My question is regarding child custody laws in Virginia:
My ex and I divorced in February, 2006. We share 3 children: daughter, now 19 and on her own; son 16.5; and our youngest daughter, 14. Twice in the past year, he has tried to convince her that she should come live with him for a year in Arizona. I am the custodial parent, and the custody agreement states that the children reside with me in Virginia. This is enticing for her because he only wants her to come & not my son, so it would be like getting to live a year as an only child. She is a shy girl and other students tease her in school here, so he told her that she should live with him and go to school for a year and kids in the schools there probably wouldn't tease her. We get along well, but I do not feel comfortable with this at all. It's encouraging her to run away from problems instead of facing them head on, among other things. If the shoe was on my foot, I'd want all my kids to come stay for the year-not just one. Our son is sensitive as it is, and I know this would also make him feel like he's being excluded.
I guess bottom line since I am the custodial/residential parent, do I have to agree to this? I fully support a great relationship between them, but not once in the conversation I had with her did she mention "I'd like to spend more time with dad"...her reasons (which they had discussed on the phone at length before he even decided to clue me in) were that she wanted to go to a school where nobody knew her. The fact that their last name is "Loser" (no, I'm not kidding) doesn't help matter when it comes to the teasing department. All 3 of the kids have dealt with teasing from that since 1st grade. Moving to a school across the country won't change that. Kids are cruel everywhere. Her other reason was that she'd like to be there where her brother isn't. I think consistency is important and separating siblings for a year would distance their already strained relationship.