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  1. #1
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    Default Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

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

    My Ex wife and I divorced in 2015. We have joint custody with myself being primary physical care. Non custodial parent (ex wife) has visitation every other weekend and holidays and 3 weeks in the summer. She lived 10 miles away when the divorce decree was filed. One parent is to drop off and the other to pick up for the visitation. The non custodial parent has since moved out of state 17 hours away obviously not taking the child every other weekend and most holidays. Her family lives close to myself so she picks up our child for the summer 3 week visitation but is demanding that I pick her up 17 hours away and spend time and money to do so. Our decree has nothing stating what happens if one parent intends to or actually moves away. Do I have to travel that far and spend hundreds of dollars for gas and lodging when she volunteered to move that far away?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    Quote Quoting Blawrence5
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    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Iowa

    My Ex wife and I divorced in 2015. We have joint custody with myself being primary physical care. Non custodial parent (ex wife) has visitation every other weekend and holidays and 3 weeks in the summer. She lived 10 miles away when the divorce decree was filed. One parent is to drop off and the other to pick up for the visitation. The non custodial parent has since moved out of state 17 hours away obviously not taking the child every other weekend and most holidays. Her family lives close to myself so she picks up our child for the summer 3 week visitation but is demanding that I pick her up 17 hours away and spend time and money to do so. Our decree has nothing stating what happens if one parent intends to or actually moves away. Do I have to travel that far and spend hundreds of dollars for gas and lodging when she volunteered to move that far away?
    Technically, you have to follow the court orders. However, if you take it back to court for a modification its almost certain that a judge would make her responsible for all of the transportation. Its not absolutely guaranteed because there are sometimes some factors that would make that unjust, but its almost certain.

    However, its also almost certain that a judge would give mom more than three weeks in the summer as well.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    No.

    However, as you noted, your existing decree no longer makes sense in light of the changed circumstances. If you and your ex cannot work something out, you'll need to go back to court to modify the decree.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    Thank you for the response. Our divorce decree was written up by my lawyer at the time and she signed it willingly. It was efiled and signed off by a judge. Are Modifications handled the same or do I have to present my reasoning to a judge in court? Generally are modifications expensive?

    Unfortunatly I have offered to give her more time in the summer, all summer actually. However her job entails a lot of travel so having a child for that period of time does not fit her lifestyle.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    Quote Quoting Blawrence5
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    Thank you for the response. Our divorce decree was written up by my lawyer at the time and she signed it willingly. It was efiled and signed off by a judge. Are Modifications handled the same or do I have to present my reasoning to a judge in court? Generally are modifications expensive?
    Since she obviously is not in agreement with you now, then yes, you will have to make your argument to the judge via a motion to the court and oral arguments in court.

    Unfortunatly I have offered to give her more time in the summer, all summer actually. However her job entails a lot of travel so having a child for that period of time does not fit her lifestyle.
    "Lifestyle" is a bad choice of word in this context and could get you in trouble with a judge. Its not her lifestyle that's incompatible with having the child for more than three weeks in the summer, its her job. Lifestyle is about what she does with her free time, not her work time.

    Would you describe a soldier who is deployed overseas as not being able to have his child with him due to his lifestyle? I don't think so.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Since she obviously is not in agreement with you now, then yes, you will have to make your argument to the judge via a motion to the court and oral arguments in court.



    "Lifestyle" is a bad choice of word in this context and could get you in trouble with a judge. Its not her lifestyle that's incompatible with having the child for more than three weeks in the summer, its her job. Lifestyle is about what she does with her free time, not her work time.

    Would you describe a soldier who is deployed overseas as not being able to have his child with him due to his lifestyle? I don't think so.
    OK maybe not the best choice of words, however comparing a man or woman of Honor overseas to someone that willingly moves away from their child, not because of the job, that came years after she met someone on the internet. And chose to not be in her child's life for no other reason than thinking about herself is hardly comparable in my opinion...……….Just saying. Thank you!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    Quote Quoting Blawrence5
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    Thank you for the response. Our divorce decree was written up by my lawyer at the time and she signed it willingly. It was efiled and signed off by a judge. Are Modifications handled the same or do I have to present my reasoning to a judge in court? Generally are modifications expensive?
    I doubt anyone here is sufficiently familiar with family law procedure in Iowa to give you useful answers to these questions (and we obviously have no way of knowing what you consider "expensive" to mean). Of course, if your ex and you cannot come to agreement on a modification, then the two of you signing a proposed modification and presenting it to the court to "rubber stamp" it obviously isn't going to happen.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    Thank you. Yes, the matter of cost cannot be projected. Maybe you could help explain the process for Modification for me. I am assuming that we both will not be in court as she is 17 hours away.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    Quote Quoting Blawrence5
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    Thank you. Yes, the matter of cost cannot be projected. Maybe you could help explain the process for Modification for me. I am assuming that we both will not be in court as she is 17 hours away.
    If she is smart she will be there for court or hire an attorney to represent her. She might even appear telephonically if your courts allow that.

    You would really need to consult a local attorney for the steps involved in filing for a modification in your local courts.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Non Custodial Parent Moving Out of State

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    If she is smart she will be there for court or hire an attorney to represent her. She might even appear telephonically if your courts allow that.

    You would really need to consult a local attorney for the steps involved in filing for a modification in your local courts.
    Will do. Thank you for the help and information!

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