My fiance and I are planning on getting married before I join the Navy. She has a 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship, though they were never married. The 3 of us have been living together as a family for the last 7 years. When her daughter was 4, she was awarded custody by the court and a visitation agreement was arranged that gave the father visitation every other weekend, every other major holiday and about half of the summer.
After I join the Navy, I'll be stationed at a base that may very well be out of the state, or possibly the country. The father takes advantage of his visitation rights, but he does not pay any child support. How difficult will it be to relocate given the fact that the current visitation agreement (every other weekend) will not work if we wind up out of state?
He has never been a joy to deal with. In fact, we offered the current visitation schedule many times only to have him decline it before making us take it to court, and he ended up with the same thing anyway. My guess is that he will fight it if he can.
We currently have her enrolled in private school, something we would like to continue. I am currently unemployed and looking for work and having a hard time keeping up the tuition payments on my fiance's salary. In the part of California we live in, jobs are very scarce and the military would provide financial and educational benefits for all 3 of us.
What types of information does the court take into consideration when deciding whether or not to allow the relocation of a child out of state. Would arranging the summer visitation make up for the removal of weekend visitation?