could live with 50/50 custody as I do feel it's in a child's best interest to see their mother AND father regularly. But I know the kind of father he is and the children will already be struggling with the divorce. Being with him being emotionally and verbally abused 50% of the time will not be healthy or okay.

    What can I do? How can I leave the state to be closer to my mother and in a place that's more affordable without him stopping me? What is the best way to go about this? What are my rights and what are his right? And no, there is no parenting plan in place and no chid support set up and no divorce paperwork yet. I was going to do all of that after the move. How easy will it be for him to force us back to WA? Any advice would be helpful? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,521

    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    Your husband has just as equal rights to have the children in his custody as you do. Therefore, leaving WA without clear cut permission from the courts, as part of a divorce, would be highly foolish. Yes, you absolutely could be ordered to return the children to WA, and you could lose primary custody to dad.

    On top of that, if you were to be given permission to leave WA with the children, dad would get a considerable amount of time in WA with the children. Think, every other Thanksgiving, a week at Christmas, every or every other Spring break and anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4ths of the summer. So no, dad will not have to come to where you live to visit, the children will be going to him to visit, for extended periods of time. If you do not believe that is safe or in the best interests of the children, then you had best plan to stay in WA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    Washington is remarkably relocation-friendly at the moment; there is an accurate summary right here

    A 50/50 timeshare is not commonly ordered unless both parents are in agreement. Obviously, it's not going to be feasible if you're out of state.

    Speak to an attorney asap to discuss your options and don't even think of moving before custody is actually decided (unless you get a temporary order permitting you to relocate).
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Officially across the country from where I've been all my life
    Posts
    4,494

    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    He's threatened to take things and money away? You guys have no money....

    Are you prepared to pay the cost of transportation to and from the area you're going to back to WA for dad to visit with his children? Yes, the total amount...for 4 children... with the unaccompanied minor fee being $100 per child, each way. That, in itself is $800 and you still have to buy tickets.
    If you wanted babies all to yourself, you should have created them by yourself. Until you do that, children have the right to BOTH parents, especially since you found them suitable to procreate with.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    Dogmatique, thank you for the summary. I am waiting to get legal advice through Clear Law, they have a family lawer and their legal advice clinic and will see what they advise. If they are relocation friendly, I may have a chance to move.

    Court Clerk... My husband works a full-time job and so we do have money, just not a lot. Section 8 covers about 1/3 of our rent, we cover the rest of the 2/3 of rent. Food stamps gives us $390 per month for 6 people. My husband covers the rest of the food money and cost of things like toiletries. We have income so we are supplemented by government help with rent, housing and medical. But they don't give us any cash money and he covers more that 50% of everything that welfare does not cover. We own a car that also needs gas an insurance. We do not have a shared account, so he has control over all money and the car. So if I want more than $390 per month to feed myself and the 4 children, I need to get it from him. If I want to be able to use my car, he needs to pay for it. He has threatened to take all of that away and since we do not have a shared account, he has the control over all the money.

    And also to add. My husband makes just about $36K per year. After me and the children no longer live with my husband, he will have to pay child support. I don't know how much chid support yet because once I get a job I will be making more money than him. But my guess is he would at least be paying $500 per month for 4 children. He has also threatened to quit his job and work somewhere under the table to avoid child support. I sent him links showing proof that if he did that, the judge could still order him to pay child support even if he quit his job.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    Depending on how much you're capable of earning - and Dad, if he's smart, will request that you're imputed that same income - your child support may be significantly less than $500/month.

    You will also be paying at least 50% of transportation costs to and from Dad's (assuming you actually get custody - that's not guaranteed) and taking that into account you may end up offsetting Dad's child support obligation ... perhaps completely. It's actually not uncommon for the relocating parent to be responsible for 100% of transportation costs, since they're creating the distance.

    You need to be realistic here. While you may be given permission to relocate the children, do not expect the court make Dad absorb the lion's share of supporting the children and do not expect Dad to be ordered to support you. You're going to be expected to pay your own way; the court will not make Dad live in poverty because you're not pulling your own financial weight.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    in alto mare
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    1,123

    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    Is there any reason why you aren't seeking employment now?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    18

    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    I am not seeking employment right now because I need to finish my certification program and I have to finish it before I am able to be hired as a teacher. Pretty much every state requires their teachers to be certified before being hired. I should have my certification completed very shortly after my move. We also have no childcare here and can't afford it yet. I eventually need to do my student teaching, which I plan to do after I move because it will be the last 6 months of my program. That will require me to have full-time M-F childcare. My mother is young, but retiring from the military early next year and has said she will be able to provide childcare while I finish my student teaching. I've known several teachers who were hired on permanently after their student teaching ended. I am hoping for a situation like that, but if not I will be able to substitue teach while I apply for a permanent postion.

