My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Michigan
I am currently in the State of California, but my case is in Oakland County Michigan.
I went through divorce and it was finalized Jan 09. I have 4 children ages 10,8,6,3. Joint custody with my ex.
I was a stay at home mom while I was married to my Ex. He was an IT manager making 85k a year. He lost his job back in Feb of 09, and has been on unemployment even since.
Jobs were bad in Michigan, the only one I found in 8 months, paid 8.00/hr with about 24 hrs a week.
I ended up losing my apartment I had with my children just two months before my lease was up because I couldnt pay. My ex now has the children and has been living with his parents in Clawson since Aug 09. I couldnt bring them out here.
I have a BF of 1 1/2 years out here, but he has a 1 bedroom condo, which he is looking getting a larger place so that we can bring the kids out here. He currently makes 85k a year, with a very secure job.
I had no family, and there was no state help to help me stay in Michigan for school, this was my only option to get through school so that I could support my kids with a decent income. I am currently only 11 weeks away from graduating Medical Assisting School.
I want to know, what I need to do to bring my kids out here to live. There are better job oppertunities, better pay out here, as well as the fact that my Boyfriend has a job that is very stable.
Currently My ex and I have Joint custody, and when I return to Michigan we are supposed to have 50/50 physical custody. But he has yet to find a job and a place to live. My kids are all in the same bedroom, because his parents home is a 3 bedroom.
My ex tried to take advantage of the situation back in July 09 of last year, knowing I was losing the Apartment, and tried to take full custody. I was told by a lawyer that his situation was slightly better and that the courts would favor him, so we agreed on something outside of the courts, but with a judges signature. That would be him having physical custody while I am going to school, both having joint custody, and sharing physical once I was established back in Michigan.
The attorney told me at the time that if my boyfriend and I were married I would have no issues getting the kids out here with me. We didnt want to push marriage just for custody.
But now we have been talking about getting married, and plan on it.
My ex has decided to allow everyone to believe I left my kids for a boyfriend. The kids teachers, principle and psychologist. He knows this isnt true, knows this was the only place I could go. I had to talk with each one of them seperatly and explain what was going on ( teachers, psychologist). I didnt even know my son Kevin was seeing a psychologist untill my ex told me he was having abandonment issues.This isnt true, the issues my son has been having ( behavioral ) are the exact same he has had since he was in preschool. I have been telling my ex to get him the evaluations for Asperger's but he has not. My son was supposed to be evaluted in his old school district this year, but is in a new district. My ex has also been telling my family I never try to contact my children. This isnt true, I got my kids a cell phone so that they could call me whenever they wanted, we had webcam set up for a while. I send my ex a new webcam back in Jan, but he has yet to set it up. This is in the court order that he allows the kids to see me on webcam. Ive called many many times and dont get through to my kids. Their cell phone is shut off, or my ex does not answer his phone. When I do get through, a majority of the time he is headed out the door, or the kids are busy and he doesnt want to bother them. When I had physical custody, I had to call him many times to communicate with the children, but the arrangement worked out fairly well, he came and got them nearly every weekend, and he knew anytime he wanted to see the kids during the week he could.
He has never been through divorce, I did when I was 9. My mom ended up 1500 miles away from me and my 4 brothers, so Im very aware of how things are perceived by my children.
Im looking at about 4-5 months left out here before I can return to Michigan. My Boyfriend cannot get out there untill at least the following spring. I keep hearing that there are no jobs in Michigan. I think the best way to provide a stable life for my kids is to bring them out here to California. I honestly believe that with my ex having nothing in Michigan that he would follow, we have even offered to allow him a place to stay out here while he looked for a job, knowing money is an issue. My choice is not to have the kids away from either parent. I dont prefer the summer visitations, I know other arrangements would be better for them.
Thank you for your time. I apologize if I seem a little all over, trying to get the information out. Any advice on what I should do? Ive contacted a lawyer through email for advice, but haven't heard back yet.
There is a big time issue here, My school is almost finished, and I have to make decisions on where I am going to try and look for work.
Thank you again.