    Dogmatique, I have no intetion of nor any desire is to live off of childsupport. I am not sure why or where you got the idea that I think child support should be intended to fully support my children as well as myself. I'm not living in la la land. His income could not fully support us without welfare, so how would his child support payments fully support us? I am still working on it, but me and my children will be better off in an area where we have family and where there are more jobs available to me and the cost of living is lower. I am quite certain he will be paying some child support when you factor in that I'll be working full-time, paying for childcare, paying for health care, housing, food, and all other costs. If a lot of that child support ends up going to travel costs, then so be it. But I highly doubt his payments will be ordered at zero dollars per month, while I pay for everything for them and all travel costs. I've alreay used the childsupport calculators and lowest payment scenario so far has been his payments being about $500 per month. I don't know if you have any children, but I can assure you that $500 per month is no where near the lion's share of fully supporting 4 children. And yeah, when you only make $3,000 per month losing $500 per month he won't be rich. But guess what?!?! We're already currently living in real poverty. Instead of him having $3,000 per month to spread out to a family of 6, he will have $2,500 per month to support ONE person. If you go to the DSHS website calculators, as a single man with $2,500 to spend on his needs, he will no longer qualify for all of the welfare he's been getting, except maybe medical. So he will be better off financially without us and I'll be the one mostly supporting our 4 children as well as supporting myself. And if he does do what he's threatened and does quit his job to try to get out of child support, that would only work in my favor with custody and the relocation.

    I found some info off of the NW Justice Project. Since we have no parenting plan or custody arangement in place, I am legally free to move and would not be breaking any laws. The state relocation law does not apply to me. I do have to follow the UCCJEA law and not withhold contact or attempt to hide the children from him, which I have no intention of doing and he is already aware of my intent to move and where we are going and will be in contact. Based on what I've been researching online today, WA State is relocation friendly. It's possible he is all talk and threats because he is a man that loves his friend and free-time. He takes little interest and has little desire to care for and spend time with his children under his roof. So when it comes down to it, it's still possible he won't even fight me for or want custody or visitation. I have no way of knowing what will happen until we go through with everything. The relocation could be approved when I demonstrate that we have family support and a better quality of life and a higher income there. Or it could not be and I know anything is a possibility right now. But from everything I've been reading it looks like I have a pretty good shot. I will have to be prepared to return to WA to do anything in court if he does try to take me to court within the 6 month time frame. Anyway, section C from the NW Justice Project explains it. "C. I do not have a parenting plan. Can I move with the child?
    If there is no existing order regarding residential time or visitation with your child, the statute does not apply. You may move. Just be aware of custodial interference laws and UCCJA (jurisdiction) laws.
    Custodial interference laws make it a crime to take or hide a child from the other parent with the intent to deny that parent access to the child for a long time, even if there are no parenting plans in place. It is a more serious crime if the child is moved from the state where s/he usually lives.
    Let the other parent know where you are going, and how to reach you to arrange contact with the child. That should minimize the risk of you facing criminal custodial interference charges.
    The UCCJEA is the law controlling which court has jurisdiction to make custody and visitation decisions about your child. It says that, in most cases, if a parent moves a child out of state, the old state continues to be the child’s “home state” for six months after the move as long as one parent still lives there. Any court action within the first six months after relocation will probably need to take place in the old state. If you have no custody or visitation order, and the other parent stays in Washington and files a court case, you will need to respond and be ready to return to Washington."

    http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/fil...4ab/3132en.pdf

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    You need to hire an attorney. You have absolutely no idea what you're doing.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
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    Default Re: How to Get the Right to Relocate With the Children After Divorce

    AS to the teaching component; While I'm not a teacher, my wife is a veteran teacher (13 years in the classroom and now in admin) in the same lovely state of WA. I've bugged her to move elsewhere in the country and, through my research and hers we found that teaching certificates are not, generally, transferable/reciprocal. It would require additional education, in the new state, and a pile of hoops to jump through and that's with the final certification or Professional certificate. Your residential certificate is generally not accepted elsewhere and is good for only 5 years. If you wanted to teach in another state you would have to pursue the certificate there, not here.

    As you have a BA and no time in service or clock hours (CEUs) prepare to be surprised how little new teaches earn. Even with a M.Ed it's appalling.

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